I have a confession. I know it might make me sound crazy, or weird, but it’s true. Here it is: I don’t want to trick my kid into believing in Santa Claus. Shocked? Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas. The lights, decorations, trees, songs, and even the presents. However, I feel that all of those elements can be symbolically tied to the real purpose of Christmas (celebration of Christ’s birth in case you’re stumped), whereas the man in the red suit proves a more difficult challenge. I’ll admit upfront, I don’t know anything about parenting. I realize that no real harm generally comes from kids believing in Santa and that it can be a lot of fun, I just personally have a hard time getting into it.
I don’t recall ever believing in Santa Claus. Ever. My parents had agreed that lying to your children is bad and if I ever asked if Santa was real, they would answer truthfully. I was a quick kid and asked at a fairly young age. While I don’t remember ever believing in Santa, I do remember the day in kindergarten when one of the boys in my class stood on his chair and announced to the rest of the class, “Santa isn’t real!” Everyone gasped in horror and looked to our teacher for reassurance. Before our teacher could perpetuate the lie, I stepped to the boy’s side and added, “It’s true!” I don’t remember how the teacher managed to calm the hysteria, but I do remember feeling very mature and brave.
I don’t feel my childhood was robbed in any sort of way. I had a wild imagination and came up with even more outlandish stories than a fat, old man delivering toys to children. I do plan on telling Cooper stories about Santa, but that’s exactly how I intend to present it: as a story. Who knows, maybe he’ll even choose to believe because that’s what little kids do. I think my main hangup is I don’t want Cooper to ruin the experience that other parents are crafting so carefully for their children. This year it doesn’t matter whether we tell Cooper anything about Santa, so I guess I have a whole year to stew about my ultimate plan of action.