We don't "do" Santa Claus at our house. We hang stockings, and we watch Santa movies ... but we don't tell kids he's real or give gifts from him. All gifts are from Mom and Dad, Grandpa and Grandma, Aunts, etc.
But despite that, every one of our children at 3 years old has wanted to believe in Santa Claus. We have books that talk about how Christmas is about Jesus, and tell the true story of Saint Nicholas vs. the make-believe Santa ... but they still believe.
The older kids know he is fake, but occasionally present me with "Letters to Santa" anyway. I received four letters yesterday (to be posted later in this article), right before my children tried to convince 3 yo L that Santa wasn't real.
But they didn't stop at saying he was pretend. They tried to convince her he was dead ... complete with photos they found on the internet of the hunter who shot Santa, and Santa's grave. (these photos are not gory or inappropriate in any way)
I then had a distraught 3 yo. She was already upset that we kept saying there isn't a Santa Claus and that Christmas is about Jesus. She would say, "But Santa is in Christmas, too, right?" with a pleading look. But after these photos, she was almost in tears. Leave it to teens to torment a preschooler like that.
I told the children to drop the subject and stop arguing with her. Next year she'll be older and more able to understand the difference between what is pretend, and what is real. For now, it's not worth upsetting her.
And now ... the letters to Santa from my kids who all know Santa isn't real ... well, except for 3 yo L.
Dear Santa C,
For Christmas, I want Barbie clothes, Barbie stuff, Barbies,Kens, Kelly dolls, Girl coloring books, High School Musical. I was very very extremely good this year.
From 10 yo C
(she even included a map to her bedroom and our house from the North Pole)
I need a Nerf Toy, and I want it to be a Nerf Build Your Own Blaster! Or a The Largest Full Auto Nerf Blaster.
PS I was very good.
Love, 8 yo J
(maybe we need to discuss needs vs. wants again)
Dear Saint Nick,
I was very good this year. For Christmas I want Build Your Own Blaster.
5 yo M
(he drew a picture of a wii, although he didn't list one)
For Christmas I want a bouncy ball, a doll, a teddy bear, toy dishes, a crown, a coloring book, crayons.
From 3 yo L
(no more crayons, please -- we have too many already)
Now, if you're a family member reading this, and you've already received a Christmas idea list ... just ignore these. These are not necessarily Mom and Dad-sanctioned gift ideas.
Just sharing the Santa-related activities at our house this week, from a family who doesn't even "do" Santa.
Trusting In Him,