When my oldest son was born, I thought it would be a sad day when I didn’t have to do the whole Santa/Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy thing. It gave some sort of purpose on the holidays, something that made them extra excited for the holiday. That all went away two years ago when my son, at his 8th birthday party mind you, asked “is there such thing as Santa?” He gave me those eyes that said “Mom, you promised never to lie to me” but worried because he knew the answer and it made him sad. “No, Dylan. We bought you those Santa presents.” He didn’t seem upset. “Does that mean you left me the Easter Baskets and money for my teeth?” “Yes, that was us too.” Finally he looked deeply concerned. “What’s wrong sweet pea?” I asked him. “What did you do with all my teeth then?” He was horrified when he asked. It seemed he thought I had some sort of creepy tooth collection. “They went in the trash Dylan.” And that was that, to him Santa and all the other childhood heroes died. And he was completely okay when he was assured he would still receive presents.
Since then, I didn’t have to stay up until midnight praying that soon I can get sleep since at 6a.m I’ll have him jumping on my bed saying “presents and bacon!”. Now I can go to sleep at a reasonable hour, don’t have to run around last-minute because I forgot Easter was coming and no place has a basket. I just buy him a bunch of candy and call it a day, and he’s 100% happy. I don’t have to run around hiding Easter eggs and praying I remembered where I put them all, because you always forget one when you map them out and regret it later. I don’t even have to worry if I have money to toss under a pillow of a child I hope is actually asleep when I do it. It’s a lot less sneaking around and a lot more of enjoying the time with family.
If I were a more sentimental person, I’d be a little sad by how grown up my oldest child is now and mourn a childhood I took away when I crushed his little fairy tale bubble. I’m not going to lie, I cringe thinking of starting this routine all over again with my baby when he’s old enough. It has to be done, and I’m sure I’ll forget all the stress of it when I see the same glow in his eyes that I’ve seen in Dylan’s before. You just have to remember that the holidays are no longer yours when you have kids. It’s all about making it more enjoyable for them and balancing it because you always want to do better, and if you go too extreme once, you have to double the efforts next time.