In the words of Bart Simpson:
“There’s only one fat guy who brings us presents and his name ain’t Santa”.
Yes, it’s not Santa, IT’S ME !! And i’m sick of pretending otherwise.
It all started when my now nearly 10yr old was small and he was scared out of his wits at the idea of a stranger coming into his room and leaving presents. Worse still was the idea of some omnipotent being he couldn’t see watching over him AT ALL TIMES, checking he was being good. In the modern times we live in, when we are constantly warning our kids of stranger danger, how is this not some seriously scary shit for young children to deal with? I had to pretend to stay up and meet Father Christmas at the door. Baby it’s cold outside.
And what about all those shopping centre Santa’s? Kids aren’t stupid, those beards are obviously fake and it’s uncomfortable for kids to be asked to sit on Santa’s lap. They don’t know who that is. Heck. I DON’T KNOW WHO THAT IS !! And so eventually, for all our sanity, I told oldest child the truth.
With second child, his behaviour was an issue. A born rebel, he didn’t really care if he was naughty with us at Christmas time. We didn’t bring the presents, Father Christmas did and he’d sort it. Plus even at a young age he’d ask too many cynical questions like ‘Oh you have Father Christmas’s phone number do you?’ and ‘How will he see what I am doing, does he have camera’s in everyone’s houses’? So in the end I told him (actually I knew his brother was going to be be brotherly and tell him the truth at any time. You know, not to be nice but to annoy him).
And you know what? It’s been the best decision I ever made. No more worries about strange men in the house and their behaviour around Christmas is a lot better. Now that they know it’s their mother and myself, they know they need to behave. It all rests on Mum and Dad. Don’t piss us off. It’s also easier to tackle the thorny issue of huge present lists and expensive gifts. Santa’s a magical being that should be able to get anything. Mum and dad, not so much. It’s far easier to be able to say ‘Sorry dudes, we can’t afford it’ when your kids know YOU are bringing the presents. The kids are far more realistic now (ok not totally).
So why do we as parents, (mostly) still insist on the Santa charade? Some misguided attempt at preserving the magic? The magic in our house comes from the older kids trying to guess where we stored the presents. As a societal control tool ( SANTA IS WATCHING)? Or is it the group guilt trip? The guilt trip being that you can’t tell your kids the truth, in case they tell their friends and then you have parents with pitchforks out to get you at the school gates!!
Well, I don’t care. It works for us and although the toddler still believes, once his brothers gleefully ruin it for him, i’m not going to sweat it.
My kids don’t believe in Santa Claus and it’s ruined nothing.