Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Santa's Not Real? Actual Explanations I've Given to My Own Children That the Big Guy Exists

My oldest two children have reached that age.  You know...the age where they question just about everything...and seem to be sure that Santa just doesn't exist.  What can I say?  I don't think I've done too bad a job at keeping the magic of Santa and Christmas in their hearts - they are 11 and 10.  I've got some third graders that have already stopped believing in Santa - so to say that I've got a sixth grader and a fifth grader that have just reached that age?  Well, I think that's pretty good.

Even this year, despite their disbelief, they still have their questions....more like they're on the verge.  They want to say with a shadow of a doubt that he's not real, but Momma still isn't prepared to completely drop the whole thing - especially being that I still have a four year old in the house.

Over the years, I've had to come up with some pretty good explanations to the doubts that my kids have had about Santa.  Sure, I could have just let the magic go....and let them believe he doesn't exist much earlier - but I just can't do that.  So, I've compiled a list of actual answers I've given to my kids' questions about how Old St. Nick is able to do everything he does in one night.....and throughout the year.

I'll start with the more basic, and then work up leading to the most difficult question I've been asked thus far....

How does Santa get to every child all over the world in one night?

Well, Santa doesn't visit every child all over the world.  There are many children that don't celebrate Christmas, and so he doesn't visit those children.  It's not because he doesn't want to, he just doesn't because it's the parent's decision...and because of the many different religions and beliefs - he's not able to drop presents off for those kids.  Plus, there are the naughty kids....lots of them.  He doesn't visit them, either.  For the kids that he does visit, he does it with the use of time zones.  When it's 6pm here, it's midnight in England....that's when he's delivering presents there.  Australia is about 24 hours ahead of us, so he gets a full day start on delivering gifts to those kids.  When you think that Santa is delivering gifts in one night, he's not...he actually has a range of a couple of days that he gets to do his work.

If Santa doesn't visit the naughty kids, what do they get?

Many people think that naughty kids get coal.  I've heard that they don't get coal - they don't get anything.  I'm not sure why people say naughty kids get coal... maybe that's from a long ago tradition.  I've heard from the Top Dog himself that he doesn't even go to the houses of naughty kids - so no presents for them!

How does Santa know what to bring us even if we don't write him a letter?

You know how each year, I go out for the day without any kids allowed around the first week of December?  Well, that's because I'm meeting with Santa's helpers to let them know what you've asked for that year.  I give them some ideas - and they do the rest.

Just want to add a side note here... I once told my kids that Santa can see everything they do all year long.  Well, that blew up in my face when Peanut became scared to get dressed in her bedroom - because she thought there were tiny cameras in there watching her.  I quickly axed that explanation and said that Santa knows because I email him periodically and let him know everything they have been up to. 

Why do some people have all of their gifts under the tree before Santa even comes? 

Well, that's because some people like to put empty boxes under their that Santa just has to fill them on Christmas Eve.

Why don't we put the boxes under the tree, then?

That's because I pay extra for Santa to do all of the extra.  I'd rather him just wrap the gifts and bring them Christmas Eve night, rather than me wrapping the empty boxes.  I don't mind paying a little extra for the service - it helps me out, plus I get to be just as surprised as you guys on Christmas morning to see all of the gifts.

How come we get stuff that they sell at stores like Wal-Mart?  I thought Santa made all of the toys.

He used to make all of the toys...long, long ago.  That was before all the big, fancy toys came about.  Once the big electronic toys and gadgets came out, Santa thought it would be easier to work with big companies and have them make them instead.  The same companies that make toys for all of the department stores also helps Santa out with letting him have some to deliver to kids - for a cheaper price. 

Some of our friends get gifts from their parents AND gifts from come you don't buy us any gifts?

Actually, I do...kind of.  Back in the old days, when Santa used to make his own toys, it didn't cost parents anything for him to visit.  Now, if we want our kids to get fancy gifts, we pay some money to Santa to help him out.  Some parents choose to just have Santa deliver a few gifts - and they buy the rest.  I think it's much more exciting if I just ask Santa to bring all of your gifts...again, for an added fee.  Giving you guys a good Christmas doesn't come cheap!

So, do you buy all of the presents that Santa brings?

No.  I never know exactly what Santa is going to bring you.  I give his helpers a list of things you want, then they give me an amount that I pay. It doesn't guarantee that you'll get everything you asked for, but it's an amount that will help.  Because of the economy, Santa has had a few problems - so us parents do what we can to keep him going. 

And here's one of the hardest explanations I've ever had to come up with....this year, in fact...

How come some of the kids at our school have never had Santa visit them, even though they celebrate Christmas?  They don't believe in Santa because he's never gone to their houses...and they're not naughty kids...if Santa was real, why would he skip over those kids?

Well, this is a tough one to explain.  You know how I told you that each year parents go and visit Santa's helpers to let them know what their kids want AND to pay the money that's needed to make it happen?  Well, there are some parents that just can't afford to do that.  Remember how I said that this Christmas would be a little smaller because money was a little tighter?  Well, some parents don't have any money to give to they just don't go and see his helpers, because they think that they can't.  Them not visiting Santa's helpers leads to another problem Santa has to deal with.  When I go and see Santa's helpers, I have to give him permission to come in to our house on Christmas Eve night.  The parent's that don't go and see Santa don't know that they have to give him permission to go into their houses - so he's not able to go...even though he really wants to leave the kids something.

Just because he doesn't go to their houses on Christmas Eve doesn't mean he doesn't care, or that he doesn't want them to get things for Christmas.  What he does instead is ask all of the parents that go and visit his helpers to help him out with these kids.  People that work in schools, churches, and charities are special Santa helpers.  We help by raising money, collecting toys, and finding other ways to help kids get some gifts at Christmas.  Then other people help by donating money, toys, and foods to these places.  Everyone that visits Santa agrees to help out in some way for those kids that don't get a visit from him at Christmas.  Even though he doesn't have permission to go to the kids' houses himself, he's able to do what he can by rallying up others give those kids a Christmas. 

Is that why you ask us to sort out our clothes and toys before Christmas so that you can give them to charity?

Yes.  Yes it is.

So, there you have it.  This is how I'm able to keep the magic alive in my house each Christmas.  Some people think it's wrong to keep "lying" to my kids.  Well, that's the biggest bunch of bologna I've ever heard.  I grew up believing in Santa, and I'm not permanently scarred or altered in any way.  In fact, the belief I had in Santa was what made my Christmases so magical and amazing...and what led to my utter and sheer love for Christmas.

I keep Santa alive in my house not just for my kids - but a little for myself, too.  There's just nothing more wonderful than baking cookies for Santa with the kids, seeing their absolute excitement on Christmas Eve night, or seeing the wonder and amazement on their faces Christmas morning.

This year, the Big Guy has even helped me instill the importance of charity and giving this time of year... something I wasn't expecting, but worked out great.  My kids now have a bigger appreciation for what they get, and how they can help deliver the magic of Christmas to all children.  What's better than that?

Everyone have a wonderful Wednesday!!

Till next time. ;)
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