PARENTING: Answering the big question... ‘Is Santa real?’

13 December 2018

“Is Santa real?”

I’ve been dreading this question for several years now. I always vowed to never lie to my kids (well, unless it’s about where the last Tim Tam went!), so when the big Santa question is posed, I’ve always felt I need to tell the truth. 

And in our house, the question is certainly looming. My oldest possibly knows, but has been warned by friends that you need to believe to receive, so he simply hasn’t dared ask the question yet. But it’s coming.

So, what do you say when your child asks, “Is Santa real?”?

I’ve thought long and hard, trawled the internet asked friends, and thought some more. This is my best answer:

“Is Santa real?”

No, my sweetheart, and yet yes.

You are old enough to know that the childhood Santa story is not real. The jolly man in the red suit that dashes around the world to put presents under everyone’s tree simply isn’t possible.

Santa is not one person, but he is everyone.

Yes, we are the people who fill your stockings, put presents under the tree, and we even eat the cookies!

But we do this in the spirit of the original Santa – a man called St Nicolas who lived many years ago. His parents died when he was young and left him a lot of money. He used his money to help people less fortunate, in particular children. He did most of his kind deeds in secret, expecting nothing in return.

He sadly died, but over the years his name was shortened to Santa and his acts of generosity were continued by everyday people until they became a worldwide tradition that happens every year on Christmas day.

The real Santa is an example of how to live and give and help others.

It’s doing something to help someone else, or bringing a little magic to someone’s life without expecting anything in return.

With the help of everyone around the world he does a job that otherwise would be impossible. We are on his team, and now you can be too.

Now, you are old enough to think about how you can give without being thanked or praised, just giving to make others happy.

The magic of Christmas is not in who comes down the chimney, but how we feel - the love we have for each other, for those less fortunate, and the little things we can do to make the world a better place.

This doesn’t take away the magic of Christmas. In fact, now is when Christmas gets really amazing because you now get to be the magic maker… you’ll do it for your sister, your buddy at school, your younger friends, and maybe your own children one day.

It doesn’t mean you no longer get presents. You might now know that they come from us, but they are given with just as much love and magic.

What will you say when the time comes?

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