Saturday, November 22, 2014

Why Santa Made Me Cry Yesterday

I stopped by the mall yesterday, more to kill time than anything else.  I immediately noticed the Christmas decorations were already up - which is fine, I guess.  When I was a child retailers waited for after Thanksgiving, not anymore. However, I wasn't expecting Santa Claus would already be stationed on his sleigh in the middle of the circular atrium of the massive, two-story shopping complex.  Now, before I go any further, let me just say that YOUR mall might have a Santa, but my mall has THE Santa (okay, honestly, it is two different guys, but they are so genuine it's hard to tell them apart.) I've been taking my kids to see "him" for the last twelve years.  


As I walked past Santa and spotted a child on his lap, I lost it.  I absolutely lost it.  Right there - in the middle of the mall - I am digging in my purse for my sunglasses to hide the tears that were now swelling in my eyes. I understand that I am an emotional mess due to hormones (thank you perimenopause,) but seeing this small, innocent child on Santa's lap made me realize that my boys are really growing up.  With that comes the realization that Santa is not a real-life figure, AND, let's face it, the loss of innocence on a much grander scale.  

My youngest son is currently the age my older one was when he figured it out and I feel MY time of having young children who believe in Santa is coming to a close.  It was two years ago just before Christmas and I remember very clearly him asking me (we were standing in the garage after just coming home from school) "Mom, is there really a Santa?" We had our little talk that involved me explaining that Santa is an old tradition that symbolizes the magic of the season and that he represents Saint Nicholas, who WAS a real person. Then I recall him digging further. "What else isn't true?" he asked.  Yep, right there in my garage, the truth about the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny - all of it - spilled out.  It was an emotional conversation that ended in teary-eyes and hugs. My son knew right there, a major part of childhood was over.  And, I knew it too.  I remember the last thing I said to him.  "You breath a word of this to your brother, even a slight hint, and you'll be grounded until you graduate college!" 

Last year's visit to Santa was very special because I really suspected it would be our last.  But, it looks like I may squeak by with one more year.  

Visit with Santa 2013

I know more and more parents are deciding not to foster the Santa Claus tradition. Many simply because they do not want to lie to their child.  I really value that viewpoint.  But, what I value more is how special Christmas Eve is when my sons put reindeer food outside, track Santa on the Internet, and even receive a video message from the big guy himself!  However, nothing compares to the memories I have of my sons' faces and voices in the morning filled with excitement that Santa had come! The absolute, pure joy in their eyes is unforgettable.  So, I guess you can say what I really treasure is the magic of it all.  While I am dreading the realization of no Santa by my youngest, I wouldn't change a thing.  I can't imagine not having those amazing memories of my children at Christmas time.


Related Article: The Truth about Santa for Parents and Children


8 comments:

  1. Spoken like a real parent, like myself still remember my own children seeing their eyes in the morning, yes those are the memories you will hold in your heart forever...I STILL DO....

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    1. Not easy seeing them grow up! Thanks for reading.

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  2. Replies
    1. Yes, and I'm not too happy about it - bitter sweet. Thanks for reading!

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  3. I know a lot of parents who are against the idea of Santa for many reasons, but I still say its a simple tradition. It is a good way to learn the meaning and spirit of Christmas to me. I know the pain you suffer though, my oldest figured it out when he was 9, and still plays along for his sister. They both enjoy it either way, and they both love the magic that keeps me excited about the holiday.

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    1. Love the magic of the season! Thanks for sharing!

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  4. I love the spirit of Christmas and my kids will continue to believe in Santa till the day they decide not too. I do not seeing it as lying to your child. It is about the wonder and joy and excitement! It is about tradition and that feeling you get.. My oldest is now 12 and basically heard it through school that there was no Santa and I never agreed to it. He has a choice now, He can choose to believe and get a gift or choose not to believe and get no gift. I think he understands but he also understands that it is not always about believe a lie, rather it is believe in something beyond thought.
    I hope I make sense! I'm 31 and I believe :)

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    1. I did not see it as lying either.....so when my son used that term it was like a dagger in my heart. I am happy to say he is still very much in love with the spirit of the season. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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