The Santa Charade

22 Dec

How far does it go?  How did our parents pull it off for as long as they did?  This is a hard lie to live.

It’s fairly simple for the first two years of life.  Heck, they can be right there as you load up the shopping cart with tons of toys/stuff that “Santa” is supposed to bring them.  They just sit there in their car seat buckets drooling or snoozing or, if they’re older, happily playing with that distraction toy/snack you brought with you.  They are none the wiser.  Then, they become aware.  Very.  Very. Aware.

Things change big time.  You now have to plan how you will divide and conquer the shopping while they are with you in the store.  A strategic placement of a coat or purse is necessary.  One parent must divert the child’s attention as the other loads up the cart or checks out.  Sure, one of you can go by yourself and knock it out easily but sometimes we’re just out together and it’s convenient. Well, sort of.

As if buying these presents that “Santa” is supposedly making with his elves up at the North Pole isn’t deceitful enough, we go and make it even more of a lie.

  • “Those are “Santa’s” helpers at the mall.  You tell them what you want and then they let “Santa” know.”
  • “‘Santa’ is watching you.”  (Sure, I guess technically, we are watching but it just doesn’t have the same impact on them if I say “Mommy is watching you.”  They’re like so?)
  • “Better be good or “Santa” will only bring you a lump of coal.”  (Like I’m really going to only give the kids lumps of coal – besides, I don’t even know where to find a lump.)

As I continue this charade, I’ve run into a few questions/quandaries:

  • How do you explain to kids why you need to remember those who are less fortunate by getting gifts for them too – why wouldn’t Santa just deliver them gifts too?  He seems like a pretty nice guy.  I really don’t think he wouldn’t get little Johnny a gift just because his mommy and daddy don’t make that much money.
  • Do kids really not notice that some things have price tags on it.  Santa’s workshop needs to make a buck too I guess.
  • I’m pretty sure Nia would notice that a few of her presents have the Best Buy logo on them.  Maybe Santa ran out of that movie he made and needed to swing buy the store to get more?
  • You even gotta remember to hide the wrapping paper.  Andrew caught that one.  He bought some on the sly and hid it so that all the “Santa” delivered gifts would be wrapped in that special paper.  The one problem with it is that I really can’t use the leftovers.  I know Nia would notice.  What would I say then?  Oh, Santa left me some extra paper.  Right, cause I got connections with Mr. Claus like that.
  • I’m pretty sure it’s not a good idea to pretend that you are Santa on the phone.  Andrew thought he was doing a good thing.  Nate really wanted to tell Santa something so Andrew went outside and I called his cell.  He disguised his voice really well – Nate bought it but not Nia.  When Andrew walked back into the room, Nia said, “Was that you daddy?  It was you with a silly voice.”  Andrew and I had to hide our faces and flat out lied.  No!  Why would daddy do that?

It’s all meant to make cherished memories, right?

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5 Responses to “The Santa Charade”

  1. the real ~Roxann~ December 22, 2008 at 11:55 am #

    I know what you mean…… Logan figured it out VERY EARLY. (He was 6.) So, when he asked, I lied the first time and rebutted his claims. But, when he asked again a day or two later….I realized, he was TOO SMART and he was on to us. So, I told him the truth. And explained to him that he could NEVER, EVER, NEVER tell any other children. NEVER. Then, we told him that now that he knew, he gets to "help" be Santa for the younger kids and that "BEING SANTA" means you HAVE TO KEEP THE SECRET. And it's never been a problem.(funny side story: about 8 minutes after I told him the "truth" about Santa….he came back and asked, "so, I guess the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy……." And I shook my head yes. "I thought so, just checkin'.) Now, with Jensen, he was a little bit older. (just turned 8 years) And I know how he is….I had to come up w/ something that would keep him QUIET!!!! (he's not good at keeping secrets!) So, when I told him, I made up a "SECRET OATH along with a SECRET HANDSHAKE" that you are required to take. You lay your hands on a present and repeat after me……… The handshake was required before any discussion could be made about Santa gifts. We took him on the "Santa" shopping trips and let him pick out things. He loved it so much, I knew there was no way he'd ever tell!Honestly, I had to tell Logan, but I wasn't ready to. And when he asked about the E. Bunny and Tooth Fairy, I think he actually was quite disappointed about all of it GONE like that. But, he already knew. But, getting him involved in all of it, just changed the excitement from one side to the other. And once he realized HE was still getting presents from Santa and he got to BE Santa….he was just fine.As far as Santa goes…..at our house, Santa's gifts are wrapped in paper that has Santa on it. (this is the only paper in our house w/ Santa on it) And after we use it for Santa's gifts, any leftovers go to my friends. This assures it doesn't get used by anyone else on accident. Also, Santa leaves each child a "Santa" ornament on the tree and you have to search and find the 4 new MATCHING ornaments each year on Christmas morning. This way, when our kids leave home, they will have a "collection" of Santa ornaments to start their Christmas tree decorations with.Hope some of this helps…..Merry Christmas!Love,Roxann 🙂

  2. Scoop December 22, 2008 at 3:49 pm #

    Wow! You both made me smile so big! I was thinking about the paper and how this is the last year I can use the same paper on all the gifts without Andrew realizing it. With him getting sharper and more advanced in his speech each day, I kind of figure he'll just say something Christmas morning…but I think we're safe for another year.
    Nia is one smart cookie too…she is going to see each mistake clear as day!

  3. mom valles December 26, 2008 at 11:45 am #

    Nia probably only has a couple of more years of believing. So cherish this time. About the Santa call…get some other family member or a neighbor to do it. It really does expand the fun to get many other people involved. The Christmas paper is really not a big deal. As you know Santa wrapped our children's gifts in four different wrapping papers (one for each child). Well, you just hang onto those papers for a few years until the child no longer believes or the child forgets and then you use the paper again. Of course if you have enough of it, you can use it again next year for the Santa gifts. It's okay for Santa to use the same paper two years in a row. Maybe Nate could get his gifts wrapped in last year's paper and Nia could get the new Santa line. Maybe Santa ran out of the paper he used this year and had to make new. You can't think of it as lying, it is making wonderful magical moments for your child. Nia will figure out about Santa before Nate will, then it is fun to get her involved in the "secrets," that is almost as exciting for her as believing in Santa again. My kids loved keeping the Santa secret from the younger ones. It is all done for the magic and the love. Enjoy because it passes too quickly. Love, MaV

  4. mom valles December 26, 2008 at 11:55 am #

    Just read Roxann's comment about the Santa paper. Great idea? Maybe that would work even better than my idea. Just be your creative selves and all will work out. Love you all. MaV

  5. Audrey Holsclaw February 20, 2009 at 9:19 am #

    Nicole,I think I can help. At our house, Santa never wrapped presents unless it was something HUGE (think at least bigger than Nia or Nate). Santa's presents were always displayed in the morning with the occasional bow and then our stockings were with our piles. It eliminates the Santa Paper issue. And I can honestly say, because I've done both ways now, that not unwrapping is just as fun as unwrapping.

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