Some parents say that telling their kids that Santa is real helps them preserve the magic of childhood. Which is true…for a couple years. Until they learn that you were lying, which will teach them that you are not always trustable. And it’s not a little white lie; it’s an elaborate web of lies that you have told them for years. They will learn that you lie to them about things that are important to them. In this moment, they will also likely learn something about magic: It isn’t real. And that the belief in magic is wrapped up with immaturity.
A child's sense of magic will be preserved longer, maybe lasting all the way into adulthood, if the magic you share with them isn't a lie. Do you still feel the magic of the world? Cause if you don’t, you just might not be slowing down enough to feel it. There is magic all around: rain falling, people crying, ideas changing, cookies being baked, spider webs glistening, trees whispering their secrets to us, people forgiving each other, hearts beating, music being made, babies being born, people dying, plants growing, and minds dreaming of wild stories. This magic is enough for children (and for you) when it is fully felt.
The rest of life’s magic can be felt as it unfolds in every moment.
4 Ways to Enjoy Santa Without Lying:
- Read books about traditional and contemporary stories of Santa. Enjoy the exciting ideas of elves, gifts, flying reindeer, and a very special, jolly and generous old man.
- Pretend to be elves making toys or Santa delivering gifts. You can take turns being Santa while the other person pretends to be sleeping children waiting for their gifts.
- While in pretend play ask your children questions to stir their imagination: What would you want from Santa? What toys are you making while you are an elf? How are going to get down the chimney?
- At heart, Santa is a story about generosity, giving, and receiving. Practice feeling and expressing the depth of giving and receiving time, love, presence (and maybe even presents!) with loved ones.
For more info on Santa:
The Wikipedia page is really interesting!
Check out this blog post: The Santa Situation: To Lie or Not to Lie
For more on cultivating magic over the holidays:
The Barefoot Barn: Through the Eyes of a Three Year Old