What About Santa?
What about Santa? I know throughout the years when we were raising our kids we struggled with “public opinion” when it came to our homeschooling choices, our choice to not celebrate Halloween and to tell our kids that there was no Santa, Tooth Fairy, or Easter Bunny. People felt like we were stealing our kid’s childhood from them.
When our first was too young to know about any of these things, my Mom said something to me that she had heard and I took it to heart. Now, let me start by saying in my house growing up we believed in and celebrated all of the above. I had never thought I would do anything different with my kids until my Mom said this: If you tell your kids there is a Santa Claus and a Tooth Fairy and an Easter Bunny and they eventually find out they don’t exist, what will they think about God and Jesus? They saw the Easter Bunny and Santa and the Tooth Fairy on TV, in books, and at the mall, but they weren’t real. What about God? Is that just a fairy tale, too?
As adults we know that it’s all about faith and that would be a great lesson for the kids at the time they find out about these things but, I felt if I just told them ahead of time, we could avoid any of the unspoken thoughts they might have. Now, don’t get me wrong, we have plenty of pictures with them on Santa’s knee, and we played the Tooth fairy when they lost teeth, and we hid Easter baskets on Easter and had egg hunts. It didn’t mean we couldn’t still do those things, it just meant that our kids knew it was just fun and they knew the real meanings behind Christmas and Easter and that didn’t get lost in the other activities.
Now we did have one downfall in all of this, besides family and friends thinking we were mean to our kids for telling them the truth. When our daughter was in kindergarten (before we began homeschooling) a teacher friend and I babysat many kids after school everyday together and one day the principal called me and told me that my daughter had been telling her classmates there was no Santa and the school was getting phone calls. So, she asked me to tell my daughter to not tell the other kids. I was fine with that. All of the kids were playing in the backyard and I called my daughter in and explained the situation and told her that other parents wanted their kids to believe in Santa and that we needed to not tell them that there wasn’t a Santa Claus. She said she understood and so she went back out to play…. as the door was closing I hear her announce “My Mom says I can’t tell y’all there’s no Santa anymore…” Ok, so yes, I laughed quietly and shook my head… lol kids!
Someone also told me about this great book that I absolutely loved when my kids were young: Santa And The Christ Child. It’s a great way to integrate both.
How do you handle these things with your kids?