I try really hard to always be truthful with my daughter. If she asks me a question, I give her an age-appropriate answer. She is very intelligent, so if I give her a rational explanation for something that happens, she’ll usually accept it and move on. She has an extremely active imagination, so I don’t really need to add any fanciful explanations to daily occurrences. And I’m pretty bad at lying, so it’s best if I just stick to the facts so there’s no story for me to keep straight.
But then in rolls Santa Claus.
I love the magic of Christmas and getting to experience it with kids. . . but WOW, I really have to watch myself. I have to make sure I have my Santa story straight. I have to get secret wrapping paper that is only on gifts from Santa. (My parents used to burn the leftover Santa wrapping paper in the middle of the night so that we didn’t catch on when we were little. Mom always says that’s the downside of smart kids. . . They figure everything out!) I have to make a secret trip to get the candy for the stockings. It’s so much sneaking around! But the Christmas morning faces will be worth it when we can pull off the surprise of “Santa” dropping off the gifts.
I have to hand it to Santa. . . he has helped our shopping trips immensely! The girl is at the age where she asks for EVERYTHING in the store. I used to let her carry a toy around the store, and then we’d leave it with its “friends” at the register, and we’d go home. Well, she caught on to me and wanted to take toys home, not just carry them around.
Thank you, modern technology and the magic of Santa, for helping me out here. One day, she had the “gimmes” pretty bad. Each cool toy was held up and, “Mommy, can we take this home? I love it so much.” I would say no, and ask her to put it back, much to her chagrin. I was getting annoyed, until I thought of giving something a try. . .
“Y’know, I’ve been texting with Santa today, and he wanted some ideas for what to bring you for Christmas this year!”
She looks at me with big eyes, “Really?”
Me, swallowing a big ol’ fib, “Yep! How about I take a picture of this toy and text it to him so that he knows what kinds of toys you like?”
“Okay, Mommy! And let’s take a picture of this one, too!”
We took about twenty pictures that trip. There were even a couple of toys she picked for her brother!
Each shopping trip since then has gone a little more smoothly because as soon as she gets the “gimmes,” one of us will remember our texts with Santa and she’ll ask me to take pictures of the toys she likes. It works out so well because I get a visual list of the toys she wants, I already have pictures on my phone to send to relatives who want gift ideas, and she’s satisfied that Santa will see her wishes. Luckily, at this point, she can’t read, so she doesn’t ask to see the “texts” for proof. Next year, though, one of you all is getting renamed Santa in my phone and I’ll expect you to respond with your merriest Christmas cheer! Haha.
I’m sure it won’t cure the gimmes forever, but it works for us right now!
What are your best Santa tricks?