My daughter has been trying to catch us out! She’s setting little traps for us to get to the truth about the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Santa. She didn’t even tell me when she had lost her last tooth because, and to quote her “the Tooth Fairy should know”.
I have always been, and grew up, with the belief that if you don’t believe – you don’t receive, and that is what we have been repeating to our children over and over. But honestly, that’s not an answer! I completely understand my daughters frustration and want for the truth.
Kids are so inquisitive and in fact, that’s something we encourage as parents. I personally think it is an essential quality to have, to not just take the word of someone else as fact. I don’t think we can continue to expect our daughter to take “If you don’t believe you don’t receive” as an answer.
In saying that though, I too am stubborn. I don’t want to cave and just say… “Yeah! You’re right. Mum and Dad are Santa don’t tell your brothers”. Santa is more than just that and if I’m honest, I don’t like admitting when I’m wrong. So I came up with a way to explain to her that Santa is real and is not real at the same time. A way for her to still believe and receive whilst knowing the truth and respecting other people’s belief in him.
I’ve seen some interesting articles on social media on how to let the secret out. There were letters, chats over hot chocolate and then there was just admitting it. I really liked the idea of a letter that you could personalise to your child’s age and intellect. Our daughter is 10 going on 16 so I have constructed a letter that we feel would not only answer her questions, in a way she would comprehend, but that would help her see what Christmas is really about.
To our darling XXXX,
You have been asking about Santa a lot lately. Asking if he is real and asking if we are Santa. You are growing up so quickly and are learning the importance of being a kind, caring person. Dad and I have spoken and think that you are ready to know the truth.
You have started to notice the differences between the Santa’s that you get your photo with each year and you have recognized our wrapping under the Christmas tree. So the truth is, Santa is real. But not in the way you think he is. Actually, there is no ONE Santa.
Santa is the magic and spirit behind Christmas. He teaches us the ability to believe in something you cannot touch and you cannot see. Santa helps show us the gift of giving and bringing joy to others.
Yes, we are the ones who wrap your presents and gently lay them under the tree, just as our parents did for us. Yes, we nibble on the cookies and sip the milk you leave out. Yes, the Santa’s in the shopping centres are a different person each time. It’s not one of us that is Santa, it is all of us that make the spirit of Santa. These acts of kindness are our contribution to keeping the Christmas spirit alive and helping Santa do a job that would otherwise be impossible.
So yes, Santa is real. He may not be the jolly, white haired man we have lead you to believe; Santa is love, happiness, kindness, sharing and most importantly hope.
It is important that you understand each person comes to know the truth in their own time and it is not up to you, nor is it fair for you, to decide when to share that with other kids. Now that you know the truth about Santa, we hope that you will help keep Santa alive too.
Mum and Dad
I hope this can help someone out there who is having the same struggle with the Santa question. Feel free to change it around, add things, remove things so that it suits your child and your household beliefs.
I know for us not following a religion made the Christmas conversation a lot harder.