Giving Up The Magic

It’s a sad day when kids stop believing in Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, and fairies.

Nederlands: Sinterklaas tijdens het Het Feest ...

Nederlands: Sinterklaas tijdens het Het Feest van Sinterklaas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not because I enjoy lying to my kids, but because–on the day they stop believing–a piece of their innocence is lost.  An unforgettable, valuable part of childhood dies.

Believing in magic is a beautiful thing.

Do you remember the last time you looked around the world with a sense of wonder?  When seeing a puppy form in the clouds was a miracle?  When the idea of an ant carrying 1000 times its own weight was something worth watching?  When the impossible goodness of a fat man squeezing down your chimney fills you with hope instead of making you call 911?

Do I believe in Santa?

Of course not, but I believe the concept of Santa is worthy of my children’s belief.  I don’t want them to lose that innocence and wonder.

When my teenager was young, he asked if Santa was real.  I responded by asking what he thought.  When he told me he didn’t believe, I offered to let Santa know.  His panic told me he wasn’t ready to give up the magic.

The day that conversation didn’t cause a panic, he looked hurt, like he’d lost something precious.  He had.

His world of magic was gone.

The he asked why I had spent his lifetime lying to him.  I told him the truth.  I said I couldn’t bear to be the one to shatter his belief in magic before he was ready.

Then, I informed him that he was in on the conspiracy.  He was not allowed to ruin it for anyone else.  Not his sisters, not his friends.

That Christmas, my little boy helped me stuff stockings, which was an odd feeling.

The magic was over, but we still got to share the magic of his cousins and sisters.

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Christmas Magic

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Image via Wikipedia

When I was little, the world was amazing.  The first snowfall  was among the best days of the year.   Everything was worth exploring, in hopes of discovering something new and fascinating, and everything was fascinating.

Stepping on a crack had serious implications.   The wishbone in a turkey earned its name.   Blowing out all of the candles on a birthday cake could change your life.  The idea of some dude half a world away, watching you, then sneaking into your house to dish our rewards and punishments wasn’t pervy and sick, it was wonderful.

Then, one day, it all changes.

Somebody–a classmate, a older brother, a neighbor–let’s it slip that Santa isn’t real, and the implications snowball.   That day, the magic dies.

Wishing on a star? Over.

The Easter Bunny? Hasenpfeffer.

Growing up to be Superman?  Welcome to the rat race.

It’s a sad day when kids stop believing in magic.

I don’t believe in lying to my children, but I also don’t believe in destroying their magic.  It’s a balancing act.

When my son was 6, an older boy at daycare tried to kill Santa for him.  He was upset.

“Dad, is Santa real?”

“What do you think?”

“I don’t believe in Santa.”

“Okay, I’ll let him know.”

“Nonononononono!  Don’t tell him!”

Was it lying?  Probably, but he obviously wasn’t ready to stop believing, so I let him continue.   A year later, we had the same conversation, but the results were quite different.

“Dad, you’ve always said that you hate lying, so why did you let me believe in Santa?”

So I told him the truth.   Magic is a frail thing that’s nearly impossible to reclaim and I wanted him to have that treasure for as long as possible.  And, “Now that you know, you are in on the conspiracy.  You’ve been drafted.   Don’t kill the magic for anyone else.”

It was weird having him help me stuff stockings.

If you’ve got kids(and celebrate Christmas), how do you handle the Santa problem?

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Saturday Roundup – Holiday Edition

Merry Christmas.

Or, Happy Saturday, as the case may be.

T0day, we are herding all of my nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters-in-law, and parents into my house for a second Christmas dinner and gift exchange.   It’s the first holiday we’ve hosted.  It should be interesting.

On a side note, we’ve gotten so much snow, I’ve almost lost my grill, sitting on my deck.   Another 2-3 inches, and my patio table will be just a white mound of cold.

Best Posts

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Think you can retire on a million bucks?  Think you can get to a million bucks?

I’ve recently realized that I’ve spent more time on the hiring side of the interview table than the out-of-work side.    I’m nowhere close to 500 hires, though.

Oooh!  Shopping for money!  That’s something I’m going to look into.   Nothing like turning habits into cash.

This is some serious travel hacking.   15 flight, 16 cities, 9 countries, 35000 miles for $400.

LRN Timewarp

This is where I review the posts I wrote one year ago.

The secret to fearless change?  Just get started.  Everything else will follow.

I also wrote a post about one of my core values.  Without integrity, what can you really have?

Finally, a post on how distractions will kill your productivity.

Carnivals I’ve Rocked

How Much Should You Tip? was an Editor’s Pick in the Festival of Frugality.  Thanks!

Shaving for Real was included in the Carnival of Money Stories.

Anchor Price Your Salary was included in the Carnival of Personal Finance.

Thank you! If I missed anyone, please let me know.

Get More Out of Live Real, Now

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You can subscribe by RSS and get the posts in your favorite news reader.  I prefer Google Reader.

You can subscribe by email and get, not only the posts delivered to your inbox, but occasional giveaways and tidbits not available elsewhere.

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That’s all for today.   Have a great weekend!

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Saturday Roundup: Winter Wonderland

Today, I am planning to be on the receiving end of a foot of snow coming in at 30 miles per hour. Tomorrow, when it’s time to clean all that crap out, it will be 30 degrees below zero. Fun!

The drawing for a $100 Amazon gift card is still going on!   Go here for details.  It ends on the 15th, so you have 4 more days.

Best Posts

Santa’s got a new phone number!   It plays a simple message when you call it, but it’s an easy way to make a little kids smile.

How many days of your life did that that new gadget cost you?

Go watch Crystal get all survivalist and stuff.  Have you ever though about what would happen if the world as you knew it ended?  Even for a few days, say, after a hurricane hit?

It’s great to live in the future.  I can’t wait to hit Lunar Starbucks.

LRN Timewarp

For those unfortunate enough to not have been tuned in since the beginning, I’m going to spend some time reviewing posts from a year ago.

In How to Have a Perfect Life, I layout the planning necessary to live a life you don’t regret on your deathbed.   Just take the first step.

Babies are Expensive is one of my most-visited posts to date, and was my first carnival submission, and my first editor’s pick for that submission.  The truth is, babies are expensive, but they don’t have to break the bank.

Don’t Screw Future-You was a fun post to write.  What would the you from 20 years in the future have to say to you?

Carnivals I’ve Rocked

Consumer Action Handbook was included in the Carnival of Personal Finance.

Mistakes Made was included in the Carnival of Money Stories.

Thank you! If I missed anyone, please let me know.

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