Thursday, December 2, 2010

Random Thought Thursday: The Santa Question

What time is it: 345P

Where am I: on campus waiting for Geo during piano practice

Listening to: Geo play the piano- auto correcting the line he keeps missing in Ode to Joy.

Last ate: Ramen- the dietary staple of my life as I work at New House which does not yet have a refrigerator.

I was asked point blank yesterday about Santa by my youngest. Strangely we don't talk about Santa around here, or didn't really until Geo came home from first grade educating us all on the wonders that is.

But strangely, I found myself caught. I don't want to tell my child that there is a kind and loving man watching everything that goes on and if we are good this man will reward us... to only later tell him said man isn't really real but oh by the way let me tell you about God...

So I didn't want to say the truth but didn't want to burst his little happy Santa-loving heart.

Instead, I played the "what do you mean by is Santa real" question to see exactly what he was wanting to know. It boiled down to the question of can Santa go back up the chimney, and he seemed satisfied with the idea he came to that Santa must go out the door.

In my defense I never did say he's real- and in fact once said he wasn't- but then the talent of ISH's selective hearing tuned that out (he, of course, gets that talent from his father).

So I'm curious- do you do Santa? Do you tell your kids he's real? Do you go the route of a past friend of mine whose mom put footprints near the fireplace in the name of childhood magic? Do you squelch any Santa talk in the name of full on honesty? Or do you find yourself somewhere in between?

And in my own defense- at least Agatha the Gift Bearing Beagle did actually exist.


Anonymous said...

I do not know you, I just stumbled upon your blog from a friends. We have had this discussion in our house recently, and yes we let them believe in Santa. When they ask in the near future, I will answer it like I did when we were in Disney and they wanted to know if the princess was real. I said what do you think, and they replied I think they are real and I replied they look like real princesses to me, and we went on. Did I lie, no! Children have huge imaginations, and that is part of the magic of being a child. When I learned the truth about Santa, I did not care, and I did not tell that I knew. It was just fun. I have never met an adult that said they can not believe that their parents lied to them about Santa. However, I have met those that said they wished their parents would have let them pretend. Do what you feel is best for your family, but make sure your kids do not spoil the fun for the rest of the kids who for a short time do believe.

ComplyKated said...

Yes, I agree with the magic of childhood. I still go to that place with my kids myself. And while I haven't met anyone who said they wouldn't believe their parents once the truth of Santa was known, I have known those who struggled with belief in God following the truth of Santa. Now, maybe they were in a funky phase of their life and just wanted justification, but their justification stuck with me.

And I'm all about letting them have childhood magic. When ISH ran inside and starting looking all over the house for an elf after Geo told him about the Elf on the Shelf, I didn't tell them to stop being foolish and get up. And if asked if there is an elf in our house I'd probably say that I can't be sure. But if asked if I've seen one, I won't say yes because I haven't. And even in the name of childhood magic, I'm not going to knowingly lie to my child.

I really think you'd have to know this child to understand the question. He's all about magic but he wants to know the boundary of the magic. For instance, he asked the other day if Mickey Mouse is real after seeing a commercial for Disney World. I asked what he meant because clearly those kids where real people touching a real thing. "no! I mean is there really a big mouse there, or is that just a guy in a costume?"

Now, he's good to play and watch Disney things and he enjoys it- but he wants to know his boundaries. He's also the questioner. Geo, the oldest, doesn't really question, what is is what is and he's good with that (see his thoughts on big foot). But ISH is the scientist- why how where- wants to know the ins and outs of life and WHY it is what it is.

I hope that helps explain where we are on this a bit more, but don't worry- he's been told this isn't something to talk about with other kids. And if these boys are anything, they are at least compliant. So I'm going to doubt your kid will hear it from mine.

Chellie said...

I actually struggle with this same question. I don't really know what I'll do yet when B starts asking. I like how you just asked him what he meant and then boiled it down. Good luck with this. I don't think it hurts to let them believe, but I think if B ever asked me point blank if he's real I wouldn't lie to him. Although, Nate still says he believes in Santa so I hate to crush his faith in the jolly guy.

Michelle said...

Cooper is just now into I said on my blog it is very helpful in getting him to behave...a/k/a leave looking at toys peacefully. I think even when you know Santa isn't real, it's fun to forget that sometimes, I guess I've never struggled with the God complex, but I have never put the 2 really together. At least, I don't recall doing that. Cooper has not asked yet if Santa is real, but I'm sure it'll come when he gets to school....I'll probably just avoid the answer as long as possible...I mean Santa still comes to my mom and dad's house! I'm pretty sure he's bringing me an Iphone 4 this year, so I still believe ;-)

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