Saturday, December 10, 2011

Do you tell your kids Santa is real?

What to say to your children when they ask: Is Santa real?
That ultimate decision is on what to tell your children is up to you.
Some parent’s feel that they shouldn’t lie to their children, while others do not see the harm in a letting a child enjoy in the magical fantasy of Santa.

Some experts believe that if you let children believe that the gifts they receive on Christmas morning are from a magical man with unending resources are less likely to appreciate what they have been given, and the sacrifices their parents make in providing them. Children whose parents who are on a tight budget may feel that they have been overlooked by Santa, or even worse, deemed one of the "bad" boys or girls.  Although it is probably not typical, some children honestly feel deceived and betrayed by their parents when they find out that Santa is not real. Children trust their parents to tell them the truth, and it is our responsibility not to break this trust. If we do, they will not believe more important things we tell them.

This doesn’t mean we must leave Santa completely out of Christmas. You can tell them that Santa is a story of legend and children can still play the "Santa game" even if they know it is all pretend. They can make lists, sit on his lap at the mall, and leave out cookies and milk on Christmas Eve. This will not rob them of their joy of the season, and gives parents the opportunity to tell their children about the good qualities of the real Saint Nicholas, who dedicated his life to serving others.  

On a personal note, Christmas for me was and still is a magical time. I wasn’t damaged by the “lie”. It was so much fun to anticipate Santa! I want my son to have that same wonderful feeling. I still to this day embrace the spirit of Christmas.

Whether you decide to tell the truth or indulge in a little fantasy, remember the true meaning of Christmas. Greed and materialism can overshadow the true meaning of this special holiday season.  It is meant to be about giving, loving, and the hope of peace for all mankind.

I leave with you a letter written by 8-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon in the year 1897
to the New York Sun Newspaper. She decided the best way to find out if there really was a Santa Claus was to ask the best source she could find.
Virginia's letter and response are shown below:

Written by the Sun editor, Francis P. Church. Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus Originally published in The New York Sun in 1897.
Dear Editor: I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus? Signed Virginia O'Hanlon

The answer as published in the New York Sun was: Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, and no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished. Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world. You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world, which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

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