I remember when I found out the truth about Santa Claus.
I was in third grade. A group of classmates and I were sitting at a table in the back of the room when a boy in my class started talking about it. I acted as though I knew what he was talking about. But in reality, up until that exact moment, I still 100% believed in the magic of Christmas: Santa, The North Pole, flying reindeer–all of it.
I’ll never forget that day.
I have always loved everything about the magic and spirit of Christmas time. When I became a mother and started experiencing it with my daughter, I loved it even more. And now with my son as well. Yes, that even includes The Elf on the Shelf. Her name is Snowflake and from December 1 to 24 she’s a member of our family.
But this year I have found myself worrying about the day that my daughter learns the truth. She’s 7 ½ and in second grade. Maybe it’s because 2020 has been the year of disappointment, but for some reason, I’m afraid that my time with her truly believing is coming to an end.
I tell myself that I’m probably feeling this way because she’s only one year from being the same age I was when I found out. And if she ever asks, my husband and I have said that we aren’t going to lie to her. How we’ll go about that conversation, I have no idea, but that’s a different topic entirely.
Right now, it’s the unknown of when it’s going to happen that really has me. Then I recently did something you should never do. I Googled it. And I found out that studies show that the average age children stop believing in Santa is eight. EIGHT!
If that’s true, then this could be my last Christmas where she is a true believer.
So if that’s the case, if this is my last year where she whole-heartedly believes that there is a jolly bearded man who comes to our house on Christmas Eve in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer; that this man is called Santa Claus and he magically gets into our house (we don’t have a chimney) and eats the cookies she bakes for him while putting presents under our tree, and that he lives at the North Pole with Mrs. Claus and thousands of elves who build the toys in his workshop–
Then I’m going to do all I can to help keep that magic alive.
I’m going to build it up as much as I can while still trying to keep it real enough that she doesn’t have a reason to start doubting it.
I know she won’t believe forever. But right now, I’m holding on for as long as I can. As parents, we fill the holiday season with this magic that is “supposedly” for the children, but it matters just as much to us. We get swept up in it too, especially when we see the excitement and the enthusiasm on our children’s faces. It inspires a whole new level of joy.
I know my daughter will still love Christmas even when she learns the truth about Santa. But I also know that some of the sparkle will be gone, no matter how magical we try to make it.
So all I’m asking for is one more year of the magic of Christmas. Or two. Or three.
However many years I have left, I’m going to make them as magical as possible.
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