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December 14, 2016

Beyond Santa: Dealing with Disbelief and #ChristmasTruth

By Alison DeLuca

My twelve-year-old recently announced she knew the truth about Christmas and Santa. We didn’t have to ‘play the game’ anymore.

image courtesy of wikipedia commons

This was fine, all part of life. Then she broke my heart by adding, “But now it doesn’t feel like Christmas. How do I make it feel like Christmas again?”

Okay, she’s my only child. I just have one shot at this. For years it’s been easy: hiding gifts in the attic, moving that damn elf each night, filling stockings at 2 in the morning when I knew she would wake me a few hours later.

I'm a mom. It's my job to create magic each year, you see.

If I were a creative person, I’d have a whole slate of ideas to make the season feel like Christmas again. But I’m not when it comes to parenting, and so off to Pinterest I went. It was important to me that my kid continued to have a great December in the Post-Santa era.

Here are some concepts I got from Pinterest:

1. Festive breakfasts 

Oh, these festive breakfasts are fun. Websites like Blessed Beyond have really simple meals you can make with just a few additions to your pantry. I never thought a few donuts dressed up to look like snowmen could make my kid's face light up, and yet, here we are. 

Want to see what I made? Sure you do!

My first attempt. Pretty rough, but the kid scarfed them down.

Getting better. 

2. Music

Christmas music was actually easy. I popped on some Christmas tunes each morning and in the car, and the tween seems happy. We're getting a LITTLE tired of the Chipmunks, though.

3. Crafts

To quote the crafts meme, "Why buy a 7$ item when you can make it yourself with 92$ worth of craft supplies?" 

I'm secretly planning to make a candy bar bouquet for my kid with skewers, an old vase, rocks, and a buttload of candy bars. Hot-glue-gun those sugar bombs onto the skewers, stick 'em in the rocks, and tie a wire bow around the vase.

Okay, this one is in the planning stages.

4. Party Time

After a few sparkly breakfasts, the kid kicked in with the idea of a holiday party. She invited all the girls in her grade to come over, decorate gingerbread, and do whatever it is tween girls do.
image courtesy of wikipedia commons

They'll be in the basement, so I won't know. Except for when I come down the stairs with snacks, AKA Spy On Them.

And each girl will get one of these babies, which you can make from this recipe:

image courtesy of 

5. The reason for the season

You'd think I would have thought of the reason for the season first. After all, December 25th goes way beyond a beautiful tree and amazing gifts. 

While those things have their place (especially in a kids' world) there are so many layers to Christmas. 

I have so many hopes for her:

That she remembers her family and how lucky we are to have these people in our lives.

That she thinks about faith. It's important to her father and me, and I'd love it if she continues to draw support from that source.
image courtesy of wikipedia commons

That she's happy for those friends of hers, the ones coming to her party and the other ones we don't see as often.

That one day she rereads all those books we shared: The Night Before Christmas, The Christmas Carol.

And, most of all, that she experiences belief once more. I was sad when she announced the truth, but I forgot something very, very important -

One day, she might get to relive the magic of Christmas the way I did: 

through the eyes of a child. 

Alison DeLuca is the author of several steampunk and urban fantasy books.  She was born in Arizona and has also lived in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Mexico, Ireland, and Spain. Currently she wrestles words and laundry in New Jersey.

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