Sunday, December 19, 2010

Santa... *cough*

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NOTE: This post is unsuitable for children under the age of 13.
If you are under 13 and have inadvertantly strayed on to this page, please do not read any further, but click on this sentence instead.

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OK, if you're still reading, then you only have yourself to blame.

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Given the fact Meg will be 13 next birthday, and is now in high school, Maggie took the opportunity recently to reveal one or two key facts about Father Christmas.

She spoke about Santa being part of a magical story for children, which helped to make Christmas feel special, but as we get older we need to know that it is just a children's story, and isn't real, but it's ok and she would still get a Christmas stocking because that's really a part of the family tradition.

Meg seemed a bit surprised, but there weren't any tears.

"So if Santa isn't real, who do you think has been filling your Christmas stockings each year?" Maggie asked.

Meg replied, "The elves?"

Sometimes being a parent can be heart wrenching.
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36 comments:

The Unbearable Banishment said...

I am dreading this conversation. It'll be the first time we say to our daughters, "We're sorry, but it's a lie." Am I being too melodramatic about the whole thing?

Whitney Lee said...

I had a horrible teacher one year who informed me that Santa Clause doesn't exist. I got quite angry and argumentative. When I asked my parents about it they gave what I still believe was a great answer. "Is there a fat man in a red suit? No. Is there a Santa Clause? Yes. He is the spirit of Christmas. He is the one who inspires us to give more of ourselves and be more loving during the holidays. And even though we are the ones who leave your presents under the tree, the spirit of Christmas will always be alive."

This is the first year our daughter is old enough to know who Santa is. Unfortunately, "Santa's watching" hasn't caused her to be any nicer to her baby brother. Ah well...there's always next year.

Technogran said...

Even though Kerri insists that she knows Santa doesn't exist, and at the age of thirty one, she still insists on writing out a letter to him and posting it. sigh.

savannah said...

we never seemed to have that particular problem with out krewe, sugar! and you know why! ;~D xoxoxoxo

TalesNTypos said...

LMAO @ The Unbearable Banishment's comment.

Cute post!

hope said...

Sorry, but I like the way Meg thinks. :) I think deep down she understands the spirit of giving is the thing.

Then again, I've been the "Elf" for my family for years...which means I'm the one sent scurrying under the tree to hand out the packages since I learned to read. Thought when the nephew came along I'd have help [or get to retire] but no, he's just turned 11 and recently announced that he is now taller than me.

Once an elf, always an elf. :)

Ron Tipton said...

I was 13 years old when I still thought a stork brought the babies into the hospital. My friend Larry informed of how babies really came about. We were riding bikes at the time. I couldn't believe my ears what I was hearing from my friend. My parents DID THAT? I had to stop my bike lest I fell off it. I still remember to this day when I took in this information. I stopped my bike at the top of the Chestnut Street bridge in Downingtown and got off to asorb this information. A day I will never forget. Finding out about Santa Claus was small potatoes next to this revelation.

Kim Ayres said...

UB - in my experience of the older kids, and memories from my own childhood, most kids know long before their parents tell them. They just don't like to let on they know because they fear the parents will then say "Well, now you know the truth, we'll stop doing the stockings..."

Whitney - a Scandinavian I once met said part of their tradition was throughout December an elf, or goblin would place a sweet in a shoe/clog each night if the child had been good that day, but not if they hadn't. On the occasions when the kids didn't get the sweet, they doubled their efforts to be helpful the following day. At least as a parent we won't feel too bad if we deny our child a sweet, but we'd never be able to deny them Santa's gifts, so it's too easy for the kids to call our bluff

Technogran - some habits are hard to break...

Savannah - :)

Adila - :)

Hope - I think you have "people pleaser" etched into your bones... ;)

Ron - I think when anyone finds out about babies, the first thing they do is look at their parents and think... no... ewwwww...

In fact, you might like this:
Genetic Analysis :)

Chris said...

Wow, it actually has never occurred to me that I would ever have a conversation like this with my daughter! I've been too busy prepping myself for things such as puberty etc, but this is a biggie!

My parents never actually sat me down and told me that Santa doesn't actually exist - to be honest, I even fill a little guilty that I have just written that! (Santa, if you're reading this, I'm sorry!) I guess over time and through playground conversations, we just came to realise that it was indeed our parents who forked out their hard earned cash and queue for endless hours to get the 'must have' toy (before the internet was invented, obviously)!

My daughter is nine years old and a couple of times she's asked me about Santa as the word around the playground campfire is that he doesn't exist! Luckily, I was switched on and was able to use good old emotional blackmail: "Well, believe that if you want, but do you really want to risk waking up on Christmas morning to no presents?". Not surprisingly, she didn't want to take the risk!

Och, I could go on forever about this, but it's something to think about anyway!

Jayne Martin said...

LOL! Oh, to have that innocence back and not have it be from dementia.

Eryl said...

You and Maggie are quite elfinesque.

It was Bob who told us that Santa didn't exist, we were quite shocked!

mapstew said...

Being a parent means having to sign the 'Santa' Clause! :¬)

Youngest (12) is doing her best to keep the dream alive for Ma & Pa!

pilgrimchick said...

I honestly think my parents should have handled this better. My mother blurted out the truth at one point when I was about 8 without much mitigation of the fallout. Because of that, I always hope that other parents handle this better for their kids.

