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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

To Believe or not to Believe in Santa Clause

 


I grew up in a home where we talked about Santa, took pictures with him at the mall, baked him cookies, you name it. Then every Christmas morning my mother would read about the birth of Jesus from the Bible.  On the other hand, my husband's family didn't do Santa at all for the most part outside of referring to him as the "spirit of giving" when he was older. That's it. 

When it comes to our immediate family unit we don't teach Santa, but at the same time we don't discourage Maddie from believing in him. We haven't mentioned Santa to her but she's come home from school talking about him. I won't tell her he's not real. She's three, has an impeccable imagination and I'm certain like the rest of us she'll figure it out soon enough on her own. She also believes in Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, and a bunch of other fake characters too, so I'm pretty sure this thought process in children is quite normal. 

When she asks questions about him I answer them. For instance, the other day she saw a huge Santa outside of a store and asked "does Santa live at the North Pole?" So I answered.  For one, there is no escaping Santa Claus this time of year. He's everywhere; even in our neighbors front yard. Secondly, she's hearing things about him at every turn, otherwise she wouldn't have known to specifically ask about the North Pole in the first place (as I'm certain we've never mentioned it). I know we can easily counter whatever she's been told in order to ensure that she knows he isn't real. But, it's just not necessary to teach against Santa in my opinion. 

Again, we don't go out of our way to teach about Santa either. We don't take pictures with Santa at the mall. We don't tell her that he's bringing her gifts nor do we leave gifts with "From Santa" under the tree. Besides, she only gets three gifts anyway, remember! The only thing we do that's contrary to all I've stated about not teaching Santa is baking cookies on Christmas Eve. It's a tradition I loved doing the most with my late mother so it's one of those things I can't help but do with my child(ren). Honestly, it's more about the baking together than anything else but leaving them out for Santa is something she's said she wants to do so she's aware of that part of it and I'm totally okay with that. 
Ultimately, we want to make sure that our children understand the true meaning of Christmas. So, we'll definitely be reading the Bible on Christmas morning as I did growing up. Also, as our children get older I look forward to discussing how we can give back and actively serve in the community around this time of the year.  But for now, she chooses to believe in Santa and wants to discuss him and I'm totally okay with that too. 

This is such an interesting topic with varying opinions, so I'd love to hear your thoughts and/or approach on the subject. Chime in below in the comments section!


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6 comments

  1. My daughter is also three and is totally into Santa. I personally love sharing in the magic with her. We have an app to call Santa and she just loves it. I really can't wait for Christmas morning!

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  2. Sounds like a good approach. The joy of Christmas is so fun with kids!

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  3. I do not have a child but my parent allowed me to figure out Santa by myself.
    I was pretty smart for a 4 year old to believe in a fat guy coming down the chimmey

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  4. My daughter is two and is learning all about Santa at Nursery School and is so obsessed with it. She is so excited for Christmas and I am not sure how I feel about it. I am encouraging it, I think creativity and imagination are a great thing to foster. When I found out Santa was not real (and the easter bunny and tooth fairy) my mom said I showed nothing but gratitude and said "you did all that, wow, thank's mom!" so I don't see the harm in it. I do disagree with teaching children only "good" children get presents and "naughty" children do not. I think they should learn to be good and behave because that is what is expected and acceptable, not just because they will receive no presents otherwise.


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  5. There's some great feedback here! I'm curious to know what you told her about Santa living in the North Pole!

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  6. This is the first year my 3 year old has been into all things Christmas including Santa. I love it. I grew up loving Santa and like you said, she will figure it out in time.

    I wanted to write my feelings on some of the what I call vigilante approaches. I feel like so many parents are so hardcore against it and just about anything else these days. Life can be rough so why not let your kids enjoy their imaginary worlds and maybe join in a little.

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