Here are some stellar tips for when to let your kids in on the Secret of Santa.
Do you remember when you first discovered that Santa wasn’t “real”? I don’t! I can still remember opening that one special gift from the Big Guy well into high school. Before you call me crazy— I was well aware that the gift was purchased and placed under the tree Christmas morning by my parents, but I played along to keep the magic going.
Isn’t that a lovely thought amidst this dumpster fire of 2020? Even if our brains tell us something isn’t real, our hearts still carry the magic.
I still have a rating of 3/3 Believers in my house. But, the questions and the skepticism have already begun in the oldest (soon-to-turn 9). I brought up the “When do they stop believing” topic among my group of mom friends, and they had some great advice and approaches that I intend to use when the time comes.
Ask yourself: are they ready to NOT believe?
While their little brains are working overtime trying to piece together all the “facts” that prove Santa isn’t real, sometimes their hearts aren’t ready for the curtain to be pulled back. If you feel like your child can handle the disappointment, then proceed to the next step. But if there’s any question, proceed with caution!
Let them ask all their questions and answer them truthfully.
Once the cat’s out of the bag, encourage them to ask all.of.the.questions. and then, answer all.of.the.questions (truthfully)! Most kids will immediately realize that they’ve been misled, and by answering their questions, you’ll help build back some trust. But be prepared. Now that they know the truth about Santa, they’re likely to ask about the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, etc.
Let them in on the secret.
In my opinion, this is the most important step in the process. Once they know the logistics of what was real versus imagined, help them recapture the magic by letting them in on “the secret of Santa.” Because they are old enough to know the truth, they are now old enough to become part of the magic and help others believe. This leads me to the second-most important step …
Make sure they don’t ruin it for anyone else!
This may seem obvious to those of us with more than one child, but you should explain to your newly “enlightened” child that not every kid is ready to be let in on the secret. This includes not only younger siblings and family members but classmates and acquaintances. You don’t want to be the parent of the kindergartener who came to school on Monday and drops that truth bomb!
In a year when our spirits have been crushed in more ways than we could have ever imagined, why not preserve as much of the Christmas spirit as you can? Even if your kid worked out the “truth” about Santa, they can still believe in the “magic” of Santa. And we can all certainly use more of that!