My feelings about the holidays have changed a lot over the years. As a child, I remember counting down the days until Christmas, the excitement building for weeks. The taste of snow on my tongue, hot chocolate, candy canes, and the dozens of dozens of cookies my grandfather baked. As the years passed, Christmas’ came and went, always merry and bright. One year, the belief in Santa Claus wasn't part of the magic anymore, and I began to grow up.
Once I became a mom, the holidays became all about “Baby's First Christmas.” I had my tiny present and there was nothing more I wanted. Two years later there was another baby, and Santa became a regular visitor again. Christmas was different now. I was now on the other side—the one in charge of the making Christmas magical. I’ve been playing Santa for my kids for over a decade now. The truth is, I’ve become so accustomed to it and it brings me so much joy that although it’s exhausting, I can't let it go.
My sons know that since Santa Claus is a busy guy, mom and dad play Santa for each other, but the big jolly guy is the one that takes care of their wish lists. They know that the Santas present in stores and malls are just his helpers because the real Santa Claus is too busy making toys at the North Pole that he couldn’t possibly make all those appearances himself!
When they ask me questions about Santa Claus, I always answer with one simple word: Magic.
“Mom, we don't have a chimney, how does he get in?” Magic.
“Dad, we didn't see Santa this year, how did he know we wanted?” Magic.
“How does he get to EVERY kid, in EVERY house in the whole world in one night?” Magic.
Lately, I’ve been feeling that their belief in Santa Claus may come to an end. Sometimes I wonder if they are just humoring me because they know how much I enjoy participating in all the holiday cheer and activities.
My oldest is 10 now and he has friends that no longer believe in Santa. I know that eventually some kid on the bus is going to spill the beans or say something that really makes them consider if he is real or not. Once our oldest knows, the little brother will be soon to follow.
This holiday season, I’ve been finding myself awake in the middle of the night wondering how best to answer the question, “Is Santa real?”
I know that there are other parents out there with this same issue and I want to share this book with you: Kristin and the Santa Secret by Christopher Fenoglio. It is a true story, told in poem form about a young girl, the oldest of three who begins to wonder when one Christmas at a local shop, she realizes that Santa has the same laugh as the plumber that just fixed the kitchen sink. She comes to her parents with the big question and they responded in such a unique way—one that teaches the true meaning of Christmas.
This book is a great way to find some answers, and gives parents the faith-filled words to help answer the question; “Is Santa Claus real?” Read it yourself, or read it with your child. It is a sweet story, and one I’m hoping I don't have to read to my kids too soon.
**GIVEAWAY: To win a copy of Kristin and the Santa Secret leave a comment below!**