By Megan Wirts
“Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.’’
Every year around Christmas time as my small people grew to be, well, not so small, I would wait and wonder when they would ask the big question. Is Santa real? If Santa is a big deal in your house like he is in mine, then you know the feeling. For me, that feeling was dread. What was I going to say? How was I going to break the news to them without crushing their sweet little hearts, or mine?
I love Christmas and all the comes with it. Santa, the tree, the ornaments, the Christmas music, the baking, the religious traditions and the celebration of love, peace, family and friends. I love how everyone is a little nicer and it just feels magical all around. I go nuts for it you guys! The day after Thanksgiving, all the decorations come out and the tree goes up. Some decorations may have already been put on display as soon as it struck midnight on Nov. 1st. Then I turn on my Hallmark Christmas movies and it’s Christmas 24/7. This year I even entered my towns door decorating contest, (and I got 2nd place!!), just so I could live my life as close to a Hallmark Christmas movie as possible. I LOVE CHRISTMAS!
So, when my oldest small person when she was a 5th grader, asked me to tell her the 100% honest truth about Santa. I had to. It was time, but I didn’t want to lose the magic. I could sense that the question was coming so, like any good mother with internet access, I searched, “What to do when your child wants to know the truth about Santa?”. There were hundreds of links to ideas and suggestions on how to break it to them gently. While I was searching and reading, it hit me like a lightning bolt.
The Magic Keepers Club.
When my sweet girl looked at me with those big brown eyes wanting to know the truth, I told her all about The Magic Keepers Club. I told her that when a child gets older and matures, like she had, they are let in on the secret of the magic of all the holidays. I told her that yes, Moms and Dads all around the world were the ones that put the money under kids pillows after they lost a tooth, hid all the Easter eggs and most importantly we were the ones that kept the magic of Santa Claus alive for all the children of the world that believe.
We talked about the history of St. Nicholas and how Santa came to be who he is now. I told her that Santa represents the joy of the season and shows us that we should be generous and give to others. I told her that without magic in our lives how boring our world would be. Santa, Fairies, Easter Bunnies, and Elves are some of the most wonderous parts of our lives even if they are things we made up and are games we play. I told her that in this world sometimes a little magic makes it a whole lot more tolerable. She was now part of the club. A special secret club only for parents, older siblings and anyone that promises to make the world a magical and special place for their little brothers and sisters and other children to live in.
She sat and listened with wide eyes and I waited for her to react. After I finished my semi prepared speech, she got a huge grin on her face and was so FREAKING EXCITED!! She had tons of questions and couldn’t wait to help make the holidays magic for her little brother. She wanted to hide our Elf on the Shelf every night and tell her little brother and cousins all about Santa and his magic reindeer. She went all in! It was such a fun and sweet time to have her help us with all the silly things we did to make Christmas special for her little brother. Like the time we set up a video camera to capture Elvis, our Elf on the Shelf, flying through the living room. It took my husband, myself and her to pull it off and it blew our son’s mind!
Now, my smallest small person isn’t quite so small and this year around Easter time, he asked the big question. He told me he knew the Easter Bunny couldn’t possibly be real, and he wanted to know the rest and he was quite insistent. You see, he’s my baby and when he had asked before, right after Christmas last year, I completely avoided the question and changed the subject every time. I couldn’t have my baby not be a believer anymore! NOT MY BABY!!
Alas, our babies grow up and they want to know the truth. So, just as I did with his older sister, I told him all about The Magic Keepers Club and just like her, he was also extremely excited to be part of the super-secret club. Just like her, he also had tons of questions and he many comments. Like, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?! YOU MADE ELVIS FLY!! I KNEW THERE WAS A FISHING LINE!! I KNEW IT!!” and “You guys ate all the cookies!?! So unfair!” and “Thank you for making Christmas magic for me!”.
It has been a little bittersweet this year not having little kids that believe in Santa and our magical elf any more. A little sweeter than bitter though, I must say. I mean, it’s actually been quite liberating. Now, I don’t have to buy separate Santa wrapping paper or if I forget to move the elf…it doesn’t matter anymore!! Nobody is going to cry about the elf not moving and I’m not going to wake up from a dead sleep at 3am saying, “I FORGOT TO MOVE THE #%@^ ELF!”. Now, Mom and Dad get all the credit for all the gifts. Not that Santa brought them a ton, usually just one thing and some candy, but this year we get ALL THE GLORY!!!
Just because our small people are older doesn’t mean we didn’t go see Santa this year though, and it doesn’t mean we aren’t moving the elf around the house. (He’s just older, tired and can’t fly anymore.) I’m sure there will still be a gift under the tree marked “From: Santa”, because somethings I just can’t let go of. But this year they will both know. They know now all the effort that their dad and I put into making sure they had a magical and special childhood, and they are grateful for it. I can tell when they tell stories about their magic elf to their little cousins and friends. I can tell when they see Santa and still tell him their secret wishes, while looking at me and giving me a knowing grin. This year has already been so different, but in such a wonderful and more magical way.
When your small people are ready, tell them about The Magic Keepers Club. It might make it a little easier on your tender mama heart, like it did mine, and it might help with those growing pains that you both might be feeling.
Your small people are only small for so long, so soak it in and fill their worlds with joy and magic. Then watch them grow to be amazing, smart, talented people, that just want to make the world a more magical and special place like you do. It makes the whole growing up thing a little easier when you see them turning into awesome humans.
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