Sometimes life just writes my blog posts for me. The post about Mabel’s dentist visit segued into Dash’s prosaic encounter with the tooth fairy; and then this happened…

After school yesterday, out of the blue, Mabel and I had this conversation:

“Mummy, is Santa real? A___ told me today that it’s just the parents giving presents.”
Oh really?” said I, playing for time.
“I know from the way you said that, he’s not real.”
“You used that voice you use.”
[Oh crap. Really? I’m that transparent?]

Then we had a little conversation about whether it’s more fun if Santa’s real or not real, and she admitted it’s more fun if he is real, but she still wanted to know the truth. So I told her the truth. And followed it up swiftly with the Very Serious Admonishment that now that she’s in on this big secret, she must be very careful to keep the secret from the other kids.

I admit, I felt a twinge of sadness at the passing of the belief. But mostly I felt relief. I never did very well with the double standards required by Doing Santa. When you’re reassuring your kids on the one hand that giants don’t exist and dinosaurs are extinct and fairies are only in stories and there are no goblins, and then encouraging them on the other hand to write letters to the man who’ll come down the chimney and leave them presents in some totally magical manner… well, I’ve nothing against anyone who does it, but I found it tricky.

Anyway, there are great things about having Santa finally debunked:

  • I don’t have to explain how come Santa only shops at Target.
  • I can put useful things in their stockings that Santa couldn’t possibly have known they needed (and certainly wasn’t asked for).
  • I don’t have to be careful to remember which presents we gave them and which ones Santa did for years to come.
  • Santa doesn’t get all the credit for the great gift ideas that were really mine.

Don’t worry, Santa will still be coming to our house. Probably until the children are grown-up, and maybe even then a while. But if he slips up now and then and brings the wrong thing … well, I suppose the kids will know exactly who to blame.

6 thoughts on “Debunking

  1. KTA

    All of our presents were “from Santa,” and if we questioned how he knew that we wanted something that wasn’t on the list, my mom would just say, “…he KNOWS!” The whole question of things coming from real stores was Santa’s undoing, though. My mom tried to tell us that “Santa works with parents, and sometimes he asks moms and dads to buy things from stores when the elves can’t make them or don’t have time.” That didn’t really hold up to scrutiny.

    1. Maud

      I think I have said in the past that Santa shops at Target just like everyone else. But they haven’t watched Elf or anything that really harps on the elves’ workshop concept, or I might have been in trouble there.

    2. KTA

      We were big fans of the classic Rudolph special when I was little, and that clearly states that the elves make the toys, so I don’t know a good way around the question.

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