Monday, December 19, 2005

The Santa clause.

We don't want to be those parents, but Mike and I have been going back and forth, debating whether or not to play the Santa card with Hazel this year. It's not that we have any reservations about pulling one over on her; that is so not the case. And we don't want her to be the kid on the playground that shatters someone else's Christmas dreams... but, it just seems like kind of an elaborate charade. A bit high maintenance. And we're kind of lazy.

Yes, she knows who The Big Guy is. She knows all about Rudolph, the flying sleigh, the North Pole, yadda, yadda, yadda, thanks to countless showings of the Burl Ives' stop-motion animation Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. We recieved a DVD version for Hazel's first Christmas, and played it for her last year, and she became obsessed. She loved it, especially Hermey/Herbie (we say Herbie) the elf who wanted to be a dentist. I guess she empathized with his plight. She adopted Herbie into her menagerie of characters that she likes to pretend to be, and made us call her Herb all last Christmas. And well into the summer. All this to say: she's pretty well schooled on all things Christmas, and knows that Santa, like Rudolph, Herbie and Yukon Cornelius, is a character. Not a real person. And herein lies the root of our dilemma: do we tell her that Santa is real, and will come and bring her presents on Christmas Eve? What of the fact that we have no chimney? Will she expect Herbie, too? Will the (very thin) line between toddler fantasy and reality become inexplicably blurred?

On a whim one evening, while putting Hazel to bed, I mentioned that on Christmas Eve, if she's really good, Santa will come to our house while we're sleeping, and leave a really special present for her, and one for Violet. She must have spent a good deal of time mulling this morsel of holiday information over, because by the next morning, she was full of questions. And the anxiety had set in.

"How does Santa get in our house?" she wanted to know. "Hosie will bark at him!"

And later:

"Mama, I don't want Santa in our house!" she wailed. "We sleep here, and he comes, and I'm scared!"

I tried explaining that he won't wake her up, Sana will just tiptoe in, leave her present, and go on to our neighbor's house.

"But I don't want Santa," she pouted. "I don't like that beard. He's crazy!"

While putting her to bed one night last week, Mike reported some confusion on Hazel's part about whether or not she could get up in the morning. "I have to stay in bed until Christmas Eve?" she asked.

Leave it to Hazel to be the only kid in the world who is afraid of Santa Claus. I have never in my life heard of anything so ridiculous. Instead of running the risk of Hazel dashing some kid's Christmas hopes on the playground in 3rd grade, she'll be the kid running, shrieking away from the mall Santa, fear and panic splashed across her face. She'll spend her life looking for a man (or woman) who measures up to Herbie the elf.

Gosh, I can't wait to tell her about the Easter Bunny!


Blogger Debbi said...

LOL!!! POOR HAZEL, so much to sort out. This is the trouble with very bright children. They tend to overthink things. If you are going to fudge a little, you might as well go whole hog. She will catch on by 2nd grade so it's not a biggie. A) Santa is magic and can poof into the living room and doggies never bark at Santa cause he always has a pack of doggie snacks to give the nice doggies and kitty cats. B) Santa is a wonderful kind granpa kind of guy who loves giving good little children special presents on Christmas morning. And he'll only bring her something if she has been very good. C) Santa loves cookies and milk would she like to leave him some on Christmas eve. This means of course one of you needs to devour them and don't forget. She will notice right away. D) She's only three. Hannah just got over her fear of Santa this year and she's way into the whole Santa thing. So much so we sat on his lap (What will the inlaws say?) We have a lovely Santa picture, which will go on blog shortly with a synopsis. Let's just say Hannah is slipping onto the naughty list lately. Poor thing. Don't worry in a couple days and in a swoosh of sparkly paper Santa will be long forgotten till next Christmas and she'll be even more curious. HUGS to both of you elves.

9:31 AM  
Blogger Debbi said...

Oh and I forgot the most helpful of all Games, Elf Chat, Santa Tracker on Christmas Eve, awesome cookie recipes from Mrs. Clause and every question for Santa possible answered with a click. Hazel will love it, Hannah does. Give her kisses for both of us. BTW, e-mail me your home address, we sent Haze a b-day card and it came back. Hannah was sad.

Hugs -- Cousin Dee dee.

10:16 AM  

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