I never encouraged my son to believe in Santa Claus. I never wanted him to believe. Yet, at nearly five-years old, he does anyway.
After our son was born, my husband and I decided we would not celebrate Christmas with Santa Claus. Striving toward honesty ourselves, we saw no need to perpetuate a lie to our children. We also could not deny the unfair reality that Santa represents. Not all families “find” a bounty of presents under the tree from St. Nick. I want my son to have an awareness of this and gratitude for anything he is fortunate to receive.
For the first two Christmases with my son it was easy not to believe. Last year, even though we never once expressed our belief in Santa Claus, my son excitedly shared his own.
We don’t really talk to our son about Santa. We have no desire to have his photo taken with the jolly man himself. Our letters are not postmarked to the North Pole and no cookies and carrots are left near the tree. We absolutely do not use Santa to bribe our son into good behavior. Yet, my son still found his own magic around Christmastime.
It’s easy to see why this may be. Santa is the icon of the holiday season and many of his friends and other family believe.
Never once has he asked me about the reality of Santa Claus. So for now, I have chosen not to tell him.
My reason is a little selfish. I remember the magic of Santa Claus from my own childhood and I enjoy the holiday traditions we are starting as a family. There is no denying the fun in sharing movies starring Santa with my son, as we sip hot chocolate together, snuggled on the couch. While we can certainly share these moments with a Santa-free holiday, a piece of me is not ready to dash his sweet belief.
My husband and I discussed that we will navigate our decision one day at a time. When our son asks or questions who filled his stocking this year, we are prepared to share our truth with him. Who knows? He may still choose to believe.
So, for now, in this moment, I’m soaking up the merry season with my little ones. With or without Santa, if we believe in our own Christmas magic, I’m sure we’ll always find it.