***I wrote this for the draw: “Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It’s not attained through self gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” - Helen Keller (submitted by Carolyn 6/10/05)***
We live vicariously through our children, especially around the holidays. As we get older, Christmas becomes less about us, but more about our kiddos. I especially like watching their smiling faces as they race to see what Santa has left them under the tree.
My son will be nine next month, and I thought it was time that I dropped the “Santa” bomb on him. I really didn’t want to tell him, but he had been talking about how the kids at school says “Santa is fake”, and he was so certain that those kids were full of bologna. I was sure I could pull it off again this year… like always he just rips the presents open… never looking at the tags to see which are from us and which are from the jolly man in red.
We made a longASS road trip to Oklahoma to spend the holidays with family there. DH (Dear Husband for those just tuning in) thought it might be a good idea to open presents with his parents in Edmond, Saturday night… so the kids had time to play in plain view of Nanny and Papa before we made yet another trip to my mom’s in Elk City (about 2 hours away) Christmas morning. I was worried that this early present presentation would stir problems with the Santa gifts on Monday morning… being that I don’t mark anything from Santa; Gabe just assumes Santa came and left him all the good stuff.
After milling it over and over in my head, I thought I should tell him… Monday morning was going to come and Santa wouldn’t bring anything, because the turkey would have opened them all Saturday night.
Gabe has grandparents in Midwest City, and I promised him that we would drive over and visit them a bit while we were close. SO… we go and visit for a while, and on the drive back I try to muster the courage to shatter all his magically hopes and dreams of this fictional bearded fellow.
“Gabe… I need to talk to you about something.” I mumbled.
“Oh, yeah… ” he went on and on about some other stuff.. non related material. He’s good at making no sense whatsoever.
“There once was this guy who liked to surprise the children on Christmas morning with gifts, etc….” I couldn’t really remember where I was going with this… so I made up some stuff. I really should have looked into this before I started into my story, “He wanted to surprise all the good children this time of year… to show the importance of giving… um, what do you think about this?”
“We should really be focusing on the birth of baby Jesus?” he goes into.
“um… I guess, but that is not what I am saying,” I don’t go into the religious aspect of the holiday, mainly due to the fact I am agnostic. I don’t push religion on him, so he gets his baby Jesus stories from somewhere else… not sure really where. “Basically what I am trying to say is how likely is it for one guy to bring gifts to all the boys and girls all over the world?”
“Are you saying he isn’t real?” I look over at him and he is starting to tear up… DAMMIT!! Why did I do this… look at him, all teary eyed and sad-like. I just broke his heart. I can hear it now, years down the road in therapy, he’s going to talk about the day his mother told him Santa didn’t exist, and how it ruined his life… FOREVER… shit.
“Oh baby, what I am trying to say is that you’re old enough now to know the truth, we all have to carry on the tradition… Santa is in here (I point to my chest like a dumb ass)… he lives in all of us. We have to honor his memory by giving to others,” etc, etc. I go on to tell him that it is his civic duty not to mention this to anyone, to make sure his sister gets to experience this all for herself… that as long as he doesn’t say anything… he will continue to get gifts from “Santa”… “
Why are you crying? Are you mad at me for not telling you, or are you mad at me for telling you?”
“I dunno why I am crying. I just am.” He chokes out.
Damn it if that wasn’t the shittiest thing I have ever done. I ruined that kid’s ideas and beliefs… all the magic and wonder… bleah. He still promised not to say a word and he would help to make other’s happier by giving selflessly and anonymously.
SO… this kid has a big mouth and told everyone at Nanny and Papa’s house that Santa isn’t real.
THEN… to make things worse on me… he thought I was lying and kept saying that Santa was going to leave something for him at home and he would get it when we returned to Phoenix… GEEZ… I can’t win with this kid.
To sum it up… ignorance = happiness