I love Santa.
For me, Santa is an expression of the innocence and wonder of childhood. I love seeing that in my children’s eyes. I will protect and preserve that for as long as I can. It’s so fleeting, it seems. I want to make it last for as long as I can.
I love the excitement and joy Santa brings to our home and the Season.
Many worry about the non-believers “ruining” the Santa experience for their children. I don’t.
I grew up in a house that celebrated Santa. With a span of 12 years from the oldest to the youngest, my parents figured out early how to keep the magic going long past when belief may have ended: when you no longer believe, Santa no longer comes. Oh yeah, let that sink in for a minute.
Last year I weighed in on a woman’s angry plea to other parents to keep their children from “ruining it” for others. There was a lot of discussion out there- about those that do Santa, those that don’t and how others are “ruining it”. But here’s the thing: our kids take their cues from us.
I have never wavered in my belief in Santa. We do, however, talk about how sad it is that some don’t believe. Which is no put-on…I really do think it’s sad. There’s so much magic wrapped up in Santa, that I do feel sad for those that lose that special magic, wonderment, excitement and joy. Santa is so much more than just presents arriving in the middle of the night. Santa embodies all that is good in this world: caring about others, working to create something wonderful for someone else, giving with no expectation of something in return. These are great ideals to celebrate.
So, I set the tone in my house. Santa is real. I feel sad for those that don’t believe.
When suspicion begins to creep in, I remind them of the bell in the Polar Express. Can they still hear it? If they can, it’s a sign. But then, as they grow older, and more around them have become more cynical and jaded, suspicion turns to conviction. Still I don’t waver. Santa is real. I express even more sadness for those around them that choose not to believe. But the proof is there in front of them: he brings them gifts Christmas morning. Besides, there is the saddest of all: if you don’t believe-he doesn’t come.
It’s a very effective reminder. It worked on my sisters and I. So far, it’s worked for my older children. Somehow they can manage to keep their thoughts on the matter to themselves when there are presents at stake. (Santa is BIG around here. Mom and Dad give one gift, but Santa brings a LOT…)
Yeah, I don’t mind playing a little hardball with my kids. It’s a small price to pay for keeping the magic alive. I’ll keep that special magic alive for as long as possible, even if it’s only an illusion. While I have some older kids, I have a little one as well. He’s growing up fast, faster than his older siblings did. That’s just part of being the youngest. But I want to protect every last minute of precious innocence, wonderment and joy that I can.
One of the benefits of having children over a wide age-span is that if you can keep them from airing their suspicions long enough, they get to see the excitement in others and buy in for a whole new reason. My older kids enjoy seeing the excitement of their younger brother. They help build the Santa anticipation. Watching them I get to see a new level to Santa: creating the joy in others.
Yes, we’re Santa believers in this house.
And we’re enjoying every moment.