It’s the questions every parent dreads to hear from their child: “Is Santa real?”
This can be a daunting question for parents to answer for their kiddos. Many of us remember our childhood trauma of finding out that Santa did not indeed live in the North Pole delivering presents and we are reluctant to take that magic away from our children.
But just because Santa isn’t who they thought he wasn’t doesn’t mean it needs to be a traumatic conversation – or even take the magic of Christmas away. There are many ways to talk to your kiddos and keep them excited about the Holiday Season.
Keep it light.
Do not take a serious tone or make a serious face when you have the conversation with your kids. (But don’t make it out to be a joke either). Keep calm and be gentle when they ask. The more dramatic you are about it, the more emotional they will become as well.
Don’t tell them Santa doesn’t exist.
If you child starts to ask about Santa don’t simply say, “yup he’s fake!” Explain that Santa and the magic of Christmas is alive in everyone’s heart when they have the generous spirit of Christmas. Make Santa a symbol of generosity and goodness.
Read your child and let it happen naturally.
Learn how to read your child. Learn the difference between a child seriously asking for the truth vs a child asking so that they can have confirmation he is real a while longer.
Don’t rush or force your child. Once they reach a certain age they might learn from friends or start to figure it out on their own. At this stage, it will be much easier to have that conversation.
Set the standard with your family.
All to often the cat is let out of the bag early and awkwardly by one goofy uncle’s joke or one aunt’s side comment. Before your holiday gatherings, let your family know where your child stands with Santa so that your child doesn’t find out before they are ready.
Get them in on the Magic of Christmas.
Tell them that now they are in on the true secret of Christmas, they are Santas too. Have them help with gift wrapping, getting younger siblings excited, hanging the ‘Elf on a Shelf’-all the fun magical parts of Christmas. They will love being a part of something fun and bringing secret smiles to their siblings faces.
It’s never easy to go into the conversation about Santa with your kids, but keeping it light and getting them in on the magic is a great way to make it a little easier for you and your family.