Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Santa Claus: to Believe or Not?


When I was little, I think I believed in Santa Claus. I'm not really sure. I think I kind of knew all along that Santa Claus was really just my parents. They never said anything, but from the time I could read (age 4), I could recognize my mom's handwriting and realized that the tags on the Christmas gifts that were all from Santa Claus were written by her hand. I remember that as being my first clue. But I also remember overhearing conversations about Christmas that included things like what they should do for the stockings (aren't stockings also Santa's territory?) and just the commercials for Christmas on TV. Why would all that stuff need to be advertised if you just ask Santa for what you want? So I'm pretty sure that I had it all figured out at a pretty young age as I don't actually remember believing in him completely or what it felt like when I "found out" that he wasn't real.

My oldest child is seven. He is actually a very bright and imaginative seven-year-old, and I suspect that somewhere in there, he knows Santa is not real. It just doesn't logically make sense--going around the whole world in one night delivering gifts to millions of children, etc. But he is also still such an innocent boy. He still likes playing with toys that younger kids like playing with (he is very into Buzz Lightyear and we had a hard time finding a big enough Buzz Lightyear costume for him for Halloween--he was the only Buzz Lightyear at his whole school, as witnessed in the Halloween parade), and he likes to watch preschool shows on TV (think Nick, Jr. shows like Ni Hao Kai Lan). Yesterday we went to see Santa at the city's event, and he was very nervous and shy about sitting on Santa's lap. And let me tell you, that Santa did a fantastic job of making it seem real--he listened carefully when I called my children by name, commented to them how much they'd grown in the last year, asked how they liked their gifts from last year, etc. He really played it up.

Well, my seven-year-old really wants a Phineas and Ferb Lego set for Christmas. I have researched this--no such thing exists. I did find some instructional sites online on how to create the character from that show out of ordinary Legos, but there is not one such set in existence. My son is adamant that he will be getting this set for Christmas since he wrote it in a letter to Santa and asked Santa himself for it. I've told him that there is no such set and it will be impossible to get, but he is convinced that Santa can do anything and that Phineas and Ferb Lego set will be there under the tree Christmas morning.

So how far do you let the Santa fantasy go? Is it time to break the news to him, should I just let him be big time disappointed on Christmas morning and that will break it to him that there is no such thing as Santa Claus? I am torn between what to do about this. I keep trying to convince him to ask for something else, but he will not budge.

What would you do? What do you do with regard to Santa in your family?

7 comments:

alex said...

I would try and finagle him into showing you what he means by the lego set... or showing daddy. "Can I see what you asked santa to get you?" I don't know..hahaha! But I don't think that my parents ever had to tell me that santa wasn't real. I think it just happened naturally. What I can remember there was no dramatic scene when finding there wasn't really a santa.. but I can't be quite sure.
As for me, I'm going to let them believe all they want, and I think, naturally they'll grow out of it. Or catch mom and dad wrapping presents and eating cookies...hey wait..maybe that's what happened with me.
For me, it's all about keeping the innocence of childhood as long as possible {to a healthy degree of course! :)}

C Dawn's bucket said...

Maybe find something else that he will like, another Lego set maybe and attach a note saying that Santa is sure that he couldn't find the Phineas and Ferb Legos but he is sure that your son will like this just as well and maybe include some of the Phineas and Ferb rubber characters that he can play with too?

I don't think that I would have the Santa talk with him at this stage. His belief is so entrenched that it might be quite traumatic for him. My 8 year old is just starting to have questions and I plan on inviting him to join the Santa club to help me with some special things over Christmas Break this year. But he has clearly shown that he is ready for this step.

Just my 23 cents,

Cynthia
LDSMoms

Spring said...

I remember believing, and I think it was my mom's handwriting that gave it away for me around age 7 or 8. I can't be sure. My mom chose to tell us that Santa only comes to those who believe, so we all pretended to believe until we were out of the house. It wasn't traumatic for me. I know some people invite the kids who know the truth to help set out the Santa stuff, therefore inviting them in on the "secret". I think that's a cute idea, too. I do tell my kids that we have to help Santa pay for gifts, and that's why they only get one and we limit how much that one can be. If you want him to still believe a little while longer, perhaps you could have Santa write him a letter this week saying that his lego set isn't made by any toy companies, and his elves don't have time to design one before Christmas. Then Santa could ask him if there's an alternative present he'd like. Good luck, either way! It's tough when you can't come up with what they want!

Royalbird said...

So we sat down and talked about what would be in this Lego set if there was one and came to the conclusion that the only difference between this set and a regular set would be that it would have Phineas and Ferb characters as part of it. So I said, what if you got some Phineas and Ferb figures instead (assuming Disney has such a thing) and then you played with them with your Legos? He liked that idea, so now I'm going to check that out. If that doesn't work, I might use the youtube directions I found on how to make a Phineas and a Ferb out of Legos and do that myself and just give him those. We'll see...

PC said...

Or, just give him a lump of coal. That will get him thinking.

Royalbird said...

Last year we threatened him with a lump of coal, and he responded with, "I'll just play with the coal, that'll show Santa!"

PC said...

He's incorrigible!

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