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Moms Talk: The Santa Moment

Our Moms Council tackles a big moment in any parent's life.

Each week in Moms Talk, our Moms Council of experts and smart mothers take your questions, give advice and share solutions.

Moms, dads, grandparents and the diverse families who make up our community will have a new resource for questions about local neighborhood schools, the best pediatricians, 24-hour pharmacies and the thousands of other issues that arise while raising children.

Here's this week's question:

Yes, Virginia, we're going to talk about this. Childhood is that magical time when kids know that Santa Claus delivers all their Christmas wishes on Dec. 25. But every parent of a Santa-loving kid knows the time will come when ... well, you know the rest. So, how have you handled the Santa Moment? What do you say when confronted with one of the world's toughest questions?

Join our Moms Council (Amy Perry, Steph Motenko, Liz Spillane and Tiffany Prysmiki) in the comments below.

Lisa A Gloria December 21, 2011 at 08:53 PM
This year we finally told the youngest, and she was confused and a little cranky that we would lie to her and her sisters for years on end. I feel badly that we caved to peer pressure and introduced Santa into our house in the first place. Starting this year, we'll be celebrating New Years. We have the tree, modest presents, family, and resolutions. We look at it as a way to reconnect and renew our commitment to each other, and leave behind things that need to be left behind. Also we'll be getting all our holiday presents on post-xmas-sale so you all please just keep doing what you're doing! :-)
Karin McCarthy-lange December 21, 2011 at 09:34 PM
I have a 10 year old and a three year old. Not sure how long I can hold on to the magic for our older child but found the best way to tell him and wanted to share with everyone! Here's the link: http://www.cozi.com/live-simply/truth-about-santa
Amy Perry December 21, 2011 at 09:50 PM
Lisa, the post holiday shopping is a great idea. It's just sentimental tradition for our house, a time to act and have fun but it is a terrible thing to break a child's spirit. The youngest three still believe. I do not think I even have to break the news, the idea of Santa fades with time. I remember my mom telling me. I was being bad and my mom told me Santa was not coming, another tragic line, I cried for a long time until she could not stand it anymore. She finaly broke down and told me the truth, thinking that it would shut me up. It did, and left me confused. That was not the opportune moment for my mom. I will break the news in the summer when they are eating popsicles and on the slip n' slide.
annee December 21, 2011 at 11:42 PM
For our kids, Santa Claus was always a fun fictional character, much like Bugs Bunny or Mickey Mouse. We would sing songs & tell stories about Santa--but my husband and I never told our kids that Santa brought the presents. We did tell our kids about the real Saint Nicholas, who gave gifts to poor people, and about the three kings' gifts. I just didn't want to lie to my kids, even about Santa bringing presents!
Steph Motenko December 22, 2011 at 03:32 AM
Karin - I love that link! Thanks! I love that my four year old believes in Santa and fairies and magical things... I hope I have a while before I have to answer this question. There's a George Costanza line that goes something like, "If you believe it, then it's the truth." I was planning to go with some variation on that...
Jane Enviere December 22, 2011 at 05:55 AM
My oldest child is almost 7 and I wonder if this is the last year that we will get to see her eyes sparkle and her face light up when she talks about Santa. <sob> ; ) I remember feeling very let down when I found out the truth, so I don't look forward to it. It seems like she was just old enough to even understand Santa and now it will be over...
russ harrison December 22, 2011 at 02:15 PM
They come home from school with "that look". Other kids have let them know there is no Santa Claus. In my kids' case(s), I explain that there is a Santa. Maybe not a physical one, but a spiritual one. I then tell them about the various incarnations of Santa, and how we, as regular people keep Santa alive through our traditions. After a lengthy speech I end my explanation of why the "Spirit" of Santa is real in idealism if not physical being, I end it with "So that's why Santa Claus does exist...". Then I look at the expression on their faces and simply say "When you stop believing in Santa you get socks for Christmas."
Amy Perry December 22, 2011 at 02:17 PM
Oh that is great Russ!
Jill Bures December 22, 2011 at 03:08 PM
Karin that link is wonderful! I was going to post something similar- I don't have children but this is something that just came up with my boyfriend and I- "Is it right to lie to your kids about Santa?" I remember that feeling when I had an inkling he was not real and it was devastating! But he brought up a point last night that is similar to your link. Santa is not about putting gifts under the tree he is about believing in something that you cannot always see or touch- like God. It is a great way to teach kids how to believe in something that is bigger than themselves!
Rayanne Carlson December 23, 2011 at 11:56 PM
As a child I recall, like Amy, Santa faded with time. My children are grown and I worried about what some referred to as the "lie." When asked, I told my children when they no longer believed in Santa, they would no longer receive gifts from Santa. Which was true. I would then be the one who brought the gifts. My POV-kids need fantasy in their lives. Tinker Bell, Santa, Tooth Fairy or Barney, I believe they need some make believe that can be real to them for the short time they are children.

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