Alright, y'all....I'm having a very large discussion in my head right now and I was hoping you might be able to help me clear it up. Isn't this just your lucky day?
PS...I've never used the term "y'all" in my life. Yet it fits so nicely right up there. Don'tcha think?
Aaaaanyway. My kids are ages 10, 8, 4, and 3. They all still believe in Santa.
Yes, I did say ALL of them. As of yet, no one has spilled the beans to my 10-year-old son. And if they have, I've been able to contradict whatever was said so effectively that my little dude buys it hook, line, and sinker. (I can be very convincing. Especially if I stare deeeeplyyyyy into your eyyyyyyyyyyyes.)
Ask me any Santa-related question and I can b.s. my way right through it. With a straight face!
"When we went to the breakfast with Santa, was that the REAL Santa?" Answer...."No way! Real Santa is far too busy to hang out here! The Santas that you see here or at the mall are pretend. They are the helpers who step in when Real Santa is very busy or when he has a hangover from date night with the Missus. Isn't it nice that they help him out?"
"Mommy, why can't Santa bring me all of the things I want?" Answer....."Because Santa has rules that are just like Mommy's rules. You don't always get everything you ask for. Do I buy you every single toy that you want? No? Well neither does Santa."
"How does Santa know if we've been bad?" Answer...."I send him a monthly e-mail that contains a detailed list of your recent transgressions." ??? "Mommy, what does 'transgressions' mean?" Answer...."It means that you're evil sometimes and you make Mommy cry."
"MOM! We took down the fireplace!! OMG HOW WILL SANTA GET IN THE HOUSE?!?!?!?!" Answer....."Santa has a magical set of keys that he can use to get into the houses that don't have fireplaces. You know all of those people who live in apartment buildings? They don't have fireplaces! So Santa uses his magical keys to commit multiple misdemeanors on Christmas." ??? "What's a misdemeanor?" Answer...."It's when Santa breaks into your house just politely enough so as to avoid a felony."
"My friend at school today said that there's no Santa and that it's your mom and dad who buy the gifts." Answer....."Pfffft! That's a good one!! We TOTALLY can't afford to buy gifts for y'all! That's SANTA'S job!"
You get the idea? I'm just FULL of the answers.
But here's the problems. Kids can be mean. Really mean. I'm imagining a scenario in January that goes something like this:
Little 5th grade hoodlums: "Hey, Nick! What's up? How was your vacation?"
My sweet baby boy: "Christmas vacation was great! Santa brought me a new DS!"
Little 5th grade hoodlums: "BAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! SANTA?!?!?! OMG!!!!! YOU STILL THINK SANTA IS REAL?!?!?! BAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!"
My sweet baby boy: "Uh........no.....uh.....I was just joking."
Do you see my quandary?! I want to keep up with the Santa fantasy....but I don't want my son getting wedgied on the playground during recess. AND CHRISTMAS IS ONLY 2 MONTHS AWAY, PEOPLE! My boys spent an hour this evening studying every page of the Toys R Us gift catalog and making careful notes on every item they might want. I could hear their very serious conversation from the kitchen.
Ben: "Ooo! That's cool!"
Nicholas: "Yeah, but it's $300. Santa doesn't bring things that are so expensive."
Ben: "Oh yeah. I remember."
Nicholas: "We have to ask Mom if it's okay to put the expensive things on our list. And don't forget, Ben. If the thing you ask for is, like, $150 or something, that's the only thing you'll get."
Ben: "Yep. I remember that, too."
And the cherry on top of this mess? I get a little teary every time I think about it cuz I'm a giant sentimental SAP who cries at the drop of a hat. (I wish I were joking. It gets old sometimes.)
I think I have to tell them. But do I tell them before Christmas? Or do I enjoy one final Santa-filled extravaganza and tell them the truth before they head back to school?
Crap. I do not want to tell them. I don't want to have this conversation.
Maybe I'll distract them by explaining sex instead.