We are an equal-opportunity Judeo-Christian family who observes each holiday, on both sides, for cultural-enrichment purposes. But sometimes the practice of mildly observing both religions is much like trying to reconcile the laws of church and state: They don't always make for a seamless combo.
For example, I think my kid believed in Santa until very recently, when one of his astute friends at school lay down the gauntlet and said, "If you're half-Jewish, how can you believe in Santa? Don't you know that Santa and the tooth fairy ARE YOUR PARENTS?!"
For a second there, I was a lil' miffed at this little bubble-burster for taking it upon himself to singlehandedly spit coal all over my kid's Christmas. But then I realized I had no recourse. The jig was up. My cover was blown. The fairy dust was just regular ol' dryer dust, etc. And what a bummer it was.
Staunchly averse to telling my kid bold-faced lies (unless it involves fat guys in red suits, obviously), I directed him toward the truth by asking him what he thought. "It makes sense," he said, my heart sinking deep into the rug. "We don't have a chimney. And Daddy never mentioned anything about Santa when he told us about being Jewish."
Having now been painted into a very narrow corner, I loosely 'fessed up, and he took it on the chin. Judging by the lack of shock and awe he expressed, my guess is that he has harbored these anti-Santa suspicions for quite some time.
I had no intention of going to extremes to keep the kid snowed, like Artie did with Brittany on this week's episode of "Glee," but this revelation brings with it a second-tier problem: What to do about our other kid, who is only 3. Now for her, I will attempt to keep the snowblower going in her direction, simply because it would be nice if she had something magical to look forward to for a few more years.
Now that he knows the truth, how do I encourage my son to keep the secret? Any suggestions are more than welcome!