The time has come when Christmas and Santa are all the kids are talking about. It is such an exciting time. Seeing their eyes light up and talk about all the fun things that they want to do at Christmas. For younger children the magic of Santa is real and the excitement they show for what he brings is like no other feeling. But as your children start to get a bit older, the time may come when you need to talk to them about Santa and the question will be raised; Is Santa real? It may be that they overheard another child at school talking about Santa not being real or that are simply getting to an age where the concept doesn’t seem believable anymore. This can be a stressful time, especially if you have younger children who still believe. So how do you talk to your older children about Santa?
When does the questioning begin?
The age that a child starts questioning Santa can vary. Between the ages of 8-11 is when you are likely to start getting questions from your child about Santa and whether or not he is real. The questioning can happen because their friends may have already been told the truth and they have mentioned it at school, or it could be that they are thinking more about the idea of one person delivering gifts all over the world in one night and wondering how true it can actually be.
What can you say to your child when they start asking if Santa is real?
If your child is at an older age and it is getting harder to keep the magic alive, than it may be time to let them in on the secret of Santa and the magic behind him.
You can begin by talking to them about the origins of the Santa story and tell them about Saint Nicholas and the good that he did. Explain that families all over the world, for many years have wanted to keep the traditions that came from him and to continue to spread joy.
Talk about the traditions that you have made as a family around Santa and Christmas and remind them about how much excitement and joy they have experienced because of it.
The old saying “you don’t believe, you don’t receive” is one that has been used for a long time to help keep the magic of Santa alive. This can be a helpful statement when your children are still younger, however as they start to get older using this can backfire and cause your child to become angered that you are lying to them.
If they are at an age where they can understand both the truth and the reasons behind it, it may be time to sit down and talk to them about it.
Keeping the magic alive for younger siblings
The last thing you want is your older child to find out the truth and then go telling all your younger siblings who are still excited in the concept and magic of Santa. It is important that when you are talking to your older children about the origins of Santa that you explain to them the importance of keeping what they know to themselves.
You can do this by getting them to help, now that they know. Make them the ‘chief magic maker’. Get them involved in the present wrapping, the hyping up of Santa and keeping the Christmas spirit alive.
Remind them of how much joy and excitement they had as a younger child when they would see Santa or open their presents from Santa. Let them know that you want their younger siblings to be able to experience this for as long as they can – and you need their help to do it.
If they are involved in process, they are more likely to keep their new found knowledge to themselves.
Christmas is a magical time of year. It is a time where everyone is full of joy, happiness and excitement. Being able to celebrate with friends and family, giving gifts and eating lots of yummy food. Santa is a big part of Christmas, but don’t be deflated if your child has gotten to an age where they no longer believe. Keep the excitement for Christmas there for them by including them and getting them to spread the joy as you do as parents.
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