Have you figured out what to say to your kids when they found out that Santa Claus is not real? Do you intend to perpetuate the myth for as long as humanly possible?
Even if you do, eventually the time will come when the truth is revealed and your child experiences disappointment and disillusionment.
Some parents opt to avoid the moment of profound disappointment by avoiding the concept of Santa Claus entirely.
“What is wrong with these people?” You may be asking. In actuality, parents who choose not to share the magic of Christmas through the (relatively recently created, historically) stories of Santa Claus are not intending to be killjoys.
The reasons that parents make this choice are varied and thoughtful. What could possibly justify sucking the magic and myth out of the American Christmas by eliminating Santa?
Many parents object on the principle that telling their children a false story year after year is lying. Even worse, it is not a single lie, but one that is both personally and culturally perpetuated. It is a calculated and repeated deception of their kids.
The deception of children about Santa Claus is directly misleading, and in the end, it does make parents seem untrustworthy, especially if what is basically an elaborate hoax is revealed for what it is to them at a very young age. If children are taught to believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy, none of which actually exist, by their well-meaning parents, how are those same parents, if they are religious, going to convince their children that the stories surrounding Jesus’ birth are not one grand, elaborate myth?
Which brings one to yet another reason that many parents in the US do not support the illusion that Santa Claus is real. All the hype about Santa and his lists and his elves and his reindeer takes focus off the reason that Christmas is celebrated in the first place – as a celebration of the birth of the Christ child.
Many parents have turned away from the Santa Claus traditions for more temporal reasons. With environmental concerns, war, and a strained global economy, many parents, especially those who are now in their twenties and thirties, spurn the commercialism, materialism, and conspicuous consumption of the Claus Christmas.
By taking the focus off of Santa Class, parents of either ilk can concentrate on quieter, more introspective traditions, and teach their children about the joys of giving to others, to the earth, and even to yourself.
In fact, you might want to bring up the story of Saint Nicholas, who actually did exist, and was very much a model of the spirit of giving. Volunteer time to a charity in his honor.
If you decide to tell your children from the start that there is no Santa Claus, you might get some hate mail from the parents of other children. Let your children know that sometimes it is fun to pretend, and teach them that, they should allow other children and adults to pretend that there is a Santa Claus, because pretending can be fun. Ask them, in the spirit of giving, not to burst anyone’s bubble.
There are many kids today who do not believe in Santa Claus. If you do choose to tell your kids that Santa Claus exists, you might want to prepare your explanation strategy.