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I am an Air Force wife and mother of three precious gifts from God. I enjoy learning at home with my children, and the many adventures this life sends our way. So stop by often to visit, and check out what the Five Nomads are up to.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Talk.

Reader Discretion. If you have a young reader looking over your shoulder, you may want to preview this post prior to sharing.

Well, it happened. Last night we sat down with The General and Princess and had "The Talk". No, not about the birds and the bees. I want to say that would be easier. But come to think of it, that was pretty anxiety provoking as well. Last night Mr. Nomad & I came clean about Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and all the other magical fun of childhood.

We began with a discussion about Advent, and then asked if they thought it was suspicious there was no mention of Jolly Old St. Nick. Yes and no they answered. They know all about saints and the whole story of Saint Nicholas. As we talked it became clear that Princess was on the verge of figuring this whole Santa thing out. Apparently she had some serious plans to investigate this year. While on the other hand, The General still really believed. At least he REALLY wanted to believe. The past couple of years I could tell questions were popping up in his little mind. He just wanted it to be true so badly, he would think of a cover.

Overall the discussion went well. We were redeemed for a few years when the whole Santa gift didn't go down so well. Like the year The General asked for the most expensive gift from Santa. Yea, he was trying to save us money. Then there was the year that he asked for something that wasn't even invented yet. It existed only in his very creative mind. He knew we couldn't get that for him at the stores, so he was counting on Santa's elves to come through. You can see why some Christmas mornings haven't gone so smoothly.

Yes, there were a few tears. Not so much the children. More me. I cannot believe how fast their childhoods are racing by us. I felt like we were taking a piece of that fleeting childhood innocence. A chapter of their lives is closed, and I am a little sad about that. Yet, I realize the next chapter is exciting too. I am so proud of the young people they are becoming.

So why did we spill the beans? Why tell them at all? Why not just wait and see what happens. Because of this: What really moved Mr. Nomad and me was their complete faith in our teaching. If we said it to be true, than surely it must be true. Our children still believed in Santa, although other kid has said it wasn't possible, because they trusted Mr. Nomad and me.

WOW! I am awed and humbled by that fact. I feel like the years of honesty in our parenting have paid off. All those times it would have been just easier to "fib" our way through something, but instead we took the long road and were honest. Even when that meant longer explanations and more time and patience from us. It was worth it.

This incredible trust also shows me the tremendous responsibility we have to learn and teach them about our faith. While I want them to be successful here on earth, my lessons are really intended for THE BIG TEST. I will know we were successful in parenting when Jesus meets each of my children face to face,welcoming them in to heaven.

Now let's just hope The General and Princess are good at keeping surprises like this to themselves. Make believe is fun. We definitely do not replace Jesus with these childhood magical moments. I only hope Bubby gets every chance at the magic as The General and Princess experienced.

(Big Sigh) Being a Mom is so much more than I ever dreamed.


  1. I started out with my son being honest and saying that Santa and the Easter Bunny were games we played because we didn't even have a chimney, but it was fun to pretend. But, then he got a little older (maybe kindergarten) and informed me that there was a Santa and I had better stop pretending there wasn't. I told him he could believe if he wanted to and we played along for several years. Then he was almost a teenager and really a wise guy and he informed me that there was no Santa, and I said, good now I can stop getting you all those presents and he saw the writing on the wall and he told me that there was a Santa afterall. I told him, well, if you change your mind, we can stop doing the gift thing and so far he is 29 and we haven't stopped the gift thing, but I seriously don't think he believes in Santa anymore.
    But thanks for reminding me of the way it should be done.

    Love the Advent colors.

  2. We spilled the beans last spring. This was because I was caught with my hand in the cookie jar so to speak. I thought my son was asleep, but he wasn't and so he caught me trying to leave him money (aka tooth fairy). Our kids were 6 and 7 when we spilled, they have since have had birthdays so they are 7 and 8 right now. They are still going to get present from "santa" this year and they still got money from the "tooth fairy", we never did anything for the Easter Bunny.... They also know and not to spill it for anyone else, especially their younger cousins, because it's not their place. My kids are so mindful that they stopped me from talking about presents while sitting at a fast food restaurant in fear that the younger kids around would over hear....

  3. So many mixed feelings. Happy that you were able to have the talk with your children. Glad that they are growing and the trust is there. Sad that this chapter is over for you for them and hoping that all of you can keep the magic a little (or a lot) longer for Bubby. Hoping for ourselves that we can hold on to the magic just a little longer too.

