Friday, November 2, 2012

The Secret is Out - Santa Claus

So, Sadly, my daughter figured out about Santa today.  She was actually pretty calm about it and didn't seem too distraught about things.  I think she really had it figured out long ago but hadn't really built up the courage to ask yet.  Anyway, it made me remember this article I wrote a few years back when a niece of mine had figured things out.

My niece has grown up and figured out about Santa.  Of course both she and my sister-in-law are feeling pretty devastated about the whole thing. Luckily, I have not yet had to face this particular question, but I know the day will come and, like my sister-in-law was, when asked directly I want to be honest. of course I also don't want the answer to feel like a devastating blow to my child. I thought this may become a concern for some of you as well. I know how my parents dealt with it with my sister and I but I was hoping everyone would be willing to weigh in. The more ideas, the more likely everyone will find something that works for them.

My first thought was to do what my parents did which was to tell me about St. Nicholas. How he would sneak into poor children's homes and put a little gold in the bottom of socks hanging by the fireplace to dry out (he actually didn't do this for all children, in reality he only did this for girls who were about to be of marrying age and wouldn't have anything for a dowry without a little help, but that detail was probably unimportant to a seven-year-old). They then told me that when St. Nicholas got too old he asked the parents and communities surrounding children to help carry on his good work and that was the way it had gone ever since.  The tale about St. Nicholas also stresses that he attempted to do his good deeds in secret.  The idea being that a good deed is an even better deed when we don't have to boast that we've done it.  In giving St. Nicholas the credit now, it is like we are honoring him for having kept it a secret when it was him doing the giving.  With this idea in mind, my parents made it my job to keep the magic alive for my little sister (and other children) until they figured it out themselves.

My sister-in-law's thought was, "Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" - the movie. This great classic stresses the SPIRIT behind St. Nicholas, Santa Claus, Father Christmas, etc. and discusses how he is real in the joy of the season and the hearts of all those who believe in giving to others etc. etc. It might be a soothing thing to watch and reaffirm the existence of Santa even if Santa is not a jolly old elf with a nose like a cherry and a stomach like a bowl full of jelly.  I guess when the day comes with Alice, I figure my hubby and I will likely come up with a combination of things.

Any other suggestions or ideas?  What would, or did you do?

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