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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
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Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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« 4.2 | Main | On ingesting and gestating. »
Wednesday
Dec062006

Giving credit where credit is due.

Something, I can’t quite pinpoint what, prompted me to take a second look at my recent Thanksgiving post, and notice that it fails to mention a person who was instrumental in the day’s success. That person, friends, is my sister Liz. Liz, who has successfully hosted Thanksgiving, lo these many years. Liz! Who is ever forthcoming and patient with her younger sister when she calls with her many holiday-related questions. Liz! Who told me exactly how to schedule the creation of each dish so that I wouldn’t keep everyone waiting for turkey until 11 p.m., which I surely would have done without her help. Liz! Liz! Liz!

If only everyone had a Liz in their lives—their turkeys would be moist, their Thanksgivings fret-free. I’ll say it again: Liz!

And now, a Christmas question. Henry and I recently picked out a gift for a local charity’s toy drive, and he was asking me all kinds of probing questions about why this gesture was necessary on Christmas—when, after all, Santa Claus provides the gifts. How do you tell your little believer that there are some children in this world who don’t get presents on Christmas? Does Santa not give presents to the poor? Any clever answers here would be appreciated.

Reader Comments (62)

Santa's not real???

-runs off crying-
December 7, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterkaren
We say that as soon as you're old enough, you help Santa -- it would be selfish to expect him to do *everything*. So we give to as many people as we can (secretly, because we're helping Santa!) to take a load off the big guy.

I believe in Santa 100% and I will always play on his team. I think my boys will, too.
December 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLori
I tell my kids that santa only brings so many presents and then the mommies and daddies buy the rest so that would leave it open for you to explain that those mommies and daddies dont have enough money for presents
December 8, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTiffany
I think Henry's response that Santa should pick up the slack when kids' parents and grandparents don't have a lot of money is very smart since he completely believes that Santa provides.

I think you've got to go with the whole spirit of giving notion. Santa inspires. Not only is this close to true, it at least teaches something, and is not a strictly religious message. If you want a religious message (I have no idea if you do or don't) go with the very poor baby Jesus in the manger who was given gifts and dump the Santa crap.
December 8, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAnne in New Jersey
Tell Henry the truth. I thought that's what parents were supposed to do.
December 8, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMarcheline
Someone's getting coal in their stocking.
December 9, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLori
Love it Lori. Good luck Alice. He's a sharp one that Henry!
December 10, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJenS
We want to make sure that less fortunate children know that we are thinking of them during the holidays, that they are not forgotten. We are all one big family, and this is how we let them know!
December 10, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMiamiMommy
"Enlightenment" is a perfect example of what happens to a kid whose parents lie to them, tell them there's a Santa Claus, and then pull the rug out from under them.

They just snap.

Next, it's rants about the president.
December 11, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMarcheline
I personally think you should let him keep believing in Santa, it's a lovely myth. I gradually figured out Santa wasn't real and it wasn't traumatic at all. I appreciate that my parents wanted me to enjoy the whole spirit of giving magical-ness that is Santa. Jesus also played a huge part in Christmas, the whole "reason for the season" thing, so we celebrated it all. And I still do.

I agree with Plain Jane Mom -- just tell him that you're helping Santa out, it's part of the spirit of Christmas, making Henry part of it all in a new way.

I hope this made sense, I'm about to leave work so I'm writing really quickly...
December 11, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterlesli
You could always tell him that Santa's elves can't make/buy all the toys that they need in time, so Santa asks the grown-ups to help out so he has all the toys at the North Pole in time to deliver them on Christmas Eve. (But that this is info. that only grown-ups know because Santa doesn't want kids to know-- so Henry needs to keep it a secret from the other kids). Shhhhhh.....
December 11, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCrystal
Am I the only person amazed that one can post comments that are LONGER than the original post??
December 12, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAni

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