Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Santa question

This afternoon Madalyn, who just turned 8, sidled up and, almost under her breath, confessed, "I'm a little confused."

About what?

Santa.

What about Santa?

I'm not sure if he's real.

What makes you not sure?

Some of the kids at school said he wasn't.

Oh. Well, does he always bring you what you want?

Yes.

Have you been good?

Yes.

Have those kids at school been good?

She turned her head, narrowed her eyes, and said, "I don't know."

Earlier in the day, Madalyn and her 4-year-old sister Ashlyn (aka "The Rascal") were taken to the local mall, where Santa was holding court. They wanted to see him, but there was a quarter-mile-long line of other kids waiting to see him, so they settled for walking by the side of Santa's throne and waving at him.

Madalyn gave a meek wave, Ashlyn gave a series of heartfelt, enthusiastic waves, and jumped up-and-down. Santa didn't respond until Ashlyn yelled out, "It's ME, ASHLYN!"

Santa, with a child on his lap, turned and waved.

+++++++

So, how did you handle the Santa question, back in the day? Would you handle the question differently if you could? Can you even remember that far back? If you can't, how would you handle it today?

Banjo wants to know.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I grew in in a family so ethically pure relative to honesty and reality they taught from the onset that Santa Claus was a fantasy, a lie. Gifts come from parents and other people and those who give the most will get the most.

Being taught honesty at home, I was the kid who told the other kids with pride in my honesty that there was no Santa Claus.

My parents received complaints from teachers and angry parents whose kids came home crying and were upset to hear the truth.

BANJO JONES said...

sounds like you grew up in fun-filled house. what about the Easter Bunny?

Anonymous said...

No Easter bunny, no fairies, no ghosts, witches, devil, with no accompanying phobias.

Although disapproved of, did sneak listens on the transistor radio to Hopalong Cassidy, Red Ryder, Cisco Kid, Bobby Benson and the BBarB Rangers (followed advice on not listening to Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, though). Believed in Wolf Man Jack after midnight due to the 1000 screamin' watts out of Del Rio.

Anonymous said...

My answer to the kids and grandkids: "You stop believing in Santa - he stops coming to leave you stuff. I suggest you continue believing, or at least, convince us that you do."

jd

Anonymous said...

I didn't want to lie to my child about anything (have wised up since) so I explained (when she asked at around 3) that Santa was a myth and we discussed why people want and need such myths.

Really, we did that.

When she was 7 or so, she decided that she wanted to believe, or to pretend to, so I gave her her own Elf Willem, who has conventions sort of like Santa's. Now she is 12 and this year she wrote up her list for Willem and baked cookies for him,which my husband had to eat. (They were pretty good--he shared.)

Oh, I also told her never to let on to other children about Santa, like other people believe it is good to let their children believe in fantasies.

Is there advice in there?

SF Mom

BANJO JONES said...

Advice? oh, I wasn't lookin' for advice. just curious how people handled it in light of the blog post about my great-nieces.

i thought it was good you told your daughter not to spill the beans to the other kids. otherwise, you mighta been called to the principal's office.