I know, I know. Most of you may be shaking your heads wondering what is wrong with us that we “ruin” Christmas for our kids by not indulging in the “magic” of Christmas. Trust me, we didn’t come to this plan until our first child’s second Christmas. I actually have a picture of her first Christmas sitting on Santa’s lap (see below). But as this holiday approached a second time and our baby was getting older and a second was on his way we sat down and thought about how we wanted to approach this holiday. We ultimately decided, we don’t believe in Santa and aren’t participating in it around Christmas.
Here are 5 reasons we don’t believe in Santa:
- We believe in one person you can’t see, and that’s Jesus. We believe in His birth and that He is the true joy that we have, especially around this season. We didn’t want Santa to take away from that for our family.
- Presents stay minimal – With no Jolly Good Saint Nick around we can be real with our gift expectations with the kids. They don’t have this man who will bring them whatever they want if they are good. It’s hard enough to curb the desires we have to want but this helps us to let our kids really choose what do they truly want since they know they won’t get a roomful. We also try to follow the Gift of 4. It also contains my desire to give them everything because yes, it is fun to watch your kids eyes light up over getting something they love.
- It’s a lie – Now I’m not trying to be harsh, but it’s a fact. It’s a lie and although there may be times in my kids’ life that I need to “sugar coat” things a little this one seemed much bigger than that. Our goal overall is to be age appropriate and honest when questions, concerns or situations come up. And we all know that sometimes starting with an innocent lie can dive into much deeper ones since kids like to ask questions.
- Santa isn’t consistent – My daughter is in her second year of Pre-K and currently there are questions going on in other homes about why Santa brings more gifts to their friends then he does to them. I wouldn’t even know how to answer that. Not only with it just being more or less in families that can afford gifts; it’s also true for families that don’t have the opportunity to give gifts to their kids. So instead of joy around this season many kids are feeling forgotten or neglected by Santa because he doesn’t bring them anything.
- It’s too much work – Hiding gifts where kids won’t find them, removing a gift seen or lying about who it’s for, and any other quick minded adjustment you need to make to cover up just makes me exhausted thinking about it. The season can be exhausting enough at times. Why add more to your list?
What we do/will do instead:
We teach our kids that giving is the best part of the season, taking care of those less fortunate, donating gifts to those who normally wouldn’t get anything, and being grateful for the gifts we do get. We focus on Jesus, family and festivities! Going to see lights, Christmas movies and books, local holiday events, Angel Tree, Shoebox ministries, etc.
We talk to our oldest about how Santa is something that is fun to pretend about. That some families really love to pretend with Santa and others, like ours, don’t do much with him. They don’t receive gifts from Santa and we have started reading children’s books regarding the real St. Nick so they can understand the history of this holiday figure. We also remind them that it’s ok for other’s to believe and really enjoy Santa and it’s not up to us to make them think like we do. This is what works for our family.