Before we had children, Jayson and I had the talk about Santa. Do we tell our kids about Santa or tell them the truth from the get-go? Jayson came from a super-christian “over spiritual” (as he calls it) family and church where there was no tree, ornaments or santa. I was born in India and we didn’t have the Santa story, it wouldn’t make sense right? Random fat white dude in a red suit coming to my house with gifts..nope!
I can recall the few days I actually believed in Santa. After I lived in America for 2 years, I was in the 5th grade and I was mad at my parents one Christmas(can’t remember the reason, but I was 10 and probably a little dramatic) and decided to write a letter to Santa like I heard about on television. I left the letter by the fireplace, we lived on the first floor in an apartment complex, but I didn’t know anything. So as my mom was cleaning and dusting she found my letter to Santa. That weekend at grandma’s house, during family dinner, randomly my uncles and aunts started quoting my letter. In that moment I knew for sure there was no Santa.
So both my husband and I have no sentimental attachment to Santa and didn’t really believe the story, ever. So we decided to be honest about Santa this year, with our little 4 year old daughter. In the past we had never made Santa a big deal, but now that she is in school, learning to read and watching shows we knew she was surrounded by Santa everywhere. Here is how we did it: So we watched a show with her that really explained the story of Saint Nicholas and the traditions of the tree, ornaments, stockings and even where we got the name “Christmas”. We told her that people dress up and pretend to be Santa to remember his story of generosity.
Here are the 3 reasons why we came clean about Santa:
- We don’t want anything to detract from the true reason for the season: Jesus.
- We don’t want to promote commercialism. (even the true story of Saint Nicholas is all about giving to those who are poor and needy)
- We don’t want to share credit for the gifts we are buying…lol We want to foster an appreciation for the actual visible people who love our kids the most and work hard to buy them things instead of an invisible character.
Some of you reading this may think, we are taking this Santa thing way too seriously and we should probably just “let her be a kid”. You may be right, we are all learning and doing our best with this parenting gig, right? But I do believe it is important to be intentional in parenting and use every opportunity to instill values when your children are young because that is when you make the most impact. We are not forcing her to think of Santa the way we do, we know she is 4, but we want her to know the truth and we want her to hear it from us. We may watch movies about Santa, take pictures with Santa, we won’t ever forbid these things in a legalistic way. But we will always remind her of the true reason for the season.