Growing up my family did Santa. I always knew about Santa and loved the presents he brought. I never thought I would end up NOT doing Santa for my kids. But here we are. Our children do not know about Santa in the way most children do. My children do not think Santa will bring them presents on Christmas morning. They do not think Santa is watching them and deciding if they are naughty or nice. Honestly, they do not really think about Santa.
I did not set out to not do Santa with my kids. It didn’t come up. Our first Christmas with a baby we did not do Santa because, hey she was 11 months old. She wouldn’t know or remember. The next year Bunny saw Santa at a community event and wanted nothing to do with him. Same thing for the year after that. We saw Santa and the long lines of children wanting to sit and talk with him. The closest my children got to Santa was his elf. The elf handed them the candy cane and my kids were done. Now, if you ask my Children what Santa brings they say a candy cane. I am okay with that.
Now that I have a 4 year old we have talked about Santa. To our family Santa is not a single person. Rather he is a frame of mind. To bring cheer and goodwill to everyone. To give gifts to those who do not have any. We can all be Santa. He is not one person, he does not watch them when they are sleeping. Sure, we have books about Santa, we sing the songs. But we do not “do” Santa.
So many people have asked my children what they want Santa to bring them. My children get a funny look on their face and say, “Candy canes!” Of course! I tend to interject and let the person Santa does not bring us gifts. This is the first year my 4 year old has wanted to meet Santa and sit on his lap. My 2 year old wanted nothing to do with Santa. Our 6 month old sat with Santa but kept a hand on his older sister!
By not doing Santa we, as parents, have taken a whole lot of pressure off of ourselves. Growing up the Santa present was always big. Now, as parents, we do not have to do one big present from a person my children do not know. I am big about making sure my children are aware of who bought them a present and why. Because they are loved and this item made the person think of that specific child. My children still have gifts, too many if you ask me. But none of them are from Santa. Instead of focusing on Santa, we focus on Christ and the reason for Christmas. Christmas is to celebrate Christ’s birth. This is what we talk about, this is what we celebrate. This is why we give gifts, to celebrate Christ’s birth. Not because Santa brings presents. Because Christ was born and we are celebrating His birth.