Litzi said...

Hi Kim,
Thanks a lot for shattering another myth…but you did provide ample warning.

Santa Claus, a.k.a. Father Christmas exists in our hearts, not our heads. It’s comforting to have something to believe in this time of year, despite the economic uncertainty and the strife and turmoil all around us.

I hope the elves smile kindly on the Ayres family this Holiday season! Peace!

Brave Astronaut said...

Santa exists. That is all.

Carole said...

The truth is so overrated in this instance.

debra said...

we all have the possibility of santa within us, don't we :-)

angryparsnip said...

Never told my children about Santa and never will. I vaguely remember saying something about us helping Santa...
I still fill their stocking and we all just laugh, my oldest is over thirty with a baby of his own... and he will be helping Santa next year.

Have a fun and interesting Christmas !

cheers, parsnip

erika said...

What do you mean Santa doesn't exist????? I'm calling my Mom.

Sandy's witterings said...

I don't think I can remember when I found out Santa wasn't real.

Thank goodness we've still got the elves.

Aoife.Troxel said...

My friend's father hates lying to his kids so when his son asked, I think he was about seven or eight at the time, he just told him straight "there is no Santa."
Sometimes it is too soon but the kid is going to find out at some point, there's always another kid who has known for years no matter what.
I agree that kids know things so much sooner than their parents tell them, and there comes a point when you have to admit to them that Santa doesn't exist.
It all depends on the individual parents and kids. My parents never lie to me about anything important and are very open and honest with me in general, yet my father still insists that Santa exists.

Pat said...

Thank you for that great chuckle. So Meg!

Litzi said...

Father Christmas is inside every one of us. He’s our true, authentic self that is there when we can let go of our ego-centered needs.

Eric said...

I so agree with Whitney Lee's parents! But I personally never had that problem since I was brought up in Holland-there they celebrate St. Nicholas the 5th of December, which is of course based on the historical figure from Greece, so no lie to begin with. Not a bad idea, if you have to "twist the truth", give it some basis in reality.

Stinkypaw said...

Good answer from Meg!

And I'd like to add that Santa and elves do exist, you just have to keep on believing, that's all. ;-)

Falak said...

Meg is the best! Santa and magic exist. And the elves have to. Who else can I blame for all those things I lose and never find?

Mary Witzl said...

I like Meg's idea too: she already knows how much you love her, but she isn't prepared to give up a beautiful fantasy.

We told our kids way back when that Santa Claus was the spirit of love and generosity; that the original St Nicolas was a good man who helped poor people when they were desperate, and that there are still people like him around today. A lot of people got after us for ruining Christmas for our kids by telling them Santa Claus wasn't a real, flesh-and-blood guy, but our idea of Santa Claus has lasted a lot longer than the jolly ho-ho-ho version.

Kim Ayres said...

Chris - I think it's one of the trickier parts of parenthood, and I can fully understand why some parents decide not to do the Santa story at all.

Jayne - true, true :)

Eryl - more ogre than elf, I think... And Bob should learn more tact :)

Mapstew - sounds like a good lass :)

Pilgrimchick - one of my stepdaughters had the whole thing destroyed by a throwaway remark by her gran.

Litzi - despite the apparent loveliness of the Santa story, Meg has shown concern in the past at the idea of a stranger letting themselves into our house...

Brave Astronaut - fairy nuff :)

Carole - possibly the wisest words I have ever read :)

Debra - is this in a sort of Hindu, Atman-Brahman kind of way?

Parsnip - Once the kids start having kids of their own, then the responsibility of stocking filling shifts to them. But until that time...

Erika - *cough*

Sandy - thank goodness indeed!

Aoife - definitions can always be altered to assist the idea of the existence of something :)

Pat - :)

Litzi - I think you already said something similar. Been imbibing a bit too much Christmas spirit? ;)

Stinkypaw - of course :)

Falak - :)

Mary - well, with Meg being the youngest, it's not down to us anymore to decide on who believes which myth. I can let go of the guilt and responsibility :)

Guyana-Gyal said...

Hi Kim, Pat just told me about this story.

Maybe the solution is for parents to tell their children from the very beginning that Santa's not real, etc, etc, but he's fun anyway and the elves [who are real] are the ones who bring the gifts.

Kim Ayres said...

We're not sure she's fully grasped the matter yet. On Christmas Eve she still wanted to put out a mince pie for Santa...

~:C:~ said...

That is too sweet... : )

I found out there is no Santa when I was 3. I can't help thinking that I'd be a better adjusted individual had I believed in him a little longer. lol

Kim Ayres said...

I've never been entirely sure whether the Santa story was a good idea or not. However, when I my son came along the tradition was already established with Maggie's older children so there was no point in doing anything other than carrying on the tradition.

Chris said...

Apparently, the Santa that we all know and love today, was actually engineered by the Coca-Cola company in the 1930's. Prior to that, he was portrayed as a skinny, gangly character - almost creepy in appearance!

Gotta love those big corporations! :)

Kim Ayres said...

Chris - although, apparently that isn't entirely true - see Santa Coca Cola Myth :)

Chris said...

Och! I thought everything you read on the internet was true! Just goes to show.... :D

Siddhartha Joshi said...

hmmm...am sure it could be tough being a parent!