There are many wonderful aspects to having children and none more so than the privilege of creating the magic of Christmas for them. Every family does it differently and has different stories and traditions but however you do it it’s bound to involve a vivid imagination and the development of magical stories and tales.
Our family has an Elf on the Shelf, visits to Father Christmas and letters from the North Pole amongst many other traditions and, like every other parent, the threat of ‘Santa is watching’ is a much used behaviour management tool from October to December. The reality is that as awesome as Christmas is it involves the spinning of huge web of untruths which we build on year and year and pass down the generations and I love it!
So, after almost a decade of playing the Christmas game my eldest child came to me recently and told me she needed to talk to me about something serious. After much thought she had decided that Father Christmas being a real person was highly unlikely and she wanted to discuss this with me.
In a split second I had to make the decision between spinning a yarn to her again and trying to get another year of her believing or telling her the truth. There are many points in a child’s life that make you suddenly stop and realise that they are growing up and, for me, this was one of them so I went with the latter. I decided to respect her intelligence and tell her the truth that, yes, Mum really is Santa…… and the Tooth Fairy……… and the Easter Bunny!
As my daughter has two younger siblings we discussed the importance of not spoiling it for them. She has been allowed into the hallowed halls of the adults Christmas club and is absolutely loving being allowed to know our Christmas tricks and secrets. Initially she developed a rather alarming cartoon wink in my direction every time the subject was mentioned but we’ve cured that and I believe the secret is safe from our little ones.
I really expected the day that she stopped believing to be upsetting, another indicator that her childhood is passing by so fast but actually I just feel proud that she worked something out and approached me in a grown up way to discuss it. Her membership in this secret Santa society is a delight for her and she has already asked if she can be the first person to place the magic elf this year. I’d forgotten how great feeling grown up can be when you are young but don’t take my word for it, she’ll tell you herself.
By Lexi aged 8 3/4
“It is a great pleasure to help adults wrap all the presents ready to be unwraped on Christmas day. I love keeping secrets and being told the truth about stuff. it will be hard not to peek at the presents my mum and dad has bought me. I feel special about being on the adults side because if you don’t belive in santa it means you are right and it’s the same with all the other made up people such as the Easter bunny and the tooth fairy. I feel so grown up about going through this wonderful expereance about not believing in santa. I’m only eight years old so i’m quite young to know such a big secret.”