Thursday, December 6, 2012

Darn You, Santa!

Sigh. Christmas is coming.

Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas. And I don't get terribly bent out of shape by the whole Christmas-shopping thing, either. After all, since Sky's birthday is just before Thanksgiving and Pink P's is between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I am usually completely done with my shopping right about now. Plus, the Great Fall Regression seems to subside a little at this point, too, so December tends to be smooth sailing compared to what precedes it. What I don't love about Christmas is the whole Santa schtick (ugh, and even worse, that blasted elf on the shelf--don't get me started).

Every December, I have what amounts to an existential crisis. Do I tell the kids the truth (which is my M.O. on every other topic under the sun) and destroy their sense of fantasy and wonder, arming them with knowledge that they will share inappropriately and widely? Or do I just play along and feel guilty about lying to my hyper-literal, justice-oriented ASD kid who I am pretty sure will have a complete meltdown when he realizes I have been leading him astray all these years?

For what it's worth, even on the topic of Santa, I manage to tell the truth 90% of the time. It's all semantics, mind you, but somehow knowing I am not explicitly lying makes me feel a little better.

Here are a couple of sample conversations from last Christmas:

Sky: "Mom, I don't know if Santa is real or not."
Me: "I know what you mean, but people say he is."


Sky: "That mall Santa doesn't look like the real one."
Me: "Yeah, I guess it'd be pretty hard for one person to be in so many places at one. These guys must just be helping out."

That said, I've been known to encourage letters to Santa. After all, it's a perfect way to ensure you get them exactly what they want, and, more importantly, to convince them to want what you've already bought for them (on sale many weeks in advance). So, I'm not without guilt here. In fact, I may have earned a permanent position on the "naughty list" the year I bought a Thomas train set on sale while Sky was with me, convinced him it was actually for his cousin, and told him he should ask Santa for the same set because it was so cool.

Actually, I did that two years in a row.

This year, I'd planned to just tell Sky the truth. He's 8, so he'll be figuring it out soon anyway. Funny, though, he hasn't asked about it once. But, he did write this letter:

Perhaps my work here is done already.


FMBMC said...

I saw this explanation today and thought it was beautiful:

FMBMC said...

OK, it won't hyperlink, but you can highlight the whole thing, right-click, and open the link that way.

Shelley said...

My daughter is 10 1/2 and hasn't said a thing, but I keep expecting it. She knows the Santas we see are not the "real" Santa. At a school function with Santa pictures, she was concerned about how to handle a first grader asking her if that was the real Santa. She said - "I know it's not, Mom, but I didn't want to ruin it for her." Which makes me think she will be OK once she realizes the truth, I hope. Of course within the last year talking about fairies she said - "Well of course fairies aren't real, well, I mean, except for the tooth fairy." Because that makes sense.