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I let my kids help us on Christmas Eve to teach them the truth about Santa

Carolyn McAfee

I’m so glad I finally had “The Talk” with my kids. No I don’t mean the sex talk. We’ve had that a couple of times – and will continue to have it. No, I’m talking about “The Santa Talk.”

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Overall it went well, it was actually quite a magical experience for us and the older two kids. My oldest was questioning this year. Some of her friends said they wanted to believe, but sort of didn’t. She’s in middle school now, and some of the adults in the lunch room even talked about parents being Santa.

Thus far I’ve reassured her with the words, “Do you believe? That is all that matters.”

I think our son could’ve gone another year. He was on the fence, but less than his older sister.

I have certain issues with Santa anyway. He has never taken center stage at our house. He only brings one thing and the focus is family centered, not Santa centered. Christmas morning there isn’t even much talk about what Santa has brought. But he is there. I do appreciate the wonder and magic created by this person, but not the web of lies sometimes. All these lies are for the purpose of creating magic and wonder, and yes, when they are little you don’t even really talk about it, so there isn’t really guilt about lying. But as they get older, you’re flat out lying as they ask questions and are trying to put the puzzle together! It’s crazy sometimes!

Image: Carolyn McAfee

Santa, to me, is the spirit of giving, the magic and wonder of something bigger than ourselves. He is something that unifies, a tradition that spans the globe in some form or another. He is goodness in that way.

So, I teetered, do we tell them, do we let them just find out? What do you do?

Both my husband Matt and I just found out, stopped believing, and there you have it – you go on with life. Totally anti-climactic after a childhood of believing. It is quite the bummer, actually. There is such magic, and then it all just fades and ends.

This is where our decision to tell them came in. We wanted to be the ones to tell them about this tradition, why it’s fun and important, why we have made all of the sneaky choices we have. Maybe by telling them we can keep the magic alive, and pass the torch of belief and magic to them.

I decided to tell the kids on Christmas Eve because it would be a great opportunity for them to experience the magic for themselves –the magic of giving – of being Santa.

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After we put everyone to bed, and the two little boys were asleep I got the big kids out of bed and asked them to come downstairs. I said we wanted to share something with them about Santa. I prefaced it with them being given the privilege of knowing more as they get older, having a greater understanding of things, and how there is a certain responsibility to carry, as we know more about Santa, to keep the spirit of what he is alive.

That means we believe. We believe when the little kids in our home ask us about Santa, and when our friends at school as us –we believe and keep the magic alive!

Matt asked if they knew what we were saying, and then we told them we are Santa. Quinlyn caught on, but because Garrison was still teetering he needed the flat out, “He’s us” explanation. Then we told them we thought it would be fun for them to help us

They loved this. We hauled all of the gifts in and they put them all under the tree, with the exception of a few big gifts we didn’t put out until they were sleeping. They filled the stockings and helped us get everything ready. They loved it!

Image: Carolyn McAfee

It really was magical and I got choked up a bit. I had shared with them that the magic for both Matt and I came alive when we had them, and how wonderful and magical it is to give and see such awe, excitement, and happiness in our little kids that are now so big. We told them to watch for that in their little brothers, and notice how fun it is.

We could feel their excitement as they got our house ready for Christmas morning. They felt the spirit of Christmas and the Spirit of Santa. I loved it and would do it that way again a million times.

I just wish the sex talk was this easy and magical

Originally published on BlogHer

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