Santa: Fact or Fiction for Your Little One

Around this time of the year, this is a fun topic to discuss. Now that I have two daughters, with the oldest one literally jumping up and down every day asking when Santa is going to come to the house, I now understand the magic of Santa. I know there is debate on if we are lying to our kids by telling them there is a Santa, but the fiction helps create the excitement of this special time of the year.

It made me think back on my stint as a “Santa believer.” I distinctly remember being in first grade and having my faith in Santa start to waver. In school, we wrote our letters to Santa and gave them in to our teacher and a few days later, we got a mail “delivery” from Santa.

Each child received a letter back from Santa. But, not me. I got TWO! Boy, did I think I was special. I must have been extra good to get TWO letters from Santa. The first letter was pretty generic, “Dear Melissa, I hear you were a good girl this year. Remember to put out cookies and milk for me and carrots for my reindeer. Always listen to your parents and be a good girl. Love, Santa.” I think if I looked at the other kids’  letters, they would say the same.

The second letter started out the same, “Dear Melissa. I hear you have been a good girl, etc…” the rest of the letter, however, read like this, “I know you secretly suck your thumb since Santa sees everything.  Stop doing that and Santa will bring you an extra gift.” I was floored! My doubt of the existence of Santa was OVER. He had to see everything if he knew about my thumb sucking. My faith in Santa was renewed!

Only a year later, however, my sister (who is now a lawyer), started to point out things to me. “Why do Santa & Mom have the same wrapping paper?” “Why does Dad’s handwriting bear a striking resemblance to Santa’s?” “How did Santa get into our house since we don’t have a chimney?” “Mom would never leave the door unlocked or leave a key out… so how did he get in?” The questioning became too much for me to handle. Finally, my parents ’fessed up that they were Santa.

It all made sense now–why they tell us to go to bed early, why I have to visit Santa PLUS provide a hand-written list of toys I want, why I heard shuffling in the hallway with boxes and finally, why nothing was ever assembled (my dad wasn’t really skilled in that area).

Now that I have a family of my own, my husband, Rob, and I are creating the magic of Christmas. I bought different wrapping paper so PP (one of my girls) doesn’t figure out that Santa and Mom have the same paper, we don’t put tags on any of the gifts (to minimize the handwriting identity) and I created a really cool Santa video. You pick answers to questions from a drop down menu and a custom video is created from Santa to your child. PP was beyond enthralled by what Santa said to her.

We are all ready for Christmas Day. We have carrots for Rudolph, we’re making cookies for Santa, the gifts are wrapped and in the personalized Santa bundles for each child, and our stocking stuffers are set.

How are you getting ready for the BIG DAY and how do you keep the magic of Santa alive?

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3 Responses to “Santa: Fact or Fiction for Your Little One”

  1. Jessica.G December 21, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    I have a terribly hard time with talking to my son about Santa! My parents kept many way more important secrets from me other then Santa not being real! When they finally admitted to being Santa it was bc I wanted a boom box! Lol…makes me feel old bc its been a very long time since they were called that. It was way before CDs were something that people bought when I wanted it. They told me santa wasnt real and they couldn’t afford to buy me a boom box…and then I woke up christmas morning and sitting under my stocking was a boom box with a Madonna cassette!

    Now my son knows of Santa bc I have a sister 3 years older then him and I never wanted to ruin Santa for her. I don’t believe it is wrong to tell your child about Santa at all! I choose not to play into it very much bc of my own resentment toward my parents bc they lied to me about so much more that I have a deep dislike for anything that I decided was a lie as a child.

    My son recently got a loose tooth and Grandma told him about the tooth fairy. He lost the tooth on the bus…and he actually lost it! But some kid told him that tge tooth fairy isn’t real and that an adult in your house takes your tooth and gives you money. I was
    so mad and was determined to stay up and sneak into his room and put money under his pillow, but I passed out. When I got up in the morning he was awake looking for his money so I paid up and the secret was out! I failed and it made me feel better about the whole Santa thing. My family is completely unsupportive of my not playing into Santa but I was horrible with the tooth fairy thing and I don’t think I’d be very good at Santa or defending Santa when the older kids started putting doubts in his head! It was the best choice for us…

  2. Casey December 21, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    We want our children to know both the true meaning of Christmas but also have the fun and imagination that Santa brings. We have been baking like crazy and Santa requested chocolate chip cookies so we will be baking those on Thursday.

    To keep Santa in mind at our house we have the “Elf on a Shelf” to watch over the kids and report back to santa every night! We ordered letters from santaclauswrites.com and had a personalized letter sent to our son he thought that was amazing! We will be making reindeer food with all the kids at my moms big Christmas Eve party with all the kids…this is going to be a great year!

    The only thing I do find a little hard is trying to teach children about Jesus around the holiday season because Jesus is no where and Santa is EVERYWHERE! We want our children to be able to celebrate and believe in both traditions and I know it may be hard but to us Jesus is important and Santa is fun so both are taught and celebrated at our house!

  3. Melissa Parlaman December 22, 2010 at 12:26 pm #

    @Casey: We have the Elf on the Shelf too but last year, PP, threw it behind the hutch so he couldn’t watch her (smart but sassy!). This year, “Gooey” is perched on our mantle & we say that he stays there so he can get the best spot to watch her & report back to Santa.
    @Jessica: love the boom box reference! i remember my first one was pink & the first cassette I ever got was Madonna too (i had the bows & bracelets to match).
    Hope you both have a wonderful & magical holiday!