Monday, December 13, 2010

How we do Santa

So, I grew up completely believing in Santa. My parents did a great job making it super fun and super easy to believe. At age 8 or so, my Mom told me the "truth" about Santa which didn't shock or hurt me. I remember being completely ok with it. I didn't question our belief in God or creation or Jesus. I was just "ok" with it.

When we started having kids, Adam and I just kind of did what our parents did. Recently though, we've found ourselves doing stuff "differently." Connor, our oldest, has become very concerned with what is "pretend" and what is "real." We watch lots of Star Wars, dragon movies, play video games, and do other "pretend" things. We read about "pretend" places. A question I get at least once a day is: "Mom, is ______ real or pretend?"

Adam and I have also spent a GREAT deal of time making sure our kids understand what Christmas is really about. So, we made a new decision about the whole SANTA-thing. We decided to tell all our kids (and when I say all the kids, I really mean Connor cause Bryce and the babies don't care).

I sat down with Connor and explained that St. Nick or Santa Clause was a VERY REAL person and he loved Jesus very much. He gave the children in his village presents every year. He grew old and went to heaven. People loved all the great things Santa did so much that they continued doing it. Soon, people everywhere were playing the "game" of Santa by remembering a great man who loved others and doing the same thing by loving others and serving them. So, that is why we have Santa. It a "pretend" game that everyone plays. But he is no longer "here," but in heaven. We're going to play the game too.

Connor looked at me, nodded his head and took off. Later, he asked if it was just a game and if the "real" Santa was in heaven and would he get a present. I said "of course", but that if he told others and ruined the game then he wouldn't. (Yes, I did bribe him. The idea of my child "ruining" someone else's Santa-thing made me sick to my stomach.) When someone asks Connor if he believes in Santa, I told him that he could say yes because we know he was real and so we do believe in that. He seems to be totally cool with it and still excited that he gets a stocking and a present from "Santa." Bryce did not care one bit and was probably a little bit relieved because he still doesn't really "like" the man.

So that's how we do the Santa thing. How about you? Thoughts?


Amanda S. said...

I think that is a great approach and at just the right age. My nephews 8 & 10 still believe in Santa, Easter bunny and the tooth fairy. I think that is a bit too long but I still don't think they'll end up in counseling or think my parents are liars and resent them forever. That argument is ridiculous. BUT, teaching them about St. Nick and how we play "pretend" puts the real into the pretend and it's still fun.

Still don't understand why people won't do Santa but they'll do the Easter bunny and tooth fairy.....weird.

Anonymous said...


Read the reply in the New York Sun 1897 by Philip Church, "Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus". Gives a whole new perspective on what we can't see but what we feel. Yes, there is a Santa Claus. He lives in the hearts of children young and old !

Love Nana

Jen said...


Almost exactly what we do. There is a great site: that has some good resources. Also, The Adventure of Christmas by Lisa Welchel has a good story about the real St. Nick. We also celebrate St. Nicholas Day with gold coins in the stockings as per the "real" story. . .

For another GREAT Advent Tradition, buy a copy of Jotham's Journey for next year, or try a Jesse Tree. . . just some ideas that are great fun around here.

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