My Child Still Believes - So, Butt Out

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. 


  1. I am all for keeping the magic alive. And you're right, she *does* glow!

  2. A few years ago I was in a grocery store and a woman had a basket filled with stocking stuffers, and said something to the person she was with. A little kid nearby overheard and asked about--why are you filling your stockings, why not Santa?

    Smooth recovery...she explained to him that because she was older and her kids didn't live with her anymore, she asked Santa to save his stuff for families who still had little ones at home, and just skip her house. She promised she would make sure she and her husband still had something Christmas morning.

    She easily could have ignored him and left him wondering, or ruined everything for him...but she chose to help him still believe, and really made me conscious about what I say this time of year. I no longer say "stocking stuffer" when out with the Spouse Thingy looking for things. It's now just "I need a few little things." I do NOT want to be the person who ruins it. I was allowed to believe as long as it suited me (and then a couple years longer when I didn't but wasn't going to say anything.) All kids deserve that.