I love the magic of this time of year. The wonder sparking in a child’s eye warms my heart every time. A life time ago I was a teacher and I got all choked up when the little ones would tell me about their Christmas wishes. There’s something magical about Kris Kringle and his elves.

My own children wrote letters to Santa every year. They lovingly laid out Christmas cookies and milk for Santa and carrots and water for the reindeer. They believed in the magic.


But why wouldn’t they? (Here it comes …) I left messy crumbs behind and cotton on the glass as Santa’s beard. (Yes, I said it … Santa never showed up at our house to deliver presents … it was all me and Mr. Nina … don’t be sad.) I used different wrapping paper on the “Santa” gifts. It was all very magical. And I loved it.

But I had a dear friend who refused … I mean REFUSED to buy into the Santa magic. She felt it was lying to her children. She didn’t want them to resent her when they found out the truth. My son-in-law’s mother is the same way. Both thought it was deceptive and their children would be traumatized when they found out. So they just didn’t do it. And I know they’re not the only people who feels this way.

Me? I can’t even wrap my head around that.

The tooth fairy left wing glitter on the floor and their beds when she delivered money and took the tooth from my children. And the time she forgot my daughter was convinced she went to her cousin’s house by mistake because he got money when he hadn’t even lost a tooth. (My poor nephew was disappointed that he hadn’t lost a tooth and his parents put money from the tooth fairy under his pillow … the timing was just coincidental. *g*) They also left baskets of eggs for the Easter Bunny to hide before he filled them with gifts and candy. One year he even left muddy footprints in the kitchen. I loved playing along with their innocence and imagination.

My children had imaginary friends and named their Barbie dolls. Doesn’t all of it go together? I wouldn’t trade those years for anything. The magic of Santa is just a wonderous part of the season. Why would anyone want to stifle that?

So I’m curious how you feel about it. Is it wonder or all a terrible lie or somewhere in between?

20 Responses to Fantasy or Deception?

  • A child’s mind is a magical place. I would never take that away from my children or any other child. Let children have Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy because real life intervenes soon enough. One can only hope they take the magic with them into adulthood. Guess that’s where we all get it!

  • I’ve seen it handled both ways in my family and I don’t really think it makes much difference. It’s not like the children are going to miss out on presents and other holiday fun either way. I think it may be more fun for the parents if kids believe, though!

    • Cynthya – I can’t imagine how hard it would be in the same family. Wow! It’s got to be harder on the parents of the kids who don’t believe to keep their children from telling their cousins. And yeah, I thought it was a lot of fun feeding into my children’s imagination.

  • I, too, used different paper for Santa’s presents. My kids BELIEVED.

    When they were real little, Santa would leave their stocking by their bed. One year my son asked that we leave a note for Santa not to do that, because he was afraid he’d wake up and see him and then Santa wouldn’t leave ANYTHING!

    And when my daughter was getting to that age when she started to question his existence, I asked her if she didn’t want to believe anymore, because Santa didn’t come to non-believers. Her eyes got big and she claimed she still believed.

    Yeah, I really miss those days!!

    • Stacy – I have a friend who always told their children Santa doesn’t bring gifts to those who don’t believe. She claimed one year there was no Santa. No gifts from Santa that year. She still gets gifts from Santa under her parents tree and she’s in her 30’s! Santa still leaves gifts under our tree for my adult children. It’s the spirit that makes me smile.

  • We need to believe. I love playing into it all, and my daughter is only 4.. so the magic begins now.

    Though she just told me Santa does not live at the North Pole, for Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Rabbit, Kanga, Roo, Tigger and the “little pink dot” all live there and Santa lives on the roof of the house next door to my best friend in CT.

    Makes mental note to tell him that…. maybe his real estate taxes will go up?

    • Jennifer – ROFLOL! Don’t you wonder where they get their ideas?Have fun this Christmas with the little munchkin, 4 is definitely a magical age.

  • No Santa!!! Christmas is magical even when you don’t believe in Santa.

    As to the tooth fairy, my youngest son was scared when I told him to put his tooth under the pillow and a fairy would come during the night and leave some money. I had to assure him there was no fairy, or he would have never fallen asleep 🙂

    • Diane – That’s not the first time I’ve heard that. I guess there is something creepy about someone coming into your room while you’re sleeping.

  • We did not buy into the Santa thing either. I didn’t want to lie to my children. We told them the stories about Santa, where he came from, who he was, and let them see all the Santas around town so they would understand it was pretend. We taught our children to pray for what they wanted, rather than tell Santa. My daughter was four, and prayed every night for weeks for a “stove and fraydator” (refrigerator). I was able to pick up a set for her and hid it where she wouldn’t find it. We left it out for her to find on Christmas morning. The look on her face was priceless, and I’ll never forget her words. “Jesus heard me!” He had indeed, because the way I came about getting the toys was a true miracle in itself. All three of the kids are now grown, and the two with children have decided to let theirs believe in the fable. That’s all right with us. We feel we didn’t take away any of the wonder of the holiday, but kept the center of it on the One whose birthday we were celebrating. We still got to see the amazement and joy, and the thanks went to the Person who truly made the season possible. Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing, and each of our children has said the same thing to us. They loved knowing the truth, and watching their friends believe was a treat they all savored. It’s all in the point of view.

    • Kayelle – But it’s truly about the wonder of the season and if it can center around the true meaning of the holiday then that makes it all that much more special. I love your daughter’s story. I’m sure that’s a Christmas all of you remember fondly. Thanks for sharing it.

  • I did the same. Our home was decorated for all the holidays, even the odd ones. To this day, my children still get a gift from Santa and they’re all in their twenties. It keeps the magic of Santa alive and will help when there are grandchildren to share in it.

    • Gayle – I just love that Christmas magic. And it will be even more fun when there are grandchildren to share it, but since my three twenty-somethings are NOT ready for children, I do hope that part of the equation comes much later in my life. 😉

  • I have no idea what you mean when you say Santa didn’t come to your house. You must be mistaken. Santa comes to my house every year and leaves me great gifts and fills my stocking. And this year, even though I’m in Morocco with my son’s family, I know he’ll find me, and because I’ve been a very good girl this year, I’ll get presents. And the best ones will be kisses from my granddaughters and watching them open their presents from Santa

    I still believe.

  • My children never believed in Santa Claus but that didn’t stop them from enjoying Christmas or the presents they got. Same goes for the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy. When they lost a tooth, they just gave it to me or their dad and asked for their dollar. Besides, it was the other traditions that meant alot, like decorating the tree together, or eating until we stuffed ourselves, watching the Christmas programs together. Santa was never missed.

    • Shawn – You’re absolutely right … it’s the traditions of the season that make it special for children. Thanks for sharing.

  • I guess for me, Christmas is always about magic, creating it and living it. Whether it’s focused on the religious or the secular. It’s about believing that magic is possible, about imagination, wonder and hope. For me, it would be a little sad not to believe in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. It’s not about gifts or money, but believing anything is possible. Even a chubby man in a red suit with reindeer, or a fairy slipping coins under your pillow. We all indulge in magical thinking every now and then, what’s wrong with that? Even dogs and cats dream…why can’t people?