As Christmas approached, I noticed a lot of posts doing the rounds on whether or not Christian parents should do Elf on the Shelf and let their kids believe in Santa Claus. I’ve never wanted to do the elf, but I had already been feeling convicted about the Santa issue.
Christmas has never been about Santa in our family. The only presents “from Santa” have been from grandparents or aunts and uncles. I was actually kind of hoping the girls would notice Santa hadn’t delivered anything to our house so that I could tell them the truth.
I was ready. I knew exactly how I was going to explain.
They didn’t notice.
So I resolved that by next Christmas I would find a way to tell them.
On New Year’s Day, as we sat outside Roman’s Pizza, Angie said, “Mom, Maui* and Moana* said that Santa isn’t real.”
My moment had come.
And even though I had been waiting for it, even though I was prepared, I still felt panic.
I reminded the girls that they had learned about Saint Nicholas in Buck Denver’s Why Do We Call It Christmas? There’s a scene where two characters repeat “Sinterklaus, Saint Nicholas” until they get to “Santa Claus”.
Then I explained that although Saint Nicholas was a real person, Santa Claus isn’t, and that he’s based on Saint Nicholas. I reminded them that we give presents at Christmas to celebrate the greatest gift we ever received.
“Yes, Mom, we know,” they chorused. I didn’t look, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was eye rolling involved.
I finished by repeating that Santa Claus isn’t real, and waited for the backlash.
“Okay,” Angie said, and Emmy asked, “Is Daddy coming with the pizza yet?”
Talk about an anticlimax.
Now we just need to deal with the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny.
*You know those aren’t their real names.
How did you tell your kids about Santa?