Every year around this time I start to hear the chatter about Santa. Parents don’t seem to know how to handle the questions and conversations that arise.
I have raised three kids who appreciate traditions and their own beliefs.
One thing is for sure, we all believe in Santa.
We’ve lived in a house for 18 years that has a wood stove, yet none of them have questioned (at least not out loud to me) how to jolly guy gets into the house and it doesn’t matter. We believe in Santa and I will never speak otherwise.
I was raised to believe and never felt anything in my heart that said otherwise. My parents never sat me down and told me any “truth” or “lies.” We never talked about it.
My siblings and I went to bed Christmas Eve after leaving our stockings hanging on the fireplace mantel. Our parents closed our bedroom doors and we heard them shuffling about until we couldn’t keep our eyes open any longer and drifted off while the thoughts of sugar plums danced in our heads.
Yup, all the cheesiness of the world and we couldn’t get enough of it.
We’d wake up on Christmas morning and make sure the other two kids were also up and we’d all race downstairs to see what Santa left for us in our stockings. There were usually a few presents from him as well or maybe a nice new plastic sled. The rest of the presents had tags on them and were from my parents, siblings or out of town relatives.
We never questioned Santa’s visit and never needed to either. Life was good.
When my oldest daughter was about 11, she questioned whether the Tooth Fairy was real. I assured her that if she didn’t believe, she wouldn’t receive. The next morning, her tooth was left untouched. No money was under her pillow either. She was really disappointed.
She met me in upstairs hallway to show me that the Tooth Fairy hadn’t paid a visit. I told her that she must have upset her.
Before she could utter another word, I simply asked, “Any question about Santa?”
“Nope,” she said, as she headed back into her bedroom.
From that day forward, nothing was spoken. Tradition was carried on and the magic of Christmas still lives on to this day.
My youngest is now 11 years old. She’s in middle school.
Children have been talking about Santa for years and she has questioned me about it. I’ve answered her simply by telling her that I believe in Santa and everyone is entitled to their own beliefs.
Magic doesn’t have to be tangible. You don’t have to be able to see it or touch it. It doesn’t have to be proven or disproven.
As I’ve said many times before, children are young for a very, very short time. We made the choice for our family to carry on the traditions from our childhood. We wanted to allow our kids to enjoy those traditions for as long as they wanted to.
In my opinion, I’m not lying to my kids. There are no lies told when speaking about beliefs. They are beliefs. We are all entitled to believe anything we want, especially if it’s not hurting ourselves or anyone else.
My daughter once asked me what I thought about people who don’t believe in Santa and I told her quite simply that I feel sad for those people. I love Christmas. Even at my age, when I go to bed on Christmas Eve I lay my stocking out.
When I wake up the next morning, it’s full of surprises.
Thanks Santa. I believe.
Jennifer Lague writes from Derry.