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1914 Santa Claus in japan

1914 Santa Claus in japan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Boy: Mom is Santa Claus alive or he’s not real?

Me: Why do  you ask that?

The Boy:  Because I want to know does he even exist.   And I don’t know.

Well, what am I supposed to say to that?  I don’t want to lie to my son about the existence of a man who is supposed to bring him bags of toys every year for no real good reason at all.  I am not certain if it is the lie that bothers me or if it is that I don’t want him expecting a load of toys at Christmas.  After Christmas started to appear at Thanksgiving and my kids started telling what they wanted for Christmas during the summer and they were almost never completely happy with what they got and they hardly played with much of what money was wasted on and I wasted soooo much money each year to fill the void under the tree and the stockings and trinket gifts for people who may or may not show up, I got fed up.   So, a few years ago I decided that Christmas needed to be something other than what it was for my family.  We needed to turn our focus away from buying gifts for each other  towards spending time coming together as a family.

I knew that this would mean The Boy didn’t get the same kinds of Christmases that The Man and The Girl-in-the-Middle enjoyed for so many years.  But, I would rather him be raised with an association to the holiday that brings a longlasting fulfillment that toys don’t offer.  He would get toys, I couldn’t completely deprive him but, toys would not be the focus.  And to offset things, he doesn’t ever have to “wait for Christmas” because we get things when we want to get them throughout the year.

When he asked about the existence of Santa, I could here my mother’s voice in my head telling me, in her whiny I-can’t-believe-you voice, “don’t spoil it for the boy.”  At the same time, I could here my own voice telling me, “don’t lie to him.”  So, the only thing that I could do was rely on my painful sore throat as a reason to not have to say too much and my regular routine of trying to have him figure things out for himself.

Me:  So, what do you think?

The Boy:  I think he does.

Me:  Well, okay.

And that is how we left it for the moment.