WARNING – The post has life spoilers – stop here if you’re young! 🙁
I’m not really sure when I stopped believing in Santa, I think I had my doubts about it all from an early age, I remember being around 8 years old and setting a ‘Santa Trap’. A crude device that basically made my Fisher Price Tape Player switch on – by pulling a piece of card out of the battery compartment with a string when my bedroom door was shut. This was a flawless plan, but failed on two main principles – 1) it required Santa to be respectful, and close my bedroom door when he’d done his Santa-ring – 2) I gave my parents a full-blown demonstration and pointed out the failings in the ‘Trap’. I awoke on Christmas Morning, presents on my bed, and bedroom door wide open.
I don’t really recall there being any conversation about his existence (or lack of) with my parents, or when exactly I ‘knew’.
Thing is, G is getting to that difficult age now (10), and it’s a tricky subject to approach – I *think* her belief is wavering slightly, there’s certainly been less talk of him this year, and we’re not trying to big it all up as much as usual. There’s no ‘Remember, Santa knows if you’ve been good or bad’, or the reaching for the phone threatening to ring the North Pole and report the bad behaviour this year. We’re kinda keeping it on the down low!
It’s so difficult, not knowing exactly where she stands with it all, I honestly think it would break my heart sitting down with her and essentially crushing a dream. Essentially though, it’s a lie, it’s a big, beautiful fun lie, but it’s one nevertheless and I don’t want her to see me and her family as ‘liars’.
On the other hand, she’s in secondary school next year and I don’t want her to be ‘one of those’ children, still believing in every fictional person under the sun and having the piss ripped out of her.
I’m hoping that she’ll kind of work it out for herself, like I did, she’s got J, and will probably love threatening him with the wrath of Santa’s meanness if he’s being naughty, and taking him to see the Santa in the grotto for years to come. Perhaps letting her figure it all out gently is the best way? I’ve honestly no idea!
So, how / when and do you tell the awful truth to your kids?