My husband and I decided to tell our 9 year old the truth about Santa this year. She wasn’t questioning Santa’s existence, but my husband pointed out that he would rather the truth came from us.
We didn’t want her to hear that Santa isn’t real from kids at school or be teased for believing.
In addition, we also recognized that our daughter is on the young end of her class, so the likelihood of someone telling her was high.
Anyway, a while back I had run across an article that articulated telling your kids the truth about Santa beautifully. I looked it up and took notes.
We knew how we didn’t want it to go. I didn’t want my daughter in tears, feeling cheated, as though her childhood and all the magic in her life was ripped away suddenly because she found out Santa isn’t real.
I wanted her to be excited about helping create the magic of Christmas. So, this was our version…..
Telling our Daughter The Truth about Santa
After we put the 3 little ones to bed, we let our 9 year old stay up late. We had a special ice cream treat with her at the kitchen table. After she was properly sugared up, we started talking about how much she has grown this year.
I told her how we appreciated her hospitality this year. We reminded her of the 2 different times she gave up her room this year, to allow guests to stay with us, and never complained about being displaced. My husband complimented her on her work with the little ones in our home and her part in helping with foster care.
Then we told her that we noticed that her heart had grown this year too…(and in a whisper tone) that we believed she was ready to BE A Santa. Next, we talked about the various Santas we’ve seen around town and how some kids don’t believe there’s a Santa. We told her that not all kids are ready to BE a SANTA.
We discussed what a Santa does and why. I could see her anticipation growing as we talked about the joy of giving and surprising those we love.
The Excitement of Being a Santa
I told my daughter that now that she was ready to BE a Santa, she would get to help me fill the stockings, help pick out stocking stuffers for the little kids (except for her own, which I would still surprise her with) and help find the perfect gifts from Santa for her siblings. In addition, she would get to help us hide the elf each night.
My daughter was full of excitement. She had a lot of questions for us about how we pulled off some of the elf’s stunts in the past and what really happened when we corresponded with Santa. We also confirmed that this meant she would get to help as Easter Bunny and even as Tooth Fairy.
My husband Jeremy and I marveled a day later about how excited she was about it. There was no disappointment…no tears, just lots and lots of excitement that she was now A SANTA!
We’ve reminded her several times over the past few days that this is a secret and not every kid is ready to be a Santa. So hopefully our secret is safe. But most importantly, the magic of Christmas is alive and well here in our household! Our new Santa is eagerly devising her plan of holiday cheer!
**Our version worked based on the fact that this was our oldest kid. If you are telling the youngest child OR an only child, I would suggest finding someone outside your home to be a Santa to.
***Make sure you talk with your kids about good secrets (presents/surprises) and bad secrets (abuse/threats) before this conversation.
Be sure to check out these Family Christmas Traditions. You are sure to find some awesome ones!
You can find ideas for Ugly Christmas Sweaters here.
If you’d like to learn about the tradition of Christmas Adam, you can check that out here.