At bedtime this evening, Teagan asked a question that we have somehow managed to pretty well avoid so far.
"Mom, is Santa Claus real? Because Mary and Susie said that he's not."
I took a deep breath.
If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I've got some feelings about Santa. This post best explains how we celebrate Santa in our home.
We've worked over the years to really refine how we address the Santa thing. We want the focus at Christmas to be about giving to others and not about what we get from others. So the legend of Saint Nicholas has always fit our holiday tradition.
And then she asked the Big Question. Is Santa real?
I sat on her bed.
And I said...
A long time ago there was a ruler who didn't like people taking care of each other. So he made rules against it and he punished people who gave to others. Nicholas knew this wasn't what God wanted for people. Nicholas knew that giving to others and helping others was the best way to love others. So Nicholas found ways to sneak into houses and leave gifts and things that people and families needed. Remember watching the Veggie Tales move about Saint Nicholas? Well, he was very real and Santa Claus is how we remember Saint Nicholas - it's why we call Santa Claus "St. Nick." Some families don't know the whole story about Saint Nicholas or forget about what that very real person did a long time ago. In our family, we very much believe in Santa Claus and that Christmas is about what we give to others. Does that answer your question?
Well... kind of. But what do I say to the kids at school? They don't believe in Santa.
Then you tell them... I believe in Santa in my heart. And I know about the things that Nicholas did a long time ago. And because I know that Christmas is about giving to others and I know what Saint Nick did, I'm going to keep on believing in Santa in my heart. Does that answer your question?
Yeah. Yeah, I think that's good.