My kid is the Christmas Scrooge. Last summer during a BBQ at our house, he came running up to me and said, "I think it is time Ava knew." "Knew what?" I asked. "That Santa doesn't exist!" he said. Yikes!!
Yup, my kid is the one who will ruin it for the rest of you -- thanks to my mom. She told him last year when he was 5 years old that there was no Santa, "because he asked," she said. Ok, how about a little creative thinking here. You don't have to just outright say he's a farce, a big fat lie, an illusion. She could have asked what he thought and go from there. Santa exists -- in our hearts so you can still say it with a straight face.
But now that he knows, he feels like it is his duty to set the record straight for the rest of the world. He talks about it constantly. He even asked me if he could tell his friends if he got the go-ahead from their parents first. Envisioning him yelling out to my friend Sophia, "Can I tell Ava that Santa doesn't exist?" I put the kibosh on that too.
I don't actually remember when I stopped believing in Santa but I'm pretty sure it was later than five. I guess I didn't ask! And once that cat is out of the bag, it opens the floodgates to all sorts of doubts about the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny. They're all out of the closet too in our house.
I know someone whose teenage girls still believe in Santa because their uncle dresses up as the big guy every year and puts the presents under the tree, sneaking out the back door just as the girls are brought around the corner by their parents to see him slip out. That might be taking it a little far and I could imagine Cash getting his butt kicked on the playground if he had still been a believer at age 12. But five was a little young to take the magic out of Christmas. Although it has made buying presents a little easier. It is easy to say that "Santa can't afford that motorized car you want" when your kid knows you are Santa. Show him the checkbook.
Do your kids still believe? Share your tales of Santa with us.