Why I Don’t Teach My Kids To Believe In Santa

Every year starting in November we see Christmas decorations and sales kicking off.  Nowadays they don’t even let you get you through Thanksgiving before the Christmas ornaments go up.  While some kids are told stories of Santa Claus coming down the chimney with gifts, and Reindeers sitting on the roof, my kids are told to write up their Christmas lists so their loved ones know what they want.

I know, I know, before you say it, you think they’re losing out on their innocence because it’s such a “magical” time of year.  They won’t get to experience the magic of Santa.  Let me let you in on a secret, my kids still have their innocence, this is still a magical time of year for them as well.  They still try to stay awake all night to be up first thing in the morning to open their gifts. They still squeal and have the same joy that any child who believes in Santa will have on Christmas morning.

Now, they do know the story behind Santa Claus.  They’re familiar with who St. Nick actually was in history.  They just never bought into the whole Santa Claus thing, and to be honest, as parents we never sold it to them. I have seen when a kid gets devastated because they find out Santa isn’t real. I have seen when they feel like their parents lied to them when they learned the truth. I didn’t want to go through that with my kids.

While the majority of parents may disagree with me, I’m fine with that, but please don’t tell me that my child’s innocence will be lost because they don’t believe in Santa, the Tooth fairy, or the Easter bunny. Seriously?! How do you answer the question of a child who asks how Santa will get down the chimney to give them gifts when they have no chimney? How do you explain Santa “seeing them when they’re sleeping and knowing when they’re awake”?  That part actually sounds a little creepy when you look at it that way.

Yes, we still love this time of year with all of the cheerfulness and all of the buzz about the holidays. We still sing and dance to Christmas songs in the house. We still celebrate with family and friends. There is no innocence lost. They still get gifts they asked for, and some they didn’t even know about.  They are still reminded of the reason for this season. We choose to tell our children that their loved ones care enough for them that they sacrifice to get them what they need and want.  We want them to see beyond themselves. We want them to see that a major part of this holiday season (and all seasons) is in helping others. This is the way we choose to teach that lesson.

Many parents will disagree with our methods, and that’s ok. I won’t bash your methods, and don’t bash mine. There’s no cookie cutter way to raise kids, so we probably won’t agree on more than this one issue…and that’s ok. As I always say, whatever works for your family.  This is what works for ours. So from my family to yours, we wish you a safe, happy and healthy holiday season!

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