December 17, 2011

Stocking Stuffers


My world is destabilized. Everything I thought I knew about Christmas and the human body is now cast in doubt.

It's all my third grader's fault.

"So what's up with Santa?" she asked me this morning in the middle of the holiday aisle at Target.

"What do you mean?" I replied, with one hand stuck deep inside a dollar bin.

She pointed to a sign that read "Stocking Stuffers."

" If Santa is real," she asked, "Why would stores sell things for stockings? And why are so many moms here buying them?"

I glanced around and made eye contact with at least 8 other women who were scooping magnets and notepads and stickers and other meaningless junk into their shopping carts.

I explained, to the best of my ability, that corporate America likes alliteration as much as I do. "Stocking Stuffer is just a fancy way of saying 'present,'" I told her.

She didn't look convinced.

"My friends at school told me that Santa isn't real," she said casually.

"No!" I cried. "It can't be!"

"That's what they told me," she continued.

I felt like the rug had been pulled out from under me. "What else did they tell you?"

"That hair is going to start growing under my arms when I'm a teenager."

I practically fainted in horror. "Why would someone say something so horrible?" I gasped.

My daughter looked at my intently. "So is it true?" she asked.

I put my hand on her shoulder. "About the underarm hair--yes," I confessed. "As for Santa, the rule is if you don't believe, you don't receive."

My daughter nodded solemnly. "I believe," she confessed. "A lot."

44 comments

Jennifer said...

Aww!!! I hope she does for awhile! I have a long time til I have to deal with this. My daughter is 3.

Kensi said...

haha! hilarious! my parent's always said the same thing, I was a believer!

Rachel said...

My dad told us that Santa had to be real because he didn't like us enough to get us the cool stuff that Santa did. After we thought about that one, we decided Santa was definitely real.

Anonymous said...

Our 4-year old came home from PreK (!) with the news that "Emma says Santa isn't real." The PreK teachers had a talk with the mom asking her daughter not to discuss Santa at school ... never imagined we'd be having this conversation so soon.

MaLeah said...

My brother figured out the Santa thing in Kindergarten! Then, he clues me in on it. I was 10. Instead of being sad, I was furious with my parents! I remember saying, "But you lied! You said he was real! Next you are going to tell me there is no tooth fairy or Easter bunny either!" Needless to say, I locked myself in my room for the rest of the day! Ha!

Lani said...

We have the same rule at our house. It helps keep siblings from ruining the magic for each other, but I think it also helps transition kids from the magic of receiving presents from Santa to the magic of the Christmas spirit that Santa embodies. At least that's what I'm hoping, so we don't have too much drama when our kids finally start to figure it out.

Anonymous said...

I was about ten when I stopped believing in Santa. I asked my mom if Santa was real because my neighbor/friend always was telling me he wasn't. She told me that he wasn't a real person, but he was real if I wanted to believe that he was. Now at 20 and nannying kids ages 1-13 It's fun to pretend again with kids who believe. :)

My Mercurial Nature said...

Oh my, that was cute! I still tell my 10 year old that believing in magic doesn't have to be taken literally. And I'm pretty sure he knows about the underarm stuff. LOL

NumberWhisperer said...

Last weekend, my 9 year old kept asking if Santa was real. He's almost ten, and I figured that he must be asking for a reason. Time to break it to him. So I sat him down and told him the truth...that daddy and I were Santa. He seemed fine, even upbeat. Until I caught him 15 minutes later, crying in his room. Ugh, I felt like the crappiest mom in the world. A week later, he's over it now and has decided it's fun to be in on the secret.

Mom of 12 said...

That's the way it works at my house too! I'm still a believer.
Sandy
www.twelvemakesadozen.blogspot.com

ColleenandKendra said...

I let my 10 year old in on the Santa secret this year. I was worried, but then so excited afterward when her reaction was, "You mean I get to do that for MY kids someday??? Cool!" She's an only child, which I believe contributes to how long she held the belief. We still believe in Santa around here--the reason behind him and the love involved. :-)

Brookes4boys said...

