Dance, Sing and Drink Wine

Daily Necessities of Life – and Coffee Helps Too

When the Children No Longer Believe …

I fear this is my last year with a believer: A Believer in Santa and Magic and Wishes really coming True.

Santa holding magical lights in hands

My youngest, Travis, just turned seven and is in second grade. While he’s still so innocent, I see him starting to grow and change.

And it’s killing me a little inside.

My two older kids Callie (almost 13) and Audrey (11) are in the Middle School and have graciously helped to keep the Magic alive for their little brother. They even have delighted in helping with the Elf on the Shelf the last two years.

I remember when Callie figured it out. She was Trav’s age. My Christmas shopping was done, and both girls dropped the “We both want an American Girl Doll,” bomb on me. I told them I was going to call Santa (my husband was deployed to Afghanistan at the time) and ask him if it was still in our budget. Callie waited until we were alone (protecting her younger siblings from hearing) and slyly asked me if I was really calling Dad.

That was a defining Mom Moment, but it didn’t sting too much because I knew I still had two more believers to follow her.

When the world got to be too much for my Audrey, I believe she would escape to a world like this in her mind.

When the world got to be too much for my Audrey, I believe she would escape to a world like this in her mind.

Audrey never actually acknowledged that she “figured it out.” I think she saw that her sister was still getting Santa gifts in exchange for her silence (a deal with the Mom Mafia, if you will), so she followed suit. Eventually, I figured out that she had it figured out.

It was a little sadder because Audrey had always not just believed in Fairies and Magic, she had grown to count on them. But she was ok with it, so I had to be as well.

And, I was not too sad because I still had my Boy Believer. I have him still …

But once Trav figures it out, it’s done. It’s over. It sounds nuts but I truly believe even the air in our house will change once the magic goes. I so do not want that to happen.

So, I’m making it my mission to keep the magic alive even if we all understand it’s not really there.

First, I’m going to make sure they can see little microscopic pieces of magic everywhere:

… in the sparkles that the sun creates when it reflects off of something shiny

…in the smiles of babies

…in the sounds of sea shells

…in the hugs from those we care about


I’m also going to make sure they see magic and love in our family time.
Because if you can’t find magic in the love of your family, where can you?


And, obviously, moving on to the Miracles of the Church will be a wonderful way to keep magic alive in all our hearts.

I’m going to keep that Elf on the Shelf going even after Travis becomes “informed.” My plan is to let each member of the family take a night to be in charge of the Elf. We’ll make it in to a game.

And that's exactly why I won't ever let my kids quit believing!

And that’s exactly why I won’t ever let my kids quit believing!

But I’m going to cherish this Christmas and pray he stays a Believer for at least this year. Maybe he won’t make it to the Easter Bunny, but please just give me one more Christmas with a True Believer in Magic!!

For those of you who have already gone through this and for those of you already planning ahead, what are your suggestions for keeping the Magic Alive? Can you leave them in the comments below? 

Here’s YOUR Chance!

If you have not gotten in on the Elf on the Shelf Magic, here are links to purchase your own! I promise, it’s brought nothing but joy and MAGIC to our home!


Click here to purchase Elf on the Shelf:A Christmas Tradition (blue-eyed boy scout elf)


Click here to purchase Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition (blue-eyed girl scout elf)

12 comments on “When the Children No Longer Believe …

  1. Laurie Trigg
    November 4, 2015

    Awe, this is sad 😦
    Unfortunately I don’t have any kids, so don’t have any advice…
    But I remember when I found out as a child… I had seen a shopping bag that my mom was carrying in had Easy Bake oven goods inside… On Christmas morning, she marked those gifts from Santa. She was caught and my Older sister and I were MAD!!!! We cried for days about how our parents had lied. But we too, got the opportunity in spreading the magic for our baby sister. We spread sparkles around, and got to eat the cookies, sung all the songs and pretended we saw elves. We watched all the Christmas movies and made it as special as we could for a few more years.

    Good Luck.



  2. Stephanie
    November 4, 2015

    My 3 year old knows who santa “is” but we haven’t pushed the fact that he brings the presents. Not sure how we’re going about it yet. You’re doing a good job teaching them to see the magic in the every day things. And the joy in giving, is really the magic in Christmas. Thanks for sharing!

  3. the.nitta.notes
    November 5, 2015

    I don’t have any kids, but I remember when I realized this! I had caught on pretty early, and would ask regularly why Santa had the same handwriting as mom…and then why did it change to dad’s? LOL! Then…everything was typed out so I couldn’t analyze handwriting anymore. I gotta say, my parents were both really good at hiding the presents because I never found them, but I had caught on already!! Keep the magic alive as long as you can!

  4. Emma @ The Happy Journal
    November 5, 2015

    I don’t remember when I stopped believing but when my younger sister stopped, it didn’t stop my parents with their christmas traditions. Every year we still leave cookies and milk (a mince pie and brandy, that’s what Santa prefers… apparently!) for Santa and we still get stockings! Now I see it as an opportunity to tell ‘Santa’ exactly what I’d like for Christmas haha!

  5. Caroline
    December 9, 2015

    My seven year old sd told her friend that’s he’s dumb not to believe 🙂

  6. nicolekroutil
    December 11, 2015

    I don’t have kids but when I was a kid I had my mum break it to me he wasn’t real because I was 11 and still believed (Which is later that most kids nowadays) and my younger brother was 9 and he figured it out so she didn’t want him to blurt it out or have kids in school make fun of me for believing. I was so upset but I learnt that just because you know doesn’t mean the magic is gone. We still did all our regular traditions. Still wrote ‘from santa’ on the presents and I now in my 20’s me and my boyfriend get our pictures with Santa every year 🙂

  7. Autumn | It's Autumn's Life
    December 11, 2015

    It’s harder and harder to keep the cat in the bag… I remember when I was younger someone at school busted the bubble for most of us. Kids find out really early on, and they are so eager to ruin it for the others!

  8. thewordhermit
    December 11, 2015

    My kids believed in Santa until they were 11 and 9, and even after I admitted that their dad and I played Santa each Christmas. i told them how magical it felt to me and that we would just keep on doing it. They are teens now, who ask for boring stuff for Christmas like money and Amazon gift cards, but they still get presents from Santa and I think they still believe in magic.

  9. Ashleigh
    December 12, 2015

    My oldest is 9 in the 4th grade and just yesterday came home and said some kids told her about Santa… it broke my heart. I figured this would be her last year believing but it still so hard for me to deal with. I have two younger and I know she’ll love helping keep the magic alive for them. Thank you for sharing your experience with this.

  10. Kristina
    December 22, 2015

    My son will be 2 next month and I love that he will soon understand the magic of Christmas. I don’t want to think of the day I’ll need to tell him the truth. Thanks so sharing.

    • Julie Smith
      December 22, 2015

      Don’t take anything for granted. I realized not too long ago, that he doesn’t look back to make sure I’m still there when he walks in to school ……….. When did that stop?

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This entry was posted on November 3, 2015 by in Parenting, Seriousness (it happens) and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

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