I’m Navigating Christmas With A First-Time Non-Believer


A couple of weeks in the past, my son and I had been sitting alone on the kitchen counter — a uncommon second, as he has three youthful siblings who’re often wrestling for my consideration. He’s 9, within the fourth grade, and was thumbing by an Amazon present catalog that has simply been delivered. His fingers flipped by the pages shortly, bypassing all the toys till he got here to the gaming part. I watched as his eyes scanned the programs, controllers, and equipment. Proper earlier than flipping the web page, his head rose and his eyes locked with mine. “Mother, is Santa actual?” he requested.

It was the primary time I didn’t leap instantly into magical storyteller mode, pleading the case for the magical man and his elves. He’s older now, and the reality feels vital to him. So as an alternative I paused, asking, “Do you actually need to know?” And he did. So right here we’re, nine years into my motherhood journey and coming into the vacation season with a non-believer — and I’ve a number of emotions about it.

At first I used to be heartbroken. I felt unhappy for him, as the vacation magic is now seemingly gone. He’ll not marvel if Santa ate the cookies as he runs down the steps. He received’t spend time crafting the right record and adorning it for all the elves. And I felt unhappy for myself. The considered one in every of my youngsters being sufficiently old to debunk the ruse despatched an electrical shock up my backbone — it was an in-my-face reminder that point strikes far too quick. My naive, harmless little Santa-believing man is now an inquisitive little dude with consciousness, questions, and opinions all his personal. So I wallowed a bit, till every week later when one thing occurred.

The door slammed as my oldest rushed by after strolling dwelling from faculty. As he threw his backpack down on the bench he paused, noticing the brand new ornamental vacation toy that arrived within the mail earlier that day, perched on the shelf. He made his means over to it, a chimney scene full three hanging stockings and a glitter border. I watched as he pressed the button on the underside proper nook, sending it instantly into track. Music performed as Santa’s head popped out of the highest of the chimney, and continued as he lowered, his black boots showing within the fire beneath. He smiled watching, after which referred to as to his two 12 months previous little sister.

For the following twenty minutes he sat along with her on his lap, letting her press the button time and again. “Do you’re keen on Santa?” he requested, wanting over at me and capturing me a fast smirk. “Santa is the perfect! He’s so good and he comes on Christmas and brings toys!” She clapped as she repeated his identify time and again — “Santa! Yay! Santa!”

The tears welled in my eyes as I stood watching them, and in that second I knew I had been very flawed. The magic was not gone for him. Now he will get to be a part of the magic! He can really feel vital and useful as he helps me transfer the elf and curate present lists. We are able to wink and nod all through the season, forming a connection and dealing collectively to maintain the key secure. And whereas believing in Santa is insanely magical, being Santa is the most magical. And now he will get to do that for his siblings, particularly his youngest sister whom he adores a lot.

So this season will look a bit of totally different at my home, however I feel that’s okay. I’ll spend time soaking within the innocence of the youthful ones, watching their pleasure and attempting to sear it into my reminiscence for later. I’ll watch with satisfaction and happiness as my non-believer works to create some magic for his siblings whereas crossing my fingers that he is usually a good secret-keeper. And I’ll notice (for the millionth time in motherhood) that simply because one season of life is likely to be over, doesn’t imply there isn’t one thing wonderful on the opposite facet.

Samm is an ex-lawyer and mother of 4 who swears loads. Discover her on Instagram @sammbdavidson.

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