Our vacation is planned directly around this coming Christmas and New Year's, and I know we still have over 100 days before departure, but I'm still struggling with a few dilemmas (so brace yourself for some "hey guys, what do you think about ______" posts from me)!
This trip is something of a landmark for my kids, and for me as well. I'm presently in the middle of a divorce from their dad, and although it is an amicable process (knock wood)--it's still upsetting for them. I planned a holiday trip to refocus the three of us as a family unit (and, to be honest, to give me something positive to focus on when I'm feeling gloom'n'doom-y).
Here's the thing. Since we're going to be in-World for Christmas, I'm feeling indecisive about how to handle the issue of Christmas presents. The kids have both been told that "Santa" will not be lavishing gifts on them, as this trip is The Gift. They say they understand that...but seriously, what child wants to wake up on Christmas day to no presents?
Now, both of my kids are getting to the age where Santa-belief may be getting ready to wane a bit. (Nick is 12 and Maddie is 9.) But Nick is such an innocent soul that I think he'd honestly carry his belief right into high school if I let him. I could try telling just him about "Santa's secret identity", but the poor dear really lacks the impulse control to NOT slip and tell his sister--and she'd be heartbroken.
I looked up the website for Disney Florists, thinking maybe I'd have them send over a gift basket or something. (Save me the hassle of loading down luggage with more weight and then having to wrap gifts...) Oh my gosh. Their Christmas Stocking costs $60 with at $25 delivery fee, and only contains snack foods! Almost $100 and all you get are pretzels and shortbread?
Ummmm, how about "no".
They also carry a pre-lit, 4-foot Christmas tree, which I thought "ooooh perfect" until I saw that it was going to be over $400. Seriously.
So here's my question to the group: Do I try to smuggle some smallish gifties in my suitcase so as not to have sad children on Christmas Day (and save the Santa disclosure for another time), or do I try to find a gentle way to break the news about "Santa's secret identity" far enough in advance of the trip that they will have time to rebound from the news and enjoy themselves, and accept that the trip is The Gift? I really don't want this to become the family tale that gets retold for decades. "Hey Mom, remember when you totally ruined our Disney vacation and stole our innocence by telling us about Santa and we cried and cried and cried..."
I know the time is coming for them to KNOW. And I think I'd rather they hear it from me...my dear geekspawn son will take endless teasing and torment at school if they find out he still believes, and he really doesn't need any more torture in middle school this year.
What do you all think?