Jolly St. Nick. As a child the hierarchy is Mommy, Daddy, Santa, Jesus, and grandma. We think of him is this demigod who does no wrong. Because he’s thought of so highly that our world comes crashing down when we find out otherwise. It almost always comes by accident after being so careful trying to keep it going for so long to keep the innocence going. Shortly after the rest of childhood comes at an almost abrupt end and the beginning of adolescence and tweendom comes. Sigh…
Here’s how the beginning of my end of childhood came: I was 9 years old. I was in fourth grade and for some time the rumors have been swirling around about Santa not being real. I didn’t believe them because I thought those kids were just being nihilistic, cynical jerks trying to be mean. Well, one day my aunt who was home from college at the time was wrapping gifts watching the Wayans Brothers (that Marlon sure is funny! Gimme a high five!). I walked by not even trying to be nosey and saw her write on a tag “To Chad from Santa.” GASP!
I looked at her all distraught and she replied I should have been minding my business. As any good sibling I went and told my twin sister. She thought I was being the same thing those other mangy fourth graders were but this was coming from a different place. Life was never the same. Well, until my aunt spilled the beans about wrestling just walking by saying “You know that’s fake, right?” Innocence GONE!
Well, I’m trying not to do so for my nephew. He asks complicated questions like what happens to elves when Santa dies and they require some creative answers. I’m thinking how to answer and keep it going for at least another three years. It’s getting pretty difficult especially since he’s a really smart kid. The joys of adulthood!
2 thoughts on “The Santa Claus Struggle”
Tough questions – I usually use a lot of “I don’t know”… and references to magic… which seems about as honest as I can get. Be well~
Ha, I’d love for my kids to have imagination and to believe in Santa and in elves, but I can’t lie to them about anything. I think it’s because my dad lied to me all the time–and not about important stuff or about stuff that would make life more magical, but about random things. Like which actors we were related to.
I’m sure that the fact my kids are growing up without lies/fantasy will make them use fantasy/lies even more with their own kids, to compensate. And then their own kids will swear to always be honest with their kids. And the cycle will continue…