Why I will continue to lie to my kids about Santa and the Elf on the Shelf!

There is something about the magic of Christmas. There is a buzz in the air that gets me excited for the holidays. And while I believe that there is too much emphasis placed upon the presents under the tree, I also love the social gatherings.

There is something about visiting friends and family and catching up before the holidays.

Sisters standing with candy canes in front of decorated Christmas Trees: tania2atee
Sisters standing with candy canes in front of decorated Christmas Trees

Of course, there are some added pressures; but we do those things to ourselves – like holiday pictures for Christmas cards, teachers’ presents, new pyjamas, and of course the Elf on the Shelf and pictures with Santa.

My kids are 7 and 10 now, and anyone who asked me last year about them believing in the magic of Christmas, heard the same thing: Yes, they believe, but it might be my last year. The Little Bird had started asking questions about the Elf, mainly if I moved it like her friends said at school. I told her no, I didn’t move it, and that she was real.

Snowflake the Elf on the Shelf fixing her Barbie car: tania2atee
Snowflake the Elf on the Shelf fixing her Barbie car like a mechanic.
Snowflake the Elf skating on a frozen pond: tania2atee
Snowflake the Elf skating on a frozen pond

I like doing the Elf on the Shelf. It was something I introduced to them in 2014 and while I wasn’t super creative in the beginning, it’s soon grown to be the first thing they jump out of bed in the morning to find. She’s dressed up like a DJ, had paper bag races and snowball fights, done the Floss, gone camping, been turned into a snow globe and has gone ice skating!

Snowflake tried to do the Floss dance: tania2atee
Snowflake tried to do the Floss dance
It's a Elf Bakesale with Snowflake: tania2atee
It’s a Elf Bakesale with Snowflake!
Snowflake the Elf on the Shelf pretends to be a Snowglobe: tania2atee
Snowflake the Snowglobe
Snowflake the Elf on the Shelf DJ: tania2atee
Snowflake the Elf on the Shelf DJ

The girls love her and worry if they think they have touched her by mistake, thinking she’ll lose her magic.

So, why do I add this pressure to myself during the busiest month of the year? Because their reactions are genuine. The joy on their faces when they find her in a new spot every day, up to some tricks or set up with a few of their toys, puts a smile on their faces and mine.

I also thought last year was going to be my last year with Santa too. She said that one of her friends mentioned that her parents were Santa Clause. My answer is always the same, ‘if you don’t believe in the magic of Christmas, Santa won’t come anymore.’

She never asked again.

Of course, my worry is that as soon as she stops believing, inevitably my younger daughter will stop believing too.

It was my mother who sort of ruined Santa for me. Mis takingly, she purchased a toy for my brother while I was with her, and wrapped it up from Santa. When he opened it and exclaimed that it was from Santa, I tried to correct him and told him our mother bought it, but was quickly shut down by my mom. The look we exchanged is engrained in my head…her thinking I already knew the truth, and me wondering why there wasn’t really a Santa.

I’m not mad at her, I was about 8 or 9, and she assumed I knew the truth, but I try very hard to ensure that the illusion remains in our house for as long as possible.

Sisters standing with giant JOY sign: tania2atee
Joyful sisters

 

I decided to take them to see Santa early, in mid-November. We went to Hillcrest Mall after I saw the set-up on social media.

The mall was all decorated, with various photo opportunities and they were getting excited as we made our way to where Santa was. After getting some lunch, we got in line and the girls were watching Santa interact with the kids before them. I could see their faces, staring at him with awe. So I leaned over and said, ‘I think that might be the real Santa, you guys.’ And they both agreed with me.

Sisters waiting to see Santa: tania2atee
The girls waiting to see Santa

But seeing their faces as they went up to him, confirmed that they still believe.

I will continue to lie to my kids about Santa, the Elf on the Shelf and all the magic of Christmas because as long as they believe, they will remain in the innocence of that magic. They will remain kids.

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I know that in the blink of an eye it could all change. That they won’t care about that anymore, and those traditions will be lost. And then it would mean my kids are growing up. And while I know it is inevitable, I still want to slow down time. I want to savour every moment, and every reaction.

I know that in the blink of an eye it could all change. That they won’t care about that anymore, and those traditions will be lost. And then it would mean my kids are growing up. And while I know it is inevitable, I still want to slow down time. I want to savour every moment, and every reaction.

Which is why when the list they wrote is full of toys, I didn’t try to persuade them otherwise. Because if they asked for toys, it means they still want to play. And they play together, which fills my heart with love and joy.

The alternative to toys will soon be technology, or makeup, clothes or video games. Which means they won’t play together.

Two sisters with Santa Clause: tania2atee
Christmas picture with Santa Clause

 

They have to rest of their lives to bury their heads in phones and computers. This year, Santa is bringing them gifts, and this mom is setting her reminder to move that elf every night. And it’s worth it.

 

Do your kids believe in Santa? If not, at what age did they stop believing?


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