How And When To Tell Your Kids The Truth About Santa
It's just as magical for us parents as it is for our kids, watching the wonder on their faces as they believe that they've just witnessed real magic: getting goodies for their lost teeth, picking up eggs from a rabbit in a hurry and trying to imagine a guy fitting through their chimney none of whom they ever manage to see no matter how hard they try. But when does the magic end and how do we preserve their trust on the day that their innocence starts to grow up?
This question is so hard for us all because there is no cut-and-dry answer and like many of life's questions concerning our little ones it depends greatly on each individual situation. However, I stumbled upon a letter from one mom to her questioning daughter and I think her take on it is a great route for parents that don't want to play their kids for fools while continuing to inspire them even after they get too smart for us...
Thank you for your letter. You asked a very good question: “Are you Santa?”
I know you’ve wanted the answer to this question for a long time, and I’ve had to give it careful thought to know just what to say.
The answer is no. I am not Santa. There is no one Santa.
I am the person who fills your stockings with presents, though. I also choose and wrap the presents under the tree, the same way my mom did for me, and the same way her mom did for her. (And yes, Daddy helps, too.)
I imagine you will someday do this for your children, and I know you will love seeing them run down the stairs on Christmas morning. You will love seeing them sit under the tree, their small faces lit with Christmas lights.
This won’t make you Santa, though.
Santa is bigger than any person, and his work has gone on longer than any of us have lived. What he does is simple, but it is powerful. He teaches children how to have belief in something they can’t see or touch.
It’s a big job, and it’s an important one. Throughout your life, you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your friends, in your talents and in your family. You’ll also need to believe in things you can’t measure or even hold in your hand. Here, I am talking about love, that great power that will light your life from the inside out, even during its darkest, coldest moments.
Santa is a teacher, and I have been his student, and now you know the secret of how he gets down all those chimneys on Christmas Eve: he has help from all the people whose hearts he’s filled with joy.
With full hearts, people like Daddy and me take our turns helping Santa do a job that would otherwise be impossible.
So, no. I am not Santa. Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness. I’m on his team, and now you are, too.
I love you and I always will.