Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Maintaining the Ruse

As parents, we all lie to our children this time of year. We're guilty of deception, and we love it. Telling our kids that a fat man named Santa Claus comes into their house in the dead of night to leave them gifts is a big, fat lie. And it's the best thing going because that ruse does WONDERS to keep the naughty behavior of kids in check for a few weeks. Telling them that Santa is watching them is a long-held, long-cherished tool a parent can wield as necessary. I'll be sad when that comes to an end - for many reasons.

This year, instead of physically writing a list of "wants" in letter-form to Santa Nicholas opted to cut out the pictures of the various toys and gifts he wants and send Santa the cuttings. He went through the entire Target catalog and cut out nearly.every.picture. It was a fat envelope that got sent to Santa (little does Nicholas know that Santa's inbox is on top of our refridgerator...). That was a few weeks ago. 3, I think. Maybe 4. Nicholas got an early start this year. He's also already been to see Santa at the mall. Top of his list this year? A Slurpee Machine. Yes, slurpee. As in the sickly-sweet frozen concoction purchased at 7-11 stores. And yes, they do make surpee machines for real. Sort of like an EasyBake oven for the convenience store set. Nicholas "discovered" Slurpee's this summer when we would ride our bikes to the local 7-11 and he would get the child's small Slurpee as his reward for riding that far. And to cool off - it was HOT this summer. And the fascination with all things Slurpee began. It's a love affair. We cannot drive past a 7-11 without Nicholas asking if we can stop and get a Slurpee. Now mind you, I personally don't care for Slurpee's. I think they're too sweet, even for me. But to Nicholas there is nothing better. Nothing. And as luck would have it, our little 7-11 happened to have the toy Slurpee machines for sale. And the seed was planted. He's been asking for one since SUMMER, people. It's all I hear about. Now we are starting to see them at Toys R Us and Target. Nicholas made sure to cut out the picture of the Slurpee machine and include it in his "letter" to Santa. And he was very specific about his desire for one when he had a chance to speak directly with the Big Man himself last week.

I'm still not sure we'll be getting him the damn Slurpee Machine or not - I'm torn. On the one hand I remember the fantastic feeling I got as a kid when Santa brought me exactly what I had been hoping for. There is no better feeling that the thrill of seeing the toy you've been coveting for months under the tree with your name on it. On the other hand, it's a SLURPEE MACHINE, for the love of pete, and I am so not wild about having that messy hassle of a toy in my house. I can just see the red syrup stains on the carpet now. Ick. Mr. Chick and I have some more discussing to do, clearly.

But I digress. Back to the topic at hand, which is lying to our kids and perpetuating the myth of Santa. Today, as my innocent and truly believing child slumbers, I crafted a reply letter from Santa to Nicholas. I put it in an envelope, addressed it to him, carefully disguising my handwriting so as to not tip him off, and put it in the mailbox along with today's mail. When he wakes up I'll ask him to go get the mail, something he likes to do, and he'll see a letter for him. When he opens it up, this is what he'll see:

Think that'll do the trick? Oh, I am SO BAD!! In the copy he'll get "Santa" actually signed his name. I'm excited for him to get this - he'll be pumped. I'm guessing he holds onto that letter for a long time to come. I love Christmas!

I can justify lying to Sam and Tess about Santa NO PROBLEM. I don't call it lying -- I call it pretend. Mommy and Daddy are just using their imagination. Afetr all, I want to foster a strong imagination in Sam, so why not foster that in ourselves:)

But you know what, I feel sort of guilty about the Santa's watching thing. I do it, of course, but part of me feels like I am going to terrify the kid or something.

So how did he react to the letter?

oh yes, I'm all about enhancing a child's imagination as well. NO GUILT ABOUT IT! :) Fostering that belief is the biggest part surrounding the magic of Christmas, IMO.

Nicholas LOVED the letter. It was great. He got the mail and didn't see it at first, a bill from the dr. that referenced his name caught his attention first. But when he saw it he tore into it and we read it together. He was THRILLED, to say the least. He kept looking at it and talking about how he wants to stay on Santa's good list, etc. Priceless stuff. He even asked to call his Daddy at work to tell him the good news. It was really fun - probably as much or even more so for me than for him. I love this.
Wait a minute!!! Santa is not real?? ;)

There goes my fun...
Don't buy the slurpee machine...huge pain in the ass. One of my kiddies wanted it last year and you have to add salt, staining cool-aid type powder flavoring, ice, and then turn this plastic crank that constantly falls off, and the whole damn machine is made of light plastic and is very easily tipped over. Like I said, HUGE pain and all for like a thimble amount of slurpee.

I would make him some "coupons" he can present to you to get a slurpee from 7-11 instead.

Cute letter and yes I agree with the first poster a little tramatizing about santa watching.

Besides, in my opinion, gifts shouldnt be conditional and the holiday is all about giving and good will.
MP -

I was reading your comment on Aitch's blog about where you live and how "AP" it is and I thought....damn, they must live in Oregon! Lo and behold... LOL I'm from OR, just south of Eugene and your description fit that town to a "T".

Anyways, just thought that was funny!
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