The Magic Of Childhood: Celebrating With Santa Claus
Back when we first became parents to our first, circa 2008, we decided we weren’t going to do the whole Santa Claus thing. We wanted all of the gifts to be from us and decided we wanted to skip the whole concept of Santa as an actual person. A person who sneaks into our home while we are sleeping.
When You Don’t Do Santa
It turned out that not including Santa Claus in our Christmas was actually a very unpopular opinion amongst some friends and family. In fact, one friend didn’t want to hang out with us during the month of December in case we slip out that Santa wasn’t real.
Obviously, we wouldn’t go around crushing childhood dreams but these friends were still worried! I mean our first kid was only three years old but I guess you never know when truth bombs might be dropped.
Changing Ideas Around Santa
Fast forward to child number two and we started to relax our ideas around the whole Santa thing. The kids really loved the idea of Santa and the magic that went with it. So, we allowed our views to change and did our first Santa visit when our oldest was four years old.
While we don’t pump up Santa to be a magical man who flies around the world in one night visiting all the worlds children, we still love the idea of Santa as a character. That’s the beauty of parenting, we get to choose the parts that works the best for us and our family.
For the past seven years we have loved talking about Santa and embracing the idea that he is part of the magic of the holiday season. We have done a few Santa visits and we have occasionally left out a plate of cookies and glass of milk.
Curious Children Ask Big Questions
My kids are currently 10, almost 7 and 3 years old. The ten year old knows that Santa is a make believe character. A few years ago he asked us if Santa was real and we asked him what he thought. He said, ‘Mum, I’m pretty sure that he isn’t real…but do I still get presents if I think he isn’t real?’. In that moment we told him he had now graduated the ranks and he would now become our special elf that night.
He loves helping fill his two sisters stockings with treats and toys while they are off sleeping. The last year he was absolutely thrilled seeing the magic the next morning and being part of it too. Even when all three of my children are grown I hope we still do the magical stockings. The ones that are empty at night and filled up with treats in the morning.
Santa does stop at our home and the kids do get small gifts and treats from him. He doesn’t give the big gifts, those always come from us. We felt comfortable changing how we did things as parents and we love talking about Santa Claus coming to visit.
In our home Santa is still a character. We don’t pretend that he is a real person that visits our home while we sleep. Back when we were an apartment dwelling family it was always tricky to explain how Santa got up to our tenth floor condo. Especially as there was a secured elevator access and no chimney or front door!
The six year old is starting to get curious about Santa and I suspect she actually knows he is not real but is going along with the whole thing because of the magic feeling. When she is ready to ask we will ask her what she thinks and let her lead the conversation.
Letting The Magic Of Santa Exist
If my kids want to believe in Santa, we go with it. One thing I know for sure is that these young years of childhood are quite short in the scheme of things. There is so much magic everyday in childhood and sadly it does eventually disappear. If the idea of Santa Claus makes them feel happy, I am all for it.
Believing in Santa will look differently for each family and I love that. There will be families on either side of the Santa Claus debate and lots in the middle. I am glad that we changed our parenting views around Santa and I get some of my own joy out of doing the behind the scenes Santa stuff.
The Big Santa Visit
We don’t do Santa photos every year. I think we’ve maybe done about three different sessions over the years. However, the other week I took my two girls to go and have a private visit with Santa. It would be our three year old’s first time doing a visit one on one.
We sang Christmas songs together and read a few holiday themed books with him. Of course there was milk and cookies and the girls gave him their Christmas wish lists. It was a special visit for sure and one I’m glad I got to share in this magical part of their childhood.
Tell me, what do you do about Santa in your home?
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