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As soon as winter sets in, children eagerly wait for their favourite festival – Christmas! They spend all year being good, so their beloved Santa brings them loads of presents. All the fun aside, have you thought about how they’d react upon learning that Santa isn’t real? Christmas obviously won’t be the same for your little one once the myth about Santa gets busted. But the truth will come out one day or another, and it’s a good idea to be the one who breaks it to them. Here are some of the creative ways in which you can tell your kids about Santa without killing the magic.
What Is The Real Story Behind Santa?
The origin of the Santa story goes back to 270 AD when a saint named Nicholas was born in a Roman town (present-day Turkey). On growing up, he became the bishop of Myra (now Demre in Turkey). He dedicated his whole life to the welfare of the poor and downtrodden. He started the tradition of giving gifts and coins to poor children. The bishop used to adorn a red cloak, and orphan children helped him in giving away gifts on Christmas Eve to the children who would leave their shoes or boxes out. Santa’s red outfit and the little elves helping him are tropes inspired by the Saint and the orphan children. When you bring out the truth in this way, it will be easier for your kids to accept the truth about Santa.
Should You Reveal “The Truth” About Santa to Your Kids?
Here are some reasons why you should tell the reality about Santa to your kids:
- It is important for you to explain to your kid that you will love her no matter what she does or how she acts.
- Kids should not be told that they are expected to behave a certain way or do something because Santa is watching them. You should guide your kid well; how she behaves or acts after is her discretion.
- The true story of Saint Nicholas is about unconditional love and support, and your kid should know about it.
- It is important to teach kids the value of kindness without expecting anything in return because that is what the Christmas spirit is all about.
- When we lie or hide things from our kids, we immediately shake our foundation of trust and bonding with them.
- Telling your kids about Santa does not mean taking the Christmas magic away, but giving new meaning and definition to the festival.
- The spirit of Christmas is about giving. Telling your kid to be good all year so they can be given a good gift for Christmas does not count as the spirit of giving, but of receiving.
What Is the Right Age to Tell Your Kid the Reality About Santa?
As your kid starts understanding the world around her, she may start asking all sorts of questions and the truth about Santa might be one of them. However, you can determine the age at which you want to tell your kid about Santa.
At around 6 to 7 years of age, she might be having conversations about Santa with other kids her age. Your kid may ask you questions like, ‘what gift will Santa bring me this year?’ or ‘when will Santa visit?’ During such instances, you can reinforce the Santa story, show your kid videos of Santa in a parade, etc.
At around 8 to 9 years of age, she may or may not be able to handle the truth about Santa. Exercise your discretion, answer your kid’s queries accordingly, and let her be in la-la land for a while if needed.
However, by the time your kid is around 10 or 11 years old, she may already be aware that Santa does not exist, or would be in a position to understand and accept if you do burst her bubble. Around this time, kids become more aware of the world around them and are usually ready to let go of their childhood beliefs and fancies.
How to Talk to Your Kids About Santa Without Breaking Their Hearts?
Wondering how to tell your kid Santa isn’t real without breaking her heart? Here are a few suggestions that might help you explain the truth about Santa to your kid.
1. Tell the Original Story
Christmas should not revolve around Santa Claus only; it should also be about singing carols, making Christmas cookies, spreading love and enjoying the Christmas spirit with family and friends. You could lay emphasis on the true story of Christmas – about the birth of Jesus and his teachings.
2. Do Not Confuse Your Kid
You can narrate the story of Saint Nicholas to your kid, and also clarify any confusion she could have between ‘Saint’ and ‘Santa’. You need to tell your kid that Saint Nicholas propagated selfless love and laid emphasis on helping the less fortunate, whereas Santa is merely a fictional character.
3. Plan It Early
If you do not explain the truth about Santa Claus to your kid early in life, there is a chance that she may find it difficult to deal with it later in life. Try explaining Santa without lying about him.
4. Explain the Truth With Proper Reasoning
If you explain the truth about Santa with proper reasoning, your kid may understand better. If you tell her that it is physically impossible for someone to roam around the world, distributing gifts to every kid, she may understand the logic behind it. You can tell your kid that it is the feeling of unconditional love, joy and oneness that we share with others that counts as the true spirit of Christmas.
5. Know Your Kid’s Feelings About Christmas and Santa
Before you wreak the havoc in your kid’s life about Santa, try to gauge her feelings and see whether or not she is ready to face the truth. You can begin by asking your kid’s feelings about the reality of Santa. If she shows a bit of disbelief or scepticism, you can reveal the truth. However, if your kid wishes to believe in the Santa story for a bit longer, let her do so.
Young children usually live in their own world, and it is absolutely okay to believe in mythical characters. In their own time, they will outgrow these fantasies. Having said that, you can use some of our suggestions for acquainting your kid with the realities of life without killing the magic or their innocence.
Also Read: Interesting Christmas Stories for Children