December 26, 2014

Eavesdropping Spud

Category: Being Parents


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Santa isn’t real.


He is some mythical figure, whose creation is based on a Christian man who lived in the 4th century by the name of Saint Nicholas. Santa is none other than a make-believe character who has a reputation of giving endless gifts to children who are deemed  “good”, and none given  to those who are deemed “bad”. And as a very practical parent, I do not want to encourage my kids to  believe that Santa exists so they could have truckloads of presents every year at the expense of *drumroll* their parents!

Excuse my French, but for fucks’ sake, how is it that Santa gets the credit when Santa was not the one who had to spend money to buy those present at Christmas?! While we join in the joy of gifting during Christmas even though we are not Christians, I find that there is no need to consider encouraging our child to belief in Santa as it is not part of our tradition. Besides, wouldn’t telling the kids that Santa exists constitutes to a lie? There is NO Santa, so why can’t we just tell it like it is?

So, when Spud asked me if Santa was going to leave her some presents, I had no qualms telling her, G.E.N.T.L.Y, that Santa is not real. She looked disappointed, a little angry even and then tried to convince me otherwise. She then proceeded to tell me a little story about Santa, telling me that Santa is real and that he’ll be leaving her presents. There was no arguing with her on that matter, and after several “Yes, he does!” (her) and “No, he doesn’t!” (me)  of whether he exists, I decided that I should hear her out and just let her natter. She seemed happy to be able to talk about Santa and presents, and without me expecting it, Spud then rattled off with:

“Papa said Santa will come through the balcony because we don’t have a chimney. Mama, why doesn’t he use the door?”

Ahhh! This little imp has been having some private conversation with her Papa about Santa, I take it. No wonder she now thinks that Santa is real! That aside, I thought she raised a very valid and logical question; even I had to think hard to come up with a spontaneous answer.

My answer was lame – I told her that was probably because the door was locked from the inside. And then it dawned on me that my reply did not sound right either! I  just made it sound like a burglary and that I may have inevitably told her that it is OK to climb up the balcony whenever the door is locked and that would be normal! I then gave several other incoherent replies before I burst out laughing at the practicality of her question. In between my guffaws, I then told her that it IS strange that he doesn’t use the door and perhaps, it’s because…well, Santa doesn’t really exists. It is just some men with big belly with pretend Santa costumes.

She seemed to accept the “pretend Santa costume” logic better and let the topic rest for the evening. The next morning though, she complained to her Papa about me telling her that Santa doesn’t exist, which then followed by a rather annoyed , “Why did you have to tell her that Santa doesn’t exist” question from Silver Bullet.

Well, uhmmm, you KNOW because he just isn’t real and he DOES NOT EXIST!

Why did I have to tell the truth? Because I do not want to make false promises that Santa will always and forever be giving her presents.Because I don’t see the need for her to believe in Santa who, in her fragile little mind, thinks that Santa has unlimited gifting resources and that she’ll get whatever she wants. And most importantly, it is because I share the sentiments that kids who belief in Santa are less likely to understand the sacrifices their parents have made or appreciate what they have been given such that they take things for granted.

In that sense, why should Santa take all those credits? And why should I be lying about his existence?

When Spud saw the myriad of presents on Christmas day, she got all excited. She was convinced that Santa had come and dropped off all their presents when they were sleeping; to which I told her as a matter of factly that, well, no darling’, we and your grandparents were the ones who had bought them for both you and your little brother. Santa did jack-all. She gave me a pout, disappointed that it wasn’t Santa but was quickly distracted by the fact that she could open up all her presents.

There’s no Santa, and the kids got their presents. In no way do I feel that we had robbed them the joy of gifting or that I have been malicious by telling them the truth. Gifting is fun, it should be meaningful and that is all that matters.  I bet you that We’ll probably have this conversation again same time next year.

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