Friday, December 14, 2007

Santa Talk

I have been reading on a few different blogs about parents having "The Santa Talk" with their kids. I thought I would share our experiences with that talk around here.

When I was little... I got the Santa talk well after I knew. I would say I was 9 or 10. It is the reason I got the talk that is the story. We had, in the living room, one of those old style black trunks with the brass rivets all around the edges. You remember those. It was Mom's classic gift hiding spot, although I didn't know it at the time. One evening, I remember getting in sooooo much trouble because I was accused of going in that truck and moving the Christmas presents around. I swear upside down and backwards that I never touched that trunk!! But that lead to the talk. (Turns out... years later... that it had been my little sister, Bonnie, that was snooping in the trunk!!!)

My Dad told me how knowing the truth about Santa is a very very big deal. It sort of inducts you into a special club. And as a member, you are responsible for continuing to keep the magic alive for others. I take the advice my Dad gives very seriously. He is sensible and rational... having led a life what I think would have been very much like Ralphie's in A Christmas Story (only times 6 because he was one of 13 kids). When he told me that I was waiting too long to tell Jacob about Santa, at first I thought he was ridiculous... then I found out he was right. Dad insisted he knew as young as 1st grade.

Jacob got "The Santa Talk" in 3rd grade (Christmas 2005). I remember it like it was yesterday. It went something like this

While driving at night to something on a wintry evening....

Mom: "Hey Jacob, what do you think about Santa?"
Jacob: "I don't know."
Mom: "I think you are old enough now to be let in on a secret. But if I tell you, you have to promise not to tell Andrew. If I tell you, you are part of a special club and you have to help me. Do you want me to tell you?"
Jacob: "Yeah, tell me..."
Mom: insert the big news here... "... did you know?"
Jacob: "Yeah, I already knew... David & Caitlin told me last summer... but I wasn't sure."
Mom: "So do you think you can be my helper and help keep it magical for Andrew and Lauren?"
Jacob: giddy with the idea of getting to be in on a magical secret "Sure!"
Mom: "So, are you okay with me telling you?"
Jacob: "Well, I am kinda sad he isn't real, but I am glad you are done lying to me."

That last line always makes me laugh when I retell it to anyone. There was more to the conversation then just that, but you get the gist. Now... on to Andrew. My Andrew is in 3rd grade... same age Jacob was. To tell or not to tell... that is the question. Andrew's personality is so very different from Jacob's. I have been asking sly questions giving him every opportunity to ask me out right... he hasn't done it.

So I pinned Jacob down and asked...
Mom: "Does Andrew know? Tell me the truth."
Jacob: "He has no idea."
Mom: "Are you sure?"
Jacob: "Really Mom, he doesn't know."
Mom: "Do you think I should tell him?"
Jacob: "No."
Mom: "Why not?"
Jacob: "Two reasons... one: because he doesn't know already... I already knew. Two: I don't trust him... he'll tell Lauren."

And that is where we are at this year. Jacob knows, he has known (from me) since he was 8. He, at 10yrs old, is still excited at his club membership and actually helped the other two to write their Santa letters on the computer this year. Andrew is 8 and has no clue. And Lauren expects him to arrive any day now, lol. The more I think about it... Andrew will probably never get "the talk". I think we will just let time go by, let him learn on his own, and let him come to us. If he asks, we'll tell.

I would love to hear your Santa Talk experiences!! Please share!!


ellen said...

My husband and I used to have a party every year, for many years, for neighborhood kids. Cookies, punch, presents (their parents snuck them him) and Santa. It was wonderful.
One year, one of the bigger kids decided to tell my son "the news." I wanted to strangle that kid - he wasn't invited back the next year!

Anonymous said...

hello Kerry---
No comment--we aren't there yet, Mine are 8 (girl) and 6 (boy)...but i'm sure it's coming soon! I just wanted to say you gave me a way to "ease" the pain when they find out. I'll tell them about the secret's perfect for us!! THANKS! Kim

Kerry said...

Oh Ellen... there is one of those kids on our school bus! Is it bad to call a 9yr old an ass? If it is, oh well, there just isn't a better word for him. He is a bully and according to one of the other kids on the street was telling the whole bus "the news". I asked Andrew if anyone had been talking about anythign on the bus recently (sly opportunity for him to ask me outright) and he said no.

Kim!! YES!! Secret Club!! Use it!! My Dad has always told us that and made sure I told it to Jacob that way. It is an honor to know the truth, not a disappointment. Santa is the Spirit of Christmas and you help to keep the spirit alive, right?