If your kids are around, don’t read this post right now… Top Secret information will be shared. Scroll down to read the post once no children are in sight.
Santa… a hotly debated topic among many. Does the man in red take away from the real meaning of Christmas? Does it damage children to not be truthful? How long do you let them believe? etc… Here in the Mangin household we fully embrace Santa and I go on record saying that I think I’m one of the best Santa-Moms around. I take this very seriously. Eric knows not to even utter a word about stockings, Christmas lists, or anything of the like within a 5 mile radius of our home. Even if the kids are sleeping- I’m crazy about it.
But, what about when the time has come to reveal the true identity of Santa? For us, that time came last year for our oldest daughter and I wanted to be sure that “The Santa Talk” went just right. I think I put more thought into The Santa Talk than I did for The Birds and the Bees Talk (I could post about that one, but it might be a tad awkward and then your kid might end up in therapy with mine! lol) I decided to share how it all went down, because I honestly believe that Kenzie’s Santa Experience is something she’ll always remember, and hopefully something that helped her develop a spirit of giving, and moved her a step closer to really understanding the true meaning of Christmas.
For me being Santa has been one of the most exciting and special experiences I’ve been able to have. If you know me at all, you know that I’m known for being non-emotional and completely not touchy feely, but the thought of having to have the Santa Talk with Makenzie actually had me in tears (yup, I cried last year and I’m not sure I have since then!) I think I cried for 2 reasons… #1 It’s the end of a parenting phase and for me it was a special one. #2 It was my chance and responsibility to teach my daughter about selfless giving, Christ-like giving, and I hoped I’d done it well.
Makenzie is a lot like me, so I knew she wouldn’t want to sit and have a semi-awkward talk where I might have shed a tear or two, so instead I wrote her a letter. Every year Santa writes each of our kids a letter. He always uses the same weathered parchment-like paper, the same font, and the same picture. This year Kenzie’s letter came before Christmas and was different from all the rest…
So it wasn’t anything earth shattering, but Kenzie came out of her room after reading it, she had slightly watery eyes (which of course I pretended not to notice) and she gave me the most heartfelt thank you that she’s ever given. Santa gets a bad rap (or wrap- lol Get it?!?) by many, but for me, he was a tool that was able to teach my daughter about giving, selflessness, God’s love, and even how to believe in a little magic. Who knows, maybe she will be in therapy one day complaining about her mom’s Santa trickery, but I’m thinking her Santa experience will be something she can always look back on and happily remember that her mom and her Heavenly Father love her a whole lot.
This year I’m so excited to have her partner with me to make sure things are done just right for the other 3 kids. It will be neat to have Kenzie giving me ideas for her siblings and working to make sure it’s special for them. I have a feeling that it’s the last Christmas for Kaden believing, so I’m going to enjoy every minute of it!
** Here are a few basic rules from a Stealth Santa Mom…***
1- Never talk about buying “stocking stuffers” duh! Santa buys those! That one drives me nuts, I hear it all the time.
2- Talk to your kids’ grandparents ahead of time and lay down some ground rules… Ex: No signing presents as Santa (that’s only for at home), no pretending he came to their house for the kids too. Keep it simple- makes it a lot easier.
3- If you leave carrots for the reindeer, bite them but don’t let it look human, leave just a bit. I may or may not also chew up a bit and leave some tiny bits (it looks authentic!)
4- This one is important- never let them see the Santa wrapping paper- Ever! If he wraps in the same paper your kids saw you buy at COSTCO… busted!
5- Always write your kids’ a letter from Santa and use it as a tool to remind them about the Real meaning of Christmas. At this age, they’re probably too young to conceptualize salvation and redemption, but it can still plant seeds of truth for them.
So if you do or did Santa, I’d love to know how The Santa Talk went down in your house and I’d love to know what little things you did to make Santa special for your kids!