The Last Year of Magic: Pour Your Heart Out

Gone are the days of babies and toddlers around here.

My oldest is in second grade and will be 8 in a few weeks.

Though he’s still my little boy, he does so much on his own and doesn’t want anything to do with things he deems “for babies.”

Soon he’ll think himself too big for snuggling up with his mama or getting a kiss at school drop-off.

All us mamas know that time goes way so fast.

For now, I want to enjoy his little boy-ness.

And that includes his belief in Santa.

While it’s not our focus at Christmas, there is something magical about the idea of Santa Claus.

Thinking that someone really can make all those toys for the good boys and girls in the world and get them delivered all over the world in just one night in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer.

It’s believing that he does know just want you want and will bring you something special.

Imagining just how he’ll sneak into your house to drop off your gifts.

Wondering if he really eats all those cookies and if his reindeer liked the food you left for them out on the lawn.

The first waking thought on Christmas Day, before even opening your eyes, “Santa came!” and the race to the tree that now has gifts surrounding it.

Joy and magic.

But my oldest… he’s in the same grade I was in when I found out there is no such thing as Santa.

Is this our last year with all of our boys still believing in the magic of the season?

Christmas is so much more than just Santa, I know. But even still, finding out that Santa is just a story and that the presents just make their way from mom and dad’s hiding spot to under the tree instead of from the North Pole… it dims the magic.

A magic that can be found again, years later, in the faces of your own children as they light up at the sight of Santa’s visit.

But in the meantime, the magic fades.

I’m not ready for that here.

Click if you want to find out more about Pour Your Heart Out. Remember, it’s about what you want to pour out: it’s personal, so there isn’t an assigned topic. It’s also about being supportive of others who are sharing: so visit other linkers and be kind with your comments. Please add the button from the sidebar or add a text link to your post if you are joining in.


  1. says

    I’m dealing with that over here too with Cole and Bella, who are also 8 years old.  I thought the whole Elf on the Shelf would keep them believing for a little bit longer and it’s worked for Bella but Cole is super suspicious.  

    And it doesn’t help that other kids at school tell them there’s no such thing as Santa, the Easter Bunny, etc, etc!!
    Helene recently posted..You like my new look??My Profile

  2. says

    There is magic in other things though – I know it’s hard to see it sometimes, but it’s there.
    Having said that, it would make me cry a little too once my boys stop believing in things.
    Alison recently posted..Being The BabyMy Profile

  3. says

    I was 8 when I first heard there was no Santa but I think it took till I was about 10 for it to sink in. Even as a kid you don’t want the magic to end. But I loved keeping the magic alive for my younger brother. I hope you get a few more years out of your son.
    Julia recently posted..My Over Achieving Mommy MomentMy Profile

  4. says

    A bittersweet time indeed! Hopefully the eldest will want to be part of the “grownups” to continue the story for the little ones. That worked with our oldest.

    I worked with a gal once who stated to all of us about her 5 year old: There is no Santa. I am Santa, and he needs to know the stuff comes from me. I don’t want some imaginary character getting the credit. Besides, he needs to know what the world is really like, and Santa isn’t it. Needless to say, I felt very sorry for her and her son.
    Kim recently posted..10 Rules for Delightful Gift GivingMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Oh, that’s awful! I know people who don’t teach their kids about Santa b/c they don’t like it taking away from the real meaning of Christmas- and I respect that. But wanting the credit and explaining how the world works? That’s just sad.

  5. says

    I’m really wondering if this is the last year we have with Buddy too.  I hope he’ll be a good sport and continue the magic for his little brothers.  I think he will…and I’m actually kind of looking forward to letting him help out with that…but I would be okay if we made it at least another year with believing too.
    Kmama recently posted..Thank You Very Much: 11/26/12My Profile

  6. says

    Not ready for that at all — I’m hoping we make it at least to that age… With an older cousin who lives nearby and talks about all kinds of things I’m not ready for my kids to know yet, I’m a little worried.

    Enjoy the magic this year; maybe you have a few more years still ahead!

  7. says

    Oh, how those little steps away from us just slay a mother’s heart. This weekend, we spent a few hours watching old videos of the girls. It nearly killed me to hear those sweet baby voices and to see them so small, again. It was yesterday, I tell you, yesterday. 

