maybe that’s just because I’m still a child at heart.
Sorry. Joey McIntyre moment.
I saw a post on Facebook tonight asking when we found out that Santa wasn’t real. (Wait, what?) But it got me thinking back to my childhood and about when that actually occurred. I don’t remember.
I remember vaguely when I was about 12 or so my mom threatening me because I almost slipped up and told my brother who was 8 or so. But I don’t remember that defining moment when I realized that hey, it’s just a fat guy in a red suit with a questionable beard.
(Ellis learned early on the truth about the fat guy with a questionable beard)
I read about some parents who deny their children the joy of Santa, never introducing them into their lives. They emphasize the religious aspect of Christmas, which I understand and can get on board with, but I wonder why they won’t allow their children to just believe? It’s magical. It’s fun. Hey, it gets my kid to behave (most of the time) because he’s watching! Really, what is it hurting? There was a Saint Nicholas, if you want to integrate the religious aspect into belief in the jolly ol’ guy. So what if he has his own day a few weeks before Christmas, he’s where Santa was derived from. He was known for his secret gift giving. Of course, he did more than that to earn his sainthood, but he is what Santa Claus was derived from. Of course I understand completely if your religion does not recognize Christmas as a religious holiday, I’m talking Christianity here.
(Really, we just like to traumatize the cat.)
Then there are the parents who won’t let their children believe in a lie. They feel it’s wrong to lie to their kids. Good God. If I had a penny for every lie I’ve told my child in 6 years, I’d be vacationing in Tahiti right now. This isn’t a bad lie, like “if you don’t eat your peas the boogeyman is going to come in tonight and kill you in your sleep”, this is in the name of fun and tradition. Seriously, what is it going to hurt? Of course, I’m also going to assume you also don’t let them believe in the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny. Well, goodbye childhood!
The fact that I have no clear memory of when Santa was no longer real to me tells me that I wasn’t traumatized. I still went to church for many years after I realized the truth, and know the story of Jesus and Christmas. Of course in my house growing up, Christmas was also a birthday celebration. My dad turns 70 this Christmas.
Honestly, sure, I realize that people lied to me so I would believe in the Big 3 (Santa, Bunny, Fairy). But I don’t care. Who doesn’t love seeing the wonder in a child’s eyes when they sit on Santa’s lap to give them their list, or to see the excitement when they run downstairs in the morning after the Tooth Fairy has visited? This is childhood. There is so much growing up that kids have to do so early in life, why are we depriving them of this simple pleasure? Your kids are only young once. Let them enjoy the ride.
Do you remember when you found out Santa wasn’t real?