How old were you when you stopped believing in Santa? Was it a monumental blow to your childhood? Were you mad at your parents forever? Did it “ruin” Christmas that year?
I can’t remember the exact age, or the exact year, but I know it was early- because I had an asshole older brother who spoiled it for me. I don’t remember being mad, especially not at my parents, but it changed things- forever. It sucked the magic out of Christmas. Instead of going to my Grandma’s house and watching the spectacle of dancing Elves and sitting on Santa’s lap on Christmas Eve, I was immediately employed to BE one of the elves. It was exciting to get to help the younger cousins believe for a little longer, but it was also a bummer.
When I had my own kids, I swore that I’d do my best to make sure no one ruined this magic prematurely for them–especially not each other. I’m a full supporter of letting the magic last for as long as possible, because once it’s gone, you can’t get it back. I will forever hold to that, but…
I DIDN’T THINK IT WOULD LAST THIS LONG!
Maybe I was naive in my assumptions of just how long I’d have to keep this ruse going, but I figured by 10 years old, with a kid as perceptive as mine, I wouldn’t still have to be trying so hard. For his little brother, sure! He’s only 8. He still has trouble with the concept of girls not having penises.
Still, 10 years in (9 if you count his first Christmas where all he did was cry and shit his pants), and my obnoxiously-intelligent 10 year old still very easily believes that some random magical elf-man squeezes his ass down the chimney of every boy and girl to deliver them gifts made by tinier elves.
It means every year, I still have to go out of my way to not mention that Santa is… well, he’s me. It means every year I have to buy separate wrapping paper, separate hiding spots just in case the kids find the hiding spot for the gifts from me–EVEN THOUGH THEY’RE ALL FROM ME. It means taking them to sit on Santa’s lap and waiting in the lines and dealing with other snot-nosed kids. It means taking the time to bake cookies we think “Santa” will like, and then putting them all out with milk and trying to make sure the dogs don’t get to them, and then waiting until the kids have gone to bed for long enough to pretend to drink the milk (BECAUSE EW) before dumping it out, but only partially, because Santa never drinks ALL of it, and taking a few very careful bites out of the cookies– which I don’t even want to eat because it’s after 8pm and unlike Santa, cellulite on my ass doesn’t make me jollier. It means sneaking up my creaky ass stairs that are ONLY creaky after I’m sure the kids are sound asleep to sneak out the presents from Santa and carefully place them under the tree in front of the gifts from me because they can’t be under or behind them, that wouldn’t make sense.
I realize that some parents do this for 15 years, and I applaud you. I don’t know how you do it for so long. I’m not a great actor. I’m TIRED. This whole Santa thing is exhausting.
Now, before you click that X button in the top right corner because I sound like an ungrateful whiny Grinch, there’s always a silver lining to the exhausting all the facets of parenthood brings- even stressful Christmas exhaustion.
It’s lovely that he still lives in fear of the naughty list, and it’s great that he isn’t ruining it for his little brother because I’d have to sell him on Craigslist if he did, but his belief means more work for me. It means I get another year of them believing in magic, and the way it lights up their face when they believe Santa has visited, and all the exhausting traditions that go along with it, like cookie making. It means I have an excuse to eat those cookies after 8pm. THE CALORIESSHOULDN’T COUNT IF I’M ROLEPLAYING AS SANTA, OKAY?
It’s one more year of my kids being KIDS- magic believing, Santa loving, gullible little kids.
I guess being Santa isn’t so bad…. though I’m still mad about the calories.
Weird Things you do for your kids but not Strangers goo.gl/fb/oVuwvG
Tis the season! pic.twitter.com/5VgMLnt22E
I am weak pic.twitter.com/LYdRQ6EZcC
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