When do kids stop believing in Santa Claus?
It happens. They figure it out. Their friends tell them.
You may have asked yourself the following questions
- What do I say when my child asks how Santa can be in more than one mall within a short space of time? Actual quote: “Hey, we just saw Santa at the last store! How did he get here so fast?” (Magic. He gets around the world in a night, too.)
- What if my child asks, “How can Santa be at the mall all day if he’s supposed to be busy at the North Pole?” (He delegates. Elves do most of the work.)
- What do I say when my child points out, “Why does Santa look different?” Yikes, this year’s Santa looks different from last year’s (and your child has the photo to prove it!), or Santa in one mall looks different from Santa in another mall. (Simple answer to the second: Don’t mall hop.)
- How do I explain why Santa’s beard isn’t real? (It must have not grown in well enough, so he’s using a fake one.) By the way, if kids are on the threshold of breaking the Santa code, they love to see you squirm to come up with answers.
- How do I explain why Dad/Uncle/Grandpa are never in the room at the same time as Santa? (I’ll leave that one to your creativity.)
- What do I say when a child asks me point blank, “Is Santa real?” (Read on for the answer.)
Now the more serious, heart-wrenching issues
- “I was much better behaved this year than Johnny at school, but he got way more gifts than me. I thought Santa gave more gifts to good kids. Was I bad?”
- “I know you don’t have much money, but that’s okay because Santa will get it for me!”
- “Santa’s not real. You lied!”
Here’s the thing. Young children are concrete, whereas older children and adults have the ability to think in abstract terms.
Credit goes to my ex-husband for this expression: “Santa is in your heart.”
When you say this to your preschoolers and early elementary-age kids with an explanation that Santa is a spirit inside us, a feeling of giving, it seems to satisfy them. They don’t fully get it at first, but it doesn’t negate their concept of Santa. If you believe in Santa, they know they can believe, no matter what form he takes.
As they get older, they can transition seamlessly from Santa the white-bearded man to Santa the spirit of giving without feeling betrayed or tricked (or that their parents don’t walk the talk about lying). They simply step up to this new level of understanding.
They even join with the parents to bring the magic of Christmas to the younger children in the family and become Santas themselves by giving to others—family, friends, the less fortunate.
So, do I believe in Santa? Is Santa real? Yes and yes.
Sharing with you my all-time favourite flash mob:
Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus
Posted by Alphabet Photography