Monday, December 10, 2012

Santa: A Myth?

I usually post these types of things as facebook status updates. But a comment from a friend reminded me that I have a blog. Ha. And my blog will allow me to elaborate on things. So, I am going to try to venture over here to post these.

Nevaeh is doing a lot of investigation this year into the whole "Is Santa Clause real?" dilemma. I've been very careful to this point in how I answer her questions so far and I let her imagination take over. Usually our conversations sound like this:

Nev: "Mom, is Santa real?"
Me: "What do you think?"
up until this year, this was enough. She would always say, "I think he is real." And that would be the end.

Nope. Not this year.

This year has been different. My previous methods of deferring this conversation just aren't working any more. You see, I have this weird thing about lying to my kids. I just can't bring myself to do it. Even over things like Santa and the Tooth Fairy. Our family participates in the traditions and I value the aspects of the traditions that play on the kid's imaginations, but when it comes down to it, there is something deep inside me wants the kids to know the REAL story. I want my kids to focus on the REAL Christmas and not get caught up in the fantasy. I'm just conflicted on how to get them there. So I just carefully use my words to see what she does with them.

Here is our most recent conversation:

Nev: "Mom, is Santa real?"
Me: "What do you think?"
Nev: "I want to know what YOU think."
Me: Sigh. I pause because I have been dreading this moment for the past couple of years. "Well, you know the story of Saint Nicholas, right? The Santa Clause that you see in cartoons and stuff is the Americanized version of Saint Nick."
She processes that for a moment.
Nev: "But I know that Saint Nicholas is real. But he died and lives in heaven now. I'm talking about the Santa that comes down the chimney and brings us presents?!"
Me: I'm disappointed that she's still pressing for a straight up yes or no. Why does she have to be so smart!?! I think to myself, she's only 8. I don't want her to let go of the mystery just yet, but I want to have a grasp of the reality. So I say just that, "Nevaeh, don't you want to leave just a little bit of mystery. I've told you what I know. You know the history of Saint Nick. And you know what Saint Nicholas asked us to do? He asked us to be happy givers. So lets rememember that this Christmas and leave the rest to mystery and let's just enjoy the mystery this year."
Nevaeh thinks on that for a minute or so. The expression on her face looks critical, but you can also see a lightbulb go off. I feel like, for a moment, she got it without me having to say straight out, "Santa Clause is not real." Because I feel like, in a way, that is a lie too, and I feel like the idea is too complex for her to grasp this young. Or maybe I am not ready for her to grasp it.

She asked this every day last week. A couple of days passed by since she's brought it up,  and I thought I was in the free and clear. Today, I allowed her to pick out any movie she wanted on Netflix. She picked Santa Clause (that movie from 1985). And when it was finally over she ran into the living room shouting, "He's real! I knew it! Santa Clause is real!"

Ha. Well. At least I'm good for another year.

1 comment:

  1. We had that with Israel last year. Our dilemma was that the truth was not good enough for him in the beginning. As he explained his thoughts on Santa(by was of TV, and I explained the truth. He asked me if I was calling him a lie. I truly think that he has excepted it and is happy with the truth.