Ultimately for Christmas 2017, I told my husband “I’m happy to put up a tree, and I’m okay with telling her about Santa in the first place. But perpetuating the Santa myth is a bridge too far for this Jew.” He understood.
If you’re worried about the state of my daughter’s 5-year-old sense of wonderment now that she knows the deal about Santa, don’t. It’s still intact. Not long after she found out about Mr. Claus, she asked me if unicorns were real. Since we’d already established that mom was the straight-talk express, I was more comfortable being honest again. “No, they’re not real,” I said. And she said, “Well, everyone on the playground says they’re real, so you probably just don’t know for sure. I think they’re real.” Now she wants more My Little Ponies. For Christmas. Or Hanukkah. Presents, it seems, are universal.