The Best Way to Have THAT Conversation About Santa
By Dr. Jennifer Hanes – Behind the Stethoscope – The blog for more than moms
It is the Christmas dreaded by parents, and forever remembered by children, the year they are told that Santa is a lie. How could it not shake a person to the core to realize those around you have lied about him for years? But that tragedy can be turned into triumph with a simple paradigm shift towards the truth.
Santa is not a lie. He is a way for us to teach children about the much greater love of God.
In our family, I knew the time was drawing near as my seven year old daughter began asking more and more questions. On Christmas day, her image of Santa was shattered. But by tapping into Grace, it turned into a glorious experience. Here is an example of how you can have this conversation in your home as well.
Oh, Sweetheart, I know you feel sad right now, but I have never been more proud of you. Your discovery today about Santa may seem sad, but it is actually how adults try to learn, and teach our children, about the miracle of God.
God’s love for us is so amazing, that even as an adult I am not yet able to fully grasp how much He loves me, and neither can other adults. We use Santa Clause to help teach kids, and even ourselves, about how God loves us.
Both Santa and God are invisible, nobody can see them, but we know they exist by the joy they spread.
Santa grants your biggest desire, just like God wants you to dream big so the every wish can be fulfilled.
We say that Santa is always watching, because God is always with us, no matter where we go or what we do. We are always surrounded by a loving presence.
Gifts are bestowed without any expectation of return. We don’t have to earn God’s love. Everybody is loved by God. Of course, some people make jokes about Santa filling stockings with lumps of coal, but have you ever heard of any real child getting coal for Christmas? That’s just pretend, because the truth is, God loves all of us.
God can make the impossible happen, so we try to teach you this by saying that Santa is able to visit every house in a single night and make reindeer fly. Any miracle can happen when you believe in God.
So, now you’re beginning to understand why I am so glad to be able to share this glorious truth with you. It means you too, now, can really feel how much God loves you and that feeling will only become stronger and stronger as you grow.
There is one more lesson from Santa to teach us about God. Santa has helpers, just like God has helpers. Now we get to do God’s work and create miracles for others, like your younger brother, and everybody we meet, when we make their day a little brighter.
Now, whenever you hear people ask “Do you believe in Santa?” you’ll know they are really asking if you can feel God’s love.
Tips for parents:
Make this a special time and emphasize your pride in their discovery of the truth. Your children look to you for leadership and if you are mourning the perceived loss of innocence, you will change the tone.
Before I spoke with our daughter, she was crying. To help foster a change in tone, I brought her orange juice in a champagne glass, and one for myself, to set the mood of a celebration.
Spirit of Christmas by Greg Olsen is a great way to start the conversation about God and Santa.
For younger children, you can start planting seeds now. Gradually make comparisons about God and Santa, so that when the time comes the information is not brand new. One of the ways we discuss it, is while putting together this gorgeous puzzle, Spirit of Christmas, by Greg Olsen, showing Santa holding the infant Jesus in the palm of his hand.
This information has already helped many children, but I hope it can help heal the hearts of millions more. I originally intended to put this material into a book for children, but am posting it here, as a blog, so that it can be shared and reach the homes of those who need it. I encourage you to share this with your friends who have children, both young and old, because it is never too early to start, and it is never to late to begin to teach the real meaning of Christmas.
May this be the merriest Christmas of all!
About Dr. Jennifer Hanes
Dr. Jennifer Hanes is a board certified emergency physician, best selling author and mom of young children. No matter if helping patients at the bedside or through her books, she practices the belief that love is powerful medicine. You can read her blog, Behind the Stethoscope, for more parenting and medical tips. Learn more at www.DrHanes.com