The Santa Dilemma

We are stuck between a large dollhouse and a heartbreaking place here at Casa de Pete. See my oldest daughter spotted the huge box in our garage that was meant to be her sister's Santa gift. It's totally my fault, but damn who would've guessed for the first time ever she would take the trash all the way out to the cans? Normally she tosses it out the door and the trash fairies move it to the appropriate place later.

Now if that damned dollhouse shows up under our tree Thursday morning, the gig she is up. Why don't we just make the dollhouse her present from us you ask? Well we could, but then what would Santa bring? See Brooke's original gift from mom and dad is already wrapped under the tree and she has shaken those little dolls within an inch of their lives. So if that box is missing, someone is going to be hell-a-pissed Christmas morning. We have contemplated the old switcheroo, but those damned divas had to be packed in a very distinctive box. Thus we'd have to take them out, paint the box and then stuff another smaller gift in the box and re-wrap it.

The whole thing seems like a pain in the ass. And to me the logical answer is to fess up to the deception. Breanna's a good big sister and will totally play along for her sister's sake. But hubby seems to be dead set against the idea of "ruining" Christmas for her. Dude she's almost 10 years old, and has already told us most of the kids in her class don't believe anymore. Seems to me we are totally on borrowed time anyway. And really we don't want her to be that weird kid who gets laughed at because all the other kids know the truth do we?

So what does a blogging mom do? She asks her readers for help. How old is too old to believe in Santa? How did your kids find out? Should we preserve what is most likely our last magical Christmas at all costs? Help a sista out! Hurry, we are running out of time!


I say have Christmas as planned. Don't stress yourself out two days before the big day for a kiddo who probably doesn't believe anymore anyway. Most people, myself included, figured Santa out by age 11. It's still fun, even after the "magic" is gone. Now if she were six or something it would be a different story. ;)

December 23, 2008 at 1:21 PM  

I suppose it can go one of two ways. 1, tell her about Santa and have her keep the secret with her sister, OR 2. Tell her that sometimes (in order to save space on the sleigh) Santa will pre-deliver large presents.

December 23, 2008 at 2:38 PM  

Lie! Lie at all costs!!!

That box out in the garage was NOT the same one that her sister received from Santa. It just looked like it a little bit . . . but you were really just storing it for a lady you work with because she didn't have space in her apartment :-)

I say go with Santa as long as you can. She'll figure it out sooner or later, whether or not you bust your butt trying to keep her from knowing THIS year. If she believes, she'll believe - plain and simple. She's 10 . . . already been told by friends the big guy is not real, yet she's choosing to believe anyway. Go with it :-)

In our house - if you don't "believe" - Santa does not bring you a gift ;-) My Dude is making darn sure that Santa knows he believes even if many of his friends have told him Santa is not real.

December 23, 2008 at 2:47 PM  

This is a toughie...both my girls believed till around 11. Well, at least they pretended to believe. Are you SURE she saw the box? I would go with still presenting it Christmas day and say nothing. If she is on the fence about Santa, then this will push her over. She is a good girl and I don't think she will tell little sister. **fingers crossed**

December 23, 2008 at 3:04 PM  

oh gosh I don't I didn't really need to comment. I guess I am leaning towards telling Breanna. She's a smart cookie and has probably already figured it out.

P.S. Carly would love to play with dollhouse w/Brooke.

December 23, 2008 at 5:19 PM  

Yes, she told me she saw the dollhouse box. Cause she's a good kid and wanted to remind me to use the front door the next morning for school so her sister wouldn't see it. So I KNOW she will not tell her sister, seeing as she has not said a word since about that.
I have a feeling she already has her doubts and is reassuring us she believes, because if you don't then Santa doesn't bring you presents, duh!
Thanks and keep the suggestions coming, we've still got one more night to decide what to do.

December 23, 2008 at 5:35 PM  

Everyone finds out one way or another--and she is about the right age--I say bring her in on the magic of making it special for her little sister.

The only time I ever got in a fight was when I was in 5th grade and someone said there was no Santa. Yes, I was the weird kid believed after every one else had faced up to the truth.

Good luck!

December 23, 2008 at 10:41 PM  

Lately I've been feeling guilty about the Santa lie. Why do we deliberately lie to our kids? Bold faced, all out.

Yes, why do we celebrate the birth of Christ by lying to our children?

Just wondering.....

December 23, 2008 at 11:04 PM  

What a dilemma! If she has already let you know that she knows it is for her sister, then now is a good time for the true version of Santa.
Had she not helped you hide the truth from her sister, then I would have gone with g-man's 2nd suggestion.

BTW, there is a great book by Harold Myra called "Santa, Are You For Real?" It talks about the REAL St. Nicholas and why he did nice things in secret for others (his faith in Jesus), and how we can be like him in that way. It also briefly goes over the names of Santa in different countries. In the end, the child is left with the option of believing in Santa or being a part of that magic. It has helped with our kids at this age.
(SnakeMaster is 9-1/2, and I think he still believes)

Good luck, and Merry Christmas!

December 23, 2008 at 11:28 PM  

My son (also 10) puts up a good front of believing and we play along; it sounds like your girl is prepared to do that, too.

I'd say you don't really have to chat about it unless she brings it up.


December 24, 2008 at 1:05 AM  

You know my story! I think whether you tell her or not she knows the truth now...she is ridiculously smart! Wait for her to ask then be honest. She is a good kid she won't give it up. But I wouldn't tell her until she asks or alludes to wanting to know.

Just think of the leverage you could coult take away ANY toy seeing as she would now know where they really came from!!

December 24, 2008 at 9:02 AM  

Okay, thanks for all the input. Here's what we decided. First hubby didn't want to do a switcheroo, because dude the dollhouse is awesome and NEEDS to be from Santa, all set up and waiting Christmas morning. What? Santa wraps presents at your house? Not ours!

Knowing she's the kind of kid who will figure it out as soon as she sees the dollhouse and feel jipped, we have opted for a plan where ask for her help surprising her sister in the morning. Thus bringing her in on the big secret! We aren't telling her tonight because we want her to actually sleep.
Merry Christmas everyone!

December 24, 2008 at 3:35 PM  

I feel your pain and glad you two reached a decision together. Santa doesn't wrap at our house either.

My oldest was 8 or 9 when she asked me to tell her the truth about Santa and when I reluctantly did so, did she became so upset and hysterical that I felt so bad that I told her he actually was real. It was quite a scene for both of us. How pathetic is that? The other two lasted until at least 10, maybe 11 but last year there was no one left to believe in this house. All of my kids kept the secret for the younger siblings and for their cousins who still believe so I am sure she will gladly do the same.

Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2008 at 4:59 PM  

For the love, now hubby is having second thoughts. We may just lie like a rug and see what happens. Welcome to life a Casa de Pete.

December 24, 2008 at 5:37 PM  

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