‘Who’s that ole fella you had me sit on his lap for the last few years??’

I laughed this morning when my sister in law told me of an eight year old child in her daughter’s  school, who was going around telling the other kids that Santa wasn’t real!
There’s always one! You know the type? They’re smarter than the average airy fairy kid who is happy in the knowledge that the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, Jack Frost and indeed Santa are all very real. These little innocents don’t have the desire to discover anything. They are just so happy to place every little extravagant want on their list, knowing their beloved wishes will come true!
But the Smarty Pants wants to know why Santa didn’t bring him his much desired, latest Super Duper, really expensive to buy X Box next generation?
 He wants to get to the bottom of all these unasked for useless presents appearing every year under the Christmas Tree. There has to be a more logical explanation?
 So the Smarty Pants puts on his detective ears and watch’s his parents every move and every whisper until he finally discovers the secret stash of presents! He knew it! Mammy and Daddy are Santa! The Frauds. No wonder they kept saying Santa can’t afford really expensive items!!
 Now, delighted and also miserable in this new knowledge, he can’t wait to tell all these idiot kids who still believe, that there is no such thing as Santa!
 Two of the mammies at the school were outraged, as only us Irish mammies can be. So, they called an emergency meeting with the principle to have this child shut up! (Irish mammies have this power)
This secret could not get out! It would break all of the children’s hearts!
And I know for sure if my 11 year old Yasmin found out now, she would be heart broken. Yasmin is only in 4th class now, so all of her classmates at 9 are still happy believers and because of her delayed maturity, she’s really only 7 in her head. So, I am certainly not rushing in to break her little heart.
So when is a good time to tell your kids that Santa isn’t real? And was it really fair to dis-allusion them for so long?
As my neighbor told me recently, when she told her twelve year old daughter that Santa wasn’t real, her daughter was shocked! She had no idea he wasn’t real. She asked her mom then, ‘So who was that ole fella you brought me to every year and had me sitting on his lap??’
You know it’s true. We give them this magic and fantasy for the first few years of their life and as soon as the awful puberty approaches, and they are mourning the loss of their childhood body, they have to deal with this tragic loss also! ‘Santa’s not real?’
I do think it’s nice to have the magic and fantasy in kids life, but should we take it away completely?
 Christmas does indeed come around very fast for us parents who are still struggling with the effects of the recession. And I can speak from experience, the stress of trying to meet the kids wants are tough.
I know many of us are cursing Santa’s imminent arrival and welcome the little Smarty pants going around breaking our kids hearts for us.
But we don’t have to turn into Bah Humbug himself, (I keep telling my husband)
 And I don’t want to come across too corny, but it can still be a time of magic. It is a time of gatherings and get togethers, so, we can look forward to those moments. We don’t have to buy everybody presents, as it’s the company that matters. (And a glass of vino)
When it’s time for the kids to know about Santa, they will ask you first and then they are ready for the truth. And you can tell them, that Christmas is still a magical time. It’s about new beginnings and family and friends and being loving and caring and sharing. We keep Santa around because it reminds us to be nicer. To share ourselves and our wealth with people we care about and who need it.

Jean xx

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