Monday, December 23, 2013

No such thing – a family story

My ex and I didn’t teach our children to believe in Santa Claus. We thought that was not a good idea – tell them about a mythical creature who flies around the world in one night, have them believe it for their early years only to learn we’d lied to them. We preferred to teach them about Christ, stressing that His birth was what Christmas was all about. We didn’t mock or otherwise denigrate the Santa myth but we didn’t perpetuate it.

From L to R: B, me, and J
When J was nearly five (the age he is in this picture), I was finishing up Christmas shopping with the boys at a mall. As often happened, another shopper stopped to chat with us. I’m not bragging when I say that I got stopped a lot with my children because they were really gorgeous. I was usually told they should be Gerber babies or in modeling or something like that. The kids had gotten used to it, and we were always polite. This time, after commenting on his beautiful eyes, the elderly lady asked J what Santa was bringing him for Christmas. He looked at her and said, “Nothing. There’s no Santa Claus!” Her face fell, she sort of stepped back in shock, gave me the most disapproving look and hurried off.

Now there’s a follow up to that story. Not four or five months later, J lost his first tooth. He was really young for that, only five, and we hadn’t given any thought to what we’d do about the Tooth Fairy. So he came to me with his little tooth and asked me about the Tooth Fairy. Thinking quickly, I asked him what he knew about it. “Oh,” he said, “I know it’s not real but can we pretend?” Sure thing! And so my children got their ransom money for their fallen teeth.

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