While walking to school today Braden and I were talking about Christmas... and the conversation turned to Santa. He mentioned how he wanted to sleep in the living room on Christmas Eve so he could see Santa delivering the gifts.
After a pause I asked him if Santa was real or pretend (as I have since he was 3). He answered, without hesitation "pretend". And then stopped walking. He looked up at me and asked "well, if he is pretend who brings all the presents?"
"That's a very good question" I replied.
"We should look it up on the Internet" he suggested. I smiled.
"Who do you think brings the presents?" I asked
"That is a tricky question mom...... do you know who brings all the presents?" he persisted.
I was cornered. He had asked a direct question, and even though I totally didn't' want to ruin everything I kinda asked for it... so I bit the bullet and said "We all do. Everyone supplies the presents."
I could see him thinking about my answer. He stopped again, and looked up at me "Mom, that's silly.... everyone isn't going up and down the chimneys!"
I laughed, and we kept on walking. I was amazed that the myth and magic of Santa was so strong that he was trying to bend reality to fit the story. I was kinda glad that he still is trying to figure out the mystery. I think that is half the fun.
On the other hand I was a bit bummed out that my own son, the exact target for the book that I have just written to explain this very thing didn't seem to remember anything from the book. I may have to up my age appropriateness rating from 5 to about 8 since my original target audience didn't seem to get the message at all.