    Losing the magic of Santa is so hard on a mother’s soul. And you have captured the essence of it so perfectly. I hope, for you my friend, that those boys believe until they go to college. Wouldn’t that be nice?

    My baby turned 15 last week. And out of all the steps they take that will eventually lead them away from us, the driving thing is one of the toughest for me. When I’m driving them to and from school and to all of their activities and social events, it’s just the most precious time. I’ve had some of my best conversations in the car with my teenage girls. And then they learn to drive and pretty soon, they’re packing that car for college…

    Okay, time to pull myself together. Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer, but  another girl leaves my nest this year and it never gets any easier. Enjoy every second of those beautiful boys. 
    joann mannix recently posted..They Call Me The Life RuinerMy Profile

    • Shell says

      I want them to believe forever and stay my little boys. 

      I can’t imagine how you are feeling. While sometimes I daydream about the idea of not having to play mom taxi, having them be able to head out without me… :(

  8. Cindi says

    We’ve always had a rule in our house (no matter how old you are!) You must believe to receive! When in doubt, presents are out!

  9. says

    Bailey is 5 and is already starting to question it. I want him to believe a little while longer I want him to believe in magic. Im like you I know that Santa isn’t the most important part of Christmas but having your children believe in something so magical and seeing the sparkle in their eyes is so amazing!
    brittney recently posted..Christmas cheer…My Profile

  10. says

    My oldest is 9 and my twins are 8. I figured last year would be their last year for believing in Santa. So far, all 3 of them still believe this year. I know sooner or later they will find out the truth but I’m enjoying it while I can! I love the thought of Santa!

  11. says

    My older sisters totally ruined the magic for me early on. I wanted to believe though so I did. Shoot, sometimes I still want to believe!

  12. says

    For me, this is one of the saddest part of them growing up. Nico was in 6th grade when he finally found out. He was crushed and cried that he didn’t want to know but he asked me and I didn’t think it was right to get your first kiss and still believe in Santa so I told him the truth. Every year since, he has been sad and says he wishes he still believed. I think not knowing the truth makes it easier to ask for everything you ever wanted. It was blown for Tommy last year (4th grade) by a friend but he gets into helping me keep the magic alive for Belle and Gia.
    AnnMarie recently posted..Sleepless NightsMy Profile

    • Shell says

      Believing in Santa makes it seem like any gift is possible. Knowing it’s mom and dad lowers the expectations!

  13. says

    Oh no…I don’t even want to go there! My parents made it so magical for us that we all kept up the magic, well beyond when we knew. And sometimes giving the oldest the job of keeping the magic alive for the littles helps. But this broke my heart just a little bit :(
    Practical Parenting recently posted..The Holiday Sleep ScheduleMy Profile

  14. says

    We don’t do Santa at our house so I can’t totally understand what you are going through but I can sympathize with your feelings of sadness at your son growing older and traditions changing.  {{HUGS}}

    (BTW, when I found out the “truth” about S-man I was so mad at everyone lying to me.  I felt like a fool who had been duped for 7 years.  I know most people don’t have this reaction but boy was I angry!  Ha!)
    Where is the ME in Mommy? recently posted..A Thing for Which to be ThankfulMy Profile

    • Shell says

      That’s funny! I’m surprised more kids don’t get mad about it. I could see my oldest being mad. 

  15. says

    I am very thankful that my girls and their friends in their classes (both 5th and 3rd grades) still believe. They ask questions here and there but are always happy with the answers we give them. I think they want to believe. I tell them that Chris and I still believe because we do. There is a magic in the air this time of year (even under all of the stress of it) that reminds us that our families and friends should be celebrated and that we should be kind to one another. I only wish the magic lasted all year round. 😉
    Kristen recently posted..A Love of ReadingMy Profile

  16. says

    Mine are still so little so I imagine I have many years left but I’m already dreading it. I held on for a long time as a kid, not because I didn’t actually know but because I didn’t want the magic to end. I imagine it will be so much harder to see the magic end for my children.
    Tricia recently posted..WednesdaysMy Profile

