Must the magic of Santa end when children get older? We don’t think it need to! So, what can you do when your child starts to doubt in the feasibility of the’ Santa myth’ as little ones understand it? We love THIS next special way of transitioning kids from receiving from Santa, to BECOMING a Santa. This way, the Santa story is not a lie, but instead an unfolding series of good deeds and the true idea of Christmas spirit! It encompasses what this time of year should be about. We came across this idea a few years ago and having tested it with our own children, it gets a firm thumbs up from us! It’s an exciting and fun new tradition that adds even more Christmas magical moment into the journey of childhood. Ready to learn how to help your child become a Santa? Here it is!..
When they are around 6 or 7, or whenever you see that dawning suspicion that Santa may not be a material being, that means the child is ready... Take them 'out for coffee', somewhere quiet with a Christmassy feel to it – this adds to the atmosphere around the unfolding conversation and will make them feel like they are now about to be introduced to a new ‘grown up’ secret. Find a nice spot, order drinks, and then make the following declaration:
"You have grown an awful lot this year. Not only are you taller, but I can see that your heart has grown too!” (Point out 2-3 examples of empathetic behaviour, kindness, good deeds, helping others etc, the child has done recently.) “In fact, your heart has grown so much that I think you are ready to BECOME a Santa Claus...”
"You probably have noticed that most of the Santas you see are people dressed up like him. Some of your friends might have even told you that there is no Santa. A lot of children think that, because they aren't ready to BE a Santa yet, but YOU ARE!..”
"Tell me the best things about Santa. What does Santa get in return for all of his work?” (Lead them from him being left out a mince pie to the good feeling he gets of having done something for someone else). Refer back to the examples of when your child has done something kind for others and talk about how it made them feel. “Well, now YOU are ready to do your first job as a Santa!.."
Help the child choose someone they know, e.g. a neighbour, family friend. The child's mission is to secretly find out something that the person needs or would enjoy. Support them in this mission, then provide their gift idea, wrap it, help them deliver it and NEVER reveal to the receiver where it came from – that’s an important part of the magic. It's about unselfish giving. Every year they choose a new person to be ‘Santa’ for. Watching your child discover the magical feeling of giving, without wanting anything in return, will bring a whole new wonderful feeling of Christmas spirit! The gifts should be small – it’s all about the thought. One year one of our children noticed a neighbour always scrapping ice of his car window in the mornings, so got him a can of de-icer spray, wrapped it and left it on his doorstep! It’s all about encouraging them to think about small things that the person chosen will appreciate and make them feel that a Santa is looking out for them.
The perfect way to carry on with the Santa secret, teaming up with your child to help spread that Christmas magic and wonder for years to come!