He hasn’t told me outright but I am pretty sure my 8 year old son knows the deal with Santa, you know, that he’s not real. He’s a bright kid who is more than capable of putting two and two together but if he hasn’t figured it out on his own I know the fourth and fifth graders he sits with on the bus are more than willing to tell him. I thought last year was going to be the year so I am really on borrowed time here as far as the Santa game is concerned. It’s time. After all he started seeing the orthodontist a few months ago so he is more tween than little kid now.
My problem though is his little sister who is over four years younger. At 4, she is still in her prime Santa years so if she finds out the truth now her little heart will be broken.
So I have come up with a list of enticements I can dangle in front of the boy if I sense he’s about to spill the Santa beans.
1. Pretty please. I can simply ask him to pretty please not say anything about Santa. The problem is the consideration here. What does he get in return? Other than the satisfaction of helping mom out not much. I need to think of something else.
2. Extra Christmas presents. Since the threat of putting him on Santa’s naughty list is now a useless one, as is conversely the prospect of keeping him on the nice list, I can bypass the lists altogether and simply tell him he will get more presents if he keeps the Santa secret. Effective yes, but I don’t like the idea of giving one kid more presents than the other. Not only is Santa big with the preschooler so is shrieking, “That’s not fair!”
3. Hot chocolate every night. This could work. It’s simple and inexpensive on my part, he loves hot chocolate and this December has been brutally cold. I mean, it got down to 5 below last night here, and that was before factoring in the wind chill.
4. Candy for breakfast. Speaking of the orthodontist we’re a bit limited here on candy choices these days but we’re good as long as we stay away from the Laffy Taffy or Charleston Chew types. However, I do have a few bags of holiday M&Ms stashed away in the cabinet for “baking”. Giving them to him stops me from picking away at them every night. Win-win!
5. “I Survived” books. Apparently this book series which essentially features kids as bystanders during various disasters (Joplin tornado, Hindenburg) is a hot commodity these days among the second and third graders at my son’s school. He told me about a prospective trade on the bus that fell through when the second grader orchestrating the trade decided at the last minute he didn’t want to part with his books. This is where I come in.
6. Extra screen time. Right now he is limited to 30 minutes a day because without that constraint he would play Minecraft day and night. But I would be willing to give an extra 15 minutes or so in return for Santa silence.
7. Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner. As an East Coast transplant who went to school in western New York I am very picky about my wings and this just isn’t the place, plus the rest of the food is fairly gross. If you get a salad, always ask for dressing on the side, always. But the 8 year old thinks they have the best wings ever and being surrounded by TVs certainly helps. So his love for B Dubs and my desire to keep the Santa secret offset my risk for hypertension from wings, beer, sports.
8. Cubs tickets. Ticket prices were already ridiculous but now that they went ahead and won the World Series prices next season are just going to be flat out obscene. I may have to put a second mortgage on the house to take him out to the Friendly Confines but it will be worth it to keep the Christmas magic alive for his little sister.
What tactics have you used to keep the Santa secret for little children?
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