Merry Christmas Eve eve, everyone! How are you doing on your Christmas shopping? Are you rushing for last minute gifts or are all the presents wrapped and under the tree? We finished our shopping weeks ago, but it wasn’t until Monday that I stopped procrastinating and finished wrapping up a few little presents to be put out on our Christmas morning. I think saving a few presents for Christmas morning is a fun thing to do even if they’re not labeled as from Santa.
This time of year is when those of us with kids get asked the question, “Is Santa real?” I think just about every parent dreads answering this because we don’t want to break our child’s heart or impact their belief in the magic of Christmas. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that hard at all. In fact, hopefully what I offer here will help you should you ever need to answer that important question.
Before I go on let me tell you that my mom told my brother and me the truth about Santa Claus when I was really young. Like, I have the vaguest memory of this happening, young. The way I remember it, she sat us both down and read to us the true story of Santa Claus from one of her encyclopedias. Having that knowledge in no way destroyed the magic of Christmas or the fun I had when I received a present from “Santa”. Also, as far as I know, I did not make another child cry by sharing that knowledge.
When Ade came along, I basically spent about a year ignoring Santa Claus. When he became old enough to really be aware of Santa, due to all the children’s shows that featured Ol’ Saint Nick, and he asked me about it, I went with the truth. I told him that a long time ago there was a man named Nicholas who left gifts for children in need, but that the interpretation of Santa he sees on tv shows is not real. And that was that. He is still excited about Christmas. He still enjoys shows about Santa Claus and his reindeer. The magic of Christmas has not been destroyed for him or Isbe.
“That’s great, Dacia,” you say, “but my kids have believed Santa is real and are now asking me if he isn’t. Now what?”
Well, if they’re asking then I think they deserve the truth. How you tell them that truth is up to you, but you are not without options. One option I have seen is telling them that you are Santa Claus as you help preserve the magic of Christmas by keeping the secret and quietly putting out presents in Santa Claus’ name. Then you inform your child that they are now “Santa Claus” too, as their role is to keep the secret from younger siblings and all that may not know the truth. You can even have them help put out presents on Christmas Eve.
Another option is to read them the story of Saint Nicholas. Let them know that there was a very real man behind the legend. Tell them that his legend lives on in those who provide presents for others. Perhaps start a tradition of buying gifts for someone on an Angel Tree. Or giving them a separate savings for them to buy a present for another family member themselves.
However you choose to reveal the truth, whether it be this year or in five years, if your child has grown up believing that Santa Claus is real, then I suggest you bring them in on the magic. Give them a part to carry out. Maybe ask them if they would still like to receive a present from “Santa” now that they know the truth. Like I said, we still received presents from “Santa” for years, even when I was a teenager and I was able to recognize that particular handwriting as my Grammie’s. I think not cutting them out of the magic simply because they know the truth is a big step you can take to help them through the transition.
How young were you when you found out the truth? Have you revealed the truth to your kids? If not, have you thought of how you will? I would like to read your story and that of your kids. I do hope the suggestions I have offered here help you in revealing Santa Claus to the little people in your life. Happy Blogmas!