My older brother stopped believing at about 8, but a few years later when I was approaching that age and asking questions he was the main one trying to convince me Santa was real. Seems he thought that if neither of us were believers then we wouldn't have Christmas at all,LOL!

As a side note, I make a point not to take my kids in stores at all this time of year, if possible. Between me accidentally picking up something for them that they see and then labeling it from Santa or overhearing other people talking about buying Santa gifts, it is too easy for my kids to pick up the secret

Rachel the Awesome said...

I found out when I was nine or ten. At first I was disappointed, but I cheered up considerably when my mom said I could eat the cookies left out for "Santa." =)

Anonymous said...

My 3 year old daughter asked me last week "is santa really real?". Knocked the wind right out of me. Of course, she's also asked me if Jesus is married, and she's convinced that God is a her, so it really shouldn't have surprised me in the least.

Jen Harms Wilson said...

Whenever one of the kids in my family figured out the Santa game, we were promoted to an "elf" - we still got presents for ourselves from Santa, but we were "in" on the deception, allies with our parents against our unknowing siblings.

Marydon said...

We are both LOL! What a place to take you down, Mom. Love how you handled this.
Merry Christmas
TTFN ~
Hugs,
Marydon

TORI said...

yes, this is my 6 year old this year, I said "well, you can choose to believe in the magic of Christmas or you can choose not to believe, it's up to, but as for me, I would rather believe in the magic of Christmas and Santa than to not, because magic is what makes the world special. You decide" she said "well, if you believe, then I can believe to and I will just tell my friends that I would rather believe in magic and than to not" I said " a very wise choice" She said "but really is he real..." sigh...

Mommy Inconsistent said...

"If you don't believe, you don't receive"...classic answer that I plan on storing away for the day I get asked that same question. Thanks for that! :)

Amy said...

A friend of mine recently decided to stop doing Santa for religious reasons (focus on Jesus). She told her 3-year-old that there is no Santa, and of course told her not to tell her friends. I have my own 3-year-old and thought "yeah right!" We don't see them much anyway but I definitely won't be hanging out with them around Christmas because I would be devasted if her daughter told mine!

Tracie said...

My six year old told me that a boy at school knows who Santa is, when asked who he said she told me a teacher stopped him from telling but that she is pretty sure that it is our next door neighbor. She is asking alot of questions though, this might be the last year she believes. Makes me sad.

Tami said...

I solved that one a long time ago when my littles were really little and had to go shopping with me. I just said that Santa had a lot of kids to deliver to and that parents help out with some of it to make it easier on him. I found out after seeing a price tag on a box of crayons, so I have been able to keep him believing till now (he's almost 10.) I think he pretty much knows, but still wants to believe, so I'll let him until he's ready to give it up :)

Katie said...

She is too funny! Funny the things kids talk about amongst themselves :)

Anonymous said...

My daughter's claimed Santa a fake when they were 4 and 5. I was so very thankful, actually. The lying about Santa never felt right to me. Seriously, life is so much easier when they don't believe that garbage. If we spent half as much time convincing them of things they NEED to know and BELIEVE in....we'd all be better off. :)

BeckyB.West said...

Oh dear! Why can't the magic last a little bit longer? Kids should believe in Santa until they are twelve. As a child, growing armpit hair was one of the most daunting fears I can remember. Speaking of which, I better purchase some new razors.

ponderingjane said...

My kids are 2 and 4, and while I look forward to them being a bit older, your post reminds me that it is bittersweet!

Ruby said...

When each of my two big girls asked about Santa (they were in first grade) I told them the truth because I didn't want them to be made fun of at school. I also let them help me wrap stocking stuffers the first year they knew, to make up a little bit for the loss of innocence. Getting to be in on the "grownup" secret helped them cope.

pegzhere said...

You have to read this!!! (Rivals "Yes Virginia" IMO)
http://www.cozi.com/live-simply/truth-about-santa

Mrs. Tuna said...

Yeah, my daughter "Sheldon" still believes. She knows at 22 years old she won't get good stuff if she doesn't believe.

Gia said...

