A Parent’s Secret About Santa (Shhhhhh)

Photo by Jeanne SagerIn case you haven’t heard, it is the most wonderful time of the year. The stockings are hung, the cookies in the oven, and now it’s time to make a confession.

I’m kind of looking forward to the day the kid gives up on Santa Claus.

I know, I know, there is only so much magic in children’s lives and they’re only young once and blah-blah-blabbity-blah-blah. I get it! When your kid believes in Santa, you do everything you can to keep them believing.And I am! I’m no Scrooge. I spent half of a recent Christmas special chewing on my fingernails because a reality star was “playing” Santa for a community center full of kids, and I didn’t want it to ruin everything for my daughter. Considering she realized that very night that her beloved Elf (as in “Elf on the Shelf”) had yet to be unearthed from the mountain of Christmas ornaments in the attic, and demanded I go get him RIGHT NOW, I’d say the crisis was averted.

She believes at 8, a full year beyond when I got the idea that the big guy in the red suit was a big fat lie.

But one day, she won’t.

Will it be this year? The next? Maybe one after that? Who knows. I’m not pushing it — there’s magic in them there beliefs.

And yet … I won’t sugarcoat it. This Santa thing is rough on us parents! And there are a few things I know I won’t miss:

1. Getting back out of bed at midnight because, $%#@*, I forgot to move that stupid Elf!

2. That extra “Santa” wrapping paper that needs to be hidden … as if it isn’t hard enough trying to find places where she won’t look for PRESENTS? I have to hide MORE stuff?

3. The requests for $295 American Girl doll campers. OK, so maybe they will still come (she’s still a kid), but at least when I say “That’s too expensive, Mommy can’t afford that,” I won’t hear, “That’s OK! Santa can make it for me!” Face. Palm.

4. Sharing the cookies with an imaginary character. Doesn’t he get enough at all the OTHER houses?

5. Sharing the credit for those gifts. WHO went out on Black Friday and fought the hordes for that My Little Pony? Not a fat guy in a red suit; that’s for sure!

6. Reindeer food. It’s a cute idea. ADORABLE. But you try going out at midnight on Christmas Eve and trying to scoop up all those oats and glitter so the kid isn’t disappointed that Rudolph didn’t eat his treat.

7. Worrying about who is going to spill the beans. Ever clamped your hands over a fellow adult’s mouth because things were getting hairy and there were little pitchers with big ears in the room? Been there, done that … lucky I didn’t get bitten in the process.

8. The videos from Santa. Remember when we were kids and we just “knew” he existed? Not enough for today’s kids. They expect ol’ Kris Kringle to send them a video from the “Portable North Pole” every year. Only you have to remember to actually go to the Portable North Pole and build said video … you know, what all that spare time we have around the holidays and all.

9. Getting out of bed at 5 a.m. on Christmas morning. Rumor has it when the big guy’s gone, there’s sleep to be gotten on the holiday. Anyone willing to verify this for me?

Be honest … what do you think comes after Santa?



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  1. […] the age of innocence is almost over. Santa’s magic is beginning to dull. The suspicions have begun to form. Belief must be supported by fact. And to […]

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