Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Santa Thing

I'm sure we've mentioned it before, but I guess it comes as no surprise to anyone reading this space that we don't 'do' Santa.  And just on that, I remember when I was little it was all Father Christmas this, and Father Christmas that.  When did it become Santa?

Anyway, as I was saying, no matter what he's called, that big guy in the red suit is not our style.  We told Harriet when she was about four I think.  We told her that 
a.) There is a character called Father Christmas (*sigh* and Santa, yes, ok)
b.) Adults tell children that he gives them presents
c.) Really it is the parents 
d.) Don't tell other children 

She took all of that on board and had no problem keeping the 'secret', passing me large winks over shoulders and nudging me less than secretly in front of wide-eyed youngsters telling us their Christmas tales.

Hands dusted.  Job done.

Then...enter stage left...Ted.

Ted has had a muddled concept of Santa from the start of our (attempted) explanations.  I guess it's a little tricky to explain away the idea of something being fictitious when it's everywhere.  The funny thing is that it's not really that everywhere for us.  But Santa is in a few different books that we read and a few children talked about it at preschool as well, so he was informed.  But he would nod and listen to us explain that Santa is a story and then say "Yes, and Santa is just a character who brings the toys from the parents".  Errr...not quite.  Take two.  And three.  And then we left it.

On Christmas Eve we returned to the street of amazing Christmas lights in a nearby suburb.  We were among the first of the crowds to descend and as Ted and I were walking up the second side of the street towards the car and the other two, there was the sudden ringing of a bell.  And that bell was close.  Next thing I know,there's a large shadow walking down the side of the house we're standing in front of and slowly that shadow transforms into - Santa.  This Santa.

He called out an impressive sounding "Ho, Ho, Ho!" and Ted grabbed my hand and froze.  He stared.  And then he opened his mouth.  Without sound.  And as Santa came closer, Ted turned to me and yelled "It's Santa the character come alive as a real live person".  Next thing I know he was following him, receiving a lollipop from him, racing around trying to find Harriet to drag her down to see him (Harriet goodnaturedly engaged in the facade of rapture, bless her heart).

And on our way up to the car, Ted started up again with the Santa being pretend discussion.  And when I started to tell him that it was just a person dressed up in a suit, he turned to me, angry tears welling in his eyes and demanded "Lie to me Mama!  I want you to LIE to me!".

So...err...Ted believes in Santa being a lie...or something.  But if he wants me to lie, then that's no problem.  The next day he received a stocking 'from Santa' and since then all talk has died away.  I have no idea how we'll go next year, but this year was definitely an odd mix.  Ted knows his own mind and he'll be damned if anyone will try and stop him believing in what he wants to believe in.

He also told me that "when I am older I will smoke cigarettes" and "when do we start eating meat?".  The child will be the death of me.


JennieMo said...

Cass do you remember me telling you about my brother trying to ruin Santa for all us little kids? My youngest brother was 5 when oldest told us we were all being fooled. Jason went to Dad with the need for the truth. My Dad said very little....which was shocking....."those who believe in Santa get Santa presents". That was it. On Christmas morning....6 kids arose to 11 presents under the tree and stuffed stockings. We all got a mom and dad present....and everyone sans oldest brother for a present from Santa. In his stocking was also found many lumps of coal. Moral of this family tale....I will believe in the power of Santa and lovingly accept my parents way to spoil us just that small bit more til the day I die. My older brother Dave still gets lumps of coal. My dad has never forgiven him. I am with Ted on this one...lie to me. Lolol. Well had to figure the meat thing was always going to be a rebellion thing for teenage years. Lolol. He will still be cute when does it I imagine.

Regan M said...

Very similar goings on with Sol:
I always talk about Santa in the same way that I talk about god - that he's a character in a story, and some people believe he's real, but I don't.
So Sol has spent all xmas trying to convince me he exists - even when we were going to see a man dressed as Santa and I clearly said it would just be a man dressed up, that fact immediately went out of his head and he asked me, after chatting with 'Santa', "NOW do you believe in Santa Mummy?"
Then on Xmas morning when he woke to find his stocking filled, he turned to me and said "SEE mummy, Santa IS real!"
So I'm just going with it now, happy in the knowledge I have been honest with him but, as with Ted, he clearly WANTS me to pretend. :-)

Anonymous said...

I haven't caught up on here for ages...Im still in shock when I get to the pox shots Cas!! But it was a hilarious read! Great to catch up on the phone the other day- but this was great! Your kids are so wonderfully entertaining :-) Ted is a hoot and we always said a kid with that appetite will devour anything AND everything once he can hunt & catch it himself! He can already organise a cheese & antipasto platter with Gluten free crackers himself when entertaining!! xx Love Hazza's hair!