In my house growing up, there was no question about Santa. He just was. There was no questioning his existence. My friends all agreed. He was real!
When I became a mama, creating Christmas memories for my kids was something that came easily and readily. Santa?? Bring it on! Sneaky gift buying? Yes, please! Carrying on the Christmas tradition of Kris Kringle? You don’t even have to ask.
It never really occurred to me that there were families out there that didn’t “do” Santa. I’ve come to appreciate the differences in parenting styles and why we need each other. But we are a Santa family and always will be. Why?
Because childhood magic.
Why we believe in Santa Claus
When Noah was little and we started talking with other parents about their traditions, we heard from some of our Christian friends that they skipped Santa because it conflicted with the story of the birth of Jesus. If they were fibbing to their kids about Santa, how would their kids understand that they weren’t fibbing about Jesus too. I understand their reasoning.
But we still believe in Santa Claus.
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Why? Because I believe that kids need some magic in their lives. Childhood is all about wonder and play and innocence. I want my kids to keep that wonder for a while. Life is too serious. As far as Jesus goes, by the time the kids would question the guy in the red suit, they would already have a pretty good grasp on who Jesus was. For us, it’s not been an issue teaching our kids what the real meaning of Christmas was.
I choose to not read too many parenting books as to not drive myself batty with new ideas. But one that has stayed constant for me over my 14 years of parenting is Dr. James Dobson. I agree with so much of what he teaches about parenting. I believe him to be a rational, calm, levelheaded author and have always held his parenting advice in high esteem. Here’s what he has to say about Santa.
“I don’t believe that those early, early fantasies really interfere with later Spiritual beliefs. I haven’t seen any evidence of that, either in the life of my kids or in the lives of those I have had anything to do with. To allow a little bit of fantasy in a child’s life enriches his intellectual life and I think he needs it. Children thrive on fantasy. It enriches our mental existence. Reality can be a pretty cold and hard place. I think children need the fantasy that Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and other childhood mythical creatures bring.”
-Dr. James Dobson, Family Talk
Carrying on Christmas tradition
I’m with Dr. Dobson. I think our kids need a little more magic and a little less cold and hard, which is what the world offers a lot of. We’ll keep carrying on this Christmas tradition and hopefully we’ll be able to see our grand kids be mystified by the magic of Christmas someday too.
In a few days Vera and Sophia will tear down the stairs to see what Santa Claus has left them. They’ll empty their stockings and marvel at the crumbs left behind on the plate of cookies they left out the night before. We’ll wink over at Noah, 14 and old enough to know better, but we won’t utter a word about it because we all know if you stop believing, he’ll stop coming.
Christmas is a magical time. Childhood is a magical time. This is how we add enchantment in our kids’ lives. And this is why Santa will always come to our house on Christmas Eve.
A FEW SANTA BOOKS WE LOVE:
- Santa Claus--a wonderful, beautiful book with flaps to lift, letters to open, etc.
- Santa’s Toy Shop–an adorable Golden Book. We have a really old copy and I love it!
- Santa’s Favorite Story: Santa tells a story about the first Christmas
- When Santa Was a Baby–oh my gosh this book is adorable!! The illustrations are the best!
- Merry Christmas, Mr. Mouse–probably one of our all time favorites. Adorable illustrations with teeny tiny hidden pictures in them. The Mouse family figures out what Christmas is all about and Santa comes to visit too!
- Dream Snow–who doesn’t love Eric Carle??
- The Christmas Wish–beautiful photography in this book! The little girl wants to help Santa this year and she’s working so hard to get to the North Pole. Vera actually got to meet the little girl in this book a few weeks ago at a book signing!