This time of year can be some of the most magical moments in a child's life as elves on shelves watch their every move and the anticipation about Santa's arrival builds. As they get a little older, however, kids start to become skeptical, putting parents in the unfortunate situation of having to break the news about Santa's identity. Any parent who remembers feeling betrayed when they themselves learned the truth, may be hesitant to admit to participating in a lie, but this mom's lovely way of letting her kids in on the big secret may make every parent's holiday a little easier.
Mom Charity Hutchinson shared her strategy for telling her children about Santa, based on something she found online.
She explains that it is possible to make her kids part of the giving process by making them "Santas."
“This way, the Santa construct is not a lie that gets discovered, but an unfolding series of good deeds and Christmas spirit,” the original poster wrote.
When a child is the age to learn the truth, the parent can sit them down and start a conversation about how they are old enough and caring enough to learn the truth and start being generous.
The mother suggests following a script such as: “You sure have grown an awful lot this year. Not only are you taller, but I can see that your heart has grown, too. [ Point out 2-3 examples of empathetic behavior, consideration of people's feelings, good deeds etc, the kid has done in the past year]. In fact, your heart has grown so much that I think you are ready to become a Santa Claus.
You probably have noticed that most of the Santas you see are people dressed up like him. Some of your friends might have even told you that there is no Santa. A lot of children think that, because they aren't ready to BE a Santa yet, but YOU ARE."
The child is then encouraged to pick someone, like a neighbor, who they want to give a gift to anonymously.
“Christmas is about helping others, giving selflessly, and being thankful for what you do have and not what you don’t,” Hutchinson told the Huffington Post. “Reading this parent’s story made me feel like I could, even as a Christian, encourage my children to believe in him so that one day they could become a Santa and give to others.”
Added Hutchinson, “In doing so I wouldn’t be taking away from my own beliefs or taking some childhood magic away from them, but I would be teaching them a pretty amazing life lesson instead.”
Not only does this strategy make the "hard truth" into a positive, it also teaches a life long lesson about the power of thoughtful giving.
“It’s never too early in a child’s life to teach them to have a kind heart and to help and be a blessing to others,” Hutchinson said.