I knew this day was coming. I just didn't know it would be so soon. On the way home from a friend's house tonight, "M" & "A" told us their friends said they didn't believe in Santa Claus. "M" said, "Mom, I want you to tell me the honest truth. Is there a Santa Claus?!" After trying to change the subject or turn her question into a question but with no avail, I knew at that point our "game" was over.
Yes, we're guilty parents of pretending there's a Santa Claus - but we've always stressed the true meaning of Christmas - the birth of Jesus Christ. Steve & I both have fond memories of believing in Santa when we were little & have enjoyed pretending like there is a Santa with our girls. I suppose I should be grateful we got to play it so long. I'm actually surprised "M" hasn't figured it out sooner since she's 8 now & a very logical thinker. On the other hand, I've always been a little concerned as to how they would react when they found out there wasn't a Santa. Would they think we lied to them? Would they be able to trust us about other things in life? Would it affect how they feel about spiritual things? Would they be really upset & cry their eyes out?! They actually took the news really well & even laughed at themselves for believing in Santa.
Then they started asking about other things we've pretended like Mrs. Claus, the elves, Rudolph, the Easter Bunny & Twinkle the Tooth Fairy. In a way it's a little sad - all that is gone in one night. It's like they aren't my little girls anymore - they know too much! After all kinds of questions and a very long discussion, they finally asked, "So does this mean Santa, the Easter Bunny & Twinkle won't bring us gifts anymore?" I said, "No - we've just always pretended like it was a game so we can keep pretending as long as you want to." They were pleased with that answer.
I also had to stress that even though we pretended with those characters, there is one thing we would not pretend about - and that is the Bible. Everything in the Bible is true. Everything really happened. God really did create the world and everything in it. He really did send Jesus to earth to be born as a human baby. He lived and died and rose again. He's in heaven and we'll be with Him, too, someday because we've asked Jesus into our hearts. He's the one true thing you can believe in. "M's" bedtime prayer tonight ended with, "Thank you God for being the one true thing we can believe in." I think they grew up tonight more than they know.