Tommy, who is nine this month, was in the car with me and he saw an advertisement for “Breakfast with Santa” and got excited. I asked him what was so special about having breakfast with Santa.
He said, “”You get pancakes. You get sausage. You get juice.”
I said, “You know he’s not real, right? So you want to have breakfast with a guy you don’t know?”
Tommy responded, “Yeah, that’s just the way it is.” (In other words, if you want the food, you eat with Santa.)
I remember when Joy our oldest daughter was about five, and we took her to the mall to meet Santa. Everything was fine, and afterward we shopped for a while before she asked to use the bathroom. On the way down a hall to the facilities, we passed a mall office with an all-glass wall. She abruptly stopped to stare. I looked that way, and there was Santa with his white gloves off, legs crossed, slumped in a chair, and smoking a cigarette!
I’ve always told our kids that Santa was pretend, and it’s a good thing, because we could have had a melt-down over that incident. They’ve learned that they can count on what we tell them. We wanted our kids to know what was true, because if we say that Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny are real, (and later they find out we were pulling their leg), how will they know Jesus is real, and not another made-up person? There usually comes a day when a kid will ask if what they have been told all along is true. That’s tough, because it’s inevitable that either you tell them, or they find out on their own it’s not true. (So what else is not true? They have to wonder.)
I don’t mind playing along, as long as the kids know we are playing. Yes, we’ll go see Santa, and yes, the Tooth Fairy will leave you something, but these are just little games we play for fun.
And why should some made-up person get the credit for all our hard work, anyway? Daddy and Mommy bought the toys, and worked hard to do it. Once I had Tori in a shopping cart at the grocery store. She was probably four. The cashier asked, “And what’s Santa bringing you for Christmas?”
Tori said, “My Daddy is Santa. He works to buy my presents.”
I was proud of her, because she learned early that her parents loved to provide for her, worked hard to do it, and that Jesus is not in the same category as Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.
You raise your kids however you want. These are my thoughts, and I hope they didn’t make you sputter, lol! I truly love my readers!