The Santa Clause

Parents, do you have rules for using the Santa threat? Can you threaten to call him on the phone? Can you fake a call to him to get a child to behave? Mama has done that already. I’ve said that I’ve e-mailed him. I won’t use the phone call threat because Pablo and Doodles wanted to talk to him. It could backfire easily. I know some of you have a shelf elf reporting back to the North Pole to keep your kids in line. We’ve said the decorative Santas around our house can file reports.

It’s a fine line you walk in keeping them believing in Santa and looking forward to him, not fearing his arrival like a thief in the night. Also, do you give all the credit to a mythical Kringle? We tend to give the best toys from Santa and the needed, less interesting clothes or books from us, the parents. Why do we set undersell ourselves? I know of one parent who only puts Santa stuff in the stockings whilst the real deal toys are all from Mom.

I have a vested interest in keeping my kids Santa belief level high and long lasting because mine was ruined at such an early age. When I was in kindergarten I was reading at 4th grade level (insert slow clap here). The drawback was that I read something somewhere which made me realize the truth about Santa Claus. Then I proceeded to try to convince my classmates. There were tears.*

That night I got a stern talking to when my dad came home from work. I remember
sitting on my parent’s bed as he removed his necktie and dress shoes. He listened to what had transpired that day. Then he sat next to me on the bed.

My Dad said, “Ok, you’re right. You figured it out. But you can’t share this secret with your friends and classmates. You’ll upset them. They don’t understand yet. It’ll be our secret.”

I was 5 years old and I didn’t believe in Santa Claus. I had proof and an adult secret.
It wasn’t great. I think I would have liked to have had the option of believing longer and keeping more of the childlike spirit alive. Instead, I got to be a spy, a kid straddling an adult realm and keeping his younger brothers misinformed yet magical.

But I don’t think my parents could have lied to me that day to convince me I was mistaken. I think they played it the best way they could. And that’s what we’re trying to do now. Santa Claus is a benevolent dictator, an omniscient, omnipresent, super-hero of sorts. He’s coming. You better watch out.

*Not mine. Other kindergartners. Look, I get it, I don’t want anyone else ruining it for our boys.

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3 Comments

Filed under Take a Chance

3 responses to “The Santa Clause

  1. Ron

    Absolutely continue lying to them about Santa Claus. They wont fall for it forever, so I say have fun with it while you can.

    My niece thinks my ex-wife is in prison. Hilarious.

  2. Jennie

    Interesting to read this as Eli and I were just discussing how far the Santa threat will be allowed to go in our house. You like to be idealistic and think you won’t use the threat because your kids will be so well-behaved. I also like to believe I won’t promise treats at the end of a shopping trip if they will just behave but I have a sense that I am in for a big surprise as most of the best parents I know resort to these methods. Interesting to hear all the tricks of the trade.

    As for keeping Santa Claus around – do it as long as you can. I detest the idea of depriving childhood of something magical on the theory that you are lying. I mean, you are lying but it is a ncie lie – we all need those. Don’t we all wish for the days when we believed? I too found out Santa wasn’t real at an early age and it brings down a house of cards about the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. I cried myself, but not for the reasons you think – i was sad I was duped, thought I should have been smarter than that.

  3. Courtney

    When the day comes that I have to explain santa I’m hoping I can use the insight a friend once gave me in that he described to his kids that “the idea of santa’s generousity is more than a little kid can understand in that it’s people all over the world acting on behalf of the christmas spirit to make kids everywhere happy”. We’ll see how that goes in 8 or 9 years when Miles is big enough to question it…
    Merry Christmas!

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