The Santa Question

18 November 2012
After wishing fervently that Christmas would just go away during my single years, I do quite like it now. Maybe I even like it a little too much, overcompensating with my enthusiasm (when I saw this inflatable Santa on a train for sale, my only question was would one be enough, until DH told me in no uncertain terms that for the sake of our marriage, one would be too many). We're not Christians, but it's a cultural thing to us; the chance to relax after a long year, spend time with family, gorge yourself on food, get into arguments with family and wear shoes with sand in them.

But of course, it's BabyG that really makes Christmas special for me. Last year, he was just a bald, red lump that existed solely to eat and excrete, and I was too gobsmacked by the realities of new motherhood to feel anything other than exhaustion, but this year he's up and moving, he's fun, I can't wait to see him get into the presents under the tree. However, there lies my dilemma. Where do I say the presents came from? What do we do about Santa?

For most kids, Santa is a bit of harmless fun, adding to the magic of Christmas and easily discarded at an early age. I wasn't like most kids, though. I have, as I've mentioned, at least strong Asperger tendencies, and take people pretty damn literally when I sometimes shouldn't. Bad combination for fairies and make believe. At any rate, when my mother finally realised that a ridiculously advanced age, I was never going to cotton on about Santa and let me in on the truth, I was stunned. Stunned. My brain struggled with this paradigm shift, my universe spun on it's axis. No Santa? Everything I knew was untrue? My parents had been...lying to me, all these years? You'd think I would have cottoned on after noticing Santa had suspiciously similar handwriting to my mother, but no. Who was I to trust ever again?

So there's my problem. I didn't vow on the spot to never do this to my children - then and for the fifteen years that followed, I didn't plan to have any children - and now I find myself with a child and not knowing whether to let him in on Santa or not. Sure, it's a lovely part of the magic of Christmas, and every kid needs a little magic in their childhood; but the part where I have to, essentially, lie to my child for several years. I hope BabyG wouldn't react as strongly as I did - he's showing no signs of sharing his mother's traits, loving hugs and people like he does - but who can say for sure? I'm not angry with my parents about this, I'm just not sure if it's something I want to repeat. On the other hand, I don't want BabyG to ever feel left out. All (or most) of the other kids at daycare/preschool/kindy will have Santa, and he won't, and he'll either be sad, or angry and deciding to let the other kids in on the secret. (And what a popular child he'd be then),.

So do we raise BabyG with Santa or not? He's still only fifteen months,  so we don't have to make a decision yet, but next year we definitely will. I don't know what to do.


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