Megan is only seven so I didn’t expect to be having ‘the talk’ for a few years yet. I hadn’t really thought about how I would approach the subject or answer her questions and I am yet to discuss with my husband how we present a united front when things get tricky. So I was far from prepared when she innocently asked the other day “Mummy is Santa real?” My heart stopped, my mouth went dry and I reacted with a knee jerk “Of course he is! Who else could it be?”
My mind was racing as I tried to work out how and why she’d discovered the unmagical truth so early. It turns out she’d overheard some older kids at school (she has my journalistic ability to be tuned into one conversation whilst deeply engrossed in another) saying that the man in red was really your mum and dad.
Argghhhh! I am an old romantic when it comes to Christmas, I love all the pomp and ceremony and traditions (new and old) and I am just not ready to let the Santa myth go yet.
The problem is Megan is very mature and has inherited more than a little of my cynicism so convincing her that Santa is real is going to take some doing. She’s also terrible as keeping secrets so once the cat’s out of the bag, Henry (4) will have his Christmas miracles shattered too.
So I laid it on thick about the magic, the elves and the Santa cam and how it would be impossible for mummy and daddy to get all the presents bought and wrapped without her knowing. At first I thought she’d bought it.
But then came the words that are enough to strike fear into any Christmas elf’s heart “I’m going to Google it!”
WTF!!!! When did kids get so savvy that when they doubt their parents they head to the PC? I suppose I’m lucky that she sticks to the rules and always tells me when she’s going online and what she’s going to do so I was able to forbid her inquisitive perusal of the popular search engine at least for one night.
Once she was on bed I thought I’d check out Google for myself. I was more than confident that those clever tech people who seem to work in a children’s playground would have pre-empted this question and at this time of year and would have done something clever to ensure the question was answered positively with a festive pop up or graphic. But sadly it seems the Christmas spirit hasn’t reached Google towers and the results make a very depressing read for a 42 year old mum, never mind a seven year old who would still like to believe.
So I am spending the next two weeks in a bizarre juggling act. Encouraging Henry to dream the dream about Santa whilst distracting Megan from thinking too much about it all (and keeping her off Google) I know they have to grow up but I had hoped the magic would last a bit longer and I’m disappointed that technology might just be helping to put a nail in Santa’s coffin.
How have you ensured the Santa myth continues just a little bit longer? I’d love to hear your stories.