I grew up in a Santa house. James grew up in a no Santa house.
We’ve been trying to straddle a middle ground.
We’d read books about Santa and see Santa places, but we wouldn’t make a big deal about WHAT DO YOU WANT SANTA TO BRING YOU and YIPPEE, SANTA IS COMING!! We’ve just tried to treat Santa as a part of Christmas fun, but generally talk about Baby Jesus and giving and family, etc.
That actually worked much better than I expected. Until last night.
At dinner, Henry point blank asked, “Is Santa not real? Is he going to bring me presents?”
James and I stared at each other. We took some big breaths. And then we totally bungled the answer.
I started off . . . “Well, Saint Nicholas was a real person . . . ” and then tried to explain that we give gifts because of that . . . and give gift because of the Wise Men . . . and then other stuff on giving and a special holiday time and I don’t even remember. It was a garbage answer.
Henry nodded along, but you know he knew it was a garbage answer.
I didn’t feel right about it.
So before he went to bed, I sat him down and spelled it out.
I figure if I’m not going to get a kick out of seeing his childlike wonder on Christmas morning by playing up the Santa thing, there’s no point in being vague.
I said the words. “No. Santa isn’t real.”
I did try again on explaining Saint Nicholas. I did say that Santa is a fun thing to do. I definitely emphasized that some people think Santa is real so it’s best not to talk about it.
(I will reprep him on this every time before we see other children. But I apologize a million times in advance for whatever Henry says to your kid.)
He seemed good with it.
We’ll see how this plays out.
So I turned to Mac, and said “what do you know about Santa?”
Mac, no joke, says “Uh . . . he died on a cross?”