Do You Believe In Santa?

Just the other day my 14-year-old daughter caught me. She said, “Didn’t you just tell me that because you can’t see love or kindness that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist?” I said, “Yes, I said that.” She countered with, “And we were watching that movie last night and the mom said because you can’t see Santa Clause, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist, right?” I had to agree with her there.Β No, I don’t think she believes in Santa. I should say, NO, she definitely no longer believes in Santa Clause. She’s fourteen! However, she made a good point.

Both my kids stopped believing in Santa at about age 10 or 11, however they allowed me to play Santa for about two years past that point so they could “still get a lot of gifts”, they said. Still, every year I give them gifts marked “From Santa” and other gifts marked “Love Mom and Dad”.

My discussion with her about love and kindness made me think, “Why do I still pretend there’s a Santa Clause?”

Am I trying to hang onto their childhood, refusing to acknowledge they’re 18 and 14? Do I miss the looks on their faces when they’d see the pile of packages from Santa and their smiles when opening his gifts?

Yeah, I do. But, truthfully, I think I’m trying to keep them from throwing all belief in fantasy and things you can’t see and touch. I really need them to know there are things that exist though we can’t hold them in our hands and observe them with our five senses. Whether they believe in God or ghosts or aliens or kharma, I want them to know that the “material world” isn’t the only one out there for us to experience.

And that includes Santa Clause.

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Posted on November 30, 2012, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. I loved this! I believe, too.

  2. I totally agree that children should be encouraged to believe in something more magical than shopping. Santa isn’t one I have ever encouraged though, as he’s too closely associated with shopping for me. We talk about the souls of the dead at Halloween, the magic in rivers and trees and stones. Call me a killjoy, but I like my children to know that their parents sweated blood to get Christmas together for them, not some old codger in a funny hat.

    • I know what you mean about us parents doing all the hard work. While my husband would fall asleep at nine o’clock every Christmas Eve, I’d be waiting for the kids to fall asleep then wait another half-hour then put all the gifts out and fill the stockings – all by myself!

  3. I’m with you! As long as I believe in miracles, angels, and beings that co-exist with us on other planes, why not add the spirit of giving manifest as a jolly old elf:-) I still sign packages from Santa or Mrs. Claus…and my sons are 31 and 24…you’re never too old to believe.

  4. Love this Patti! Always put Santa’s name on gifts! It’s part of the fun! Remember, just because you can’t see it/him/her, doesn’t mean it’s/he’s/she’s not there! Cheers!

  5. Great post, Patti! Those 14 year olds can be very smart sometimes!!

  6. Santa still leaves a gift for our 32 and 34 year old boys. πŸ™‚ We do it to hold on to the tradition so that some day when they have children, they carry on this sweet tradition of Santa Claus. Yes, Patti, I totally agree that we have to maintain these fantasies. Great post!

    • Thank you, Sheila, for reading and commenting. I cannot imagine NOT playing Santa. It was such a big part of my growing up and now part of my kids’ lives as well. I know my daughter will continue the tradition. She wants to go out tomorrow and buy more decorations to make our house pretty!

  7. Patti – You are so right on the mark. What’s Christmas without gifts from Santa. After my brothers and I left home and were well into successful careers of our own–my parents never failed to provide us with gifts marked from Santa. It’s remained a family tradition and one that everyone looks forward to each year. If I didn’t believe in miracles and a power greater than myself (although a topic different than Santa) I’d have given up on this world a long time ago. Thanks for another great post.

  8. Patti, I believe in Santa, angels and all things that go bump in the night πŸ™‚ I don’t care if I can “see” them … I know they are there. And Santa to me has been like the angels … the real life ones come around when you least expect them.

    Ever have an experience with a total stranger or a chance meeting with someone who changed the course of your life? Ever wonder why that person you barely knew took the time to help you? Did the kindness of one person make all the difference when you had begun to believe your life was a mess?

    Ah, don’t ever stop believing … because the magic of Santa is one of those intangible wonders we all need … all year long πŸ™‚

  9. There’s no Santa Clause???

  10. I have a funny Santa story from a few years ago. We were having dinner with extended family at a restaurant Thanksgiving weekend. A man and his wife were having dinner quietly in the corner. A man who looked remarkably like Santa complete with the red suspenders. Well, you can imagine what happened when a five-year-old girl walked in with her family. The parents were trying to keep her calm while she gushed trying to get at the poor man. It didn’t help that our table of teens and tweens were egging the poor girl on. πŸ™‚ The gentleman played along as if he was in fact Santa telling the girl his name was Nick and it was so amazing to watch. In the end, he had our own smart alecks questioning whether or not he was Santa. So much fun!

  11. Donna Coe-Velleman

    Love the post, Patti. Florence said it so well that I can’t add anything more. πŸ™‚

  12. Love this and I definitely believe! There’s so much more in the world than what we can perceive with our eyes. πŸ™‚

  13. I believe in Santa. Who else could get a basically self involved, greedy populace to stop for one day of the year to practice generosity when there hasn’t been a hurricane or other natural disaster? To fill their houses with decorations, invite neighbors for an egg nog just because it’s Christmas? And not even take credit for their generosity but willingly cede it to a man with a white beard and red suit.

    My kids are 22 and 27 and we still believe. It was never an option not to believe. We were a Believing Zone household. Still are. And as such there was no traumatic shift between the childhood belief in Santa and the adult belief in Santa. The “kids” still say, “Thanks Santa.” They have become adult believers, too.

    • Such a sweet comment, Shelley, and thank you for taking the time to write it. I can picture my kids in their 20’s and 30’s still opening their Santa gifts because that’s how it’s going to be, believe me. I love the way you describe your household as a “Believing Zone”.

  14. It’s true, they have to learn how to figure out what they believe for themselves. In so many aspects of life. It’s a lesson-to-teach heavy on my mind, and not just about Santa, even though mine are still pretty young. Thought-provoking post, Patti!

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