I apologize in advance if my kids are the ones who ruin Christmas for your kids. That's not my intention. I understand why people have their children believe in the magic of Santa Claus, but my husband and I have chosen to go in a different direction...
I don't remember a point in my childhood where I believed in Santa Claus. I loved the stories surrounding Santa Claus and I loved the giving and receiving of gifts. But just like other fairy tales I had read about, I didn't really believe that he existed.
This is similar to how we have chosen to go about the topic of Santa Claus for our children. We talk about Santa, we read books about Santa, we watch movies about Santa. But Matteo (who is 4 this year) has always helped buy gifts for others, never received a present "From Santa" and has always been very appreciative of the people who actually gave him gifts.
Childhood is full of fairy tales and magic. We don't put near as much effort into convincing children that their favorite storybook character is real... so why do we push so hard when it comes to Santa?Here are my reasons for not pushing Santa:
- Making Santa real requires a lot of effort and frankly, a lot of lying (as does Elf on the Shelf).
- I work hard to be honest with my children, and it seems odd to trick them about something so trivial.
- I do not want to set my kids up for disappointment once they would find out that Santa is not real.
- I understand that disappointment will happen to my children, but I do not want it to come from me... especially over something that could easily be avoided.
- Gratitude should be towards the person who gave my children the present -- not a mythical being.
- We enjoy buying presents together and picking out things that our loved ones would like.
- We enjoy wrapping gifts together.
- The holidays are about much more than an old man in a red suit -- family, faith and generosity.
- I think the idea of Santa coming into our house in the middle of the night would scare my kids, considering they refuse to get close to him at the mall (and why do people make their screaming children sit on Santa's lap, anyway??).
- Christmas is still magical without Santa being real.
All that being said... I understand why people do it to some extent. We all want childhood to be a magical time where you can believe in things that don't really exist or make sense. We equate Santa to innocence, and we do not want to rob our children of this.
But I firmly believe that my children do not have worse Christmases than your children simply because we do not insist that Santa Claus is real
This piece originally appeared on MomShar.com