I grew up in a Santa house. James grew up in a no Santa house.
We’ve been trying to straddle a middle ground.
We’d read books about Santa and see Santa places, but we wouldn’t make a big deal about WHAT DO YOU WANT SANTA TO BRING YOU and YIPPEE, SANTA IS COMING!! We’ve just tried to treat Santa as a part of Christmas fun, but generally talk about Baby Jesus and giving and family, etc.
That actually worked much better than I expected. Until last night.
At dinner, Henry point blank asked, “Is Santa not real? Is he going to bring me presents?”
James and I stared at each other. We took some big breaths. And then we totally bungled the answer.
I started off . . . “Well, Saint Nicholas was a real person . . . ” and then tried to explain that we give gifts because of that . . . and give gift because of the Wise Men . . . and then other stuff on giving and a special holiday time and I don’t even remember. It was a garbage answer.
Henry nodded along, but you know he knew it was a garbage answer.
I didn’t feel right about it.
So before he went to bed, I sat him down and spelled it out.
I figure if I’m not going to get a kick out of seeing his childlike wonder on Christmas morning by playing up the Santa thing, there’s no point in being vague.
I said the words. “No. Santa isn’t real.”
I did try again on explaining Saint Nicholas. I did say that Santa is a fun thing to do. I definitely emphasized that some people think Santa is real so it’s best not to talk about it.
(I will reprep him on this every time before we see other children. But I apologize a million times in advance for whatever Henry says to your kid.)
He seemed good with it.
We’ll see how this plays out.
So I turned to Mac, and said “what do you know about Santa?”
Mac, no joke, says “Uh . . . he died on a cross?”
5 thoughts on “Is Santa real?”
Such a precious story. I’m sure your answer was not a garbage one! I wonder what got Henry thinking about whether Santa is real or not in the first place. And I love the fact that even little Mac really listens to what you’re teaching them. After all, Jesus did bring the best gift ever to all mankind. And for the record…as the boys got older the socks and underwear came from “Santa”! Merry Christmas to one and all.
A hazard of Jewish daycare is that Emily was told by one of her classmates that Santa is not real. She was 3, so too young to really process it, but she repeated it and horrified her cousins. After she made her proclamation, we got the same question as you guys and also went with the story of St. Nicholas. We tried to explain that Santa was part of the magic of Christmas and that true Christmas magic comes from doing a mitzvah for your fellow man. She seemed fine with it.
I can’t quite tell how it happened, but since that time she has decided that Santa still brings gifts and she also contends that she is Jewish (she wants to celebrate Hanukkah). She even offered to help me light the menorah and teach me how to hold a proper Seder.
We have tried to keep it normal by doing breakfast with Santa, but opting out of the elf on the shelf craziness. So far it is working… but I think the real test will be when she starts school. So good luck to both of us!
PA: Merry Christmas!! I love your holiday card- too cute!
I love it. Maybe she can show me a Seder some day; I’ve always wanted to do that.