Are you entering that stage of parenting where your kids are growing up, and starting to question everything? It starts with a few leading questions, and before long, boom, they hit you with that dreaded question “Is Santa Real?”. If like me, you’re at a loss as to how best to answer, we love this open letter from Dad Rob Watson to his 11 year old twin boys. Here’s How to Tell Your Kids The Truth About Santa.
My almost 10 year old boy has started to question everything, and as Christmas has approached this year, I have been fervently hoping not to be asked about Santa! There have been rumblings though – stories of the boy next door who doesn’t believe, because his Dad and Santa use the same wrapping paper! (Who would use the same wrapping paper?!)
But my son still truly wants to believe. “You wouldn’t have the money to buy me that present last year, would you?!”, he tells me. He is still answering these questions himself, and I for one am glad that we may still get another year out of the magic.
But I know it’s coming, and I have often wondered how best to tell him. And should I be the one to tell him before one of his peers takes all the wonderful magic away?
Dad of 2 twin boys, Rob Watson, was also getting the rumblings, and he wanted to be the one who told his boys – here’s his open letter to them:
Open Letter : The Truth About Santa
Hi guys. I have been meaning to have this talk with you for some time now. I can have it now because you are getting to be grown up. You can take part in things in a way that you could not as little boys.
You know about the mystery and the magic of Christmas. You’ve experienced it. Everyone we know is caring, shopping, giving and sharing. The world is transformed, brilliant and electric. You go to bed on Christmas eve, and when you wake up on Christmas morning, magically, intriguingly, Santa’s gifts to you are here, and your stockings are full.
You know how magic works. We’ve been to magic shows where we have witnessed things appear and disappear, things created out of nowhere. Those shows have taught us one thing—that things may actually happen in a different way than we think we see them happening. They are the wonder of “illusion”.
The illusion around Christmas is that Santa comes, flies the whole globe and pops down chimneys even where they don’t exist. Many have imagined exactly how that happens. We have seen all the movies. They imagine different kind of sleighs that he arrives in, who the reindeer are, and what elves really look like.
All of these are created in our minds. We can’t prove or disprove any of them—like the magic trick we see on stage, we can only guess what the truth is about how it is done.
How it’s done doesn’t matter, but we will talk about that in a minute. Right now, I want to tell you the truth. I want to tell you exactly who the REAL Santa Claus is.
Santa Claus was born almost two thousand years ago, only a few hundred years after Jesus. He lived in Turkey. He was an important man there, and he became famous for giving…. secretly. He gave so that the person receiving the gift did not know who it came from.
Many people want to have Santa look just like them. A lady newscaster recently told everyone in the world that Santa was white with blue eyes. She is white with blue eyes.
Here is a picture that scientists have put together on what he really looks like (image credit BBC Image Foundry Studio).
He is jolly and portly, with a white beard. His skin is darker than you may have seen and he has brown eyes.
Of all of us in our family, he looks most like Jason. It really doesn’t matter though, because he is much bigger and more powerful than what he looks like. His name then was Nicholas.
I am sorry to say that he died, but after he did, his spirit went out and that is when the world really felt his impact. They named him Saint Nicholas. You may have heard that name before. The name got used so often as his spirit created miracles that it changed: Saint Nicholas, Saint-A-Nicholas, Saint-Na-Claus to Santa Claus.
Santa Claus, the spirit, is so huge that it made everyone get creative and want to give secret presents and surprises every Christmas. As we did, we all imagined who Santa is and how it all would get done. That is how the illusions came to be.
What Does That Mean For Us?
Who brings you, Jesse and Jason, YOUR Christmas presents? I am sure you guys have ideas and theories to solve that mystery, but I have a better idea. Don’t solve it. Let’s let it stay a mystery.
You may think it is Santa in a sleigh, or Saint Nicholas and his magic spirit, or that he has a helper that sneaks in and gets things done. You might even think I have something to do with it. I am saying: it doesn’t matter, and you guys can guess whatever you want. I will neither confirm nor deny any of it.
Here is what IS important. You are now old enough. You are now responsible enough. It is your turn to help out Santa Claus, Saint Nicholas. You are old enough to start imagining how you can give to others in secret, not to get thanked, or praised, but just to make them happy.
I did it one time like this, for example: I was in a restaurant where a young couple helped an older couple who were struggling entering the restaurant. They were all strangers, but had kind hearts. I caught the waitress and told her that I wanted to pay the helpful young couple’s bill without them knowing. You guys were there and asked what I was doing and I wouldn’t tell you. She took care of it for me. The couple was very happy and wanted to thank whoever responsible, but they couldn’t, because they did not know who I was. They would have to just push it forward and do a “Saint Nicholas” for someone else.
That is how it works. You guys are already doing it, and I am very proud of you. You have thought of things people in our family would like, things that would make them happy. That is where your imaginations have gone. You are doing Saint Nicholas, you are being Santa Claus.
The Miracle of Christmas
The miracle of Christmas is not in what we get, and it is not in what we see. It is in what we feel, what we imagine and what we give to create love and happiness. I want you two to never let anyone take that away from you.
Your feelings of Christmas, your inspiration on what to do to make others happy and the love we have for each other… those are all invisible, but they are the most real things in the world. I believe in them with all my heart, and I hope you do too.
There is only one thing I believe in more, and that is you.
I am sorry if there are other questions around our own Christmases of which you may not feel you are getting answers. How did you get what present, when and how did whoever got it for you know? As I said, I cannot confirm or deny who that person is or how they operated as an agent of St. Nick. St. Nick does not want identities to be known.
What I can tell you is: that person, loves you more than anything. They feel that every gift you got, you deserved and more. That is the most important answer you will ever need to know.
Merry Christmas. Show me the Saint Nicks I know you can be.
I love you.
With thanks to Dad Rob Watson of Evol = for allowing us to share this very special letter – you can read the full article over on Evol=.
Over to you! Share your tips about talking to your kids about Santa in the comments below.