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and they call him sandy claws

maura @ 4:07 pm

This holiday season was fun and hectic, and it’s going to take me a while to process it all. I’m going to try and write it out in a couple of posts as a way to get myself back on that writing train again, which I’d fallen off of so successfully so many times last semester. New year, new resolutions, blah blah blah — I’m not really going to make them because they are always the same, and always things I try to do all the time anyway: write more, read more (esp. non-work-related stuff), exercise more, stress less.

So, the holidays! This year the Santa situation came home to roost. You may remember my ambivalence about Santa from previous posts around this time of year. My mom didn’t want to lie to us so we never believed in Santa (though I never burst anyone else’s bubble when I was a kid!). We always put Santa on gift tags + stuff, though, just for fun. Before Gus was born Jonathan and I used to visit some of his relatives at xmas and it was fun to do the Santa thing for their little kids, so it wasn’t too hard to convince me to do Santa w/Gus. But I’ve always been kind of jealous of Santa — he does none of the work and gets all of the credit, lucky fatso! — so in our house the *best* gifts are always given by actual real people, and Santa has been known to bring socks + underwear.

There were some cracks in Gus’s Santa belief showing last year, but they were easy to ignore. He wrote a note on xmas eve that read:

Dear Santa,
please fill in a box that tells me if you are real.
_ Yes _ No
From Gus
P.S. Merry X-mas

Jonathan got out his fancy red calligraphy pen, checked “yes,” and wrote “Love S. Claus” on the note, and that was the end of that.

This year things were different. About 3 weeks before xmas we were coming in from somewhere and as I was unlocking the door to the apartment Gus just asked me out of the blue: “Mom, is Santa real, or is he just parents buying presents for kids?” Now, this is where I need someone to be with me at all times as an adviser, because when I told this story to a friend later she said “why didn’t you just say: ‘what do you think?'” But I don’t and I didn’t, instead going for the whole truth.

And of course Gus got angry, threw “you lied to me!” at me and everything. I felt really bad, tried to explain that we can still write Santa on gift tags because it’s fun, right? Nope, no dice.

Luckily after a week or so of moping he mellowed out, and we ended up having a perfectly nice Santa-free xmas. And in the end I was relieved because I hadn’t been sure how Santa would fit in with our plans to be on vacation on xmas day — when we went to London two years ago Gus was very concerned with whether Santa would deliver the presents in time (we traveled on 12/25). As you can probably guess, I’m really pleased to be done with Santa, and glad too that we’ve safely navigated our first xmas in which Gus doesn’t believe but his younger cousins (still) do.

And the obligatory funny ending? A week or so after the revelation, Gus turned to me out of nowhere and exclaimed: “you and Daddy eat the cookies!” And the carrot sticks, too.

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2 comments on “and they call him sandy claws”

Anne (7 January 2011 at 8:25 pm)

Well, it’s not “JUST” parents buying presents for kids. It’s kind of more than that.

We always had to leave scotch out for Santa. Imagine my surprise.

One neat thing a friend of mine had growing up in a large family was the Elf Club. The older ones obviously found out sooner, so when they did they were inducted into the Elf Club — sworn to secrecy and got to help! Could still work with Gus since he has younger cousins and friends, right?

maura (8 January 2011 at 1:08 pm)

Ooh, Elf Club, that’s a great idea! Maybe we’ll try that next year. (And the scotch, too — how civilized!)

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