  4. Why, mom, why? You didn't have to tell us. You could have waited another year. True, I was going to test it. Why, oh why, why, why.......


    P.S. Why?

  5. I guess the talk didn't go over as smoothly as I thought.

  6. sigh . . . I had the talk with my oldest two last December. Why? They were getting pretty lofty with their Christmas lists and they needed a reality check! Also, it was time. They were almost 8 and 10 at the time. I think they suspected. They HAD to have. They know that St. Nick is Santa and they know that St. Nick has been dead for like 1700 years. Now my kids aren't the brightest but they can put that together!
    but . . .
    they magic is STILL THERE! See, from my perspective Santa really is REAL! Okay, no there is no big fat jolly fellow living at the North Pole, and no reindeer do not fly.
    however . . .
    There have been several years in our family were we couldn't buy the presents for under the tree. And on those years, strangers provided them by one means or another. These strangers bought gifts for children they would never meet, out of pure love. Those strangrs are Santa. And there also have been a couple years in my life when WE were the strangers buying gifts for little children whose parents were not able to. In those years WE were Santa.
    And on years like this one (thank you, Jesus!)when we can buy the gifts ourselves, WE are Santa.
    Santa isn't a person but the "spirit" of St. Nicolaus living on! magical and wonderful!
    Knowing the truth of this magical and wonderful thing is a GIFT that comes with growing up!

    I can say all of this with certainty because last year when we finished up our "talk" Charlie immediately started thinking up who he was going to be Santa for that year.
    Like the cute little sign I saw at Meijer this afternoon . . .
    "We believe in Santa in this house!"

    okay, off of my soapbox now . . .

  7. Those are my sentiments exactly. I want my children to believe in the magical portion, without getting sucked into the North Pole craziness. I worried with them getting older that if we didn't clarify, would they one day wonder if Jesus was just made up too? The other thing is with homeschooling, my kiddos don't have other kids telling them "the truth". So it may have been a little embarassing for my oldest who is now 12 1/2 to insist that there is Santa when he's at his youth group.

    As for Princess, I'm sure she will be just fine when she makes it through Christmas, and has a wonderful celebration. I am hoping it is even more special for them to help make the magic for Bubby.

    Thanks hider101 for those kind, helpful words.

  8. It's funny, but - so far - we haven't had an official "talk" with any of our kids. We just slowly spill the beans over time, kind of encouraging them to figure it out on their own. When they finally ask outright if Santa is real, which is usually when they're around 7, we just give them a silly smile and say, "He is as long as you believe he is," which is a little like what Mary did with her Moose, I guess. And it fits right in with what Marti (a.k.a. hider101) said about the myth of Santa Claus embodying the beauty and wonder of the Truth of Christmas. Makes me think of the famous newspaper editorial,Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus. You ought to read it to The General and Princess - it would be perfect for them right now. Hope you don't mind me taking up tons of comment space, cuz here it is:

    Eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York's Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history's most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps.

    "DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
    "Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
    "Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'
    "Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?


    VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

    Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

    Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

    You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

    No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

    The rest of what I want to say won't fit here. I'll put it in a new comment.

  9. I just want to say that I wholeheartedly applaud you for making sure your children know they can trust you to always tell them the truth. You're a good mama, Tami. The kids will be over their shock soon, and then they can enjoy the Santa game from the other side - helping you and Mr. Nomad play it up good with sweet little Bubby.

  10. Nick found out when he was 8. I let it slip when talking to a friend about buying the play station. He said "I thought the play station came from Santa". Oops! So, I explained to him the "spirit" of Santa (ST Nick) that lives on through parents who want their children to know about giving and receiving. After that it was a joke in house. If you didn't believe in Santa, you wouldn't get a gift from Santa. So he "believed" for years. This year Desi might get it about Santa. She's been oblivious so far.

  11. Thank you all for your words of wisdom and encouragement. I so appreciate your support and friendship.

  12. OK call us cruel but from the get go we told them there was no Santa. We celebrate St. Nick Day and have lots of Santa decor. Over the years I've not regretted it.

  13. Jody Blue - I don't think that's cruel. It's how I wanted to do it from the start but husband wouldn't have it!!

  14. How interesting Dawn, that is exactly how it was at our house too. I wanted to simply celebrate St. Nicholaus Day on December 6th. Mr. Nomad reminded me we are Americans and that is how it is done in America. I know my children do enjoy that fun part of Christmas, but to be honest--I hate it. Yes, those are strong words, but in my defense sometimes the pressure is just a bit much for me.

  15. Use them strong words! I understand.