The Sticky Files

How to not ruin the magic of Christmas for your child

Marisca tries to avoid questions about Santa and needs ideas for teachers’ Christmas gifts

The other day my five-year-old daughter asked me if Santa was real.

Her question totally caught me off guard. I didn’t know how to answer it. I didn’t want to lie to her but I also don’t want to ruin the magic of Christmas.

I don’t ever remember believing in Santa Claus or having that moment when I learned the truth. My parents never really tried to convince us that someone comes in the middle of the night to drop off presents. I think mostly because my mom wanted the credit for creating the magic.

We were also taught that he wasn’t the reason for the season, just a fictional character to go along with the festivities. I’m not hurt that is how I was raised or feel like I missed out on anything.

But in that moment when my child was looking at me with her big doe eyes waiting for an answer, I froze. I wanted to quickly check other parenting blogs or Google for advice but I couldn’t move. It would also look very suspicious if I told her that I’d have to do some research before answering her question. And I would lose all credibility when I often tell her that momma knows everything.

I decided to turn the tables and I asked her what she thought.

“I don’t know, what do you think, mom?”

I thought I was being sneaky but she outsmarted me. I told her that I didn’t think so but I couldn’t prove anything so it is whatever she wanted to think.

For some strange reason, that satisfied her quest. I have a feeling that the conversation is not over, but I’ll be prepared in case she asks me again.

One study found that children around the age of six or seven stopped believing in Santa, but feel a sense of pride over discovering it themselves. I think that means I’m off the hook. I won’t be sad if she doesn’t believe in old Saint Nick and I always want to be truthful with her.

So the next time she inquires, I’ll be honest. Plus, I want some of the credit for running around town, finding the perfect gifts, wrapping everything and making sure the magic of Christmas is in our house. Maybe I am more like my mother than I thought.

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On the note of buying presents, what do you buy your children’s teachers for Christmas?

My daughter has the sweetest, most thoughtful and kind Kindergarten teacher. Believe me, I don’t just trust anyone to watch my child all day but I feel completely comfortable dropping her off at school.

She has made the transition into school very easy for both me and my daughter. How do you thank someone like that?

However, you can’t go too big without worries you are trying to bribe the teacher, but you can’t go too small or too impersonal. I asked my daughter what we should get her and she said a puppy. We’ll shelf that idea for now.

Am I over thinking this? Probably. But I can’t help it. All teachers this year need extra praise. Teaching during a pandemic, literally risking their lives to take care of our children and having to come up with different plans to accommodate all the health and safety protocols can’t be easy.

I’ve heard of one teacher (in another province) who had to purchase extra cleaning supplies out of her own pocket. How insane is that?

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I asked a few teachers what good gift ideas are and they all said a nice homemade card would suffice. (Insert eye rolling emoji here.)

I decided to look online and found a better list. I’m sure all teachers have enough “World’s Best Teacher” mugs but a gift card to a local coffee shop might be nice.

Some teachers in an online forum suggested making a donation in their name; or perhaps some locally crafted self care gifts would be appreciated.

If you are in Smithers, the Out of Hand store has a ton of amazing gift ideas. Personally, if I were a teacher I’d love (or need) a bottle of wine but I don’t think I should be sneaking a bottle of booze into my Kindergarten kid’s backpack.

However, I’m still open to ideas.


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