The Truth About Santa Claus: What to Tell Kids

Telling the truth about Santa Claus to your kids, requires care. Tender hearts can be bruised easily when careless words are spoken. After all, who knows the real truth about Santa?

The Spirit of the Season
Santa Claus originated because someone with a big heart wanted to help others. Isn't it true that that type of passion still exists? Isn't it true, also, that parents such as yourself who scramble to purchase the gifts your children have asked Santa to bring basically have become Santa? If so, then what truth about Santa Claus should be spoken? Should you bruise hearts by explaining to your children that you are Santa Claus? Should you bring your children to tears by saying that there is no Santa Claus? Or should you tell your children that Santa Claus is a mythical person, surrounded by magic and that where magic abounds it is impossible, even improbable, to discover every nuance of the truth.

Who Is Santa Claus?
In order to get to the truth of this question, one must first know who Santa Claus is. Some say he is a myth and that Santa Claus never existed, except in the minds of irrational men and women the world over. And Santa is known the world over, perhaps by a different name, but by the same kind spirit.

Known as Sinterklass by the Dutch, who are credited with starting the tradition, this kind-spirited old man arrives on their shores by boat on December 5. The children leave wooden shoes filled with hay and carrots by the door, for the donkey that carries Sinterklass' sack of gifts.

In China, Santa Claus is known as the Christmas Old Man, or Dun Che Lao Ren. In Sweden, a gnome called Juletomten is the representation of Santa Claus. Juletomten rides in a sleigh pulled by goats.

In England, he is Father Christmas; in France, Pere Noel. In Australia, Santa Claus rides in on a pair of water skis, wearing little more than a red bathing suit.

In Italy, La Befana, who is a good witch, flies down the chimney on her broom to leave gifts on January 6th. On the same day in Mexico, South America and Spain, The Three Kings, or Wise Men, fill children's wooden shoes with presents.

The list of Santa Clauses goes on, with most countries designating someone special to denote their version of who Santa is. Sometimes he is an angel or the Three Wise Men, sometimes he is a witch, but each time it is some representation of Santa Claus who brings gifts to good little girls and boys during the Christmas holiday.

Talking to Your Children
When it comes to telling your child the truth about Santa Claus perhaps you should only tell your child what it is you find in your own heart. Surely, if some part of you didn't believe in Santa Claus, you would never have told your children that he existed in the first place. Santa's gifts would never have appeared beneath your Christmas tree. You wouldn't have spent Christmas Eve tracking Santa online. You wouldn't have taken your kids to meet Santa at the mall.

When your child is older and wants to know the truth, tell your truth, not the truth according to someone else. Before you decide what that truth is, however, think about this: In a world where Santa Claus exists, magic exists, elves exist, good-hearted people exist and presents are happily given to each and every child.

If you believe in Santa Claus, then explain to your child that you believe because believing in Santa Claus is the same as believing in magic, and believing in magic means knowing that deep down the world is a wonderful place to live, filled with big-hearted people who love unconditionally. Explain that Santa Claus is like the wind; you may not see him but you definitely feel his presence. Then remind your children that those who do not believe in Santa Claus live in a world devoid of magic and kindness for the sake of kindness.

Long before you speak of truths, ask yourself this question: Would you want to live in a world where magic does not exist? Would you want your children to live in that world? When you are able to answer that question truthfully, you will have found the perfect way to tell your kids the truth about Santa Claus.

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