Last year, at eight years old, my oldest was questioning if Santa was the real deal. One minute he would ask, "Is Santa for real?" and then the next he would comment, "When Santa comes...." He was confused. After listening to "I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus," he asked if Santa was the dad (since she was kissing Santa it must mean it was her husband.) I put him out of his misery and confusion and told him it was truly the dad. In turn he replied, "So do you and dad put the toys in the stocking?" I replied with a positive. He stared out the window for awhile pondering and digesting the big revelation and then his piercing question came out of his mouth, "How do you feel about lying to me for all of these years?" Oh, that was a bit hard hitting and I suddenly felt guilty for going along with the lie for so long.
My younger son still believes in Santa - and there is no confusion in his mind. He is so certain there is a Santa and that Elves put the goodies in the Advent calendar ("it has to be elves, because who else has hands small enough to put it in those smalled boxes.") Now we don't play along with the Fairy Tale. We don't encourage thoughts of Santa sliding down the chimney, nor do we dissuade them. Our youngest hears the songs of "Santa Coming To Town" and is sure he will be here. Now when my older son hears his brother rattle on of his excitement of Santa and his reindeer, he will just look at him and not comment or tease. Nor does he wink at us revealing he is in the know. He just listens.
So we tell our kids not to lie, not even a white lie, but yet we let them believe something other than the truth. Several years ago there was a good man named St. Nick who was kind to others and thus began a Fairy Tale that lives on in so many children's hearts. Yes hearts. Many honestly love Santa.
If you have kids, how do you handle the lie of Santa? What are your thoughts of lying to our children about something they won't find until almost ten years old for some. How did your children find out about Santa and at what age? Or, how and when do you stop believing in the jolly old man with the red outfit? How do you portray Santa Claus in your household?