What is it about the Holidays that bring out the liars in us? I few little examples I’ve told in the last week:
Lie: Santa won’t bring your presents if you don’t eat your carrots.
Truth: He for sure will because I’ve already spent the money and am too tired to take anything back.
Lie: I’m going to call Santa and tell him you are crying about going to bed.
Truth: I have tried to exude my parental power to get you to go to bed but instead I’m going to fall back on a fake person at a fake phone number to scare you into sleep.
Lie: Santa is watching.
Truth: Mama is watching…but I would rather scare the crap out of you by telling you that this bearded man is watching your every move – even when you sleep.
Growing up, I was scared out of my mind of Santa, The Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny. The idea of some “thing” coming into my house, my room while I’m sleeping still creeps me out. Even if they are leaving me money, presents, or chocolate – I always remember thinking there has to be a better way. Couldn’t they come over for dinner or drop it in the mail? Why did they have to come in person? Shouldn’t we have had a proper introduction? What happened to stranger danger? Don’t my parents think this is really creepy too?
So, now as a parent to a two year old who – so far- seems to have the same level of fear for those things seen and unseen, I find myself going to the old standbys of using Santa as a threat. Sharing the same stories about how he is coming to visit and how he is always watching. I watched my child’s eyes get so big and scared and my heart broke.
At the same time as I hate freaking out and scaring my kid, how do you not tell your kid about Santa without making him the weirdo kid that ruins it for others?
There are various reasons for not wanting to tell your kids about Santa. Some are religion based, others are ethics based. But when it comes down to it – I like this from here:
1) Tell your child about Saint Nicholas – Let your child know that the real Santa was a man who lived long ago, but he was so kind and generous to others, especially children, that we still follow his example.
2) Talk about the meaning of Christmas – Both Santa Claus and Jesus Christ offer many lessons during the holiday season, so you can use either or both, depending on your religion, to remind your child of the meaning behind Christmas.
3) Make them feel honored to keep the secret – Safeguarding Santa’s secret is an important task that is only entrusted to those who are old enough to understand the importance of keeping the secret from littler children.
Christmas is not a time for being fearful. I don’t want to scare my child at a time that I remember being so magical and beautiful. I do want him to believe in something bigger than himself and know that people love him. I just don’t know if Santa is the right way to do that for our family. Here is an amazing letter from one mom to her daughter about Santa…What do you think? How do you talk to your kids about Santa?
Also – want a copy of the Don’t Stop Believing Poster above? Download from my other blog by clicking here!