The Fairy-Tale is Over…

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman at

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman at

The awful moment when you find out that Santa isn’t real- your parents have lied to you for the last x-amount of years. Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, and even more so now that I have a child. I loved watching how excited he would get the closer it became to December 25th, and the awe in his eyes. We would put reindeer food out in our front yard and make sure we had plenty of milk and cookies for Santa. He would be so excited he could barely sleep, and last year he woke up at 4am because he was so excited, so we opened presents then. But this year- this year is different. The magic is gone. It’s lost most of the excitement that accompanies it now. This is the first Christmas where he knows Santa isn’t real (along with every other mythical creature I’ve told him about). I honestly think I was more upset about it than he was when found out.

He has asked me for the last couple of years on a regular basis if Santa was real- and I just  continued to push the idea of Santa as much as I could. I knew how different Christmas was once the truth came out, and wanted to keep the magic of it as long as possible. Over this past year we went to see We Bought a Zoo- and there was one part where the son and father are fighting and mention something about the little girl who ‘still believes in the Easter Bunny’. At that, Elijah leaned over and said “The Easter Bunny isn’t real?!?” I said we would talk about it after the movie was over. True to form, as soon as we left the theater he asked about the Easter Bunny. I ‘fessed up. Then he asked about Santa. I nearly cried telling him. He was just like “Oh, ok. But why did you lie to me for all that time?” Way to make a mom feel like crap- lol. I swore him to secrecy from his cousins and friends who still believe, and he still plays along with them.

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane at

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane at

One of the pluses to him knowing about Santa is that he now understands why some kids he knows gets more presents than he does. When he was younger he used to ask why Santa would bring other kids more presents than he brought to him (or the Easter Bunny, or why the tooth fairy gave some kids more money than him). That always made me sad- I just had to point out that parents buy presents too, and some parents buy more than others, but Santa always brings the same amount to all the kids. One thing he was curious to know was how did I get the presents under the tree without him seeing, but most importantly was what would I have done if I got caught? I told him I wasn’t sure what I would have done- make something up on the fly obviously (which is really bad because I’m an awful liar, and even worse if I have to think quick!).

This year right before Thanksgiving he asked if we were even going to put up a Christmas tree since Santa isn’t real. I told him that Duh! It’s still Christmas and the real meaning behind it has nothing to do with Santa (which he already knows). Even though it’s sad to know that he won’t have that excited feeling all kids get on Christmas Eve knowing Santa will magically be coming into their house and has flying reindeer eating his glitter and oatmeal food, but it’s nice to know we can focus solely on the real meaning behind Christmas, all that Christ has done for us, and enjoy spending a little extra time with family (which is my favorite part).

Image courtesy of dan at

Image courtesy of dan at


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