Monday, December 5, 2011

Santa, Are You For Real?

If your kids are too young to ask that question – don’t worry they will! And if they already have, I’d love your insight! Because {are you sitting down?} I grew up with parents who never taught me to believe in Santa! I mean, I knew who he was, I knew all the reindeer by name, but I always knew he wasn’t real. In fact, my first recollection of the answer to the Santa question is this book:


Honestly, it explained things really well. Through this book I grew up learning the Christmas story from the Bible and that Santa was a modern day version of a real Saint name Nicholas. This book explains how a wealthy young man named Nicholas saw the needs of the poor and would secretly leave toys in their stockings at night. He became known as “St. Nick” and many other names, including Santa Claus.  Because of St. Nick, people around the world carry on that tradition of giving gifts and stuffing stockings. The book also had a neat way of connecting it to the Bible Christmas story!

So, here's REALITY. That is all well and fine – until I had kids of my own. It was easy for my first son. He was mostly around adults. We played up Christmas and Jesus’ birth, played down Santa and he loved the gifts and attention. Until he was 3. We were at a our local community center having hot chocolate and Christmas treats. Halfway through the night Santa makes his appearance! The kids go wild. Santa sits down and slowly starts handing out gifts {pre sent by the parents} to the kids one by one. My 3 year old looked at me delighted and said, is Santa going to give ME a gift too? I looked right into his big brown eyes and said:
“Of course he is sweetheart!”
{And then proceeded to run home and get a pre-wrapped gift for Santa to give to my kid too!} And so entered Santa into our celebrations.


Now, I have to be honest, I did not know all the things there were to do surrounding Santa’s arrival. I’d never left cookies, made reindeer food, or anything of the sort. {Don’t feel sorry for me, I grew up *somewhat* well adjusted.} ;o) But I felt awkward presenting something to my son I didn’t grow up believing in and I felt like it would come across as awkward and a lie. So, yes, the focus of the season was Jesus’ birth and the Christmas story, but Santa was still there on the side. We made cookies and milk, visited Santas and when he asked questions like “If we don’t have a fireplace, how is Santa going to come into our house?” I’d answer “Well, if Santa was real, where do you think he’d come in?” His answer: “The keyhole!” Sounds good to me! :) I think he always knew in his heart Santa wasn't real, because there was never an awkward question or a moment when he had "the realization." He just accepted the truth as something he already knew anyways.

So, Santa didn’t REALLY take off until son #2 was born. Little man loves the MAGIC in EVERYTHING – especially Santa! And despite my up-playing Christmas and down playing Santa, he was a Santa fan from birth. And so, last year, we finally did Santa – FULL OUT. I mean, we left him cookies and milk, we wrote letters and Christmas morning I sprinkled coal around the fireplace as if Santa had knocked them out. It worked. The magic in his eyes was priceless. Inside, I'm still not comfortable doing Santa, but I also know that this magical time isn’t going to last forever. I see it slipping away day by day and I can already tell this year will probably be Little Man's last year believing in the magic of Santa. Ironically, I’m a little sad about that. But, what's comforting is Little Man knows the REAL meaning of Christmas too and when the question “Santa, are you for real?” comes along, at least I’ll be ready. {Btw - I HIGHLY recommend that book!!} And in the meantime, we made this video from the North Pole, while we still can...

{FYI – you can make this PERSONALIZED for any kid and adults too! Santa talks to your kid and tells him in what area he wants him/her to behave! "I'll be watching" he says! Love it!! They also have lots of funny options for adults! I even made one for myself! So check it out and have some fun!}

To make your own video click here!

So yeah, I guess you can say I gave in to the Santa magic. For now. ;o) How about you? Do you remember how you found out Santa wasn't real? How are you going to tell your kids the truth?



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