It happened the other day. We had watched a movie about Santa and the North Pole. It was a lot of fun. A few days later, my kiddo came up to me and caught me off guard. It went like this:
Lil: “Mom, is Santa real?”
Me: (LONG pause, then deep breathe, then the words that made everyone think I am the meanest mom ever). “No, love, Santa is not real.”
Lil: “Is God real?”
Me: (Sigh of relief with my decision to tell her the truth a moment ago) “Yes, baby, God is real.”
Lil: (Deep in thought, then shrugs real big). “Ok!”
Then she scampered off and played with some toys.
Since this occurrence, she has asked me a few times if Santa is real. I have stuck to my guns.
And my family thinks I am so mean! I have already gotten a few gasps that I could be so cruel to crush my daughter’s dreams about Santa.
We have cute little Santa decorations, and I love reading my daughter books about the North Pole and the elves and how much Santa loves cookies and milk. I just had to make a decision, and in the moment I chose to tell her what worked best for me and my gut. I have a hard enough time being intentional with my daughter during this season to push aside the amplification on presents and things and talk to her about Jesus and the reason we celebrate Christmas to begin with.
I just knew I couldn’t personally do “Santa” and “Jesus” for the next years of her childhood life and had to pick one or the other to make it all about. I do believe in Jesus, and I want to do my best to share his love and story this time of year with her, and every other day of the year.
Do I think I harmed her psyche? No, I do not. Do I think she cared? Actually, not at all. Am I relieved I don’t have to lie to her the next few years about where presents come from. Oh yes, because I am the worst liar, even for fun things like surprise parties. I have a terrible poker face. And do I think she will ruin the hopes of other children? No. She hardly ever brings it up. It’s no biggie to her now.
Christmas will still be loads of fun, many traditions will be had, and we can still have Santa around. It’s just that instead presents will come from people she knows, not the big white-haired man that lives in the North. We have been baking cookies, listening to Christmas carols, and having a ball.
So, I am feeling less bad as the days press on about my decision, and actually am sticking up for myself every time I get the look of being the meanest mom in the world.
Am I the only one out there who has come clean about Santa to their young children? Share your stories with me!