18 November 2013

Bring in the Reindeer: Let's Talk Santa

first visit with santa, picture with santa in love park
The Great Santa Claus Debacle of '12

Yes, I'm bringing up Santa before Thanksgiving. Tres faux pas, I know.

This is going to be the first Christmas Tristan will understand what's happening. He definitely understood Christmas morning last year - but not in the same way he will this year. He can anticipate things now.

Halloween was a huge build up. Treats are often called trick-or-treats now, and I think Tim Burton is more thoughtful than ever because not only did he give us Nightmare Before Christmas but he made sure a single movie could last the whole season. Like, I can't even ask, What's this? Without Tristan bursting into a musical rendition Jack Skellington-style.

Last year I took him to see the oh-so-authentic Santa at Love Park. I put a lot of planning into our adventure and then knucklehead photog forgot his bleedin' camera (HIJINX!!!!), Tristan fell on his face in mud, and then photog came back and waved a toy camera that Tristan OWNS to get his attention...which worked cuz he was all what are you doing with my camera toy mister?! giving us this stellar shot.

To believe or not to believe?

My parents never specifically told me there was a Santa Claus. I picked it up from media and they went with it. But who wouldn't? Everything is telling you that Santa is coming to town! You either have to have a rebuttal or go with it...

There is something so special about the magic of Christmas when you're little. I loved it. I'd fall asleep listening for reindeer and fight sleep to catch Santa in action (sorry, Mom & Dad - no wonder you were always so tired Christmas morning!).

However, finding out that Santa was a lie was devastating.

In all fairness I received the news in a triple whammy by my best friend who lived behind us...our sweet Californian yards met at a little red wooden fence that was just low enough for us to still be 'home' but playing with each other.

One day she had something cool and I was like I'm going to ask Santa for that!

...and then she laughed at me. 

HAHAHA oh my gosh! YOU STILL BELIEVE IN SANTA?! I bet you still believe in the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, too!!!!!!!

I tried to play it off but 2/3rds of my world had just gone poof (of course I didn't believe in the Easter Bunny - does anyone??).

No Santa. No Tooth Fairy. I ran from the fence in tears.

My mom was there to catch the emotional fall-out. I don't remember what she said exactly, but I do remember that I agreed to keep the magic alive for my twin brothers.

I'm pretty sure that the years of magic and wonder outweighed the enormous disappointment of finding out The Truth. Besides, the true meaning of Christmas  isn't a lie.

We have that Elf - oh yes, you know we do! He arrived on Christmas last year much to my glee and Tristan's disinterest. THE ELF IS IN THE HOUSE! and he isn't going to be a snitchy little tattle tale - doll threat. I'd believe in Santa again before I believed in using the spirit of Christmas as a behavioral control weapon of mass destruction.

We will definitely adventure to Love Park again - it's one of my favorite places in the city and it's darling during Christmas. I'll play Santa by ear. If ever there was a Santa, I'm convinced he is the one sitting in the hut there.

Did you believe? and if so, how did you find out he wasn't real?


  1. We didn't push Santa but you're right, it comes in EVERYWHERE. Me? I can't remember ever believing in Santa, but I do remember playing along because the grownups liked it. It was easier to figure things out since as Europeans we did Christmas Eve not Christmas morning, and so I knew parents were setting things up. However, when P. asks questions about Santa I never fuel it, if that makes sense. I just ask her questions in return, like, do you really think someone could bring every kid a present in one night, etc.

  2. I still believe in Santa , he lives deep in the heart of mommies/ daddies everywhere who want to give you that one single gift you want more then anything.

  3. great post! I like the pictures.
    will comment back - http://www.oldfashionmom.com/
    These are hard questions. My kids believed for many years. We thought that it was the magic of childhood,


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