“Mom, can I ask you something?” it was his 11th Christmas.
“Sure hon.” she replied; knowing, sadly, what was coming.
“Mom is Santa real?” he said, seeming almost afraid to speak the words.
“Why do you ask sweetheart?” she delayed while she tried to gather her thoughts. This conversation had played out many times in her head and as often as she Googled it, none of the answers she read fit the approach she wanted.
“Well, most of the kids in school say that you and daddy buy the presents and that Santa isn’t real.” he mouthed, although he couldn’t look her in the eye.
“Hon, I’m going to tell you something.” she began.
“You have to understand that as long as you believe in Santa, he’ll come. If you stop believing in Santa, you’ll still get presents, they’ll just come from mom and dad. That’s how it works.”
“When I was your age,” she continued, “I stopped believing in Santa, and all my gifts were still there on Christmas morning, but they were wrapped under the tree. They were still gifts, but they weren’t magical anymore.”
“But can’t you just tell me mom?” he said, looking for the facts; as kids his age are so prone to do.
“Jake, I’m your mom. It’s my job to make sure you DO believe in Santa. It’s my job to make sure that you always have a place where the impossible is real; where rainbows are chased just to find the gold at the end, where love can happen at first site and marriage means happily ever after. It’s my job to give you guardian angels, leprechauns and tooth fairies. I cannot tell you there is no Santa, and I never will. I can only tell you that as long as you believe, he’ll be here on Christmas morning.”
“Do you understand Jake?” she asked.
“No, not really.” he replied looking confused.
“Do you want a cookie son; maybe some candy or something?” she tried even though it was only 10 in the morning.
“Oh sure mom, that’d be great thanks.” he said as he raced to the kitchen.
“Not a problem son.” She said with a relieved smile; yet another mommy crisis solved by food.
Parenting Tip of the Day:
It is a terrific idea to limit the number of toys Santa brings when the children are younger. My number was five, my friend’s only one. My children knew that was the limit when they wrote their letters to Santa each year. As they get older, the cost of the “Santa” gifts becomes much greater and buying the electronic stuff can become a budget breaker. It also helps keep a child’s expectations in check.