As we were beginning the Christmas season this year, my son Micah, who is currently 11 years old asked the question we parents attempt to prepare for as our children age. “Is Santa Real?’ Now we all know that every family chooses whether or not to have Santa visit their house. For us, we have always had Santa come complete with leaving milk and cookies (making my husband scarf them down) and sending letters off with our lists every year.
For the past couple years, I have been waiting for this question to come but never knew exactly what I would say. Once Micah asked I told him that I needed to think a little while and I would get back to him once we could have some one on one time (away from his five-year-old sister). My husband and I talked about how to talk to Micah about this in a way that would not ruin the Christmas magic for his little sister but also, we wanted to be honest with him.
A few years ago, I found a letter that I really liked on Pinterest on how to respond to your kids about Santa – so of course I saved it! We made a few changes to the original, but this is our letter to our son about Santa:
You asked a really good question, “Are you and Dad really Santa?” We know that you want to know the answer, and we had to give it careful thought to know just what to say. The answer is no, we are not Santa. There is no one single Santa.
We are the people who fill you and your sister’s stockings and carefully choose and wrap the presents under the tree – just as our parents did for us, their parents did for them, and you will one day do for your kids.
This could never, ever make any of us Santa, though. Santa is lots and lots of people who keep the spirit of Christmas alive. Santa is the magic and love and spirit of giving to others. What Santa does do is teach children to believe in something that they can’t see or touch. Throughout your life you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your family, in your friends and in God.
You will need to be able to believe in things you cannot measure or hold in your hands.
Now you know the secret of how he gets down all those chimneys on Christmas Eve. He has help from all of the people whose hearts he has filled with joy.
With full hearts, we take our turns helping Santa do a job that would be impossible. So no, we are not Santa. Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness. We are on his team, and now you are too.
We love you BIG and we always will.
– Mama & Daddy
After giving Micah our letter I simply asked him how he felt. He responded with “This is pretty cool, I am glad I can now be part of Santa!” You see kids want to be part of the magic even when they’re big, bad middle schoolers. They want to be included in the holiday. Micah promised he would make Christmas as magical as possible for his little sister. That makes this Mama Bear very proud!