Santa's Tightening His Belt: How Do You Tell Your Kid the North Pole's Fresh Out of iPads?Stephanie Precourt
So, here’s the thing. My kids believe in Santa Claus.
As they get older, they ask for more expensive things. My son is convinced the jolly elf can totally swing an iPad for Christmas, no problem! I’m trying to get him to think small without blowing Santa’s cover.
My oldest son is just about the age I was when I realized that Santa wasn’t really leaving those presents under our tree — it was my mom and dad. But I clearly remember never feeling betrayed or lied to by my parents about Santa all those years. I am honestly very thankful I came to the conclusion on my own… it just seems all part of the magic that way. And that’s what I kind of want for my children.
We didn’t start out doing the Santa thing. My husband’s family celebrated only Christ’s birth on Christmas, and my family was Team Santa all the way. Eventually Santa did start coming to our home when our boys were a few years old. At first we did tell them Santa was a real nice, generous guy a long time ago. Then we just kind of went along with letting them believe that he really did bring them gifts at Christmas.
Now we’re approaching the big reveal. If not by classmates at school or non-Santa-practicing friends at church, they’re going to catch us one of these days (especially with that dang Elf on the Shelf ready to out us any moment now.) They’re going to figure it out on their own and it’s going to be just fine. I imagine they’ll have a blast keeping up the charade for their younger brother and sister, too.
Until then, we continue to (gulp) lie, I guess. And try to get creative about encouraging them to edit their Christmas lists. Maybe don’t ask for only big ticket items, dude. I’m still trying to find the parent handbook somewhere that clearly shows that Santa has a spending limit. But that doesn’t make sense because he makes the toys and iPads in his shop, right? And hey, for all I know my son is already on to us and just trying to call our bluff and maybe get an iPad out of the deal.
Right now I just try to weasel my way around it and explain that you can’t just ask for things that are so extravagant like iPads and computers. He has to have enough toys and gadgets to give to all the kids. And, he tries to get people the things they need first. It kind of makes sense? But yeah, I know. I’m screwed. There’s not going to be an iPad under our tree this year and I’m going to have some explaining to do.
If I could go back in time I might nix the whole Santa gig and tell them the truth from the very beginning. But then, the magic. It’s something I’ll never forget — how it felt Christmas morning to see that Santa came. I swear I heard reindeer on our roof one year. And even now, I kind of still believe.
I hope they do, too.
If your kids believe in Santa, how do you deal when they don’t get what they really wanted under the tree?