Many parents wonder whether to tell their children if Santa is real. While there is good reason not to, this post is not about that. Instead, it shares that Christmas is Magical Without Santa.
First, the realizations that led to a Santa-less house:
1. Telling my children that a stranger enters our home through a chimney still hot with fire, and trollops around while we are all asleep never made sense to me.
2. The traditional picture of a terrified child unwillingly or forcefully sitting on the lap of a stranger was not one I wanted as part of my collection.
3. Being untruthful with my children is not something I am comfortable with. I understood that the depth and frequency of the lie would need to increase as time went on (like “Santa’s helpers are at the mall- that’s why there are so many”, that I happen “to have the same gift wrap as santa”, that “daddy’s handwriting must look just like Santa’s”…)
As soon as I admitted the three thoughts above, my decision was made. Santa would not be the sole fictional character allowed to cross into our real world.
My husband was not so sure. He wanted the fun of tracking the sleigh and the look on our children’s faces as they came downstairs on Christmas morning. He wanted the Magic of Christmas. Who could blame him?
“I want the magic of Christmas too” I told him, “I just do not think that “Santa” is required to create it”. Kris thought about it. He himself was at a point of frustration with commercialism. I shared a few articles with him and the words resonated.
So Santa has never come to our house. Not once. Not ever. Our children receive presents; from mom and dad and each other.
We decorate our house and take trips to the City. We have carols playing and watch all the retro shows. We visit with our neighbors and serve those in need. We decorate the tree, and spend time with our families. We ride around looking at Christmas lights and get extra hot chocolate as our town lights its tree.
When Christmas morning comes, I come downstairs first, just like my dad used to do. I turn on the music and the lights on the tree. I start a pot of coffee, mix hot chocolate and ready the video camera. I switch the flash of our camera to “on”. Then, I excitedly walk to the bottom of the stairs and say “Merry Christmas Owen and Sydney! Come on down!”
The expressions on my children’s faces are not less precious because Santa did not come. They open their gifts saying “Mom! You remembered!” and “I LOVE sparkly books!” Arms are thrown around necks, wrapping paper lines the floor, and the mugs of Kris and my coffee steam. The lights on the tree twinkle and sounds of the season swim through the room.
Christmas Morning is the culmination of our magical Christmas Season. Even without Santa. Not focusing on Santa and presents leading up to Christmas leaves room for other stuff too, but that is for another post.
There are lots of good reasons not to have Santa visit my house. When I first began to consider this option, I thought I might be robbing my children of something. Now I realize that I have not, and this decision fits our family perfectly. Most importantly, there is no doubt that Christmas is magical without Santa.
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Here are some useful links on this subject:
What We Tell Our Kids About Santa by Pastor Mark for The Washington Post