Is Santa Real?
We here at Thrive Talk absolutely know that Santa Claus is real. In this article, we are going to be talking about how big people can help him, so if you’re not a big person, go ahead and click out of this page. We don’t want you ending up on the naughty list!
Ok— hopefully, that worked.
If you have children of your own or find yourself around a group of bright-eyed, bushy-tailed kiddos during Christmas time, you may find yourself in a tricky predicament if the question of Santa’s existence comes up.
What age is the right age to tell a child that every Christmas hasn’t exactly happened how they may have thought? How can you tell them what will inevitably be discovered without losing their trust? While there may not be a “right” answer, we hope we can shed some light on the issue and offer up some suggestions.
Who is Santa Claus
Let’s start with the basics.
The portly, jolly man with a snow-white beard and jumpsuit is a legendary staple of Christmas. Every Christmas Eve, parents around the world layout milk and cookies as Santa makes rounds delivering presents to little boys and girls who have been good all year.
Santa Claus, who also goes by St Nick, Kris Kringle, or simply, Santa, is one of the most widely recognizable folklore figures in the world and we don’t see that changing any time soon. A bearer of gifts, joy, and love, Father Christmas is here to stay.
How Old is Santa
Technically, Saint Nicholas (who was a real person) was born in 270 AD. After his death, the legend of his love for gift-giving and caring for others grew and grew and eventually transformed into the legendary character, Santa Claus. Therefore, today Santa Claus would be 1,748 years old.
However, we think that Santa looks in his late 60’s. He clearly takes great care of his skin.
Where Does Santa Live
Santa lives in the North Pole with his wife, Mrs. Claus, his flying reindeer (including Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer), shiny sleigh, and hard-working elves.
What To Do When Your Kid Asks: Is Santa Real?
Santa Claus, much like the tooth fairy or Easter bunny, requires a pretty fantastical imagination to wrap your head around. That’s the beauty of childlike faith. So we can completely understand how gut-wrenching it is to regretfully smash that dream into a million pieces with the truth of the matter.
Santa – The Fear Tactic
Let’s be honest, Santa makes for a great fear tactic. Parents, teachers, and most adults have probably found themselves using Santa as an incentive to get children to behave. No one wants to be on the naughty list and not receive presents on Christmas morning. If your child seems to be caring less and less about whether Santa pops down the chimney, this may be a good time to break the news—and potentially develop a new fear tactic.
How Children May Find Out
More often than not, children find out about Santa from their older siblings or friends at school. This commonly happens when kids are around six or seven years old. There’s always that one kid at school who cannot wait to rain on everyone’s Christmas parade (you know who we’re talking about). Parents should mentally prepare for this to happen, as it inevitably will.
If this happens, specialists recommend telling your child that Santa is just one way that people celebrate Christmas and reminding them of the special ways that you and your family celebrate the holiday. This may help ease the confusion or grief of letting go of a childhood memory.
Prepare for Any and Every Reaction
We don’t have to tell you that no two kids are the same. Therefore, parents should be prepared for your child to shrug off the Santa myth but also prepare for a full-on meltdown.
Some children may respond with relief because their suspicions are finally confirmed. I remember being overjoyed when I found out the tooth fairy didn’t exist. It terrified me that a strange was coming into my room at night regardless of whether or not it was a fairy.
Other children may respond angrily, feeling that they’ve been betrayed with this lie. These children may also feel embarrassed that they went on believing for so long.
If your child responds negatively to the news, it is recommended that parents discuss the situation with sympathy and assure the child that Christmas will still continue even without Santa.
Kids can still write a letter to “Santa” at Christmas time if they please. Especially since many kids use this letter to strongly hint to their parents what they are hoping to wake up to on Christmas morning. Christmas Eve can still entail baking cookies and children can still participate in opening presents. Reminding young children that not much really change can be an effective way to ease them into this new transition.
Anyone Can Be Santa!
Once your kids get past the idea that Santa isn’t a bumbling man in a red suit, you may want to introduce the idea that anyone can be Santa. This is a great way to start integrating new family traditions such as volunteering at the food bank or deliver gifts to nursing homes. Children may stop believing in Santa, but that doesn’t mean the underlying message of giving and lending a helping hand can’t still exist.
Encourage children to participate in the gift-giving experience. Wrapping gifts and sharing in the experience of giving instead of only receiving can be a heartwarming and important moment that children should experience.
Don’t Make Santa a Huge Deal
Sure, all kids love Santa Claus, but he doesn’t have to be at the center of your holiday experience as a family.
Some families prefer to instill faith in their Christmas traditions and make the holiday about Jesus Christ instead of St Nick.
Other families may prefer to merge the two, having a faith-based holiday but still allowing for Santa to make an appearance.
Of course, every family is different and parents must decide what is best for them and their children. However, making Santa not so big of a deal will ultimately lessen the blow when the truth about the jolly bearded man inevitably comes out.
Santa Lives Within Us
Just because a fluffy man doesn’t actually live in the North Pole, doesn’t mean the magic of Christmas has to die. Finding new ways to celebrate the holiday together and ensuring that the underlying message of Christmas remains true are great tools to ease kids into the this new, exciting part of their life. Breaking the news of Santa’s existence (or lack thereof) can certainly be daunting, but it really doesn’t have to change how special the time can be for your family.