Okay, we are now in the intense part of the holiday season. Everywhere I look, I see elves, advent calendars, and gift ideas galore. And of course, I’ve been bombarded with the big guy… Santa.
Now I’ve already told you all that I find the holiday season immensely stressful, so I’m strategic about how my family spends the season. But with this year comes another new task for me: deciding how we will handle Santa.
I loved the holidays as a kid, but I wasn’t a Santa-obsessed kid. I don’t remember ever thinking my behavior was tied to whether he brought me gifts or not, or even questioning who could have purchased my gifts. But we did do all the “Santa things” as a family. I took Santa pictures, wrote down the items I wanted, and I even left out the cookies and reindeer food. But I don’t remember ever questioning, or honestly ever caring, if he was real or not. Santa just isn’t a big piece of nostalgia for me.
Fast forward to now, and I’m now a mom with 2 kids wondering how we as a family will navigate Santa. My oldest will be 3.5 this Christmas and he’s aware of the holiday and recognizes Santa, but we have never introduced the concept of Santa bringing gifts or details about his existence.
On one hand, I think it’s cute and innocent, but on the other, I think it’s pointless, and I dread the day the “truth” comes out. Honestly, it seems much more difficult to keep the truth about Santa hidden from kids than it was when I was a kid.
Where Am I Leaning?
I do want my kids to enjoy the innocence of childhood and the joy of Christmas. I want them to get excited about Santa even if they don’t know or think he is sneaking in our house (no chimney) with a special key. My oldest is on the younger side of three so we aren’t in the thick of Santa just yet. But I know I’ll have to have a solid plan by next year. Currently, I’m leaning toward the “Santa is a character” idea. I’m happy if my son thinks Santa is whoever he thinks his favorite person, Spiderman, is. We’ll see how this holiday season goes, and I’ll make up my mind by next year.
I’m with you…I have a 1.5 year old and a 2.5 year old. Leaning toward Santa as a character and not pushing the “he’s real” narrative. Those nice thoughtful gifts under the tree? Mommy and Daddy got you those because we love you and it feels nice to think of others and plan a special gift for them. Will we read stories about Christmas magic, Santa, etc? Absolutely. Participate in all the fun Christmas traditions? Yep. We will also talk about letting other children celebrate/believe in whatever way feels special to them without question. If my kids start leaning in to the whole Santa thing, then sure… I’d be happy to buy in and play along. Otherwise, just a fun part of Christmas folklore.
I have a 1 y/o so dealing with this is on the horizon. I find the commercialization of Christmas and how Santa fits into that to be a LOT. Would love ideas on alternatives or how to keep it low key. I feel like a lot of it will be out of my control once his friends starting talking about Santa, elf on the shelf, and whatever other related things.