When your little one no longer believes in Santa!
I have had seven years of playing Santa to my little boys. But last year, when he had just turned seven years old, my eldest started to be sceptical about it all. Being a logical thinker he told us…….
‘Santa can’t be real as how would he get to every child in the world on the same night?’
‘Santa can’t be real as no-one can fit down our chimney, and besides, not all houses have chimneys.’
‘Santa can’t be real as there is no way you would let a strange man into our house mum!’
Well, what can I say to that one! We spend our lives telling our children not to talk to strangers and to scream loudly if a stranger ever tried to take them and then suddenly we are telling them that it is ok for a big man with a long white beard and a red suit to come into our house whilst we are all sleeping! No wonder my eldest started to get a little suspicious!
I was worried that he would ruin the magic for his younger brothers if I told him that he was in fact absolutely right. Instead, I just brushed over it and changed the subject as quickly as possible.
This year however, I knew the game was up. He is just too wise now and rather than simply questioning the presence of Santa, he cornered me and said ‘Don’t lie to me mum, he’s not real is he!’ My heart wanted to keep the pretence up for at least just one more year but my head told me that now was the time for honesty. If I didn’t own up now to being the one to fill their stockings whilst they lay sleeping in their cosy beds then he would think I was lying to him. How could I do that when I tell my kids that they should always tell the truth? My hands were tied. The magic of Santa, for at least one of my boys was over.
This however started a slippery slope as my six year old is no fool either. He has grown up quicker than his young years as being so close in age to his older brother they are more like twins. There was no way that his older brother could keep this to himself so in one fowl swoop I had a six year old and an eight year old who were suddenly non-believers.
But if Santa isn’t real, then logic says that neither is the tooth fairy, or the Easter bunny, or the dummy fairy. My little six year old hasn’t even lost a tooth yet and he already knows that the tooth fairy doesn’t exist. This is the problem with having an older sibling!
However, I couldn’t bear the thought of my four year old finding out as he still deserves at least another two years of believing in the wonderful tradition that is Santa Claus. I quickly took my eldest two into a room and enlisted their help in continuing the magic with me. And just in case, they had a moment of weakness and decided to tell their little brother the truth, I also told them that if none of them believed then there was no point in doing stockings! This of course gave them all the added incentive that they needed to play along!
What could have been a total disaster has actually made my role as Santa so much more enjoyable as I now have two little elves helping me! They still enthusiastically wrote their lists to Santa with their little brother and put them in the fire place so they could magically float into Santa’s fireplace in Lapland. They still came to visit Santa at the local garden centre and didn’t once try to pull off his beard to expose him to everyone! And on Christmas Eve they are going to help me lay out muddy boot prints and take a big bite out of the reindeers carrot so that their little brother can find the evidence when he wakes up in the morning. They feel privileged to be in on this big secret and know that they cannot tell their friends who are mostly still believers. It makes them feel grown up and special and with a little one year old in the house as well they are going to be helping to create the magic for many years to come.