Managing the “Santa” Question!!
I love potatoe Clause, don’t you? Oh, it used to be so simple, when all the boys were Daniel’s age or younger. We bought the gifts, we wrapped the gifts, we barely even hid the gifts, no one asked any questions, and everyone was happy.
Joshua has been finding his gifts since he was four or five years old. I made up excuses (lies) to keep the magic alive. “Oh, that’s just your gift from us. Santa will bring you other stuff.”
We also always use the same wrapping paper. Caleb commented on it this year, “Mom, how come you and Santa always use the same wrapping paper?”
Oh, well, um…
But this year Joshua didn’t just find a gift or two, he found the mother load!!
“Mom, can’t you just go ahead and put all these presents under the tree?”
So we went ahead and put their one big gift and one little gift for each boy under the tree. I’ve bought five total for each boy.
They were so excited. Joshua made this giant present tower. Have you ever seen anyone else do that?
I figured Daniel would get caught peeking, and then they’d see why I can’t put all the presents under the tree. Joshua kept begging me to put them ALL under there. To my surprise, Daniel and Joshua have been supremely well behaved about the whole thing! However, I caught Caleb peeking, and J.D., one afternoon, with NO SHAME whatsoever, ripped open two presents.
Needless, to say, no more presents have been added, and the tower has actually come in handy. The boys pile the small presents, which interest J.D., up at the top where he can’t unwrap them.
It’s all rather ridiculous, because even through alllllll of this confusion, they STILL believe in Santa. Joshua even caught me shopping on Amazon. He’s nine, so I even tried to hint to him, “Well, Joshua, you know you DID find your presents. What do you think that means?”
Joshua got scared, “I’ve been too naughty, and I’m not getting anything!!!???”
(What!??? Not what I meant!!!!) “Nonono, sweetie, that’s not what I mean at all. I’m saying, Joshua…”
Alan stepped in, “We buy the presents,” he said softly, as he hugged Joshua, “I’m sorry, Buddy.”
Joshua looked at us blankly.
We waited quietly, for it to sink in. We thought maybe he got it. Nope. Still believes.
The next day, another gift for J.D. arrived. The rain had destroyed the box, exposing it for what it was. I said, where Joshua could hear me, “I can’t put this under the tree. I’m going to put this in my closet, because this is a Santa present.”
Suddenly, it all clicked, and Joshua full on panicked. “What! Mom! There’s no Santa? He’s not real? It’s not true!!!!????” where ALLLLL his brothers could hear.
“What!? Sh sh sh sh Joshua, go to the laundry room, and stop saying that, you’re going to scare your brothers!’
I didn’t know what to do. I was weak, and I did not enjoy that scene that I’d just witnessed, so I said, “Joshua, the Santa gifts are arriving here early because we are having Christmas here early, remember? Christmas Eve will be too late.”
It was all too easy. He was very quickly soothed.
OH! But now I have the guilt of a liar. 🙁 Now that he’s nine, it all makes me a little uneasy. The Santa magic has been so fun. I LOVE making a really HUGE, BIG deal out of Christmas. In Bible times, they always had great feasts and parties and exchanged gifts to mark events where God had provided for them. Why should Christmas be any different?
Of course, I don’t suppose they created any fictional characters in all of those Biblical feasts….
Sigh. This is one of the hardest things I’ve faced as a parent yet! Isn’t that silly? I don’t want to crush Joshua!
I figured the myth out by the time I was seven. Santa was a great big deal to us too, but neighbor kids told me he wasn’t real, and when I asked my mom, she just said, “Well, what do you think?” I said, “Well, I mean, I know reindeer can’t fly, and it doesn’t really make any sense.”
Mom said, “No, you’re right. He’s not really real.” She didn’t make a big deal of it. It was still a shock, though. I quickly said, “But wait, then the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy…”
It’s such a major milestone in a child’s life.
Now I feel so guilty for perpetuating this Santa thing. I don’t want to kill the excitement of Christmas. They DO know the true meaning is all about Jesus’s birth, but still. Killing the fairy tales of childhood seems like a thing I do no want to do, you know?
So what say ye? How did ya’ll handle this? I’d love to hear your stories.
Caleb worked hard on this Christmas with Olaf picture. Love it! 2 Olafs. The black rain is supposed to be snow.
another new thing this year: Joshua and Caleb are LOVING wrapping presents. My job keeps getting easier!
Our Christmas present tower cracks me up. Joshua definitely thinks outside the box.
We also couldn’t figure out where to hang the stockings, since we don’t have a fireplace. The boys solved that problem this morning. They hung all four stocking ON the Christmas tree. (pic to come later) Haa!
I did ask Joshua, “What are you most looking forward to about Christmas?”
He replied, “Jesus’s birthday and the field trip.”
“Huh? What field trip?”
“You know,” he said, as he pointed to the calendar, to the day marked for Alabama.
I’m getting excited too. 🙂
Now let’s hear your Santa advice!!