Is Santa Real?
It’s the question that many parents dread at this time of year… “Is Santa Real?”
How do you answer that question in a way that prolongs the magic of childhood and all the wonderment and imagination that goes with it, whilst not being a hypocrite and risking that your children won’t trust you in future because you ‘lied’?
How you explain Christmas and all the magic, myths and celebrations that surround it depends on your religious beliefs. Regardless of this, many children around the world are led to believe in a ‘Santa’ figure of some kind. Parents can find it very difficult to know what to say to children when they ask, as children always do, those rather searching questions that can tie you in knots if you’re not prepared.
Once a child is old enough to have the understanding of the world and logical thought processes that raise questions about how Santa can deliver all the presents in one night, or what happens to families who aren’t at home at Christmas, or those without chimneys etc, he or she is not too far off being able to understand symbolism. This is one of the best ways I’ve found to talk to your children about Santa. It is also really empowering for children who may not be quite ready for the harshness of reality, to explain that people all around the world believe in different things and everyone is free to believe what they want to, so no one can tell you to believe or not believe in Santa.
For me, there is still something special about Christmas and I explained it to my girls by saying that Christmas is a time of year that brings out the best in people and it can feel like a really magical time of year. Whilst, No, a big guy in a red suit doesn’t come down the chimney and deliver presents, Santa is a symbol of the generosity, love and giving of the festive season and that when people do pull together, care for their neighbours and generally try a bit harder to be nice to each other, marvellous things can happen and it can feel magical.
So yes, I am happy to say that I believe in Santa along with all the warm, good, positive parts of our nature that we try to bring to the surface at this time of year and that we represent by the chubby cheerful chap in the red suit.
Whatever Christmas means to you, I hope it is a very happy time for you, your children and family.
This post was written by Amanda Gummer