16
Dec
07

Maybe I Shouldn’t Have Killed Santa

2006 was a bad year for fairy creatures in my home. Our son had reached an age were the question was raised; should we tell him the truth about Santa? He was still filled with that child wonderment that makes all things possible. In his little world the fuzzy bunnies give out hard-boiled eggs as a treat and fairies collected teeth.623060323_289f461fc6_m.jpg

It was so easy to feed into this fantasy and my wife and I poured it on. We read “Night before Christmas” together, we took him to all the Christmas movies and listened to mind-numbing amounts of Christmas carols. My son and I have a fondness for “Grand Mom got ran over by a Reindeer.”

The decision to come clean was made earlier that year. Earlier we though it a great ideal to give him a Christmas Bell, much like one we had seen in a movie. We told him that if you really believe in Santa, you can hear the bell ring. We watched his eyes grow big with delight as he rung the bell again and again, yelling “I can hear it!” The naughty guy, played by me, faked it and loudly proclaimed, “I can’t hear a thing, this bell must be broken.” “That’s because you don’t really believe in Santa Dad”, my son told me solemnly. Little did we know, but that bell chimes tolled to end of Santa.

So delighted and proud was our son of his Christmas Bell, that he decided to take it to school for show and tell. Uh oh. What to do? We couldn’t let him take it to school, the kids would make so much fun of him that he might need years of therapy to recover. But, how could we tell him not to take one of his most prized toys to show and tell? We couldn’t resolve the issue, so we just packed him off to school with his bell in tow and waited. My wife wanted to buy him some “comfort food or stuff” and have it ready when he returned home. She was sure the school yard bullies would have him in tears. However, to our delight, our son returned home with a smile on his face.

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We asked him, “how did your show and tell go?” He said well and that the kids really liked his Christmas Bell. Um? He went on to describe how he told them if you really believe in Santa, you will be able to hear the bell. Almost everyone said they heard the bell. Those that said they didn’t believe in Santa also stated that they didn’t hear the bell because Santa wasn’t real. They say everyone that still believed in Santa were being babies and silly. Ah, but the yeas had the majority and the nay-sayers were quickly shouted down. That Bell had almost cause a classroom revolt!

Still beaming from his moral victory and basting in the purity of child innocents, our son shined with prided. We had to tell him. We both knew that his argument wouldn’t hold up long under continued taunts for the bigger kids at school and we were only kicking the can down the road by not telling him. OK, breve in and out and steady yourself, I told myself. Son, we have to tell you something.

Santa was a real person. His real name was Saint Nicholas and he was a very kind man. In fact, you and him have something in common because like mommy, Saint Nicholas was from Turkey (he was the bishop of Myra in Lycia, a province of the Byzantine Anatolia, now in Turkey). He loved helping people and enjoyed giving gifts to the poor. The Santa you see on TV and the one that we all talk about is based on him. That Santa isn’t really real. We looked for a change in his face or some sign that he was taking this all in. Well, he said nothing but did seem to be comprehending what was being said to him. Seeing an opening, we made a split decision to really get the job done. Why stop at Santa? Now that we had started on this dark path, why not take out a few more fairy creatures. Next, Peter Cottontail was mowed down on the bunny trail with truth. Come on, why would a bunny rabbit be handing out boiled and chocolate eggs? Finally, the one I have a personal vendetta against, the legend of the “Tooth Fairy” was shot down in a blaze of facts. Besides being cheat ( a buck a tooth), he never said thank you or what he was going to do with all those teeth (note to self, ask wife what she is doing with all those baby teeth?).

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There, it was done. Our son stood silent for a little while longer and finally said, “so you guys lied to me all these years?” Well not exactly, all parents tell these things to kids, it’s more like a white lie, one that isn’t meant to hurt and Santa really was a person anyway. He thought it over a moment longer and kinda nodded with agreement. But something in his eyes troubled me and I would find out next year exactly what that was.

Fast forward to this year. Our son comes to me one day and hands me a computer generated Christmas wish list. Since he now knows that Santa isn’t real, he goes straight to the money source with his request. Now instead of me being able to pawn his list off on Santa and say “that’s a mighty long list, let’s just see what Santa brings”, I found myself entering into Wish list negotiations with a 8 year old! Crap, Santa’s revenge stings.

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