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Challenge: Reducing Holiday Stress

The Real Santa Claus

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I used to think there was nothing more magical than Christmas with a child. The joy was everywhere- lights, trees, cookies, SANTA, all of it ended with a night of impossible to fall asleep anticipation and then, the pure chaos of Christmas morning.

All that magic helped make the craziness of making it come together a little easier to bear.

I will never forget the year my son asked me about Santa. He was in 5th grade, and he came off the bus looking troubled. I asked him what was wrong, and he said “Nothing”. I could see that it WAS something but decided not to push. That night, there was a letter on my pillow.

Dear Mom,

On the bus the kids are saying that Christmas isn’t real. They say the gifts are all from the Moms and Dads and Santa isn’t real. I know you always tell me the truth. Is Santa real?

Love, Aedan

I cried. I wept for the boy who wanted so badly to believe in Santa that he left a letter, so he wouldn’t have to hear what he suspected was the truth. How was I supposed to answer this? I decided to answer with a letter of my own.


Dear Aedan,

Christmas is a special time. There are all kinds of wonderful things happening. Some you may be able to see and some you may not.

Is Santa Claus real? Every child asks that question at some point in their life.

I can honestly tell you that yes, the spirit is real today as it was 200 years ago. The spirit of Christmas is as real as the wonder of a rainbow, the uniqueness of a snowflake, and the certainly of your mother’s love. There is nothing stronger than the spirit of Santa Claus in children who believe with all their hearts that when they wake I the morning, magic will have happened. It doesn’t take a man in a red suit to have you believe that for one day, the entire world is a celebration of love and kindness and giving to others. That is a very important gift- the gift of giving. Your letter, asking to believe, well, it is up to you. You have the power in yourself to believe in al the good things in life- and to act upon them. You must believe in the magic.

Remember, the very first gift of Christmas was the gift of a child – THE child- from God. Always remember Jesus at Christmas.

I hope that this answers your question- and I think that you can honestly BELIEVE-

Merry Christmas,

We never spoke of it again. We went about our normal activities and he didn’t say a word about it. We put out milk and cookies that year, but something else happened. There were a few extra gifts under the tree- the kinds that come from the Kid Sale at school. Clumsily wrapped in scraps of paper, they were labeled “To Mom, from Santa” and “To Dad, From Santa”. In stockings were coupons for a breakfast in bed, a car wash, some extra chores, and a promise to watch “A mom movie” with me.

My son discovered the spirit of Christmas with the joy of giving of himself. He decided to believe in the magic that was everywhere around him and share his own spirit. A man in a red suit may not have visited our house on Christmas Eve, but you can be sure our house was filled with Christmas Spirit! I t has been every year.

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