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Now That It's Over

January 4, 2017 - Jen Zbozny
Now that Christmas is over, I can feel more comfortable writing about Santa Claus. I didn't want to write about the man with the bag during the holidays because I feared small children reading next to their parents might see peek over and I'd be guilty of what I'm writing about. That is, I'd be guilty of destroying ideas about Santa Claus.

Here's the thing, however you and your family handle that is fine. The hard part comes in the intersection of your family and other people. Instead of giving you a list of do's and don'ts, I'm just going to give you a few examples and see what you think. Then you can file them away, or forward this post to people you think might need to um, be a little more conscientious next year.

1. Kids are savvy. I had a child tell me the reason she began to think maybe Santa Claus wasn't completely real was because one of her grandmothers INSISTED that she be permitted to read the little girl's letter to Santa. When asked why the grandmother provided no concrete reason. The insistence and the lack of plausible reason created unnecessary doubt for a child who'd previously had no reason to doubt. Bad job there, Grandma.

Here's the thing. I get it that grownups want to know what a child wants for Christmas. When children sit down to write their letters, just sit down with them and write your own letter. Trust me, you'll end up discussing your letters. Problem solved.

2. Kids are also impressionable. If your child hasn't really intuited that some Santa's (in malls, for instance) aren't necessarily THE Santa, don't ruin it. Don't point out the mall Santa and ask the following question, "Do you think that's the real Santa or just some guy someone paid to wear that suit and sit there?". Way to ruin things there buddy. Why would you do that?

Here's a hint, if your kid does ask about how many Santas they see, and you want to preserve some of that magic, suggest that there's some mischief in it. The real one may indeed be ONE of those Santa's out there in the sea of those helpers (did you know many are not paid, but volunteer?) and it keeps the fun of it in it for the real Santa. Your kid can have fun too, trying to determine which guy is the one who hangs at the North Pole. And who knows, that might be the truth, no?

3. For the record, I believe. I will absolutely attest to the fact that there have been many many Christmases and Christmas seasons in my life where things appeared for Christmas that none of us has any rational explanation for. Except Santa. The Christmas spirit himself. Like my religious faith does for me, my belief in the magic of Santa makes it easy for me to tell the truth.

That's it for now. Sometime soon we'll have to discuss the tooth fairy. I'm open to ideas there. Happy New Year!


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