What Are You Teaching Your Kids About Santa?

BY: - 6 Dec '13 | Parenting

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When I was a child, I believed in Santa Claus.  I don’t think my belief was long-lived, but I did believe in him until I was about 6 or 7.  I never thought he brought all the gifts, but whenever I would get a “big” gift, I thought it was from him.  I’m not quite sure if my mom or dad told me that, or if it’s just what I chose to believe.  We lived in an apartment building on the 3rd floor, so I was certain that Santa just climbed down the fire escape while the reindeer waited on the roof.  It made sense to me.

A few years back, before I had children, I was driving home from work and listening to the radio.  They were talking about what families choose to tell their children about Santa Claus and why.  A listener called in to share his thoughts.  He said “ I’m a single dad and I bust my butt all year to provide for my kids.  Why the hell should I let some fat white man take all the credit?”  Although I was always cool with the idea of Santa, I had to admit that this man had a point.

After listening to that, I always wondered what I would tell my children about Santa.  I didn’t think believing in Santa took away from the true meaning of Christmas, but I knew some people who felt this way.  I even have family members who have never encouraged their children to believe in Santa.  At a very young age, their kids knew the truth.  Frankly, I understand and respect their position on the issue, but I’ve never felt like I would do the same.  Yet, I remained unsure for a while, wondering what would my husband and I tell our little ones?   Would we have them believe that this bearded man did it all?  Would we tell them the truth and potentially let them ruin the magic of it all for their friends?

I was conflicted, especially since we are Christian, and what is most important to us is raising children who truly understand what Christmas is and why we celebrate it.  It’s been commercialized so much, we were determined to raise children who weren’t caught up in the imagery, but rather in the true meaning of the holiday. They needed to understand why the birth of Christ is so important.

We now have two kids.  My son is almost 4-years-old and my daughter just turned one. As far as our son is concerned, Santa Claus does exist, but he is a deliveryman. He knows that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ, but if you ask him to explain things about Santa to you he will say, “All of my gifts are from God.  Mommy and Daddy bring some of them, but Santa Claus delivers the rest of them to my house.”  This was our way of teaching him that everything he receives, from his food to his toys, are gifts from God, but that the jolly, bearded man is purely a delivery guy who follows God’s instructions.  This works for our family.

I think there is pressure to have children believe in certain things, but as parents we have to determine what is best for our children and our family.  What works for my family may not work for yours, and that is okay.  There is no reason for all of us to teach our kids the exact same thing.  I do think that if your family is Christian, children should understand why we celebrate Christmas.  Now, what you choose to tell them about the bearded man… well that depends on what you want them to believe.  Whatever you decide is right for your family.

Christmas is a very meaningful holiday in our home, mainly for religious reasons.  Admittedly, however, I do love the magical quality of this time of year.  The look on a child’s face when they see a large Christmas tree, or a Christmas show, or freshly fallen snow – it’s truly a wondrous moment for them… and for me.  I enjoy it so much.  One day, our kids will know that mommy and daddy deliver all the gifts from God, not Santa.  However, we don’t feel like that day needs to be today.

BMWK Family, what are you teaching your kids about Santa Claus this Christmas?

Featured image: melodi2

About the author

Martine Foreman wrote 228 articles on this blog.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Martine Foreman is a freelance writer and lifestyle blogger. To get tips for living your best life and also follow her crazy journey as a busy mom, wife, entrepreneur and honest chick from Brooklyn (now living in the burbs), check out her personal blog, CandidBelle. Martine resides in Maryland with her husband, two kids and crazy cat Pepper.


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5 WordPress comments on “What Are You Teaching Your Kids About Santa?

  1. Glow

    I have been feeling really conflicted about the Santa issue in my home. This really gave me a great way to present Santa to my children, one being 3 and old enough to understand the concept. Thanks for your perspective.

  2. ChristmasCheer

    My husband and I have a blended family and conflicting views on this subject. I love your stand and would love to use this approach with our 3yr and 1yr old children together!

  3. Anonymous

    We have taught our daughters the true meaning of Christmas and told them that Jesus loves us so much that he allows us to receive gifts for His birthday delivered by Santa. We also bake a cake for Jesus and sing happy birthday to Him.

  4. Niambi

    I am facing the same dilema as I am currently expecting my first child and my husband and I talked a few days ago about this issue and what we would say to our children. We decided that we made a commitment to God and as for us and our house, we will serve the Lord! Therefore we decided that we would start off Christmas day by reading the scriptures in Matthew and talk about the birth of Jesus and why were celebrating this day. We also will discuss why we give presents on Christmas day, which is symobolic of the 3 kings men and how they brought Jesus gifts to celebrate his birth. We will let them know that Santa is not real but the spirit of Giving is and it is important to emphasize that Christmas is about Jesus and not just presents and having a gimme attitude. Lastly, my husband I will spend every christmas either making or buying our children one extra toy that would be wrapped up and given to a local charity so that they can understand what it means to give presents to children that don’t have any.

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