This is how the magic slowly died in the Carter home…
Kid #2. “Mom, do you move the Elf? Are you the one who does that?”
Kid #1. “MOM! Why aren’t you answering his question? MOM!”
Me. “Where on EARTH is this coming from? You guys were SO excited about Little Kris coming and now this?”
Kid #1. “Just answer the question mom! We know you can’t lie!”
Husband. “No she doesn’t move the Elf.”
Kid #2. “Dad- we don’t believe you… MOM!!”
Kid #1. “Wait, mom could never do all of that. She’s too lazy to write all those notes and move the elf all those nights.”
Kid #2. “But she’s not answering!! MOM TELL US!!!!!”
Me. “Why are we talking about this now? This is not the time to be asking this question. We have to go.”
Kid #2. “OH MY GOSH SHE MOVES THE ELF! MOM!!!!”
Kid #1. “I can’t believe this! MOM! WHY?!! I can’t even…”
Kid #1. “You lied to us mom. All these years you LIED TO US!”
Me. “Okay, now I know you are really upset with me and I HATE that you figured this out NOW of all times. But you must understand, I received the elf as a gift and your dad and I thought it would be a fun thing to do! That first morning when you found Little Kris, you guys talked to him for HOURS. Remember how excited you were? You told him everything- every single thing about you and our lives, and I listened from the other room and cried with joy because it was just so precious to witness the love you had for that little guy! I was completely blown away that you guys fell for it- and honestly? I was beside myself with what to do, so I just followed your lead. I adored the bond you two shared with Little Kris and I had to go with it! I decided to write you both encouraging notes when I moved the Elf each night. I wanted to at least be intentional about this.”
Kid #1. “Wow mom! All those nights you moved the elf? All the notes you wrote? Oh my gosh, it WAS your handwriting! Oh my gosh. I can’t even…”
Me. “I know it’s so hard to understand. I’m SO sorry you are so mad and upset with me. The elf is simply a fun way to bring more magic to the season and many parents do it! You know so many friends who have the elf too! It was such a hit with you guys, we just had to continue it. I had no idea you two would fall in love with him and be so devoted to him. I worried how you would feel once you eventually figured it out. Oh, how I worried! But just think about all those encouraging notes and how you LOVED getting them! Think about how exciting it was every single morning to go looking for him! You talked about that thing ALL YEAR! It was fun, right?”
Kid #2. “Wait. If the Elf isn’t real, then what about Santa or even the tooth fairy? Or the Easter bunny? Oh my gosh mom… are THEY REAL?? Santa has GOT to be real, right?”
Me. “NO MORE QUESTIONS TONIGHT! GO TO BED!”
Kid #1. “Mom, can I have Little Kris? To keep?”
Me. “Of course you can as long as your brother is okay with it. I know how much you love Little Kris.”
Me. “Good morning sweetie! Well, look at this… did you put Little Kris here?”
Kid #1. “Yeah, I figured I could just move him even though we know.”
Me. “Honey, that is a great idea.”
Kid #2. “Hey mom, I’ve been thinking more and more about it all. I keep thinking about his notes we got every day. I can’t believe you did all that with Little Kris. You wrote them ALL? You moved him ALL those nights? Wow, mom. And what about Santa? I need to know. Is it true? Is this all just made up? I’m just so mad. I’m so sad. There’s no way you and dad could afford what Santa has given us – I mean like that Wii? No way! If you are Santa, how did you afford that? I think I know the answer, but just tell me…
Is Santa real?”
Me. “I suppose it’s time… Come have a seat and I’ll tell you all about it.”
And so it goes…
Mary McLaurine says
Awwww, I know. This is a rough time – when they figure it all out or hear about it at school. You did what I did, focused on the “magic” of the season and that it is still everywhere as long as we believe in the spirit of it all.
I recently asked my son and his gf if they had kids would they do Santa?
Both at same time: OH HELL YEAH!!
They get over it <3
I love that your kids came to appreciate all the time and effort you put into it. They "get" it.
You're a good mama, my friend. xoxoxoxoxo
Aw! Mary I love you for coming here and sharing your beautiful encouragement with me! Thank you, my dear friend. Cass convinced Cade that Santa is STILL REAL… I savored his precious innocence- I believe for the last time. 🙁 And so it goes…
Janine Huldie says
Aw, I am so dreading this day here and have to be honest thank god they are still little, but not sure how I will handle it when that day comes. So, felt your pain reading this. Still want to say Merry Christmas to you and your family once again, Chris!!
It is SO hard… this change. BUT I cherish all those years of magic and wonder and innocence! And Cade was convinced by Cass that Santa is STILL REAL! (Bless her for being a great lier! LOL) I know this was probably the last ‘childhood’ Christmas we will have… so I savored every moment. 🙂
As I’ve watched them grow, I knew that Little Kris was on borrowed time with the kids, but I’m still so sad that the time has come. I am certain, though, that the Christmas Magic hasn’t died in their hearts, and it never will. I know that, because you and Derek showed them how, they will have the joy of sharing the magic of Christmas with children young and old for many years to come.
