Friday, December 5, 2008

Um, About That Christmas Guy...

Some folks would say my kids are incredibly deprived. Among other things, we have never done the Santa Clause thing with any of them. (gasp!) That doesn't mean we don't dress them up in those cute little suits and take pictures! Just that we like to make the focus on Jesus.

This is a picture of my youngest little guy two years ago.

While we focus on the birth of Jesus, and explain where the story of St. Nick originated, we try to be sensitive to other families. After all, I grew up leaving cookies for Santa, and have fond memories of finding the crumbs in the morning.

I've implored each of the older boys as they reached school age not spoil it for other families. "Their parents might not like you telling your friends that Santa Clause is not real." I might as well have been speaking to the wall, though. For last year, my second son followed in the steps of my first son and spilled the beans to the new neighbor kids.

I did (indeed) hear about it from their parents and apologized profusely. But it was all snow behind the sleigh, so to speak. Sigh. If I could only send my kids to school with duck tape on their mouths (and not get arrested), three quarters of the trouble they get (me) into could be averted!

Well, several moments ago, I had an utterly shameful and depraved temptation during a conversation with my four year old. He came up to me out of the blue with these questions.

"Mommy, is that Christmas guy coming?"

"What Christmas guy?"

"You know, that guy with all the stuff on his face"
(hands feeling an imaginary beard) "and a helmet on his head." Helmet?? "Is he coming here?

Right then, I had the insanely evil and pagan urge to say, "Oh, you mean Santa Clause! Yes, he's coming. But right now he's at the north pole eating candy canes, talking to elves, and packing his sleigh." But I didn't.

I didn't have to say anything, because he dashed off to find R2D2 without waiting for an answer. And I breathed a sigh of relief.

But it will come up again. For sure. So I'd better be ready with my vague and nebulous answers. After all, we can't have a four-year-old spouting off to his buddies about the lie their parents are telling them!

It's such a touchy and sorted affair!

My husband's approach is to lay the lie bare in one fell swoop. Cringe. That's what got us in trouble with son number 2 and the neighbors. My dear literal child was just repeating what his father had told him. There has GOT to be a better way then that to handle this.

So, before I get put on the spot again, I'm asking (really begging) for you to share your wise and noble answers with me. How do you or would you handle the whole Santa thing with your little ones?

And hurry it up!

1 comment:

Tammie said...

this is such a sad thing. we did the same as you with our daughter. but really, when parents deceive their children, they will get caught eventually. i don't think you should feel badly if your kids are the ones who break the truth to them. i remember a friend who, when we were in the sixth grade, finally figured out that Santa wasn't real. i don't think i could do that to any child. your child's trust is to valuable to lose for a silly fantasy, and Christmas is delightful without it.

incidentally, my parents always told us that they were Santa--and signed our gift tags "from Santa". and the store Santas were just "nice men dressed up in costumes".

and there is always James 1:5. the words will be there for you when an explanation is needed.