Christmas, a Christian holiday honoring the birth of Jesus, has evolved into a worldwide religious and secular celebration, incorporating many pre-Christian and pagan traditions into the festivities, including the legendary figure of Santa Claus.
Many parents fear the big question: "Does Santa exist?". Most parents feel concerned about telling the truth to their children. Should you let your kids believe in Santa Claus and the whole holiday magic? Or would it be best for you to tell them the truth? Parents may find answering this question quite tricky as in most cases is difficult to consider what to share and how to phrase it.
Some of the following ideas may help you plan for, and cope with, the big question your children will ask you, sooner or later.
1. Check your child’s age
When deciding what to answer, it is important to consider the age of your children. If up to 6-7 years you can continue to support the existence of Santa. Beyond that age consider their emotional and intellectual maturity. For example, if you have already noticed that your child has stopped believing in fairy tales, telling them the truth about Santa could be your better option.
2. Consider your child’s environment
Often children ask these questions because they have heard other children talking about it. For this reason, it is advisable to consider what is going on in your child’s school environment. If his classmates all know that Santa does not exist and is only a fictional character, trying to persuade your child that Santa actually exists may be counterproductive as it could potentially expose your child to episodes of banter and, in worst cases of bullying.
3. Focus your attention on the meanings of Santa
If your child starts sharing his doubts about the existence of Santa, it can be helpful to help him reflect on the meanings of Santa. Santa represents the spirit of giving and charity. He gives presents to strangers and he never overstays his visit. What makes Santa such an awesome character is that he represents the spirit of selflessness and charity.
4. Keep the magic of families’ get-togethers
If you decide to tell your child the truth about the existence of Santa Claus, it may be useful to keep the magic of families’ get-togethers while adding some new traditions that take into account the age of your children. You can all decide together, as a family, to establish a new tradition, that will be consolidated and repeated every year. This will help your family to strengthen the special joyful climate that comes with the festive season.
5. Think positive
Many parents fear to reveal the truth about Santa because they are afraid that this may represent a ‘traumatic’ event for their children. In fact, this change in your child’s perception of his external reality is natural and due to one simple thing: your child is growing older and soon will reach his teenage years. A good tip is to negotiate with your child new roles and responsibilities within the family, such as for everyone to give and receive gifts.