Yes, I admit it. I do get pangs of guilt every time I tell a white lie about the Tooth Fairy, Santa and the Easter Bunny. I teach my children not to lie... and here I am feeding them with BS every season. I will hide behind my justification that I do tell them that sometimes little white lies are okay, if they are done out of goodness - ie. to not hurt someone's feelings etc. AND - the fact that I would not have traded all the holiday magic and excitement I felt waiting for Santa, or the Easter Bunny for the truth as a child.
I remember confronting my own Mother at the age of 7. She lied to me, and dammit I was mad that Santa Claus didn't exist... so I think I directed my anger towards the fact that she lied to me. She proceeded to tell me the true story of the St. Nicholas and it seemed to make me feel better. At least he was based on a true story!
I dread the day when my lil Mister finds out however. He is a sensitive child and takes things quite personally. I can already envision how it will go down. He will look up at me with those big brown eyes full of hurt, and a furrowed brow of anger. "You lied to me." Yep... and then he'll break my heart, and I will have to re-tell the St. Nicholas story to hopefully regain his trust. My smart Muffin will then put 2 and 2 together and ask about the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, the Babba Fairy from when they were babies... and I will be the Mama that crushed their childhood fantasies. But... we all survived it didn't we? And like I said, I don't regret it.
The reason I am bringing this up now, is we have been having a lot of discussions about Kenya lately. I have made a couple comments about how Christmas will be different next year if we are in Kenya. I haven't given too many details, and I don't want them to think negatively about it. But the truth is, there will be a fraction of the amount of gifts! Then, my thoughts immediately go to Santa. Santa is the bomb in my house! He is the man of all men! The wish giver of all givers! If you want something - do not ask Mommy or Daddy. No siree - ask Santa! Santa has always given our kids their 'big' gifts. We didn't ever want to be associated with such extravagant gifts. Play kitchens, Nintendo DS's, train tables, etc... But now, I fear we may have set ourselves up for trouble!
My thoughts first went to ... how challenging will it be to provide the kids with their main gift wish in Kenya? And if it's large... it's not up for discussion, as we can't take it back. THEN - I had a moment when my heart almost stopped. Santa is for the privileged only. There are millions of children in Africa who have never gotten a gift from Santa! What will my children think? Are the children in Kenya bad? Does Santa not fly to Kenya? Lord only knows what direction their young minds will take... but the fact is, this will be the time the truth about Santa will have to come out. I am hoping that an offer to play 'Santa' to young children in an orphanage or in the streets etc... will help ease the disappointment. But then I think, Really? Does Santa have a place in a third world country? It is not fair... So perhaps gifting anonymously would be a better way to go about it.
Oh, Santa Baby... it was fun while it lasted, but I am afraid this may be the last year that my children will wait with anticipation for you to come down the chimney, eat their cookies, feed their carrots to the reindeer and leave all sorts of goodies. The last year I can tell them they have to wait in my bedroom at the end of the hall, while I set up the video camera to capture the look on their faces and the squeals of excitement when they see what Santa has left them. I am going to soak it all up and try to make it extra special this year!
(I have a couple of really cute ideas that I will post later... if you are interested in some added extra Christmas fun!)