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December 2, 2010 - Kylie Saari
***Warning: The following divulges some information parents of young children may not want divulged***
My husband and I decided before we had kids not to go the Santa route. For personal reasons, we decided it was not best for us. And at first it was a bit of a struggle. As toddlers, the kids would look confused and tell well-meaning strangers Santa wasn't real when they were asked what they wanted from him for Christmas. Adults would throw dirty looks at us when they found out, and some were outright unkind. When the kids got a little older, and went to school, we told them that Santa is a game of pretend parents play with their children, and there is nothing wrong with it. That explanation went flawlessly with our oldest. And he is well-adjusted despite never believing in Santa. He loves Christmas, and accepts the other kids in school "playing the Santa game" and everything is just peachy. But our youngest refuses to believe that Santa isn't real. You see, her teacher said he was real, and apparently, when it comes down to who you are going to believe between teacher and mommy, teacher wins. We told her about the game people play, and that the teacher was just playing the game. She looked suspiciously at us, and I could tell in her heart of hearts that she still believes Santa is bringing her presents. So I asked her if she wanted me to play the game with her, and she said yes. And playing the Santa is tons of fun. I never use it to threaten her into behaving, because I believe the greatest gift we received was given while we didn't deserve it. But during the Parade of Lights last month, she wanted nothing more than to see Santa. When he came into sight, her little face lit up and she was so happy. It warmed my heart. So I will still tell the kids Santa is a game, but I will never have to wonder why some parents don't.
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