There are lots of online posts that go around this time of year, giving advice on how to break the news to your kids about Santa, or how to keep the Christmas magic alive. I'm not going to mash-up and summarize all those posts, but I am going to tell you how it is in our family.
My child (8 yrs old) still believes.
My parents never gave me "the talk" or wrote me a letter. They kept the spirit of the season alive and even when my brother and I thought we had it all figured out, we realized it was better to not question, and to hold on to the magic of the season as well.
When my daughter asked me recently if Santa was real, I put the question back on her, because it really is about what she wants to believe and how it makes her feel. She told me other kids and friends were telling her Santa wasn't real, that Santa was her parents, and she could even compare Santa's handwriting to her parent's handwriting to see it was the same. I asked her what she believed in. She still believes. And she shared with me why she believes, and it was something like this:
"I know all those Santas in the malls and at parties aren't the real Santa, but they are bringing Christmas fun and holiday cheer to everyone. That's a good thing. That's the Christmas spirit. There really used to be a man named St. Nick and he brought good cheer to everyone. I don't know if he's a real person or a spirit, or a bunch of other people, but I want to believe there is magic during Christmas - and I don't care what other kids think. Maybe they're missing out on something fun and magical."
And as for the gift receiving from Santa - she believes that's a reminder of the first Christmas when the Magi brought gifts to Jesus. (Having a proud parent moment here).
So, I'm OK if you and your family don't believe in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, or whatever, but don't ruin it for my kid. Please consider asking your non-believing kids to keep their beliefs to themselves so they don't ruin the magic for the other kids. And if you're an adult, please refrain from conversations in front of kids, about how you personally know Bob Smith the local "Santa" in the mall. Maybe you don't believe anymore either. Maybe you and your non-believing kids are feeling some sort of loss because you really wish you had some Christmas magic to hold onto - but don't project your feelings onto my kid. Can't you see how the Christmas magic makes her glow?
I'm going to protect and defend that Christmas magic for her until my dying days. Because I still believe too! So, please - butt out. And Merry Christmas!
Now, I'm off to have a Starbuck's eggnog latte in whatever color cup they give me.