YES!!! I love you for walking alongside us and bringing Little Kris into their lives!! I know we will continue to cherish those memories of Christmas pasts… and savor more magic to come!
And so it goes. 🙂
Happy Christmas! 🙂
I do hope you had a beautiful and BLESSED Christmas, my dear friend!! 🙂
So precious! Bright side, no more elf moving/ note writing in he middle of the night! I’m sure you’ll have a replacement for the elf soon! Love you mama!
OH my gosh it was really liberating and heartbreaking at the same time!! Poor kids… they have been heartbroken every day talking about missing their Little Kris. Cassidy stepped in and saved Santa for Cade! She convinced him that Santa is still real and even wrote Santa’s note for me! (Although it was hard for her to have this truth.) I savored every moment of Cade’s precious innocence! He crawled into bed at 6:30am Christmas morning and told me he saw Santa’s reindeer out the window! Precious!! I believe this was the last Christmas for us to celebrate the magic and wonder of a childhood Christmas… sigh. BUT it was glorious!
Sue Theimer says
And I was there to see it all begin to fall apart! I think it is as troubling for parents as the children~growing up ain’t easy, and I am still growing at 75! I have an elf in the kitchen just hoping there will be a note for me each morning. I think I saw one today and have no idea how the elf knows me so well! It said, “Trust God, Clean House, and Help Others” and then it faded away. Did you, Chrissy, write that note?
I am now a puddle of tears after reading this… Best comment EVER by you, mom. I do hope and pray there are more notes you find!! That one is PERFECT. 🙂
Oh dear. I remember finding out. I was 11, but it was in the Hebrew school parking lot, just for irony.
And honestly my initial and longterm reactions were of awe at my parents, and also steadfast belief in real magic.
Oh do I hope and pray my kids will also have that steadfast belief in real magic!! I love how you found out and the irony of it! lol
Awwwww…but think of all those sweet memories. And it sounds like Little Kris is helping them appreciate you and your husband more and realizing all you do for them and how much you love them.
Dang it parenting is hard!
Merry Christmas friend.
It was so different this year, Stephanie. Sad. BUT we convinced Cade that Santa is STILL real! (I feel like crap about it actually- I can’t do this lying thing well…) Oh, it was such an emotional Christmas knowing this would be the last time “Santa” would come…
I savored every minute of the magic. 🙂
Oh no! That has to be such a hard transition to go through as both a child and a parent. It sounds like, though, your children are learning some valuable lessons from it and it allows them to be even more appreciative of everything you do.
Merry Christmas to you and your family, Chris, and I hope the magic of Christmas still lives on for everyone!
Thanks so much Bev!! My daughter somehow convinced my son that Santa still exists and oh what a treat it was to savor the magic at least for him – probably this one last time!!! He is going to be SO pissed off, when he finds out we continued to lie to him after he was already crushed about Little Kris!
But for now- it was the magic that saved Christmas.
Cass wrote Santa’s note this year, despite her sadness about knowing it all- Cade’s sadness about Little Kris (He actually said there’s no fun in Christmas because Little Kris is gone) just about killed me…
But Christmas morning, when Cade climbed into bed and told me he saw Santa’s reindeer outside the window?
We don’t have an Elf — but the same Santa convo went down this year here too. It actually wasn’t so bad; we just said yes he WAS real – at one point, there was a man good and generous of heart who did help those around him. And to honor that love he brought to the world, we continue to tradition. We just kept it very simple – the rest was as you said: to just add some magic and make it fun. At the end, my son LOVED the whole concept and said he wanted to be “Santa” for one of his friends who didn’t have a certain toy, so he used his allowance to go buy it for him. And if that isn’t it’s own Christmas magic, I don’t know what is!!
Besides, my kids know the REAL reason for the Season, so all the other is just bonus.
Well, crap. LOL Why didn’t I THINK OF THAT? That is just the most precious story EVER. And yeah- my kids always thought Santa was one of God’s Angels. I *might* have had something to do with that… How else do you answer “How does Santa know everything?” Oy.
And well of course… lets DO focus on the REAL reason!! (And make the rest all go away…lol)
Aaww… We don’t do the Elf thing ovet here but that’s exactly how I felt when my son busted the tooth fairy. My 5yo does not believe in the tooth fairy but refuses to entertain the idea that Santa isn’t real. 😀
Hold onto Santa! I still tried to go for it this year with my 10 year old- the smart one. lol I *think* he bought it… enough to at least pretend in the magic that is Santa. A few days before Christmas he said one of his many little hints of trying to declare his disbelief – “I am going to totally look at Santa’s handwriting this year- I bet I can trace it.” Well, guess what Santa did? He typed his note with a dozen different fonts, telling the kids that he overheard Cade’s claim so “HO HO HO HA HA HA!!!” I thought it was brilliant and I think it really caught Cade off guard and made him sit back on that fence once again. Whether or not he believes doesn’t matter- I think he’s having fun with the idea anyway. 🙂