I believe….

We’ve decided to not tell our children Santa is real. We tell them he’s pretend. Yes we’re awful parents and someday your child’s bubble might be burst by one of my daughters, but not this year.
A while back Lilah saw Santa on Barney, and asked if he was real. I said he was pretend. She said that she decided that Santa was real. OK. That’s your choice girly.

Yesterday we went to a breakfast with Carolyn for her boss. It was the ward Christmas party and since Jon and the girls didn’t come to our ward party, and our ward didn’t even have Santa, I’d thought it be fun for the girls.
I told Lilah Santa would be there and she said “Mommy doesn’t believe in Santa but I do.”

We waited in line and Lilah was mostly OK until she saw a little girl, about 3, cry and scream “scared, I’m scared” to her mom who still put her on Santa’s lap.
(I told the girls the whole time that they did not have to sit on Santa’s lap if they didn’t want to. )
Once our turn came I wanted to get a picture of the girls together, but only Eden would sit on Santa’s lap.
So Eden got a sucker and Lilah did not.
Lilah wanted a sucker so she decided she would sit on his lap.
She did well the second time and even tried to have a smile and afterwards she said how brave she was.

Well this morning as we sat eating breakfast she said, “Mommy, you have to believe in Santa now that you’ve seen him.”

4 Responses to “I believe….”

  1. Elizabeth J. Says:

    What a cute story.

    We are thinking we are going to tell Megan that Santa is a symbol of Christmas and let her think what she wants until she’s old enough to understand.

    Probably she’ll have the same reaction as Lilah 🙂

  2. Jonathan Blake Says:

    I haven’t been telling her that Santa isn’t real. When she asks, I’ve turned the question back on her. “Do you think Santa is real?” She’s been answering affirmatively lately. Regardless, I always ask “Why?” I’m trying to help her think for herself. She’s never asked my why I don’t believe in Santa, but if she did, I would give her a few reasons to think about.

  3. Andrea Says:

    I love this post. I agree with Jon’s technique of getting Lilah to think for herself. She’s still young to fully understand the differences in your Santa explaination, especially when she gets to go see him in person. Maybe instead of calling him Santa you should say, “the guy that’s pretending to be Santa, notice he’s different then the other guy pretending to be Santa at the mall?”

    Brien and I have been discussing what to say about Santa, lucky for us next year Z will still be too young to ask questions. Brien wants to just say that Santa isn’t real, that he’s an imaginary person that parents use to get their kids to do what they want. Brien wants to coerce our kids to do be good during the holidays for fear that mom and dad won’t give them presents if they are bad, not that some guy they don’t know will not deliver presents. Regardless of what she is told I plan on making at least one present under the tree from Santa Claus.

  4. Anna Says:

    I’m debating the Santa issue, but I don’t have kids yet. I like Jon’s approach. Seeing is believing…to Lilah.

    I never believed “Santa” was real as a child. (“Santa” being that guy in the mall w/ the fake white beard and ugly red suit.)

    Maybe I was already a costume designer that young if I was critiquing his suit. Back to the subject.

    What about just teaching the story of Santa (Saint Nicholas)? When they ask who’s that badly dressed man with the funny fur on his face, tell them who he’s supposed to represent and the stories that go along w/ Santa w/o leading them to believe a lie.

    I’d even let them leave Milk and Cookies for Santa. Even though we (the siblings and I) never believed in Santa or the Easter Bunny, we’d leave treats and letters, and they’d (mom would) write back telling funny stories ie: how Rudolph almost fell and broke his neck when they landed on the roof, etc.

    I’m a fairy tale person, so I like make believe, but it doesn’t mean I believe it’s true. And I certainly would want my kids to be able to distinguish fact from fiction. Plus, how crushing is it to find out that your parent’s lied to you about Santa?