When my girls were little, I did everything I could to keep them believing in Santa for as long as possible. When you think about it, you are only young and innocent for a very short time and then the harsh realities of life start to creep in. So I want to keep that childhood innocence for them and a big part of that is believing in the magic of Christmas and Santa Claus. But kids today are too damn smart for their own good and have to question everything and anything, including Santa. Here are some of the questions my kids asked and my answers (which I had to make up on the spot), and some of the lengths I went through to keep Santa real for them.
Q. Why does Santa use the same wrapping paper as you?
A. Because there is a special place at the North Pole where wrapping paper is made and that’s where I get mine.
Q. How does Santa get in the house when we have no chimney?
A. Santa is magical and he can do anything like shrink and come in through the keyhole. (Don’t laugh, my aunt told me that and I believed it!).
Q. How come Santa’s handwriting is the same as yours?
A. It is not the same as mine and since when did you become a handwriting expert?
My older daughter starts kindergarten and she was in a gifted class. She was only five and a half years old when some smart ass kid, Dennis, told her there is no Santa Claus. He had really put some doubts in her little head and I had to do some damage control.
When the girls went to sleep that Christmas Eve, I had my husband go outside with a bunch of sleigh bells and ring them under their window so they would “hear” Santa’s sleigh flying over our house. In addition to cookies and milk we had to put out an apple for the reindeer. I drank most of the milk and ate the cookie and put some chocolate on my thumb so I could leave a large thumb print on the dish. I took a few bites out of the apple. The next morning, when she saw the leftovers, that seemed to put a damper on some of her doubts. But, every year it got harder to keep Santa alive and it didn’t help one bit that Dennis was in her class every year trying to crush her belief with his big mouth!
Another thing that bothered her was seeing all the different Santas everywhere at Christmastime. I had to explain that those weren’t real Santa’s, but his helpers because the real Santa was too busy getting ready for Christmas and making toys to visit all the girls and boys.
I really did the best I could to keep it going for as long as possible. I must have been one naïve kid back in the day. I wanted to believe and would swallow any explanation hook, line and sinker not to burst my own bubble. Today’s kids question every explanation, don’t buy half of what you are selling and
end up bursting our bubble.
I wish there was a way to put the “magic” back in Christmas and the innocence back in childhood and keep it there, where it belongs.