As a parent, I want the holidays to be a magical time for my son. He's still young - we'll be celebrating his second Christmas soon. Even so, I expect he'll enjoy it if we make it fun for him. He was even able to enjoy his first Christmas a bit. He "helped" me open up some presents and had a blast playing with the wrapping paper!
My parents told me about Santa Claus. Not the truth, but the myth. When I believed in Santa, Christmas was always amazing. I couldn't wait to wander downstairs and open the goodies he left. I believed so hard that it didn't even register that Santa's thank you note for the cookies we left had THE EXACT SAME handwriting as my mom's lovely penmanship. And I wouldn't change that oblivion for anything.
Years passed by, and I started to question how one man could do so much in one night. It took us four hours just to drive from one state to another to see my grandparents, and that included one very efficient gas stop. Also, how could he possibly watch everyone, all day and all night? When did he sleep?
It definitely helped that I have an older sister. She was always good to have profound discussions with about deep topics such as whether Santa did indeed exist.
At some point before my favorite Christmas, it officially clicked that Santa was my mom and dad. I didn't tell them, but I knew. Perhaps their keenness to see the glimmer in my eyes still made it special for me that morning. It was a fun walk downstairs, seeing my happy parents leading us to the lit tree and the presents everywhere. And it got even better when I opened my presents.
I wanted a Walkman more than anything that year, and "Santa" got one for me. I was over the moon! In a house where I shared a bedroom with my two sisters, I was able to find a bit of serenity. Not sure anyone would be nearly as excited about getting a mobile cassette played with headphones today, but at that point, for me, it was a slice of heaven.
I felt so grateful that I thanked my parents, telling them this was a perfect gift. They were surprised, and I became In The Loop on the Santa myth.
Not everyone who celebrates Christmas encourages their kids to believe in Santa. Many people want their kids to know that the correlation between good behavior and number of toys is bogus; rather, the quality of toys has more to do with their family's dispensable income.
Also, some parents don't like the idea of lying to their kids and risking having their children hold onto trust issues. I recently saw this article, which a friend of mine posted on Facebook. I believe this is a great way to break the news of Santa's authenticity: http://www.scarymommy.com/viral-post-breaking-santa-news-to-kids/
Fortunately for me, my awareness of the truth about Santa was gradual and not shocking, and it took place on the year that I received my favorite present ever.
What's your most memorable holiday?