Wednesday, December 25, 2013

How to Explain Santa Claus to Small Children Without Lying

 Santa Claus is considered a myth or fairy tale made up by adults to keep their children in line. The idea that Santa Claus can see them and know whether they are good or bad, help parents enforce good behavior especially around the Christmas season. Explaining Santa Claus to a child is easy if you know what to tell them.

To explain to your children about Santa you are going to have to make the decision when to do so. Tell them the original Christmas story. According to the St. Nicholas Center website, the introduction of "Sante Claus," as opposed to St. Nicholas, first originated in a book called "The Children's Friend", first written in 1821. Over the years, Santa has become a symbol of giving and good cheer. On the other hand, many parents have memories of sadness when finding out the jolly old man did not exist, and some even felt betrayed that their parents had misled them. There are ways to tell the truth and still keep the Santa legend alive.
You don't need to disillusion your children, because the truth is that Santa Claus happens to be everyone who cares about them.


1.    Tell your children the story of St. Nicholas. You can find information about the original story at websites such as The St. Nicholas Center or read a picture book such as Saint Nicholas: The Real Story of the Christmas Legend. Explain that our ideas of Santa come from this saint who is believed to have lived during the sixteenth century.
2.    When your children are small, you may want them to know that Santa Claus talks to you about their behavior (rather than have them believe that Santa can see and know all).
3.    Be careful not to get caught in the act, but if you do, be prepared with an explanation. If your children realize that you are wrapping their gifts, you can always explain that Santa Claus doesn't have time to wrap all the gifts for every boy and girl, therefore he enlists the help of the parents to wrap the gifts for their children.
4.    Mail the letter that your children wrote to Santa Claus. They do get responses and they give you an opportunity to check the list and see that you got at least some of the items that they have asked for.
5.    Arrange for them to see Santa Claus at home or a  department store. Explain that the reason there are so many Santas is because Santa hires helpers because he can't be everywhere at once.
6.  Leave carrots for the reindeer and cookies and milk for Santa Claus Christmas eve. After the kids are in bed and asleep eat them yourself. You are Santa Claus and his reindeer and whatever else your children believe.
7.    Allow children that are old enough to keep a secret to help wrap gifts for other family members and place them under the tree. This way they will associate gifts as coming from you and not from Santa.


Tips & Warnings

       When it is time to explain about Santa, letting the child know the difference between the real Santa and the myth behind Santa will help. Tell them about what St. Nicholas actually did and why you choose to help spread his kindness. Let them know that they are now part of that secret and can help spread kindness also.

       Be sure that your children understand that even though they know Santa is pretend, some other children believe in him, and would be very hurt if they were told he's not real. Teach your children to be sensitive of other children's feelings.



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