  17. says

    Though the magic does fade, my hubby’s aunt has a saying… “If you don’t believe, no presents.” Or something like that… She seemed to do OK forcing the belief on them, lol. It’s not their focus either, but it’s fun believing in a little magic and I think it helped the older one keep the magic alive for the younger two a little while longer.
    The Anecdotal Baby recently posted..Carmel Dipped Grapes {Recipe}My Profile

  18. says

    Cute pic. They are adorable. We don’t do Santa in our house but I always explained to my children how other people do and why etc. I made it a point to make sure they didn’t tell the other kids at school. I know how important that can be (and traumatic when they find out) so it was important for me they respect others.
    Alyssa recently posted..Pour Your Heart Out: Trips and MisfiresMy Profile

  19. says

    Oh this just brought tears to my eyes… I so remember when each of my four found out the “truth” but it seems we had little nieces and nephews that helped keep the magic alive and then came the blessed grandangels… And I must admit – there is a part of me that still believes… I guess I’m just a child at heart :) 
    Kathleen recently posted..How do you help others during Christmas?My Profile

  20. says

    My ex husband decided he was tired of buying double gifts (from Santa and from him) and told or daughter when she was 6. She was devastated. Even though it was never the main focus at my house, it was part of the magic of the season.

    Your wee ones are adorable!
    Raven Moon @ PoM recently posted..You Should Be There #PYHOMy Profile

  21. says

    It is the best when they still believe….I encourage it as long as possible!  It is different when that magical thought is gone…my older kids often talk about how they miss it!  My 16 yo son even asked for toys this year(lol) hoping to reclaim the magic! (and I am happy to oblige)  To have delight in your heart is a special gift in itself!

    • Shell says

      I don’t remember when my younger brother found out. I know he was younger than I was, though. I blame my older brother! 

  22. says

    I am feeling ya here!  My oldest figured out “the santa  thing” way too young along with the tooth fairy.  She is SO LITERAL – whereas my 7 yr old son LOVES FOR MAGIC! I have sworn her to secrecy to allow my boy to enjoy it – but still – at this point, I know it won’t last forever. 
    ilene recently posted..The Giving PledgeMy Profile

  23. says

    That is sad! My oldest turns six in a few weeks and as my husband put it that’s a third of the way to 18 or half of a childhood (not counting teen years). So fast! I’ve been having some similar thoughts about santa and the magic of the season.  How long do we have? Maybe a couple of years more. Sounds cheesy but I keep reminding myself of the whole “don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened” thing. But it’s hard as a mama. I want them to grow, but I like their ages now so much. Hugs. 

  24. says

    Oh, the time goes by so fast! I love watching the wonder in my toddler’s face, and I dread the day that the wonder faded into realization. Definitely hold on to that child-like fascination as long as you can!
    Melissa recently posted..GiveMy Profile

  25. says

    My son didn’t find out until last year (11) and I thought for sure it would have been earlier than that. Maybe you have a little more time than you think?

    When they find out the truth it does break your heart. You want the magic and the innocence of their sweet faces to last forever, and this is just proof that they’re growing up. Too fast!
    Kimberly recently posted..A Christmas TraditionMy Profile

  26. says

    Oh I know what you mean. Last year, when my son was 4.5, he started asking all these questions about Santa. He’s really logical and I swear I thought the gig was up and that made me so sad. Not because I want to perpetuate the myth of Santa per se but it’s about the magic of the holidays and the belief in that magic. I’m not ready to let go of that.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Portraits of a MotherMy Profile

  27. says

    Oh I’m not ready either and I think my oldest is on to it but doesn’t want to admit it yet… I still believe in Santa so why shouldn’t he? 😉  

    Oh and he told me that is how he will know if Santa IS real this year – he will put the reindeer food out and if ALL of it is gone then he knows he is real.  Better get out my dust buster!! lol! 
    Elaine recently posted..Park It!My Profile

  28. says

    I don’t remember the exact year that I figured it out but once I did, I kept pretending for my little brothers and sister.  I’m glad that instead of outing my parents around them I did it one one one with Mom because I would hate to have ruined it for them!  I actually enjoyed Christmas more after knowing but only because I was able to help keep the magic alive for my younger siblings.
    Stephanie @ Babe’s Rockin’ Mami recently posted..We’ve ArrivedMy Profile