Santa Who?

I remember being a child in the grocery store with my mother…when I noticed Santa was there!  Wow!  But wait a minute…wasn’t Santa at the store we were in just ten minutes ago?  And didn’t he look a little different?  My mom mumbled something about him being an elf…and…cough…sputter…

As a mother, I try to uphold the Santa myth.  Why?  Well, because my mom says I have to.  (Isn’t that a good enough reason?)  It is tiring, stressful, and I always worry about the girls stumbling upon my cache of Santa gifts and spoiling the entire thing.  I have a lie prepared for that scenario.  All in the name of them believing in this guy in the red suit.

I have several problems with the whole thing…which also apply to the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny…etc.   And don’t get me wrong, I do believe that magic is a special and important part of childhood.  It is fun to make magic seem real to them – they are just so darned cute about it.  But really.  Santa is everywhere today.  To the point that I avoid taking my kids out and about on errands this time of year.  He’s at the pharmacy, in the mall, handing out candy…we even saw Santa in a restaurant once.  And he always looks a bit different.  This may not be apparent to the under four crowd.  Maybe.  But the discerning four and over is going to start noticing.  Can we stop having a Santa in every store, people? 

I don’t find it to be fun.  It dilutes Santa-as-celebrity to have him everywhere.  It takes away a very large part of the mystery to see him every time you step out with mom or dad to do an errand.  Santa is just too overexposed to be believable anymore.  

Also, each family culture has a different Santa myth going.  Santa wraps gifts differently in each house.  In some houses Santa doesn’t wrap at all.  In some houses, the adults get stockings.  Some don’t.  And I think you get the picture.  When my children start comparing notes with their friends, things get tricky.  We need to get our lies stories straight, people!

I always thought I’d panic when the girls figured out Santa wasn’t real.  Surprisingly, I am GLAD to have Tater "in the know."  Boy, was she mad at me.  But what a huge relief for me, as a parent, to be able to stop lying!  Pit~Pat has it figured out, pretty much, but can’t/won’t let go.  And that is okay with me, too, since it is such a disappointment to find out the whole Santa-thing is fake.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  My brother showed me the gifts, hidden away.  I was insistent that they were the gifts from our parents.  He said wait and see.  On Christmas morning, when those toys said "From Santa" on them, I was one bummed-out seven year-old, I tell you.  But as a mother, I am glad that I don’t have to lie to my two oldest anymore.  I get so exhausted waiting for everyone to fall asleep…then we’re doing the Santa thing and it’s well past my bedtime.  Then I spend all of Christmas day exhausted.  Ick. 

Now what about that sitting on Santa’s lap stuff?  When Tater was less than one, there was a (grrr…) Santa at Dan’s company Christmas party.  Tater was terrified of him.  Then, one of Dan’s associates put her on Santa’s lap.  She flipped.  So did I (though I hid it better.)  And everyone else thought it was so cute.  They even took a picture.  WHAT is up with that???  It took me forever to calm her down.  Poor baby.  She was traumatized.  It was cruel and unnecessary.  Tell me, in this day and age, do you really want to sit your young child down on a strange man’s lap?  Weird if you think about it too much, which I try not to.

So, I’m the mean mom who doesn’t take her kids to see Santa.  And they still see him everywhere.  He’ll be at the Christmas party my mother takes us to every year.  And funny thing is, Dassa walked right up to him one year and sat down on his lap.  All by herself.  He gave her a candy cane.  I have a picture, too.  I’m confused.  Maybe I’ll have this Santa stuff figured out by the time I’m a Grandparent.  Though I do know I won’t be taking my grandchildren to see Santa.  Their parents can torture them.


That’s Dan and his sister.  Hard to scan an old picture in a frame.  But let me tell you, he is looking a bit nervous, and his sister is looking only slightly happier.  Probably because she didn’t have to stand next to Santa.  It’s a lovely picture.

I think I’ll set up a manger scene.  Why do we celebrate Christmas?  Is it all about some guy in a red suit bringing presents to all the children?  No, girls.  It’s about the birth of Jesus.  I’ll tell you all about him.  Ask me all the questions you want.  I won’t even lie.  Not once,  I promise.  And because we celebrate his birthday on Christmas, everyone gets presents.   Though I think Jesus may have a strong opinion about this.  But he isn’t talking.


One Response to “Santa Who?”

  1. I, too, have never taken my kids to see Santa. I think it is better to have a bit of mystery. My mother never let on anything- Santa came until she died! We knew, but it was never discussed. That is what the magic of Santa is to me. Just that this same magical thing happens all around the world at the same time. Anonymous giving. That is what it is about. I never asked for anything for Christmas nor do my kids. Santa gives fun things that the parents never would. It IS magic. Now, if we could just do away with all of the fake stuff everywhere… I just avoid going anywhere but the grocery store.

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