IN OTHER WORDS | I Ruined Christmas


I’m a little off my game this week, so when, without fanfare, I announced, that there is no Santa, I was not of right mind. I apologize to my children, my husband, and to elves everywhere.

Here’s how it went tonight:

We sit down to pizza. It’s been a week, husband away, kids pissed off about back to school, Dad being gone, Mom being sick and grumpy, just a lousy week that we’ve gotten through by being easy on the rules and each other with extra TV, and lots of chill time.


I start talking about the boys’ electric scooters I sold on Craig’s List. The guy is coming to pick them up tomorrow.

“You get the money, but some has to go into savings, and you need to clean them. He wants them from Santa for his kids.”

No freaking clue what I just said.

My twelve year old grins, “So basically, you just confirmed that you’re Santa.”

I still don’t get it. Yes, that’s right—I’m that out of it.

I look over at my nine year old. He’s ear-to-ear, eyes twinkling.

“I knew it! I mean, I thought so, but now I know for sure. You and Dad are Santa.”

I am the worst mother ever. They weren’t even asking! I just announced it. The twelve year old tries to make me feel better by telling me he’s known for years but has been playing along because it’s fun.

OK, I don’t feel completely like throwing up, only a little. My younger son was digging my deer-in-headlights look. I may be Santa, but I am also capable of a colossal fuck-up. Mom: the anti-hero.

He reaches over and strokes my arm. “It’s OK, Mom,” my youngest says. My youngest! It’s really over now.

He’s still stroking my arm. I wonder if I might cry. Meanwhile, they are fine. They are enjoying this.

“Can we just keep pretending?” I ask weakly. And it dawns on me what I’ve done. “And you can’t tell any of the little kids. You have to promise. Don’t tell Rosa, or Luke or any of the other littles!”

“Mom, it’s OK. We can pretend; we can still do cookies and carrots for Rudolph. And we won’t tell anyone.”

I’m a wreck. We have adorable neighbor friends whom I call “littles” and I’d hate to be that person for them.

“It’s OK,” my older son says. “Mom, I’ve known for years. I’m kind of relieved. It’s a little creepy to think of a big fat stranger coming into the house in the middle of the night.”

We eat some more pizza.

“Wow, Mom.”

“Yea, Mom.”

“I’m so sorry, guys.”

“We knew. It’s OK. You’re still the best Mom.”

“I can’t wait to tell Dad about this.”


  1. Great post; great mom (human), great boys. Literally LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Soooo…flip it around and find a silver lining – they just confirmed that you’d been lying for years, and they still think you’re awesome. Sounds like you’re doing the ‘mom’ thing right 🙂 I’m glad they were cool with it rather than let down.


    • Ya, they were awesome. Still chuckling about it until bedtime. My oldest knew. Youngest had a few questions. “Where do the letters go? Do the parents go get them in the North Pole?” Very cute.


  3. Sending you a big hug. I hope you are being gentle with yourself. On Christmas Eve when I was 4 my 11 year old sister spilled the beans. I got over it.

    Sounds like you have plenty of magical, wonderful moments in your house and like you all get to BELIEVE together.


    • They are fine. I wish, for my 9 yo I hadn’t because he was on the edge. It’s hard having them grow up! And I have let myself off the hook. They are teasing me in a fun way and promising me we’ll pretend and do cookies etc.


  4. Oh my gosh, this is totally something I would do. I love their reaction most though…it says a lot about what sweet boys you’ve raised!


  5. You are so awesome. Thank you for sharing this. I am certain I will ruin it for my kids and this gives me hope that they’ll be okay even if I’m not lol


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