It’s the most wonderful time of the year … until your seven year old asks during Christmas dinner, “Is Santa real?” What do you say? You knew this day would come.
But not now. Not today. Not with his younger siblings and cousins at the table! If you have a practice in your home of believing the Santa story, you know this is a day you dread. For some, it comes easy. For others, it can be traumatizing. For most, we just treat this like the sex talk – let them find out on their own at school.
But parents, fear not! I came across a great way to break the news to your kids
when the time is right. Charity Hutchinson posted something on Facebook last year
detailing how to turn what can be a dreaded experience into an empowering one.
The quick answer is this:
“The time has come for you to move from believing in Santa to becoming Santa.”
1. Take your child out to lunch.
Make this a special event for them. Emphasize you’re noticing how much they
have grown and how observant they are becoming. Ask them if they’ve noticed
how they probably see a lot of Santas around town. Begin to explain the need for
a lot of Santas because of how many people there are.
2. Explain the true origin of Santa.
While Christmas is all about Jesus and his gift to us of eternal life, and even though
the wise men brought gifts to Jesus, the practice of gift giving comes from more
than this. Sometime around 300 A.D., an orphan named Nicholas used the vast
wealth he inherited when his parents died to share gifts with children. He would
sneak into houses and leave gold in washed stockings drying by the fireplace.
This was the first Santa. And ever since then, people have been doing anonymous
acts of kindness for people during this season. And the truth is, it requires a lot
of Santas. The truth is, there is not one Santa who gives gifts to everyone on
Christmas Eve. There are many and it requires all of us.
3. “You’re ready to become a Santa. “
“This is a privilege. This is a secret from those who are younger and are not yet
ready. But you can help me be a Santa. Let’s go pick out some gifts for people
and plan to surprise them.” (You may want to skip the whole breaking and
Granted, there is no easy way to do this. But, using Charity’s idea can allow you to
take a scary moment and make it special! Hope this helps. Please share with others
if you do.