The Santa Conundrum


December 22, 2010 by Stef

It’s Christmas time again (as you might have noticed), and I find myself finally having to confront the issue of Santa. The Boy is almost four years old, y’see, and his all-too-bright mind is fertile ground for planting the seeds of mythos. Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Boogeyman, Great Pumpkin, and yes … Santa. All of them could take firm root in my little daydreamer’s brain and flourish.

So. To Santa, or not to Santa.

When I was a kid, Santa was the real deal. I’d go to bed on Christmas Eve, having opened my traditional one present (side note – one year, that present was an empty damn box. Mom maintains that she had gotten into a wrapping frenzy and accidentally wrapped an empty box and I just so happened to select that one for my Christmas Eve present, but that’s an awful lot of coincidence if you ask me. Ultimately, I was allowed to select another present to open, but for one long horrible moment I’d been thoroughly Grinched) (and apparently am still a bit traumatized by this experience) (what the hell was I saying? oh right …) I’d go to bed on Christmas Eve, and wake up the next morning to a full stocking and a few extra gifts from Santa. The bulk of the presents, though, were under the tree and clearly from real people, not jolly old elves. This, I feel is the way to go. A friend recently told me that his girlfriend makes every single present that her daughter receives “from Santa”. Wow, really? Mommy and Daddy got you nothing, but the anonymous elderly fat man who breaks into your house annually, that guy showers you with toys. Weird.

I don’t remember when I stopped believing in Santa. There’s no great shock involved, there. Yet another friend (I’ve consulted far and wide on this issue, as you can see) tells me that she was devastated when she found out The Truth About Santa. The capitalization is clear in her tone when she says it. Discovering that her family had been lying to her for years was a great betrayal in her child-like eyes. This seems a bit excessive to me, but what if my son feels the same way? What if we start perpetuating this charming tale of yearly B&E, only to have his dreams dashed in a firestorm of hurt and betrayal years down the line? The Husband is all for the Santa idea, thinks I’m being silly, but how can I risk such a thing??

You know what’ll help me decide? Cookies. I’ll get The Boy to help me make them. And then if it just happens naturally that a small plate of said cookies gets left by the fireplace with a glass of milk, well …


One thought on “The Santa Conundrum

  1. Brea says:

    My kids are now 19, 16 and 12. They all believe. Or, at least they TELL me they believe. When each child reached “that age” where they really questioned hard, I’d ask them what they really thought. Each of them came up with the right answer. That Santa is in fact the Spirit of Christmas that lives in our hearts. And that anybody could be Santa, if they gave without selfishness. So, every year, we all get to be Santa, and we all get something from Santa. Love, and the hope of a better world, somewhere down the line.

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