Hahahhaa. Just wait til she hears about menstruation...

Lin said...

Bahaha I love this!

Donna said...

Your stories are always hilarious! My 10yo told me a little too vehemently that "Santa IS Real!" just the other day.

[Stacia] said...

Since my five year old can all of the sudden read huge words, I was just noticing that the other day and wondering why so many people have to ruin it for innocent children. Grrr..

Anonymous said...

My 11 year old finally came clean this year and told me he hadn't really believed last year and that he was afraid he wouldn't get Santa's present if he didn't believe. So this year he is in on the secret. It has been so much fun! He wanted a code name for when he helps put out some of the presents on Christmas Eve. So he is now Codename Creeper. That was his choice! It has made him even better with his 5 year old little brother. Sad as I was to see that day come it is nice to have someone else in on the game.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine was suspicious that her son knew the awful truth until one day in the carpool when the kids were talking about whether Santa was real and he piped in with, "I know Santa's real because my mom is too cheap to get me the stuff Santa brings!"

Unknown said...

Very, very well handled Mom! I had my kiddo ask me about the stocking stuff last weekend. I explained that Santa only brings stocking stuff to the kids and moms/dads feel left out. I buy stuff for dad and he buys stuff for me. I have a feeling this may be the very last "believing in Santa" Christmas in our home. Feeling sad about that.....

Anti-Supermom said...

My son is edging towards not believing, and we decided to not tell him any different, for now.

I like the you belive, you receive. I'm going to have to steal that one.

Jaidi Clayton said...

Our problem arouse when she started bringing up what her friends were saying at school in front of her sister and brother. Then they started asking questions. We found a great letter online (Cozi I think) that explains santa really well and let her get involved in the Secret of Santa. She got to help pick out presents for her sister and brother and gets to help them keep believing. She is in 3rd grade as well and I would rather have them get a little bit of time with the secret then to convince her to keep believing. But it is fun!

Stef said...

Ha. That hair in the armpits really brough me to the floor.
When my kids have asked, I simply say, "What do you think?" and when that doesn't work I use a similar tactic, "Santa doesn't bring presents to people who don't believe."

Robin said...

My 1st grade daughter told me she heard from friends that the parents do all of that Santa stuff. I almost asked names so I could pay a visit to the kids houses and shut them up.

Instead I convinced her that her dad and I are entirely too lazy to take care of all the things Santa does. Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately) it didn't take much convincing on that one.

helmhq said...

I was devastated when my mom told me. My wise husband told our kid it doesn't matter what you believe, as long as you are at our house, Santa will come. He always has, and he still does! Everyone has been happy with that answer. If they want to believe they still can and if they don't they are free to do that.

Musing Momma said...

When my mother "broke the news" to me (around age 9 or so, after I kept asking and asking if Santa was real) she said, "But every year there is SOMETHING in your stocking that your dad and I didn't put there..." It let me hold on to a little bit of that Christmas magic for another year or so.

Ella said...

At the risk of being the evil person in these comments, I have to say I've never understood why parents get so bent out of shape over the whole Santa thing. First, tricking your children into believing Santa is real, not because that's what's best for the child, but because it's entertaining for the adult who is the one telling the lie. And second, getting angry when other people refuse to lie along with you, as if the one or two truthful people are the "bad guys." None of this makes any sense to me.

Anonymous said...

I was six when my older friends told me Santa was "not real". I went home and asked my oldest sister if Santa was real. She gently asked, "What do you think?" I decided I still believed in Santa. I figured it out a couple of years later because Santa seemed to use all the same wrappimg paper we did. My sister was cool with here own kids later on by explaining that Santa,though not "real", is like the spirit of giving at Christmas. Her kids did well with that.

rental mobil - sewa mobil - portal said...

nice article…thanks, nice can't wait for this...thanks

Kami menyediakan informasi agen rental mobil dan sewa mobil Paket sewa mobil harian, mingguan dan bulanan. nice article…thanks, nice can't wait for this...thanks

waralaba / franchise bimbel - peluang usaha modal kecil hasil maksimal