Two years ago, as the Christmas season was starting, I felt a little sad thinking it might be the last year of magic for my oldest.
I mourned at the idea that one of my boys would soon stop believing in Santa and how he knows whether kids have been naughty or nice and the magic of being able to deliver presents to all children all over the world in just one night.
Even though Santa is far from being our main focus at Christmas, he’s still a big part of the wonder of the season. So the thought of any of my boys not believing any more was bittersweet, knowing it means they’re growing up.
But, here we are, two years later.
And my three boys all still believe.
Even my fourth grader.
And I find myself wondering if I should tell him.
From what I’ve seen from his classmates, he’s not the only one who still believes. Parents do so much to keep up the illusion of Santa: there’s the Elf on the Shelf craze(though there’s no Elf on my Shelf), personalized letters from Santa, phone calls from Santa, reindeer food, and Pinterest shows all sorts of ideas like Santa’s footprints by your fireplace. All of these things add up to make the story of Santa more elaborate and possibly more convincing. After all, we’ve had a picture of Santa “caught” in our house every year since my boys can remember.
And really, they’re only little for such a short time, why ruin it?
I can remember when I taught fifth grade, three little girls asking if they could talk to me in private. They were very serious and concerned. They told me that they were worried because one of the boys in the class still believed in Santa. That he was the only one and they thought maybe someone should tell him so the other boys wouldn’t make fun of him.
I’ll admit that it turns my stomach that I’m even having this thought, because I know I should just want my kid to be himself and screw what other kids think. But at the same time, it’s hard to be a kid, to find a balance between fitting in and being yourself. And I’d hate if the way my son found out the truth about Santa was by being teased.
It’s not like he hasn’t made little comments that suggest he’s starting to question it all. It is rather an outrageous thing to believe, after all. Then again, our kids live in a world where they can hit a button on the phone and facetime with friends hundreds or thousands of miles away. Where the car talks and tells us which way to go. Call it technological advancements, but it’s still seems pretty magical. So, why wouldn’t the story of Santa be real?
One moment I decide that I should tell him and the next I want him to stay young and keep his belief for as long as possible.
Do your kids still believe in Santa? If not, how old were they when they stopped?
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