In our family, we have a special way of transitioning the kids from receiving Santa’s gifts, to becoming Santa. This way, the Santa construct is not a lie that gets discovered, but rather an unfolding series of good deeds and Christmas spirit.
When your kids turn 6 or 7 – or whenever you see start to see the dawning suspicion that Santa may not be a material being – that means the child is ready.
“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, acts of kindness etc., that 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.
“Tell me the best things about Santa. What does Santa get for all of his trouble? [Lead the kid from “cookies” to the good feeling of having done something for someone else.] Well, now YOU are ready to do your first job as a Santa!”
Make sure you maintain the proper conspiratorial tone.
(Read the rest of the story at Brad Aronson’s website)
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