Someone made a comment about what we do about Santa. Well, Betsy hasn't really gotten to that point yet...her kids have been so young. With an almost 6 yr. old, we know about Santa. This is what we do, what you can do, and who Santa really is.
Santa originated from St. Nicholas, a real 17th century bishop from the Turkey area today. He responded to the idea of God's gift of love, and gave away money to the poor. BUT he would do it secretly so no one would know. When everyone finally found out, he reminded them that God is the source of all goodness. Some children still leave their shoes out the night before St. Nicholas Day (Dec. 6) in hope they will find treats in the morning left by a secret giver filled with the love of Jesus.
Hence Americans now have Santa. Santa is based off a good person, so there is not really harm in knowing who Santa is. How you approach it is up to you:
1. Betsy and I grew up believing in Santa, as do a lot of kids and we turned out ok :-). How you handle the let down is up to you.
2. My husband didn't want to lie to the kids, so how we have approached it is more of the Santas don't bring the presents, but they can help mamas and daddys know what to get for Christmas. We will get our picture taken with him and still read The Night Before Christmas. It is still fun, without the lie of him bringing presents. And they enjoy Santa as a good, fun person. We also explained to our oldest this year that there was a real Santa (St. Nick) years ago, which is why Santa is still around today. But it doesn't take away why we really celebrate Christmas. (Although I wish I could hone in on the good behavior thing :-)).
3. Don't do Santa, and don't do what we do above. Just tell your kids that Santa is not real, just a lot of kids think he is. (But you may want to warn them before they break your neighbor's child's heart.) A lot of families don't do Santa, so it's not as big of deal any more. But it wouldn't hurt for them to know where Santa originated, because he was a good person trying to spread God's love.
4. Or come up with your own holiday meaning and tradition. Combine what you like, but throw out what you don't. There is no right or wrong (except keeping the real meaning of Christmas!)
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