Anyone who knows me at all, knows how often I marvel over the complete oppositeness of my boys. My older one is more reticent, skeptical, and very logically inclined. My youngest is pure imagination, intensely high energy, and gregarious. My oldest guy reminds me (painfully, at times) of myself a lot of the time, and my youngest has my husband’s personality through and through.
We decided prior to having kids that we wouldn’t initiate the Santa myth in our home unless our children expressed an interest in it on their own. We would present it as a lovely holiday story and tradition and let them make up their own minds. Last year, my then-four year old oldest son looked at me one snowy day and, with a somewhat skeptical expression on his rather serious face, informed me that Santa was going to bring him a firetruck for Christmas and that this Santa fellow was also going to bring something for his little brother. I was amused, as it was plain that he was testing the theory of “if you believe he will come”, and Santa came through with a pretty awesome Playmobile firetruck.
He still wasn’t really convinced, but went along with it for his little brother.
This year, early on, he informed me that he doesn’t believe in Santa at all this year. He said that some of his friends do, but that some of his friends don’t have Santa at their house at all. One benefit of them attending a very diverse school is that there are many different traditions discussed in the classroom, so not believing in Santa (or conversely, believing in Santa) is totally normal for him.
His little brother–just four–however, is a completely different story. The idea of a big fat man in a red costume squishing into our chimney with a huge bag of toys is something my youngest finds completely normal. He doesn’t have to “believe”, persae, as this is part of his normal. He has been so matter of fact about Santa the past few weeks that he’s starting to bring his older brother around–after all, it’s hard to disbelieve our youngest when he’s telling a story. He can be incredibly convincing.
Yesterday I overheard the following:
#2: “Santa is doming an he’s dohing to bring me yots of toys, an he’s dohing to haf his reindeer ana sleigh an I’m dohing to dive dem cookies.”
#1: “I don’t believe in Santa a lot,” he pauses “I just believe in him a little bit.”
#2: “Santa’s dohing to bring you yots of toys too.”
#1: a note of doubt in his voice “Yeah.”
He desperately wants to believe that his brother is right, but his overwhelming logic is at war with his imagination. 🙂