I've dreaded this day from his very first Christmas.
There have been doubts over the last nine years, but now- after becoming a very intelligent, logical, inquisitive, young, man, my 9 year old son finally popped the question.
"Mommy, Santa isn't real. I know he isn't Everyone at school says he isn't. Please tell me the truth".
Funny thing about that word, there is more than one version of the truth. For an extremely literal and trusting child, this truth is what I would give.
I searched some of the Santa letters online and took some suggestions from good friends via Facebook and then composed my own version with a Christian spin. I was raised Lutheran and my children have been baptized and raised the same. I've always been concerned about "Santa" overshadowing the true meaning of Christmas and this was a perfect opportunity to express my own beliefs about both.
Each and every family will handle this situation different based on their own values. Some parents continue the Santa story indefinitely like my own Mom. "I still believe in Santa", she'll say. Some say "I'm not sure but I know he only brings gifts to those who believe he's real" *wink, wink, nudge, nudge* and some parents never bother pretending in the first place. For us, this response is what felt right.
Now, <insert deep breath>, I'm going to give it to him and I am hoping his sweet little heart will always believe in Santa the way I explained it.