With our daughter we did all of the Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny stuff. No Elf on a Shelf, as that was a little after our time (and thank goodness; I hate that thing). I never had any problem with these concepts. I got presents from Santa Claus until I moved out of my parent’s house. It was just something that continued to be a part of our traditions long after I stopped believing. Just an aside – In my house growing up, we put out Diet Coke for Santa. Our Santa didn’t like milk.
I know my daughter doesn’t believe in Santa, but she still gets presents from him too. I don’t remember exactly when she stopped believing, but I do remember it was pretty early (maybe Kindergarten?). I remember telling her not to tell the other kids at school because I didn’t want angry parents calling me up. She did tell a couple of her cousins, but they didn’t believe her. “You’re crazy,” was what they replied, I think.
Interestingly, she didn’t exactly connect the concept of Santa with the Tooth Fairy or Easter Bunny. When she was bit older, she was messing around in my jewelry box one day and found a couple of her baby teeth. I’m not sure exactly what I’m supposed to do with the baby teeth, but I know I’m not supposed to toss them so they are in a small tooth shaped plastic holder. She put it all together pretty fast and gingerly mentioned, “I saw my teeth in your stuff.” The jig was up!
Later that evening, she got out of bed and came into our room to talk with me. It had suddenly dawned on her that if I was the Tooth Fairy, I was probably the Easter Bunny too. She gave me a hug and thanked me for her last Easter basket present. It had been one of her favorites. Awww. I melted just a bit.
With the little man, the imaginary gift-giving beings aren’t really a concept he can understand. He gets his stocking, gifts from Santa, and Easter basket (no lost baby teeth yet), but to him they are just presents. Now, he definitely understands getting gifts and other things that belong to him, but it really doesn’t matter where they come from. He doesn’t know we are looking forward to Christmas. When we go to bed that evening, it is just like any other day. The next day probably seems a bit weird, but he just goes with the flow.
I kind of miss it. We don’t usually take the little man to get his photo taken with Santa, because he is a handful for a stranger and would never tolerate waiting in line. No one gets excited when you see Santa at the end of the parades anymore. I’d like to make the holidays more magical for the little man. It is absolutely without a doubt my favorite time of year. I like to soak up every minute of Christmas as soon as Halloween is over (I’ve already shared my disdain for Thanksgiving with you). I have plenty of time to plan, so I’m going to work on that for Christmas 2015. Any suggestions?