Santa Claus: I almost spilled the beans

I put Jake to bed a little while ago.  He looked huge in his bed.  He’s big for eight.  And I can’t believe he still believes in Santa Claus.

I took the kids to an event on Saturday where they got to hang out with Santa.  Which, frankly, was a little weird.  Nice weird, but still weird.  I think it’s what living in Orlando would be like.  Disney World would lose some of its magic if you could just go there any time.  When you can sit with Santa for an hour and talk to him about more than what you want for Christmas, does he lose his magic?

I thought that might have been what happened, because as I was covering Jake up tonight (he always puts the sheet on top, and I always have to reverse it), he said “I want to see the real Santa Claus.”  What do you mean, Jake?  “That guy was just a helper, right?  Fiona pulled his beard, and that was real, but he wasn’t the real one, was he?”  They’re all helpers, Jake.  Santa can’t be everywhere.

He thought for a minute, and I paid extra attention to his blanket as I tried to figure out what was going on.  “Mommy, why do they always hire big fat guys to be Santa?”  [treading carefully]  Because in commercials he’s big and fat and jolly and if the people they hired didn’t look like that you wouldn’t believe it was Santa.

I waited to see what he’d say next.  If he had asked me in that moment if Santa were real I would have told him the truth.   After what seemed like forever, he decided to go with the safe choice, the choice that would assure him gifts and magic for one more year: “Next time let’s try to see the real Santa so that I can give him my list.”

Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information.


  1. says

    I have a four year old and an infant and I am already getting nervous about answering “the question”. I like how you let him kind of work it out on his own before offering him some answers. Now at least you know that he’s beginning to think about how it all works. And I have heard many moms use the “santa’s helpers” story, but I plan on adding in that they all look similar because you never really know which one is the “real” one.

  2. says

    I think my mom used to throw something in there about how they’d all been personally hired by Santa, you know, like there were Santa job interviews up at the North Pole, to lend authenticity.

  3. says

    @Toni – I still say stuff like that to Fiona, but I’m trying to skate that thin line with Jake between being truthful and keeping the fantasy going. So “they” hire the helpers at this point. Vagueness is my friend. :-)

  4. says

    My mother had no such qualms. :)
    He’ll figure it out, sooner or later. He may in fact already “know”. Every kid I know, these days, goes through a couple of years, abt. 8 to 11-ish, where they “know” but they don’t SAY they know. I think they still like playing along, it’s fun, it’s sort of the last time in your life you get to believe in magic and elves without being, you know, committed.

  5. says

    @Toni – I dunno, there seems to be a large sub-set of the population that has found a way to believe in that stuff well into adulthood. And there are just too many to institutionalize so we’ve decided to call them “gamers” and back slowly out of the room.

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