Monday, December 14, 2009

The Santa Dilemma

I still remember the grim details surrounding the event of how I found out Santa Clause wasn't real.

I remember which house we lived in, and so I must have only been about 7 or 8 because we moved after that. My parents, my older brother, my younger baby brother, and I had been out for a drive somewhere. It was night, we had just gotten home and were all getting out of our 1980'ish Suburban.

My older brother and I were fighting, I got mad, said something, to which he retaliated with "Oh yeah?! Well guess what! Santa Clause isnt real! Mom and Dad do all the presents!"

I stopped. I looked at him. And then, as if I knew deep down that it must be true, I cried.

And now, I see my precious little one, reading "The Night Before Christmas" with his Daddy...getting ingrained in the magical tales and folklore of St. Nicholas...

"Who is that?" we ask him. "Can you say Santa?"

And now, as we go various places during this holiday season and he sees this big man dressed in a red suit with a long white beard everywhere we go, I see the look on his face that says "I've seen him in my book."

And yet...I'm struggling with the decision as to whether or not to allow him to believe in Santa. I often think to myself, What is the point? So that years down the road he will realize that his parents were lying to him this entire time? So that when he finds out the truth he will cry and cry because there really isn't a Santa Clause?

I have been wanting to ask my own parents lately what their thoughts were when they had us as tiny children...

Did they ever think to not introduce us to Santa? And yet obviously they did.

Christmas Eve's were SO exciting as we couldn't wait to go to bed so that we could lie there all night waiting for Santa to come. We would stay up as late as we could so that we could catch him, but somehow he always came and we missed him.

I remember all of the Christmas time movies we would watch, like the clamation versions of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, or Santa Clause the Movie, or other such wonderful magical movies. I remembered watching them and truly believing.

I suppose, that it is why Christmas is such a magical time for children. It encompasses such a great part of those childhood memories.

Perhaps I am being too harsh in thinking that no good would come from letting Preston believe in Santa. Maybe that is where dreams, faith, and hope are learned as a child.
And maybe it isn't up to me to deny him those experiences...


Santa it is.


Marissa and Scott said...

Yes, it's sad when we find out, but what if you knew from the beginning - Christmas wouldn't be as exciting. We do teach our little ones about the true meaning of Christmas, but just for these few years I'm nearly as excited as Mister is just watching him process all this information and emotion. It's so sweet to see. Soon enough he'll know the truth. But hopefully he doesn't ruin it for his younger sibling like your brother did. Harsh! :)

Roemhildt Family Fun said...

Good Choice. I remember learning that Santa wasn't real, thanks to Laura she made the whole thing go very smoothly. She helped me to imagine a Santa who lived long ago just like Jesus, and now our parents do his work, just like we should help the savior with his work.

Santa will always be a special memory for me.

Aby Runyan said...

I'm not sure what you're talking about, Santa IS real!

luvs, aby

McLaughlin Family said...

Brandon just found out last year, and the excitement of Christmas morning is just not as intense as it used to be. He knows the presents are from us, and there's not that super excitement of waking up and running out to see "What did Santa leave me?" in the morning cause he already knows how many presents there will be since they're already under the tree. It's nice to have the credit for the gifts he gets... but I miss that super excitement. And yes, we're fabricating stories and tales, but it's to give them a little magic... Santa, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Leprechauns... all of it adds something special to their childhoods.