"…maybe Christmas – perhaps – means a little bit more…"

Me, looking at Jake’s school schedule: “Oh, it looks like you will be writing a letter to Santa in class!”

Jake: “Does that mean I will be writing a letter to you and Dad?”

Yes, well. Let’s just say that Jake is feeling a bit confused these days. If you’re four, and you have a brother who is five and is a non-believer, then you will likely get tipped off about the non-existence of Santa earlier than your other classmates. But, if you are in a pre-kindergarten class where everyone is busy writing letters to Santa, mailing letters to Santa, and getting ready for Santa’s classroom visit, the issue may become cloudy for you.

I’ve read a few things in the past couple of days with regards to the de-bunking of the Santa myth and how terribly sad it is when children stop believing. Now, I don’t want to belittle anyone’s belief system here, or ruin anyone’s Christmas spirit, but I don’t really equate the belief in Santa barreling down one’s chimney to bestow gifts and eat cookies with the magic of Christmas. I don’t know. I love the Christmas season as much as the next person, in fact I might even love it more than the next person, but I have to say that it actually didn’t affect me when the boys stopped “believing”.

When Mark first spoke about Santa not being “real”, given his personality, I felt it best to be honest with him. I told him that Santa was something that little kids like to think about until they can understand that Santa is more than just a fat guy in a red suit with a flying sleigh, that Santa means goodwill and generosity and kindness, and that when you do something nice, it is like you become Santa. It’s an explanation I’m more comfortable with than maintaining a myth that I think is beside the point.

Nevertheless, we will hang our stockings and set out cookies and milk on Christmas Eve. Just in case.


  1. For a whole bunch of reasons we’ve never really done Santa. We do talk about St. Nicholas and they open stockings on St. Nicholas day but Santa has always been a fictional character for them. And they do not seem the worse for the wear.
    They are all into Christmas, presents, lights, the whole nine yards. To me, the magic of Christmas is what we make of it. Not anything specifically.

  2. My ten year old JUST told me this year that she doesn’t believe in Santa, and in fact, hasn’t believed for a few years.

    I don’t equate belief in Santa with the magic of Christmas, but I do equate it with a certain time of young, vulnerable childhood, I think. But CHristmas is still fun, either way.

  3. Hee! I do love this.

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