The Santa Dilemma

IMGP4169_cropped We are in high-gear here, all ready for Christmas. We’ve been shopping, we’ve been to breakfast with Santa, we’ve driven around and seen the lights. There are only a few more doors left on MaM’s Advent calendar. The fourth candle gets lit tomorrow on the Advent wreath. We are almost there, there to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Here’s the thing–MaM believes with all her heart that Santa will come to visit and chat on Christmas Eve. That he will come to our house, while she is awake, he will give her a Barbie Mermaid, and she will give him the card she has made.

She does not want to mail the card, “because he is coming to our house on Christmas.”

She does not believe he will come while she is sleeping, “because he wants to visit with me on Christmas.”

She isn’t expecting any other presents, “because I asked Santa for a Barbie girl, so that’s what I’m getting.”

Soooooo here’s my dilemma–do we arrange for Santa to stop by on Christmas Eve while she’s awake? I’m sure we could get a friend to do it. Or do we just stage it like we usually do, and hope that the sight of the Christmas tree with the gifts under it with will distract her from remembering that she wanted Santa to actually visit with her?

We aren’t over the top with Santa, but her blind faith is astounding. We saw Santa in the gas station parking lot Thanksgiving weekend, and he was kind enough to talk to her for a minute, and took her request for a Barbie mermaid. Ever since, she has no desire to go see him, because, “I told him what I wanted in the parking lot”.

I don’t want her to be crushed/sad on Christmas day, but I also don’t want to come up with this elaborate scheme this year–and then have to repeat it for years to come, only to have her find out from a neighbor kid /schoolmate that it was just that–an elaborate scheme.

Thus the Santa Dilemma. Any suggestions on how to keep it magical and fun without going over the top? Anyone? Anyone?

16 Replies to “The Santa Dilemma”

  1. Maybe you could put her to bed and tell her that she has to stay in bed until she hears him and then Santa could ring some bells and leave a note saying that he was sorry that he couldn’t stay longer but he had so many houses to stop at. This is a tough one. Does she usually fall asleep easily where she might believe that she missed him?

  2. Could Santa leave her a note? That way she won’t feel like she was forgotten and she can still get a special message without too much staging. Do you know what she wants to discuss with Santa?

  3. You are experiencing the chief practical problem with lying. Sure, it might be our tradition to tell children that Santa Claus brings them presents, but ultimately this is simply not factual and they will eventually learn the truth.

    You have two options. Either perpetuate the lie through some ruse, or come clean. If it’s too painful to do the latter (or the notion of keeping the magic alive is simply too adorable), then you can try any number of deceptions. Perhaps a friend could place a phone call as Santa and be “tied up” somewhere over Utah. A handwritten letter from Santa could appear which explains that he is much too busy on Christmas night to engage in chit-chat. Mild sleep deprivation could be employed in advance of the supposed arrival to ensure the child is dozing and therefore successfully buffaloed.

    Finally, it’s possible that the child is trying to fool the adult to prove that Santa is a jolly figment. This may be a form of prepubescent entrapment designed to catch the perpetrators in an incontrovertible act of fraud.

    I can end with no other words than these: “Merry Christmas!”


  4. @Robby Slaughter
    Merry Christmas to you too, Robby! I know the whole Santa thing is a lie–but the spirit of Christmas is a good thing. That’s what I don’t want to go over the top–but I’m hoping for a few more years of Santa “fun”. Of course, if it’s not fun, then the purpose is defeated….

  5. maybe that is your in…. Santa is too busy on Christmas Eve (I mean, it’s impossible unless he somehow stops time ala Zach Morris) so he has ‘breakfast’ appointments with kids prior to for chats… good content for a note or for a ‘story’ before Christmas @Michelle

  6. I would go with note from Santa route. That’s definitely a tough one, but I think if it came from him why he didn’t show up, it might be a little easier to take.

    And if it makes you feel any better, Emma asked for Santa to paint her room purple, so we’ll be dealing with that Christmas morning. : )

  7. Oddly enough, I agree with Robby to a degree. I have not encouraged (nor discouraged) the Santa Claus fantasy with my daughter. I have a serious issue with lying to my child, even if it is to create something magical. In my particular situation, my daughter’s life is already complicated and shrouded with half-truths regarding why her Mommy and Daddy don’t live together. I am the only solid truth she has in her life and I want her to trust me completely. She was terrified of the “creepy man in red” breaking into our house, so I told her that Santa Claus was a spirit who brought happiness to everyone on Christmas, more like the angels who protect us everyday. When she asked if he was real, I told her he was as real as the love in your heart. You know it’s there, even though you can’t see it or touch it.

    My own memories of Santa were very quickly discovered and I felt let down that my family had lied to me. (I figured it out when I was 4). I didn’t want my Nutmeg experiencing the same let down when she already has so many very real let downs in her everyday life.

    1. Christine–the whole disappointment thing is what I want to avoid, but yet Santa is fun! I don’t remember any great sorrow in discovering the truth, I think I was more pleased with myself for figuring it out! But who knows how MaM will react to the whole reveal? Thanks for your thoughts and btw, you are a GREAT mom!

  8. Try leaving half eaten cookies on a plate under the tree with an emplty glass of milk. Along with the suggested note, pull apart a piece of cotton ball and tell MaM that Santa left a piece of his beard for her.

    My Mom did all of this for my brothers and I and I dont think shes a liar anymore! šŸ˜‰ I actually CAN NOT wait to do the same for my kids! I wouldnt call it a perpetual lie… Its tradition! Enjoy!!

    1. Thanks, Steven! We do the cookies and milk (and have hilarious video of MaM last year instructing @bgkahuna not to eat said cookies)–hadn’t thought about the beard part-very fun!

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