Santa is Everywhere
Santas are everywhere you look during the holiday season, which can confuse children. Each holiday message, story, commercial, and toy catalog have a different-looking and sounding Santa somewhere in the ad or story.
Seeing so many Santas inevitably brings up the question,
“Is Santa real? And if Santa is real, which Santa is real?”
No parent sets out to lie to their child about Santa.
And no parent wants to burst the magical bubble that makes the holiday season so precious.
Where do you stand?
Maddy, a mom considering how to answer her child’s questions, told me that some parents even refrain from telling their kids the Santa myth because they don’t want to lie. How do you explain Santa to your children? Let us know in the comments.
Changing the Myth to Authentically Explain
You want to be a mindful, authentic parent, but that can create a problem during the holidays. You don’t want to continue the myth of Santa, but you don’t want to destroy the season’s magic, either. So you need to find a way to explain who Santa is and what he does honestly and authentically. If that’s what you’re looking for, then you’re in luck.
Before you write an angry comment, please know that I respect your belief system, whatever that may be. I am not trying to change anyone’s beliefs or rituals about the holidays. This article is simply for those looking for a way to update the Santa myth.
First, Let Me Set This Up
Several years ago, I read a New York Times piece that addressed the Santa myth perfectly. I knew in my bones this description was destined to become a classic. So I contacted the writer, Martha Brockenbrough, and received permission to republish her piece.
Why This Letter was Written
Martha’s daughter, Lucy, had discovered the truth about Santa, which “left her mother grappling with how to explain that belief.” Mom decided to address this issue in a letter. The following letter was so well received that the author turned it into a holiday storybook.
The Letter Explaining Santa
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 Christmas magic 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.
I don’t know about you, but I adore this answer.
If you’d like a copy for your family holiday storytelling, the book’s name is Love, Santa; When you’re ready to share the Beautiful Truth About Santa. By Martha Brockenbrough
I release this each year before Thanksgiving so that when the moment arrives, and it will, you’ll have had time to think about your honest and authentic response to the Santa myth before the holiday arrives.
Happy parenting, everyone.
Now go kiss your kids!
Santa is Everywhere