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How To Tell Kids There is No Santa

Updated on February 23, 2015
lawdoctorlee profile image

Ms.Treadwell is a licensed attorney and the author of "How Do Hurricane Katrina's Winds Blow: Racism in 21st Century New Orleans."

Used with permission
Used with permission | Source

Christmas Day is almost here. The tree is up and the house is decorated beautifully. The kitchen is filled with all kinds of goodies, cakes, and cookies. Maybe your shopping is done; maybe you put it off until the last minute. The hiding places in the house are stuffed with toys and other surprises waiting to be wrapped in shiny red paper and sparkling bows.

We love those moments with our children: taking the kids to see Santa at the department store, reminding them to be nice not naughty, singing songs about how Santa "knows if you've been bad or good," putting out cookies and milk for Santa and veggies for reindeer, and telling them to go to bed early on Christmas Eve so Santa can come.

These are cherished moments for sure but, sooner or later, some "Grinch" is going to spill the beans that there is no Santa; or, the children will be smart enough to figure it out on their own.

What to do? What to do?

Should you tell your child there is no Santa?

How will they handle it?

Is the innocence over when they know there is no Santa?

Relax. Keep reading. All will be well.

My Conversation about Santa with My Son

When my son was 7 years old, he came to me; and the conversation went like this:

Tony: Mom, there isn’t an Easter Bunny is there?

Mom: Why do you ask?

Tony: Because I can’t imagine that a rabbit can do what a human can do. A 6-foot tall rabbit bringing candy to every kid’s house? C’mon. (He always was analytical.)

Mom: (laughing) Okay...You’re right Tony. It’s just a fun story to tell. There is no Easter Bunny.

Tony: Thanks for being honest, Mom. (Tony left Mom’s room; and Mom went back to her reading. Within 30 seconds, Tony came tearing down the hallway and stormed into Mom’s room)

Tony: MOOOMMMM!!!

Mom: What Tony?

Tony: Does that mean there is NO SANTA??? (Mom could tell he was furious).

Mom: Oh boy…sit down. Let me tell you the story about St. Nicholas…(Mom tells the story). So what we do is we continue the tradition of giving to others and celebrating the birth of Christ, which is the true meaning and spirit of Christmas.

Tony: Well thank God…at least this story is based on an actual person. What a relief!

When Santa Visited Our Home One Christmas Morning.

Santa visited our home on Christmas morning to deliver presents and have a chat with my daughter, who exhausted him with questions.  He definitely enjoyed a cup of coffee; and she was in awe!  She kept rubbing her eyes in disbelief.
Santa visited our home on Christmas morning to deliver presents and have a chat with my daughter, who exhausted him with questions. He definitely enjoyed a cup of coffee; and she was in awe! She kept rubbing her eyes in disbelief. | Source

Basilica di San Nicola

Basilica di San Nicola in Bari, Italy where most of the relics of St. Nicholas are kept today.  Photo source:  Wikipedia
Basilica di San Nicola in Bari, Italy where most of the relics of St. Nicholas are kept today. Photo source: Wikipedia

The Real Santa

Saint Nicholas, who lived during the 3rd Century in Greece, was born into a wealthy family and became a monk. A devout Christian, Nicholas gave his entire inheritance to the poor and needy. Eventually, he was made the Bishop of Myra. Because of his great generosity, love for children, and concern for sailors and ships, he became famous throughout Europe. Later, he was imprisoned by the Roman Emperor Diocletian.

There are numerous stories about miracles that occurred in his presence including:

  • During a sea voyage, a great storm threatened to wreck the ship. As the sailors were terrified, Nicholas prayed during the storm and, suddenly, the wind and waves became calm and the boat was saved.
  • Nicholas saved his people from a famine.
  • 3 theological students were robbed and murdered on their way to Athens. The Bishop traveled the same route, dreamed of the crime, and, when he prayed, the three students were restored to life.

The Bishop was so greatly loved and revered that "thousands of churches were named for him, including 300 in Belgium, 34 in Rome, 23 in the Netherlands and more than 400 in England." He continues "to be venerated by Catholics and Orthodox and honored by Protestants." (Saint Nicholas Center).

The anniversary of his death was December 6, which was designated as Saint Nicholas Day (December 19 on the Julian Calendar). "In the Eastern Orthodox Church, Saint Nicholas' memory is celebrated on almost every Thursday of the year." (Catholic Online).

Prayer in Honor of St. Nicholas - Feast Day December 6

"We thank you for good Saint Nicholas who was known for his love and care for children.

Through his intercession we ask you to help us always to take care of children, to protect and guide them, and to keep them safe. Help us to be open to all that children can teach us about pure joy and unconditional love. May we in turn help our children to grow into the beautiful persons that you created them to be. Keep us mindful of the needs of others and to reach out with love and generosity as Saint Nicholas did. We rejoice in your servant Nicholas and pray that we too may follow you with singleness of heart and mind. Amen."

(Loyola Press).

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The True Meaning of Christmas

Still, the most important thing to remember is that Christmas is not about Santa. Christmas is about the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Several scriptures in the Christian Bible explain the birth of the Messiah: Matthew 1:18-25; Matthew 2:1-12; Luke 1:26-38; and Luke 2:1-20.

