This morning I was giving my 5-year-old a hug and was about knocked over backwards by his breath. It was bad. I told him he'd better go brush his teeth because his breath was smelly. He said, "like Santa?".
Apparently last year when he got a chance to sit on Santa's lap and tell him what he wanted for Christmas, Santa had smelly breath. Santa always leaves toothbrushes in our stockings, maybe he needs to keep one out for himself. Or maybe we could start leaving breath mints instead of cookies (someone needs to look our for santa's dental health)...
Since he's in kindergarten this year, I'm waiting for the day that my 5-year-old comes home from school saying that so and so told him that there's no such thing as santa. I've been trying to think of what I will do when that time comes. I don't want to lie to him if he asks directly, but I want him to believe for as long as possible. Believing is magical, and every childhood ought to have as much magic as possible.
I've had a couple of suggestions. The first is to tell him that santa only brings presents to those who believe (although the mother that told me that wondered if she was just teaching her child to lie to her....). The other was to say, "some people believe and some people don't, but it sure is fun to believe so why don't we?".
There's also explaining about how santa represents the spirit of giving, just like the wise men brought gifts to baby Jesus.
What would you do?