How I killed Santa
Yesterday evening we were asked the question all parents dread. 'Is Santa real?' Youngest son has been struggling for a while with this issue, ever since one of his classmates suggested that Father Christmas is fictional.
Fiona had three hours of inquisition last week, and held out on delivering the killer blow, fending off the questions with, 'what do you think?'. Last night I couldn't hold back any longer. I killed Santa. After persistent questioning, I admitted that Santa is a big old fake with a stick-on beard and a cheap felt suit. I tried to do it more kindly than this, but it was horrible. Will he ever trust us again? I'd rather not have broken the news to him, but he's 9 years old and he already realized something was up.
This leads to the question: is the whole Father Christmas thing justifiable, or is it lying to our kids? Is it harmless fantasy, that children gradually learn to dissociate from reality when they reach a certain level of understanding, or is the crushing blow that some kids feel when they find out it's all made up actually damaging, both to them and also our relationship with them?
The evening was made worse by the fact that after this, I opened four wines and they were all rubbish. And then RTL woke me at 04:40 this morning.