My teenagers still believe in Santa!
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Is it time for the truth about Santa to come out in my house?
I love Christmas. I love decorating and baking while listening to Christmas music. I love Christmas surprises and meaningful traditions. I don’t particularly love wrapping presents or having to outlast my kids on Christmas Eve, but Santa Claus can’t come until all the kids are in bed so I have to outlast those kids, three of whom are teenagers.
When my kids were little, I waited anxiously for their letters to Santa to see what I needed to prepare for. Santa couldn’t bring every single thing on their list, but Santa could always fulfill at least one request. On Christmas Eve, we leave milk and a home-made cinnamon roll for Santa. He always leaves a note for my kids: “Thanks for the treat. Mr. C.” I’m pretty clever with my left hand.
As my kids have grown up, I have worked hard to keep the Christmas spirit alive, and by that I mean, encouraged my kids to believe in Santa and haven’t said a word about the old man otherwise. I may have been working too hard.
The other day, my 16-year-old said, “I have four things on my list for Santa: a parka, a nice fountain pen, a graphing calculator, and a PlayStation Plus pass.”
In my head, I thought, “Nice fountain pens are too expensive for you to just lose. A graphing calculator for the kid repeating geometry? I don’t think so. I have no idea what a PlayStation Plus pass is. A parka? I could do a parka.”
I went to my computer and still talking to my son, said, “A parka? What do you have in mind when you say a parka? Any particular color?”
“Mom,” my son said, stopping me. “You aren’t buying it. It’s going to be from Santa. It will be free.”
And I stopped breathing.
My 16-year-old son, a junior in high school, still believes in Santa Claus. Oh, the humiliation if his friends ever find out! He doesn’t even know the level of humiliation because he doesn’t even know! What have I done?
Wait. He’s my second son. He has an older brother away at college. What if he still believes in Santa, too? That would be worse.
The next day I send a carefully worded text to my oldest at college:
Me: How do you feel about Santa Claus?
Me: I think your brother is still fond of the old man. I thought I better see if you are, too.
Him: I still have no idea what you mean.
Him: Are you indirectly asking if I still believe in St. Nick?
Him: I don’t know. I believe in Christmas miracles, but I’m not sure about Santa.
And I proceed to freak out in my head.
Me: What do you say to your friends if they ask you the same question?
Him: They don’t ask me about Santa.
There is a little relief in my head.
Me: You are not helping me here!! Is this funny to you?
Him: No, it’s not. I’m an adult, Mom. I’ve seen commercials about stocking stuffers for various family members.
OK, so at some point, the oldest figured out I played the part of Santa Claus. Perhaps before I disconnected cable TV? However, it does not solve my current problem. How do I carefully destroy my second son’s beliefs? Beliefs that I perpetuated with cinnamon rolls and left-handed notes?
There are only a few days of school left before Christmas break. Perhaps if my junior says nothing, we can sneak through one more year without humiliation and destroyed beliefs. I realize that’s how I got into this mess in the first place. I will need to address this at some point.
I think it will be best after Christmas.