"No Santa? Shocking!" -and-
"Oh Come All Ye Faithful" by Twisted Sister
Today I'm going to republish this story, which I wrote last year (you can still access this story and others through "The Best of Saur").
My family never had Santa as being part of the family Christmas tradition. We still loved Christmas, we still loved knowing that mom & dad were putting out the presents after we went to sleep, and we still loved the excitement of Christmas morning. We loved the carols and the hymns, we loved the lights on the trees and the houses, and couldn't wait to see the surprises. We also loved getting each other presents, and I adored watching people's faces when they opened the presents that *I* had got them. So, we never missed Santa. Santa? Santa Who?
When my son (SaurKid) was little, my ex and I were in agreement that we'd raise him the same way. When he got a little older, he couldn't help but hear about Santa, so we told him the truth: There is no such thing as Santa.
The concept of Santa was really a marketing conceit of the 1800s and I just don't like lying. Plus, I like getting the credit for being the one who got him the toys. Why give the credit to a fictional character? I'll only do it when he lets me use his credit card!
Anyway, one day when my son was about 3 1/2, I had taken him shopping in a major department store. It was getting close to Christmas and people were everywhere. I should add that my son was a strikingly beautiful baby and toddler, and people would find any excuse to touch or talk to him (we kept wetwipes handy).
We were standing in line behind an elderly man and his wife. The well-meaning man turned to SaurKid and said jovially "Have you been a good boy so that Santa will bring you presents this year? What have you asked him for?"
SaurKid looked up at him solemnly and with some pity, and politely replied "There is no such thing as Santa." (You'd think an old guy like that would know this already!)
The man appeared as if he was about to have a heart attack! I got a look from him that spoke volumes. I could almost see the banner flying above my head: Worst Mom of the Year. "Um, we've never lied to him about Santa," I said apologetically. He never said another word.
Funny, isn't it, how seriously some people take this deceit? And if you choose to not play along with this piece of fiction, you're branded a traitor? I had never set out to send a message to the world about it. I wasn't some sort of militant Anti-Santa Crusader! I simply chose to practice Christmas differently in my little corner of the world.
And SaurKid, bless his heart, remains forthright and honest to this day. Sometimes a little too honest. I wonder where he gets it?
No, I'm not saying that it's evil to promote Santa. Many of my friends do, and SaurKid was taught a long time ago that 'discretion is the better part of valour'. But I'm suggesting that parents think twice about it. That is, unless you've got Santa's credit card in your back pocket.
How My Ex-Boyfriend's Daughter Found Out
She came into my life when she was 5. She was backwards and poorly developed mentally, having been neglected by her mother all her life. However, she was always loving and sweet. Over the years (and with work from myself, my family and friends) she blossomed into an intelligent, gifted and thoughtful young lady who is amazingly mature. We continue to share her with her mother.
Her mother always perpetuated the Santa Claus Myth. It was difficult to respect her mother's unspoken wishes and yet celebrate Christmas as we did. SaurKid and I learned to excuse ourselves from discussing anything about Santa. When she asked why Santa only brought presents to her mother's home, we would hem and haw and say "What an interesting question!"
One day as I was driving her to school, she asked "Saur, is Santa real?"
Being in Full Counselor mode and keeping my eyes steady on the road, I asked her "What do you think?"
"I don't think he is," she said carefully, studying my face.
"And how does that make you feel?" I asked. Thank goodness for a college education. ;o)
"I'm OK with it, I guess," she said. "But I feel a little silly since I'm the last kid in third grade that said they believed in him!"
I nodded. "Now you know," I said. "We wanted to tell you for a very long time, but it wasn't our place to do so. But look at it this way: all these years that you've been receiving gifts from Santa, you really have your mom to thank. And it's pretty important that you should know that."
She thought a little more, turning it all over in her head. "I don't think we should tell Mom that I know yet," she said wisely. "It means so much to her."
So, we kept it secret a year. Sometimes we have to protect the parents.
Oh Come All Ye Faithful by Twisted Sister
OK, so this version of the hymn is a little unusual and the video's cheesy, but the music rocks!