Do you have a child on the brink of outgrowing Santa?
I love the way this mother handles the situation. Instead of simply confessing to the myth she brings the child into the story and in the process teaches an important lesson in empathy.
She takes the child out for “coffee” and tells her she is grown up enough to become a Santa. Then she explains that being a Santa means paying attention to what other people need and finding a way to provide that need. This, of course, is all done in secret. Then, the mother helps the child to meet someone’s secret need.
This keeps the secret of Santa going for younger children (as well as friends and classmates.) It also gives the child a different perspective on the gift getting part of Christmas that so easily reinforces selfishness and greed. Now, the child is taught that giving is about others and not about how many presents are under the tree.
I love the way this pivots one family tradition into a lifelong lesson. It is a beautiful way to motivate your child to do good things for others because of good experienced in the past – not simply to be rewarded.
In this process we can teach our children that the good things we do can only come from God. We cannot do good deeds without the work of the Spirit and we find the desire to do good because of the sacrificial love of the Father and Son.
Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. I Peter 3:8-9