I can’t really remember a time that I ever thought that Santa was real. There’s no moment of realization that Santa’s gifts really came from my parents. I remember Santa coming to our house to dole out gifts but I think I always knew it was my grandpa’s friend dressed up.
When we had kids we never discussed how we were going to handle the Santa legend. We just kind of followed our kids’ lead. And they fell for it hook, line and sinker. I think it’s a fine line to encourage the magic of childhood but still be a trustworthy adult. I don’t want my kids to doubt Truths that I’ve taught them because I’ve lied to them about where some of their Christmas gifts have come from.
All too soon my kids will grow up and some of that magic will be gone. They’ll have bills to pay, their hearts will be broken and heavier responsibilities will settle in. Until then I want to preserve their innocense. I want them to become “Santa” and experience the joy of giving in secret to others. I hope that transition – the one from “ho ho ho” to “ah, I get it now” will bring them joy and fulfillment.
My oldest daughter is catching on. It’s a little bittersweet seeing her let go of her childhood beliefs and move on. She isn’t quite ready to openly admit that Santa isn’t real but I see the look in her eyes and the quiet smile on her face. I’m proud of the graceful way she’s growing up.
Just the other day she pointed out the little camera that sits on top of the stoplight and she turned to her little sister and said, “Do you see that camera Beans? That’s Santa’s camera so he can see if you’re being naughty or nice.”