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My Kids Still Believe in Santa Claus

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Christmas is a big holiday in our house, with lots of family traditions.

cookies for santa

Beth Falkenstein: My kids have already written their letters to Santa Claus. Tonight they are baking cookies to leave out for him. And on Christmas Eve, they will scatter carrots and apples for Santa's reindeer.

By the way, my kids are 11 and 14 years old.

I find it amusing that they have chosen to so defiantly defend this peculiar reality, especially considering that they don't believe me if I tell them they need a coat when it's fifty degrees outside. But my story about a jolly man in a red suit who circumnavigates the globe in one night -- that is one-hundred-percent fact.

Ever since they were very young, I have been waiting for the day when they would come up to me and ask, "Mommy, is Santa Claus really real?" I didn't know how I would respond, but I hoped that inspiration would come to me in the moment. Instead, the scenario that plays out between us is more like this: Around this time of year, they come home from school and relate in incredulous tones how so-and-so told them there was no Santa Claus. I merely shrug and give a noncommittal reply, such as "That's too bad for them."

It's kind of like an unspoken "Don't ask, don't tell" policy between us.

I have to admit, there are times when I think it would be easier to just come out and explode the myth ... such as when I have to wrap two sets of gifts. (Santa has his own special wrapping paper, you know.) But that would signal an end to an innocence that I am not ready to accept.

As long as my kids believe in Santa Claus, then they can't really be growing up, can they? And they won't ever leave home, will they? And they will always need their mommy, won't they?

OK, I'm not sure which one of us is living in the bigger fantasy.


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20 comments so far | Post a comment now
Annie December 16, 2010, 7:43 AM

Another repost…

Sara December 16, 2010, 11:31 AM

They know, they just think the tradition is fun. I stuffed stockings myself and then acted all surprised in the morning when I was a teenager.

Anette December 16, 2010, 9:18 PM

My two (6 & 10) are still firm believers as well, but when I got the comment recently that some children at school say Santa doesn’t exist and their parents buy the gifts - I thought that’s it, childhood gone!
After thinking about it for a couple of minutes, I told her that living where we are, she has to be tolerable of other religions and cultures, and this is exactly the same. Some children believe in Mohammed, and other is Jesus. The same way that some believe there is a Santa and others don’t. (The only thing, if you don’t believe, you don’t get!)
End of discussion…. ;-)

Dodie December 16, 2010, 10:28 PM

Years ago when my little girl was 6 and big girl told her the truth. She came straight to me and asked if it was true. I told her three things that has kept her believing. I told her there are three reasons. I said “you are with me every payday and we cash the check and pay the bills and then we are broke.” the second reason I asked her did she believe in God and Jesus? She said yes of course. I asked if she could feel their love? she said yes. Then I asked her if she would ever not believe in God and Jesus just because she can’t she them, she said no. Then I said to her ” why would buy you three hundred dollars in toys that I have to yell at you 365 days a year to pick up! She ran straight out of the house down to the older girl and screamed “you’re such a liar!” Now that she is fourteen she knows the truth but perfers to have the hope that Santa will still stop by.

Anonymous December 17, 2010, 6:30 AM

There is NO WAY a 14 year old still believes in Santa. He/she is just playing along.

djrockstarr December 20, 2010, 5:29 AM

Yes my youngest son still belives in Santa Clause he is 9 yrs. old.. I dont know what would be a good age tell my son there is no such thing as Santa
Clause I dont want to be the one to mess up his child hood so however long he belives that this is how it will be.

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