Thursday, November 29, 2012



Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, and I've looked forward to sharing it with Nico more and more every year. He's still not really sure what the whole thing is about and now that it's getting so close and we're talking about it more, I can tell he's curious if a bit mystified. I suspect he thinks Christmas is a place, because the times I've said we'll do something at Christmas, he accepts rather calmly, then asks, "We go to Christmas now?"

I wondered if this would be the year he started to get the whole Santa thing, but since he hasn't watched many Christmas movies or been around other kids, it doesn't seem to be on his radar yet. I introduced the concept in a sort of half-committed way at Rural King the other day when he was eyeballing all the (admittedly awesome) toy trucks and construction equipment and asked for a few. When I told him no, Christmas was coming up, he changed tactics. "I need them," he informed me, very seriously. I told him he'd have to talk to Santa about that. "What's Santa?" he asked, and that's where I sort of ended up in the weeds. We're big on explaining things (and trust me, Nico is VERY BIG on asking), and usually we do our best to be as accurate and truthful as we can within the limits of his understanding. So how do you explain Santa in a kid-level way without epically lying? It's a conundrum. I sort of trailed off and changed the subject and left it at that. I want Nico to have the magic of Christmas and all that entails, but I don't want to straight-up lie to his face, you know? I don't want to push it too hard, but I am also keenly aware that we only have so many years when he'll believe in Santa anyway. I'll have to ponder it.

In the meantime, Nico is all about Christmas decorations this year and it's awesome. He spent ten minutes watching a tiny Christmas village carousel at Lowe's a week or two ago, then asked to go back and watch it again. Every time we go to a store with a seasonal section, we go over and look at all the light displays. When we drive home from Grandma and Grandpa's house, he comments on all the lighted houses -- even the ones with a few strands of plain white lights tossed on the bushes usually merit a "Wow!" There's a house a few blocks away from my parents that always has a huge light display, so we drive by there every day now. MB and I are planning to take him on a carriage ride through the big light display at the park next week, too.

I put up our Christmas tree on Saturday and (finally) got the decorations on it Tuesday evening. Nico wasn't too interested in helping decorate, but he seems to like the tree. Today he noticed a Pooh ornament ("There's Winnie the Pooh! There's a Winnie the Pooh on the Christmas tree!") and informed me that we needed a star for the top. I left ours off since it's old and glass and dearly beloved, but luckily my parents had a very pretty silver metal one they didn't need for their tree, so I borrowed that and added it tonight. Nico seemed to approve. I don't know how the Santa thing will shake out, but I suspect the rest of the holiday season is going to be awesome.

watching the village carousel


  1. We got stuck as soon as we tried to explain Santa to our firstborn. His eyes were not shining with the magic of Christmas, they were squinting with the need for Full Explanations.

    In retrospect, I think I MIGHT have been able to pull it off if I'd led with "There's a story about Christmas..." and had emphasized that some people thought the story was TRUE! (use magical voice). Then I could have answered all the questions with "Well, people say that what happens is..."---which cuts way down on the lying.

  2. We're big on truth and explanations too, but on this one I decided that Santa is just one of those lies that is AWESOME and therefore okay for us. I never once felt betrayed by my parents or ashamed that I'd been tricked--nothing negative at all--so that's what I'm banking on for my boys. It's such a short time they believe anyway, and I loved believing in Santa SO MUCH that I'd rather he be pissed at me about it later than miss out on that little big of temporary seasonal magic.

    Besides, I lie to my kid all the time about stuff. Elizabeth wrote a great post about this last year:

  3. Christmas is SO MUCH BETTER when there are kids involved.