When Chris and I first had children we decided that we were not going to do Santa with them. It was actually Chris who felt most strongly about it and I just went along for the ride. Five years later I have to say that I really enjoy our no Santa policy. It simplifies Christmas and, for me, helps keep the focus on Christ. Don't worry, I'm not some sort of Santa hating zealot. I respect that others really enjoy having the Santa experience with their children. It's just something we've chosen not to participate in.
That said, when our five year old came home from preschool yesterday and told me that his teacher had told him Santa was real and he lived at the North Pole, I was stumped. As I looked at his sweet, innocent, eager little face I just didn't know what to do. Childhood is so fleeting anymore. If I told him Santa wasn't real, would that be just another pin prick in the fabric of his innocence? On the other hand, could I suddenly change course while Chris was at youth group and start a new tradition of Santa with the kids? What to do?
In the end, I decided to go with the tried and true method of a quick nougat of truth followed by immediate deflection.
"Honey, Santa's not really real, but there was a St. Nicholas who lived a long time ago and put presents and candy in kids' shoes to show them God loved them!"
"Saint Nicholas put presents in kids' shoes?"
"Yeah, they left them outside on Christmas Eve and he would come and put presents in them while they slept."
"Wow, that's funny. I want to put my shoes outside on Christmas Eve! Can I do that and you put presents in my shoes?"
Yes! Awkward situation averted!! Of course, I did have to tell him before school today that the Santa's not really real thing was a secret between us and not to tell the other kids because some parents like pretending Santa is real. Did I do the right thing? I don't know....but waking up to a shoe filled with goodies would be petty cool! :-)
Blessings and Peace,