That's the question I was faced with yesterday evening as I sat outside watching my children eat their dinner. Midge is only five, I really didn't expect her to ask this question for quite some time.
I told her; "Yes, of course he is real!" and she was happy with my reply (thankfully.) It just totally took me back. I didn't even know that Midge knew what 'pretend' really meant.
"I thought he might be pretend Mum, that's all."
I asked her why she thought this? I wondered if already children in her class were taking away such a special part of childhood. It's hard when they go to school and are surrounded by children who have older siblings. Older siblings that perhaps take great joy in teasing their younger siblings about the reality of Christmas time.
I just felt really sad that she has already, most probably, heard about whose really behind good old Father Christmas. I believed in Father Christmas for quite some time. Much longer than most parents would let it drag on. I was never bullied because in the end I kind of knew, I just really wanted to believe! I never said anything to fellow peers because I knew I'd be teased for believing in him.
I am pleased Midge accepted my little white lie and that she hasn't mentioned it since. I just hope she can hold onto these special childhood beliefs for much longer than most children seem to these days.