Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What to say?

So this morning was the normal scaled-down panic that weekday mornings usually are at our house -- Rae needing help putting on her tights but insisting on putting her toothpaste on her toothbrush herself (half the friggin tube, of course) and I'm ironing a pair of jeans (drying them in the dryer makes them shrink up that critical half inch too much, so I hang them and then iron them) when Leah, the only one ready, tugs on my robe and says to me, "Mom, is Santa fake?".

And the world slowed to a stop while I processed this and tried to answer quickly enough that it wouldn't look suspect, while desperately trying to figure out what to tell her, and still finish the ironing job. She's only 6. Well, almost 7, but I figured I had a good couple of years yet before Santa became an issue.

And so I answered, "Well, some of the Santas are fake; you know, the ones at the malls? They're just pretend, but Santa is real. Why do you ask? Did someone tell you Santa was fake?"

"Nope, I was just thinking." Leah is too analytical for her own good sometimes.

Now I'm worried that I might have planted the thought in her head accidentally. This morning at breakfast, Leah discovered that another one of her teeth is loose. While we were finishing breakfast I was saying that wouldn't it be funny if the tooth fairy and Santa ended up coming to the house on the same night? That maybe they'd bump into each other outside the house and maybe make a date for lunch. I should learn to shut my big mouth. I now think it's probable that the kids at school have told her there's no tooth fairy, and, following the logic through, she decided that Santa was probably fake too.

I hope I managed to reassure her. I would hate to think that she stopped believing in Santa this early. Do your kids still believe? How do you keep that up?


  1. I really enjoy reading your blog. I have two boys, aged 5 and 7 and the 7-year old is questioning the existence of Santa Clause as well, much to my disappointment. I told him he really should believe in Santa, because we certainly can't afford all the presents he gets. That made him stop and think--and hopefully believe again! I'm not ready for them not to!

  2. Anonymous9:33 AM

    Um, I still believe in Santa. Because if I don't believe in Santa, he'll stop bringing me gifts.

    When some kid at school told me that Santa wasn't real, and I asked my parents about it, this is what they told me: Santa is the spirit of Christmas that lives in your heart. He represents the kindness and generosity of the season. If he's not a real human being, or if he is, doesn't really matter. What matters is that you believe in the kindness that he represents. If you believe, he will bring you gifts.

    Also, I had 2 younger brothers, so I was strictly forbidden to speak of what I had learned in front of them for fear of ruining their holiday. And, as far as I know, they still believe in Santa, too. They must, because he still leaves gifts and fills stockings for all 3 of us at my parents' house every Christmas Eve.

  3. I think Riley is going to question whether or not Santa is real this year. I have to figure something out because she was with me when I bought one of the things that Santa is giving Ryder. I'm thinking I need to tell her that I took it back because Santa called to say he alreay had it for Ryder.