Santa has formed such an adorable part of Christmas customs in our culture. The sense of wonder and excitement. Posing for photographs in the shopping centres. Leaving out carrots and milk (or beer, if your Santa is a little cheeky) and wide-eyed excitement leading up until bed. But all good things must come to an end.
The truth shall come out. And there can be no harsher truth than the truth about Santa.
The Truth About Santa
There are a few ways this can go down.
Many children find out the truth about Santa from another child at school. They’ll run home, teary-eyed, to ask you for the truth. The whole truth. And nothing but the truth.
But can they handle the truth?
The Truth About Santa – What NOT To Do
Possibly the worst thing that you can do would be to laugh off your child’s concerns. It’s not just Santa that’s the concern here. It’s the idea that a truth that they believed, a truth that you told them, turned out to be a falsehood. That can be shattering to anyone’s sense of self. Consider how you’ve felt as an adult when you’ve learned that someone wasn’t who they said they were. It can be devastating.
So what do you do?
Telling The Truth About Santa
View this as a moment of growth and a rite of passage. Your child has crossed the threshold into young adulthood. This is a big moment for you both.
Take your child out, just the two of you if possible, to a suitably adult café. Meet them at their level and talk to them about how they feel and why they feel it. Talk about the reason that grownups, and our broader culture, use Santa.
It’s to help children feel that sense of wonder and magic. It’s to celebrate the end of a big year with joy and celebration. And it’s to allow small children the chance to imagine – something we are all too lacking as adults.
Allow your child to process the information. If they’re angry – let them be. Do not discard an emotional response and let them ask all the questions they need.
The Truth About Santa
The truth about Santa is that we do it because it’s a tradition in our culture. It’s a chance to bring a little magic into the season and to stop being so serious. Let your older children in on that side of things and you’ll soon find that, once their confusion and anger passes, they’ll be on board with the magic as well.
Santa or not, get into the Christmas Spirit with some of these posts:
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- The Truth About Santa – How To Have “The” Conversation - December 5, 2017