Growing up the oldest of 4 I don’t think I could tell you the moment I learned the big secret. You know, the one about Santa. I do, however, remember that I would not dare tell my kid brother the awful truth!
So it only felt natural as an adult to let my kids believe that Santa is who he says he is. We aren’t the family that continuously talks or threatens our kids about Santa watching us always. But every December 1 my kids start reminding me “Santa is checking his list.”
In our home, we are a blended family with ages ranging from 14 all the way down to 7 months. It’s becoming more and more present to me that kids are exposed to so much information that the thought of my 7-year-old questioning Santa’s legitimacy is not that shocking to me.
THE HARD TRUTH.
Each family has their ways of navigating conversations with their kids. In my opinion we, as their parents, should be an open, safe and truthful resource for our kids. I remember reading a post not too long ago on Facebook about talking to your growing kids about the story of Santa and how as you get older you start to see and realize that the magic of Christmas isn’t Santa and getting gifts but instead about gifting the ones you love with something they’ve wanted and not expecting a thank you in return. The story continued explaining why Santa is part of the story to the little ones, and now that the older child knows the secret, they have to make sure those who don’t know have the joy of getting the gifts until they are old enough to understand the even bigger joy of being the one gifting.
I love this explanation! I wish I had seen it when our 14-year-old let me know she knew about “Santa” a few years back. Although our conversation went a tad different, it wasn’t too far from the point the Facebook post made. We are a family that spends most of the year making donations when we can, and Christmas is no exception.
From the many Toy drives, food donations, and even sponsoring family meals from local restaurants, our kids love being able to help others, and expect nothing in return. I think because of those opportunities they are open to the idea of why Santa is used as the gift giver at Christmas.