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I apologize in advance if my kids are the ones who ruin Christmas for your kids. That’s not my intention. I understand why people have their children believe in the magic of Santa Claus, & we take care to explain to our children that other kids may still believe in Santa, & that they don't need to ruin it for anyone else. But, my husband & I have chosen to go a different direction...
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I don’t remember a point in my childhood where I believed in Santa Claus. I loved the stories surrounding Santa Claus, & I loved the giving & receiving of gifts. But just like other fairy tales I had read about, I didn’t really believe that they existed.
This is similar to how we have chosen to go about the topic of Santa Claus for our children. We talk about Santa, we read books about Santa, we watch movies about Santa. But our sons have never truly believed that Santa was real. They have always helped buy gifts for others, never received a present “From: Santa”, & have always been very appreciative to the people who actually gave them gifts.
Childhood is full of fairy tales & magic. We don’t put near as much effort into convincing children that their favorite story book character is real… so why do we push so hard when it comes to Santa?
Here’s why Santa doesn’t come to our house:
- My kids hate the idea of sitting on Santa's lap! They don't want to go near him & cry if we make an attempt.
- The idea of Santa coming our house in the middle of the night also worried them. Especially my older son. He was not on-board with anyone sneaking into our house.
- The holidays are about much more than an old man in a red suit – family, faith, & generosity
- We enjoy buying presents together & picking out things that our loved ones would like
- We enjoy wrapping gifts together
- I want my children's gratitude to be towards the person who gave my children the present (not a mythical being)
- Making Santa (& Elf on the Shelf) real requires a lot of effort & frankly a lot of deception (as innocent as it may be)
- I work hard to be honest with my children, & it seems odd to trick them about something so trivial
- I do not want to set my kids up for disappointment once they would find out that Santa is not real
- I understand that disappointment will happen to my children, but I do not want it to come from me… especially over something that could easily be avoided
- Christmas is still magical without Santa being real
All of that being said… I do understand why families choose to go all in on Santa. We all want childhood to be a magical time where you can believe in things that don’t really exist or make sense. We equate Santa to innocence, & we do not want to rob our children of this. There are many children that adore the idea of Santa & find it fun & magical. There are also many children who will not be devastated when they come to find out that he is not real. So in those situations... I get it.
But... I also firmly believe that my children do not have worse Christmasses than other children simply because we do not insist that Santa Claus is real.
The holiday season is a magical time of year in & of itself, & I want to assure you that if your children don't whole-heartedly believe in Santa, they will be just fine too :)
*For more on this topic, check out the full Happy Holidays collection*