According to the biblical account, during the time of Caesar Augustus, Joseph with his betrothed, Mary, traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem to register for the census. Mary, a virgin, was expecting a child. While in Bethlehem, the baby, a son, was born. Mary wrapped him in swaddling clothes and placed him in a manger because there was no room for them at the inn.

An angel appeared to shepherds nearby and said:

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

"Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying:

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”(Luke 2:1-20, NIV)

Jesus performed numerous miracles during His lifetime and left humankind with two commandments to follow:

  1. “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind"; and
  2. "Love your neighbor as yourself."

(Matthew 22:37-40, NIV)

Christmas is not about getting presents; Christmas is about what we can give to others. Christmas is the day we celebrate His birth, His life, His message, and His love.

The Nativity

Source

Linus explains the true meaning of Christmas.

Let your child believe in Santa as long as possible.

In the meantime, there is nothing wrong with letting your child believe in the magic of Christmas and Santa. After all, the life of Saint Nicholas is an example of the spirit of Christianity. In fact, "Santa" in Spanish means "Saint." Use Spanish to explain Christmas in this way: Christ Mas. "Mas" means "more" in Spanish. We could all use "more Christ" not only during the holidays but as part of our daily life.

Even when my kids were adults, they still got one package with a tag that said "Love, Santa." I wouldn't put any presents under the tree until they went to bed.

They laughed at me every time: "Mom, we're grown...we know there's no Santa."

My response: "Well, if you don't believe, you get nothing...hahahha."

Their response: "WE BELIEVE!"

And, I have to admit...I still believe and carry the spirit within me.

As for all of you, Merry Christmas; and may the new year bring you all many blessings. Keep the faith and believe in the magic of the season.

Special thanks to Rebecca W. for inspiring this hub.

Works Cited

Catholic Online. "St. Nicholas." http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=371. Access date: December 20, 2014.

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011

Loyola Press - A Jesuit Ministry. "Prayer in honor of Saint Nicholas." http://www.loyolapress.com/prayer-and-poster-of-saint-nicholas.htm. Access date: December 20, 2014.

Saint Nicholas Center. "Who is Saint Nicholas?" https://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/who-is-st-nicholas/. Access date: December 20, 2014.

Schulz, Charles M. "A Charlie Brown Christmas." 1965.

By Liza Lugo, J.D.

(c) 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Ms. Lugo retains exclusive copyright and publishing rights to all of her articles and photos by her located on Hub Pages. Portions of articles or entire content of any of these articles may not be used without the author's express written consent. Persons plagiarizing or using content without authorization may be subject to legal action.

Permission requests may be submitted to liza@lizalugojd.com.

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    • lawdoctorlee profile image
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      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 2 years ago from New York, NY

      Smilealot, thanks for taking time to read this hub and for sharing your thoughts in the comment section. Ahhh 5 years old is the best time, isn't it?! It is really quite fun to continue believing in Santa...my kids and I have a great laugh every year about how much we still believe! Glad you found this hub entertaining & informative.

      Hope the new year brings you many wonderful things.

    • profile image

      Smilealot 2 years ago

      My daughter is five so she is a big believer in Santa, I'm not sure who will be the most disappointed when she realises he isn't real, me or her. Like you I think I will have to make her pretend she still believes or she won't get presents! Thanks for sharing this entertaining and informative hub:-))

    • lawdoctorlee profile image
      Author

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 2 years ago from New York, NY

      You're welcome, Joyfulcrown. Thank YOU for taking the time to read this hub and for your comment. Glad you enjoyed it. More importantly, I'm happy that the true meaning of the holiday has never left your heart.

      Wishing you wonderful things in 2015. Blessings to you & yours.

    • Joyfulcrown profile image

      Joyfulcrown 2 years ago

      I enjoyed your article. My cousin told me about Santa when I was in the 1st grade. :( The true meaning of Christmas and Jesus has never left my heart. Thank you!

    • lawdoctorlee profile image
      Author

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 2 years ago from New York, NY

      Sandra, thank you for taking part of your day to share it with me, my work, and to comment. I agree that believing in Santa gives us an example to follow and helps to instill the true spirit of Christmas in us. Children and adults alike need to know that there is good out there. I believe that "Good" will always triumph.

      Hope your holidays were wonderful. May the new year bring you many blessings. Wishing you much continued success.

    • Sandra Eastman profile image

      Sandra Joy Eastman 2 years ago from Robbinsdale MN

      Loved this hub. So true about the real meaning of Chrustmas but I think believing in Santa or the concept of Santa keeps us all young and instills in each one of us the true spirit of Christmas. Children discover all too soon the bigotry and hate that can surround them in the world today. It is always a blessing to know that good will always overcome evil and God will ultimately defeat satan and his minions.

    • lawdoctorlee profile image
      Author

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 2 years ago from New York, NY

      Bill, thanks for continuing to follow me on HubPages and for the Christmas wishes. May you and your family have a blessed Christmas. Enjoy it!

    • lawdoctorlee profile image
      Author

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 2 years ago from New York, NY

      Ericdierker, thanks for taking the time to read my hub and for your sweet comment. It is, indeed, "the most wonderful time of the year." Have a wonderful Christmas. Blessings to you & yours.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I just dropped by to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      A wonderful hub and I think you have it down as far as St. Nick is concerned. Let the Spirit of Christmas be in hearts and minds of people everywhere. Merry Christmas.