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Maintaining the Santa Myth

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momlogic's Vivian:

Santa Claus

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!

next: What Would You Do with a Million Dollars?
4 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jilly December 13, 2010, 6:36 AM

If you raised him right, he will have the decency to shush, I am sure he loves his sister enough! Plus, he is let in on a secret! Now, it is a game for him too and he will have plenty of fun fostering the younger ones imagination and playing out the fantasy! Let him set up the scene, pretend to hear Santa, help shoo the little one off to bed so Santa can visit and let him help get ready(obviously some it will have to wait till he is in bed also, but he can help with her stuff, right?) It will work out, it has for this long and I am sure other children had many other opportunities to blow the whistle! Have FUn!!

Martha December 13, 2010, 1:55 PM

Have him join you. I myself found out at a very early age. My parents allowed me to help them in being Santa. It was great. I loved joining them and the best thing was looking at my little sister’s and brother’s face when they got their gifts from Santa. Great memories.

Kelley December 13, 2010, 10:17 PM

When my mom had the Santa talk with me, she explained how firmly she believed in the *spirit* of Santa, and how that doesn’t change even though you know he’s not a real being. Even though I didn’t have any siblings, that strong sentiment really helped keep the fun of Christmas alive even to this day. So perhaps explaining it to your son in the same way might help convince him to help his sister continue to believe.

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