Well, it happened. Nicklas now knows the truth about Santa. In a previous post, I wondered if this should be the year to tell him. Mike and I decided we'd tell him once Christmas was over but I went back and forth on thinking it was the right thing to do. Fortunately, he figured it out on his own.
I never believed in Santa as a child. I think when I was about 4, I thought to myself that I really wanted to believe in him but the whole idea of a man living at the North Pole and flying around the world in a sleigh didn't seem right. And when Christmas came and the Santa presents were wrapped in the same wrapping paper as the rest of our presents and the writing from Santa was identical to my mom, my thoughts were confirmed. And then there was the Christmas when we were getting ready to leave for my grandparent's on Christmas Eve and my mom "forgot something" and had to go back inside the house. Oh surprise, when get got home from midnight mass, our presents from Santa were there.
Once my kids were old enough to question Santa's true identity, I decided to go to great lengths to keep up the farce. I have a special roll of wrapping paper for the Santa presents that I keep hidden. I hide the Santa presents really well in case the kids go peeking. I use different handwriting for labeling the presents. I don't automatically know which stocking belongs to which person once they're stuffed with Santa treats and I ALWAYS take off the price tags.
(In my mind, I think my act is so good and this is the reason Nicklas has never doubted. I'm that good, right?)
You're probably wondering how he found out then. It's because I slipped. The night before Santa came, after I wrapped the Santa gifts and filled the stockings, I took a picture of the set up. And of course, Nicklas found the picture on my camera.
Nicklas: "Hey, wait a minute. Why is there a picture of our Santa presents on here? I don't remember you taking this picture."
This caught Mike and I off guard. I wanted to tell Nicklas the truth but I wasn't prepared right at that moment. So I choked. I looked to Mike for help.
Mike: "Well, mom woke up before you and took pictures but since you were still sleeping, she went back to bed."
I glanced approvingly at Mike, nodding in confidence at his quick comeback.
Nicklas: "But GUYS.... This picture says it was taken at 11:53PM!"
Busted. We didn't have a response. I looked to Mike help again to which he replied by saying: "You wanted to tell him the truth. Go for it."
So we did. We told him that for years and years, parents have been pretending to be Santa Claus to keep the tradition alive but that now he is old enough to know the truth. We also emphasized that he has the power and responsibility to keep the story going for others who still believe - like his friends and especially his little brother.
And in true Nicklas fashion, he shrugged his shoulders and said "okay."