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I haven't spent too much time pondering how Brad Pitt parents his brood with Angelina Jolie, except to think that I like their whole no-secrets-policy with their kids, that all of them co-sleeping togther in a huge monster bed once a week sounds pretty cute and that they must have a high tolerance for chaos.
"I'm not real big on the whole Santa thing," Pitt said. "I thought it was a huge act of betrayal when I was a kid....I didn't like that. When I found out the truth, I was like, 'Why? Why? Why would you lie to me? Why?'"
He says that he tells his kids: "What I tell them is some people believe it's Santa, and some people believe it's parents, and you get to believe whatever you want," Pitt said. Since Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh, Knox and Vivienne apparently wrote Christmas letters to Santa, it's pretty clear what version of the story they're sticking with.
I don't remember being traumatized by the discovery as a kid (my older sister blurted out, "You know that Mom and Dad are Santa, right?" and I lied and said, "Yeah, I know.")
The problem that I have with the Santa thing is the ever-increasing number of lies I seem to have to tell to keep this charade up. (I can't bring myself to try one of the many ways you can help prove to your kids that Santa and friends exist.) Since we live in an apartment building without a chimney, my older son (who is 7) wants to know how Santa gets into our house (Lie #1: "We leave the front door unlocked.") But since we celebrate Christmas at Grammy and Grampy's (Lie #2: Santa's elves let him know if kids are celebrating in a different place) and he gets some presents there and some when we return home, he also wants to know if it's extra work for Santa to make two stops. (Lie #3: "He has to come to the building anyway, so it's not a problem.") And then do we leave our front door unlocked the whole time we're at Grammy and Grampy's? (Lie #4: "No our neighbors will lock it.") Do I know our neighbors will be away for Christmas? (Lie #19: "It's a different neighbor.")
A friend recently told me just to say that "Santa is magic" and leave it at that. If only I had thought of that before I started into this web of lies. But I'm beginning to think that it's about time for the jig to be up. Last year, the day after Christmas, my son asked why my husband and I didn't get him any presents. I said, exasperated: "But you just got all those toys!" He said, "Well, Santa got us those."