Holiday Planning: Stressing Over Santa
I still haven't told them.
My two oldest are graduating from college this year, and I have yet to let them in on the fact that there's no Santa Claus, no Easter Bunny and no Tooth Fairy. No mystical, magical benefactors who bring booty to good boys and girls.
When my big boys were little guys, when holiday planning, I played up Santa and Co. to the hilt. We left cookies, carrots, cute notes—the works. It was a blast—so much so, in fact, that I could never bring myself to tell the boys the truth.
I know that they eventually found out it was all a ruse, but they never heard it from me. They had to hear the truth "on the streets." I never had the guts to tell them, and I feel guilty about it to this day.
However, it appears I'm overcompensating for past parenting sins with my preschoolers. They're aware that Santa is some character in a red suit, but they don't think for a moment that he's watching them or that he'll be bringing by goodies. The Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy? They have never been to our place, either.
Now I feel guilty in new and different ways. Am I stealing fun from them by downplaying these cultural icons? Will my preschoolers resent me for NOT insisting to them that Santa and the others exist?
And more important, how many more kids do I have to experiment on before I find the right balance between making magical memories and telling the truth? Holiday planning—and deciding what to do about Santa—is causing me too much stress!