Here Comes Santa Clause, Here Comes Santa Clause-Related Real Talk

Juli Gibbons

I love this time of year. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved listening to Christmas music while decorating our tree, helping wrap presents for loved ones, and drinking hot cocoa. I love staying in, snuggled up with a warm beverage watching the snowfall and cover the world in a quiet blanket of white. I love the way families come together to celebrate. I love the sense of community I feel as I see people thinking of things they can do, or make, or give, to make others happy.

I don’t love the stress that comes as a parent, to make everything perfect and special and child-centered. I don’t believe that Christmas should be focused solely on children, and for that reason, my children do not believe that Santa Claus is a “real” person. Yep, you read that right. How can this Grinch take away the spirit of joy out of her kids’ childhood?!

Hear me out, my kids are not tiny embodiments of Scrooge himself. They still enjoy the magic of Christmas just as much as any other children. They still wake up singing holiday music (just a little off key). They still love to decorate the house with colorful lights and garlands and baubles and bows. They still love Christmas. I just don’t wink and nod and fib about a man who watches them to see if they’re being naughty. I don’t qualify their receipt of gifts by saying they’ve earned them by behaving all year.

You know what? Kids knowing Santa isn’t a “real” person has its perks! I don’t stress about getting the *exact item* on their wish list. I don’t wait in line for store openings to make sure my kid will have this year’s inevitably sold-out fad toy on their list. I don’t have to give them material gifts if I don’t want to. We can give gifts of time and experiences. I can forgo the added mental task of searching Pinterest for hours for cutesy ideas to position the elf that’s almost never actually on a shelf.

I tell my children the truth about Santa Claus. I tell them that he is the embodiment of the spirit of giving, of charity, of selflessness, during Christmastime. I tell them that there is a Santa in all of us. I tell them they are surrounded and supported by people who love them and want to do nice things for them in the name of Santa.

I actually love my decision to share Santa Claus with my children this way, because I get to see their spirit of generosity shine.