he looks real enough to me!

After all that effort –

- the mince pie munched, leaving just a few crumbs on the plate in front of the fireplace to show it had been appreciated by The Man in the Red Suit

- the carrot artfully crunched with just a morsel left (“Oh look!” says Hannah, “Rudolf left some of his carrot!”)

- the sherry womanfully guzzled after the stockings had been filled and all the presents stacked in sacks

And what do we hear at tea-time today?

“I’m not sure I believe in Father Christmas, lots of my friends at school don’t.”

This from Ben, who’s been umming and ah-ing about Santa for a few months now, and who’s probably, at nearly nine, reaching the end of this lovely period of fantasy.

But he says all this IN FRONT OF HANNAH, who’s only 6 and well within the bounds of belief.

I don’t give him the “stone look” – like I do when he disses the tooth fairy in front of her, but I try to change the usbject.

He persists.

“Why did Father Christmas give me a remote control helicopter, which is what I wanted, but it was you who gave Hannah a NIntendo DS?
How come you didn’t give me a helicopter as well as Father Christmas? How did you know he was going to give it to me?”

Bugger the logical mind of a nearly-nine year old.

Our replies, full of flannel about Nintendos being too expensive for Santa to dole out willy-nilly fall on deaf ears.

“I have some other questions,” he says.

“What are they?” enquires Hannah.

And finally my heroic efforts to change the subject make their mark – and we move on to pudding.

But what should we do?

I fear he really has reached the point of no return, and while I’ve been trying to ignore him up to now, as I wasn’t convinced he’d really given up on Santa, I think this is it.

And if we’re to save Hannah for another year, we probably need to “have a talk” with Ben.

It’s so sad though….

About Beta Mum

Here you can find the ramblings of a trapeze artist turned journalist who ran away from the circus to join the BBC. Cathy "mine's a Kir Royale" Keir then spent thirteen years working in Jersey, Guernsey and Devon, before downgrading to what you see before you. She has contributed articles to The Guardian, The Stage and Television Today, Junior Magazine and both the BBC and Bad Mothers Club websites. She has two children who think women can’t be prime ministers. She blames herself.
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9 Responses to Belief

  1. Potty Mummy says:

    Perhaps if you point out to him that once Santa is gone, so is his sack of presents, he might re-find his faith… or at the very least, keep quiet about the fact that he’s lost it in front of his sister!

  2. I’m with Potty Mummy on this one.

    My younger sister blew it for me with Santa. I’m not sure which was worse – losing the fantasy, or the ignominy of being told by her.

  3. Tracey says:

    Exactly as PM says… No way are my eldest two going to tell their 9 year old sister! They know what side their bread is buttered on. (But probably because of friends in ‘older’ families who now don’t get any Santa presents!)
    But then my 9 year old is working on a different sort of logic! ( ) She refuses to believe what the naysayers say! (Even when we forgot to put out food and carrots for Santa and the reindeer this time!!! On Christmas day evening she pointed it out, and I said “Oh dear, so we did…” I am wondering how the logic will go this year…

  4. Erica says:

    I remember having ‘the talk’, I must have been about seven or eight. After the initial upset I enjoyed being on the other team where my ‘new job’ was to ensure that my younger brother and cousins enjoyed the fantasy for as long as possible – I felt awfully grown up and the honesty eased my transition into a non believer.

  5. Beth says:

    Hi there – I used to post on your blog as Scruffy Mum but now have another blog as well. I’ve taken a break from blogging but am now back, resolved to get into it again!

    I don’t know what I would do – my sprog is just 2.5 and is only grasping the Father Christmas/Santa concept. His dad is against keeping up the pretence but I think it’s lovely to have something magical to believe in.

  6. Rilly Super says:

    of course you know what ‘little talk’ follows the ‘there isn’t really a santa claus’ chat kathy. I’m dreading telling my eldest about the facts of life, but I really feel I should broach the subject, at least before she goes to university I don’t want to leave it too late, but I’ve still got untill october thank goodness, sigh

  7. Beta Mum says:

    PM – we’ve tried the “if you don;t believe you won’t get the pressies” tack, but he’s pretty blase about getting them anyway.

    MatL – I’m sure it would kill him to be told by Hannah!

    Tracey – I doubt we’ll survive Santa for another year with Ben, but it’s be nice if he’s show some grit and determination in the face of sceptical friends with oplder siblings.

    Erica – I hope Ben will react like you did if we do have to “fess up” to the deceit. He and Hannah are the youngest of all their many cousins, but he could atleast join in for his little sister for another year or so.

    Beth – Hi Scruffy Mummy. Keep your partner in check. Santa is great when they’re little.

    Rilly – you’d better get the old Marie Stopes booklet out me old mucker. Otherwise you’ll find you’re a granny before you know it!

  8. Mopsa says:

    I’m confused! Do parents REALLY tell their children fairy/Santa/princess stories as if they were real and not just lovely tales? I thought that was a myth….

  9. asilon says:

    Father Christmas is fun when they’re little, but I find reports of friends’ and acquaintances’ 9 and 10 year olds believing kind of weird, and was getting twitchy this year at my 7 year old’s persistently firm belief. Surely by 8 it’s obviously a story?

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