I don’t have children, but I’ve always loved Christmas. I’ve always wondered how parents and kids handle the transition from believing Santa Claus is real to believing in the Joy and Spirit of Christmas when kids learn Santa (spoiler alert!) isn’t real.
I know some parents are reluctant to tell their Children about Santa, in fear that the kids will never trust them again. Or, in fear of the dreadful conversation they will one day have to have when they find out the truth.
However, I honestly don’t remember the moment I found out Santa wasn’t real. But, I do remember this one particular moment when my dad was driving me home Christmas Eve and I could have sworn I thought I saw Santa’s sleigh in the sky! It made my entire night and Christmas! It was something I so badly believed in and wanted to believe in, I made it a reality.
I can’t speak for everyone, but obviously the moment I found out Santa wasn’t real was not devastating enough that traumatized me from my parents or Christmas.
I asked my mom if she remembered the moment, and she said she did, but only vaguely. I came home and told her someone on the bus told me Santa isn’t real (it’s always the older kids who ruin it for the younger ones). She told me Santa Claus the person wasn’t real, but Santa Claus, the spirit, was.
To touch on this further I wanted to share this amazing letter, that New York times author, Martha Brockenbrough wrote to her daughter Lucy when asked if her mother was Santa;
Thank you for your letter. You asked a very good question: "Are you Santa?"
I know you've wanted the answer to this question for a long time, and I've had to give it careful thought to know just what to say.
The answer is no. I am not Santa. There is no one Santa.
I am the person who fills your stockings with presents, though. I also choose and wrap the presents under the tree, the same way my mom did for me, and the same way her mom did for her. (And yes, Daddy helps, too.)
I imagine you will someday do this for your children, and I know you will love seeing them run down the Christmas magic stairs on Christmas morning. You will love seeing them sit under the tree, their small faces lit with Christmas lights.
This won't make you Santa, though.
Santa is bigger than any person, and his work has gone on longer than any of us have lived. What he does is simple, but it is powerful. He teaches children how to have belief in something they can't see or touch.
It's a big job, and it's an important one. Throughout your life, you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your friends, in your talents, and in your family. You'll also need to believe in things you can't measure or even hold in your hand. Here, I am talking about love, that great power that will light your life from the inside out, even during its darkest, coldest moments.
Santa is a teacher, and I have been his student, and now you know the secret of how he gets down all those chimneys on Christmas Eve: he has help from all the people whose hearts he's filled with joy.
With full hearts, people like Daddy and me take our turns helping Santa do a job that would otherwise be impossible.
So, no, I am not Santa. Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness. I'm on his team, and now you are, too.
I love you and I always will.
I just love that. I love the way both my mother and Martha handled the truth about Christmas. It’s not about Santa Claus the person; but the joy, spirit, happiness, love, and belief behind him that makes all the difference.
As adults, there is such an important lesson here. You don’t need to see to believe. But you need to believe, in order to see. Martha stated it perfectly in terms of love. Love is something we can’t necessarily see, it’s just something that consumes us.
And, Christmas, should be no different.
Christmas is ultimately the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Today, Christmas traditions include; a Christmas tree, Santa, turkey dinner, and gifts. Kids learn about generosity, the spirit of the holidays and the importance of family. They also learn the importance of celebrating the birth of Jesus and the beliefs and traditions that extend from that.
My Christmas wish to you is that you fill your heart with love and spend Christmas with family and friends.
Merry Christmas Everyone!