The following article is for adults only! Names have been changed to protect the innocent.
Can you think of a more exciting time for a child than this time of year? The anticipation, the decorations, the snow, the events all help set the stage for the holiday season. It tends to be a blur for the parents from Thanksgiving to the New Year. Does it get worse with age, or better? I am not sure. But what I do know is each year the magic of the holiday season is magnified by the togetherness of friends and family.
This past Thanksgiving, my college aged children and their friends were discussing what age they found out *Bob wasn’t real. The conversation was entertaining. My son claims he was led on until 5th grade; my daughter’s best friend found out in kindergarten after demanding the truth. She was sworn to secrecy so her older sister didn’t find out. Some kids are always skeptics others true believers. My husband and I worked hard at keeping the legend alive. We went to great lengths with bell ringing in the early morning hours and footprints and hoof prints in the snow. Of course there were letters written and cookies eaten. I know some families have special wrapping paper; in other families Bob’s gifts are left unwrapped. And some parents have even admitted to me that they have dodged the question when asked “Is there a Bob?” Their reply “well, what do you think ?”
Family traditions play into the caper, the timing for opening presents, filling stockings and even house calls from Bob. We shared stories this week in the office of the visit to Bob with our children, their letters to Bob and from Bob and the magical time we as parents enjoyed as we snuck around the house hiding packages and talking in code on the telephone. Why do we go to great lengths to keep Bob’s presence alive? I think we hold out for as long as we can because we know that mystery and magic is not just a Disney commodity. My friend Pam said when your kids find out the truth there is something lost; the innocence of childhood. My friend Lori thinks we do it because it takes us back to our childhood. I think they are both right. When our children find out about Bob, we lose our innocence and we tuck away a bit of our childhood - - that is until we have grandchildren.
Wishing you and your family the magic of the holiday season,