How To Stop Your Child Spoiling The Magic Of Santa For Others
Did an older child spoil Christmas for you? Or, did an older family member plant that seed in your mind?
If your little one is now the older child, these small tips can help them not spoil the magic for somebody else this Christmas.
1. Learn the Santa Story
Okay, so your little one doesn't believe in Santa in the whole climbing-down-the-chimney sense, but it's a perfect time to teach him about the real Santa. The real Santa Claus is based on Nicholas, a Greek child of wealthy parents who died when he was young. Nicholas was a Christian and decided to spend his inheritance on giving gifts and money to the poor. He was later Sainted and remains a much-loved historical figure within the Catholic Church. Taking the time to learn about St. Nicholas' life and ministry might help your child understand that Santa Claus is based on a real story.
2. Prep Your Child
Before you bring your child to a Christmas party or dinner with his younger cousins, make sure he knows to keep his lips sealed when it comes to Saint Nick. While he doesn't necessarily have to lie when his believer cousins gush over Santa, he can leave the conversation or use past memories to talk about the same. He is not, under any circumstances, to ruin the Santa story for anyone else.
3. Explain Differences
Santa can sometimes be explained in the same way different religions are explained to kids. By explaining to your child that some families choose to believe in Santa and others don't, he can understand to respect different traditions. Just like he wouldn't make fun of another child for celebrating Hanukkah instead of Christmas, he should never make fun of another kid because he believes in Santa. Putting the explanation into these terms can help your child relate the Santa story to other family beliefs.
4. Remind About Traditions
If your child is one of the kids who still believes in Santa, he can still wreck the surprise by divulging details of traditions that only happen in your home, leaving other kids to question why "their" Santa doesn't leave presents unwrapped, eat only oatmeal cookies or visit with kids at the mall. Remind your believing child that while Santa does those things for your family, he is different to everyone. If he overhears another kid talking about how Santa always comes through the front door of their apartment, your child doesn't need to defend your chimney climbing version of Santa—knowing that different families have different Santa traditions and that's OK.
Christmas can still be a magical time, whether your family has Santa come to visit or not. But it's important to remember that it's also a magical time for schoolmates, relatives and neighbours. By giving your little one the holiday “low down” before you find yourself in a sticky situation, you get to celebrate Christmas that you want while allowing others to do the same.