Sunday, December 13, 2009

Have Yourself a Merry Little White Lie

Earlier this week, while the kids were in school, I began the task of Christmas gift wrapping. I stood at my kitchen island and got a jump on one of my least favorite jobs of the season.

Though a perfectionist, in most aspects of my life, I prefer to just get it done, as opposed to a perfectly adorned package. Well, at least where presents are concerned.


As I cut, folded, and taped, I got lost in my own thoughts. I recalled the time when W. recognized that his gifts from Santa were wrapped in the paper that I had purchased from Target a few days earlier.

"Mommy, you must be Santa because you wrapped these!" He accused.

I, a true Believer who will NEVER, willingly, admit to any child that Santa is a fake, quickly concocted a story to ease his mind.

"I buy the wrapping paper for Santa," I explained. "If he put wrapped gifts on a sleigh and then flew them all around the world they'd be torn to shreds!"

He looked at me suspiciously, "He can't have enough time to wrap them at our house!"

"He doesn't do it silly! While he is eating the milk and cookies you left for him, his elves wrap the gifts!"

He smiled and the day was saved.

W. was also the one to ask me how Santa was able to get into our house because we didn't have a fireplace with a chimney.

Damn kid can't ever make it easy on me. Ahem.

Thus, the tradition of crafting a magic key began. I would cut the shape of a key from card stock and he would decorate it. He would then hang it on the mailbox on Christmas Eve. Only Santa was able to make the key work our lock. And then, in a puff of smoke, the key disappeared.

As we added children to our brood, we'd have three keys for Santa. The lie explanation was that Santa needed one from each child who lived in the house for the magic to work. The reality was that my kids couldn't work together on one key. A few years ago my Aunt gave the kids an actual "Santa Key" to hang outside before they go to bed.

And so, again, the spirit of St. Nick was preserved.

Now tell me, what's your holiday white lie?


Maria said...

I was lucky in that Liv didn't ask many questions about Santa. My big problem was her FEAR of him. It upset her deeply that some big fat guy was going to sneak into our house. Even bearing gifts, it upset her. She stopped believing early because of this, I think, and I was mostly grateful. Christmas Eve was not fun at our house. I usually ended up with her in my bed.

She was even more terrified of the tooth fairy. In kindergarten, when she lost her first tooth, her teacher explained to her to put her tooth in a little box and the tooth fairy would come take it and leave her money. She came home clearly upset. I mean think about it from a child's view. She came home in tears and asked, "Why does that little woman collect children's teeth?"

Megryansmom said...

I love the idea of the key! I'm going to steal that idea for TOF. Yesterday I bought The Elf on a Shelf, let the lies begin. Ho ho ho

The Fritz Facts said...

I love this idea! Boo was asking me how Santa was going to get into the house since we no longer have a fire place...I might have to use this.

Baloney said...

I rely on the How It Works book we have about Santa. Explains everything in "logical" detail. Ha.
That key would be ONE MORE THING I'd have to forget.
Oh - and we have Elf on the Shelf who rats out all of the horrible deeds to Santa each night. Keeps us in line.

Midwest Mommy said...

My daughter is 3. She looked under my bed one day and saw last year's wrapping paper. She demanded to know why I had Santa's paper. How on Earth?

Liz@thisfullhouse said...

My 10 year-old son is working the logic, but his inner-5-year old still believes.

This will probably be his last year, believing, sort of.

My youngest (she's 8) love for Santa is still going strong.

Just like I told my two oldest girls, I tried to explain it to my son this way:

Santa comes for the little ones. Once you begin to believe otherwise, then Santa needs your help to keep the Christmas spirit of giving, going.

No, I can't say it...either.

Sardine Mama said...

Santa is real (my mama said so). My mom never ever admitted otherwise - it became hysterical at a certain point (she would literally put her fingers in her ears and start humming) and we loved and adored her for it. I have taken the same path with my kids....and when they came to their own conclusions about the matter (the older 2 - 17 and 15 now) they continued the act with us for the younger 3 - and I will never ever admit that it is an act :). Because it isn't. I'm a firm believer in all things magical and I have my mom to thank for that! (Today is my birthday and we're going to see Sana - even the big kids pose for a pic because it is my bday wish every year). Ho ho ho!

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

Ugh. I'm thinking of having to tell Jonathan the same thing about the wrapping paper. I wanted to take him to see Santa, but his sitter told him once Santa comes he gets his gifts, so if I take him to see Santa he'll think it is time to get his gifts and oh crap! I'll have to tell another lie like that Santa is just coming to visit and make sure he got the list right before he gets in the sleigh is way too stressful.

I think I'm just going to tell him that Santa is not real. Much easier.