I was 10…or 11…I hate to admit it, but that’s the age I was when I finally succumbed to the fact that there really wasn’t a Santa Claus. My best friend had been telling me for years that there was no way that a jolly fat man squeezed down my chimney to leave me presents. However, my parents did a great job convincing my very gullible self that there was. I really wanted to believe it, but I had to face the facts. Also, being the only kid in 5th grade who believed didn’t bode well for me.
When our oldest was 5 or 6 he questioned us about the Easter Bunny. I gasped at him and his crazy idea that the Easter Bunny was fake! That night, I left a note on his bathroom mirror as the EB, along with some chocolate eggs; that squelched his doubt real quick. Last year, at the age of 8, he started asking questions about Santa. Of course, husband and I reassured him that Santa was real and all those kids at school were crazy and probably getting coal for Christmas ( I know…low blow). With him asking these questions, I knew it was coming, but I didn’t want to think about it. How can I tell my sweet boy, my first born, that his daddy and I have been lying to him his whole life and bust that little magical bubble? I wanted to continue this game for as long as I could, also considering that we have 2 other boys! Husband thought otherwise and didn’t want him to get made fun of at school for still believing (I know how that feels), but I still wanted to see if he would ask about it this year before we did tell him. And he did. And my heart broke.
Finally, one day my husband decided that he and Junior were going to spend some time together, and this would be the time he would tell him. I’m kinda glad I wasn’t there because I probably would have cried. But, before they left we discussed how we should go about it. We wanted to make sure that he knew that there really was a man by the name of Nicholas who really loved helping people, especially children. We also wanted him to know that the story of the 3 Wise Men is another connection to Christmas and in the spirit of gift giving. Luckily for us, our oldest is very sensitive and analytical and these two traits go well together, so we were confident that he would understand the concept, and not be mad.
Once they left I was on pins and needles. I waited to get a text from my husband to see how it went. About an hour or so later he texted me to let me know they had spoken and we could all talk about it when they got home. As soon as he got home I hugged him tight and asked if he was upset with us. He reassured me that he wasn’t, and that he really liked the idea of how Santa Claus came about! We discussed more about the true meaning of Christmas and how important it was to make sure that we love our friends, family and just people in general. We also made the connection of Santa to Jesus, our Savior, and how Santa is symbolic to Jesus in some ways. All year children are good, or try to be, in preparation for Santa, and as Christians we work really hard at being good for Jesus and our Heavenly Father. This transition, as I like to call it, is very symbolic for my son; he feels more mature and his sweet heart is just exploding with kindness for people and his love for Jesus. I could not be happier with the way it turned out, and he loves the fact that now he can help do some shopping with us!
Even though he now knows that Santa does not exist and that his daddy and I do it all, he’s not mad, or upset at us. Because he feels more mature and understands that it isn’t all about the gifts under the tree, it’s about the spirit of Christmas, he knows we need to do our best on a daily basis as humans. I am so very proud of him and how mature he is becoming and his understanding of our world.
PS He knows not to tell his brothers!