We sat down to dinner one night and my daughter and son were excitedly whispering about Christmas. My daughter said something about Santa, to which my son replied, "You know, some people believe in Santa, but other people do not." He then proceeded to talk about Santa not being real.
My heart sank for a moment, as I think he is way too early to question the reality of Santa. I know parents that tell their children from the start that Santa is not real, but we do allow our children to believe. My daughter, the princess, believes with all of her heart. She is innocent and precious, and she does not question what is said to her. My son, the inquisitive one, questions everything and anything. He will often engage in hour long conversations about something, and will have no less than one hundred questions about a particular topic.
I wondered if he heard this from other kids or saw it on TV. When I asked him about it, he told me he just thought it up on his own, which seems true to his character. I asked others for their advice, should I let him in on the secret of Santa or try to keep the belief alive? I opted to try and keep the belief alive, at least for another year. I questioned him on why Santa was not real, and I asked him how he thought children received presents on Christmas. After some thinking, he decided that maybe he could continue to believe Santa was real. I think he was still harboring some lingering doubts, but I told him we will see on Christmas if any presents appear.
Last night, I used one of those calls from a Santa website to have "Santa" call the children. I put the phone on speaker, so both of the older children could hear the call. Santa told them to keep being good, and to make sure they leave carrots out for his reindeer. My children stood, staring in amazement and awe, as Santa spoke to them on the phone.
My son came and sat with me in the kitchen after the call, questioning how I knew Santa's phone number and seemed a bit dubious about the reality of the call. He then sat and considered the reality of Santa again, before deciding that we needed to get carrots right way, because Santa told him too. So, I think the belief is still alive in my son, even if he remains a bit skeptical.
How old were your children when you told them the truth about Santa? We believe in letting the children have that special thing to believe in, but we also convey the importance of giving to others and letting them share in the joy of giving presents too.