Spoiler alert! If your child already knows how to read, quickly get him away from this screen.🥰 Since birth, you know full well that one day, the question of the existence of Santa Claus will arise. “At school, the grown-ups told me that Santa Claus doesn’t exist: is that true, mom? ". “Um… how do I explain it to you darling… it’s more complicated than that.” And it’s true, answering this simple question often turns out to be more complicated than that. In the middle of the holiday season and a few days before gift deliveries, there's no stopping: “Santa Claus, you don't believe it, you don't believe it”.SUMMARY:
- The origins of Santa Claus and the tradition of December 25
- To tell or not to tell the legend of Santa Claus: ask yourself the right questions as a parent
- 5 tips for approaching the subject of “Santa Claus” more calmly
The origins of Santa Claus and the tradition of December 25
The legend of the old man dressed in red probably finds its origins in the footsteps of Saint-Nicolas , a 4th century Christian bishop known for his generosity towards children and for having performed several miracles. On the night of December 5 to 6, he descended from the sky on his white donkey (or horse) and distributed sweets.
His legend gradually spread across Europe, finally reaching the United States in the 16th century. This is where Saint Nicholas becomes “ Santa Claus ”. However, if his name changes, the old man retains the white beard and the red cloak of Saint-Nicolas which still characterize him today.
Reindeer, for their part, appeared in 1823 thanks to a publication in the New York newspaper: “ The night before Christmas ”. Its author, Clement Clarke Moore, depicts on the night of December 24 to 25, a round and smiling old gentleman, accompanied by his eight reindeer : Tornado, Dancer, Fury, Fringant, Comète, Cupidon, Tonnerre and Éclair. All will be joined later by Rudolph.
Finally, it was in 1931 that Coca-Cola used the character for the first time in its winter advertising campaign. Starting in 1945, Americans definitely brought with them all the magic of our current Christmases, namely a family celebration, a decorated tree and gifts at its base.
To tell or not to tell the legend of Santa Claus: ask yourself the right questions as a parent
Because an older child spilled the beans at school, because the grandparents' tongues slipped or because they heard certain information on the radio or TV, your child has doubts . In truth, Santa Claus might not exist. First of all and before starting the discussion, quickly take stock of your own feelings.
Santa Claus does not exist: and how did you experience him as a child?
Go back to your childhood memories and feelings to try to understand your child's reaction and emotions more easily. You will perhaps find in these reminiscences the keys to an empathetic and gentle announcement, without clashes.
The story of Santa Claus, a little lie like any other?
According to Einstein and his theory of relativity, the simultaneity between two events is relative to its observer. Clearly, everyone can perceive things differently based on their own criteria . The myth of Santa Claus is no exception to the rule. Childhood fantasy or sweet lie, it depends.
What are the basics of the relationship with your child?
This is a question that could help you answer all the others since it questions your human sensitivity , your personal and religious beliefs , as well as your intimate vision of parenthood .
Will your loved ones follow and respect your choice?
Whatever your version of Christmas magic, make sure your spouse, parents, family and friends agree with your choice. Otherwise, beware of lively discussions in front of the tree and slipping little phrases !
5 tips for approaching the subject of “Santa Claus” more calmly
- Wait for the right moment . For toddlers, in kindergarten and up to around 7 years old, everyone plays the Santa Claus game, from school to after-school activities, including the nanny and the Santas dressed up in the street. Telling him the truth too soon, or talking to him about it before he begins to have doubts about it himself, could put your child in an uncomfortable position, out of step.
- Put yourself in your child's place . Even if you think it's time to explain to him that the gifts under the tree are from the parents and that no one goes down the chimney (besides, you don't have one), you don't want him hurt. To find the right words, imagine yourself at his age and verbalize things as he would.
- Take the time to respond . Such a revelation risks causing an avalanche of questions: why doesn't Santa Claus exist? Why did you tell me this story? Who brings the gifts? And the elves? And the reindeer? And the sled? Who are the men in red in the stores? Etc. By being gentle and patient, you will be able to respond more easily.
- Accept your child's reaction . Sad, angry or even disappointed, he might cry, scream or sulk for a while. It's normal. Let the wave pass and resume the discussion with him, if he wishes, when he is more willing. He prefers to continue to believe in the magic of Christmas? Let him do it. There is never any urgency to leave your childhood dreams behind.
- Create new traditions together . How to celebrate Christmas your way? Ask those around you. Imagine a meal concept, a party or unexpected guests. You can also suggest that your child become a Santa Claus himself by spoiling those around him; a way, for example, of promoting one's newfound maturity.
And, if you are nervous at the mere idea of this discussion, tell yourself that there is a high probability that the other children will break the magic of Christmas for you by revealing the truth!
At what age should you tell your child that Santa Claus doesn't exist?
There is no age to tell your child that Santa Claus does not exist. Some are ready at 5 or 6 years, while others can wait until 8 or 9 years. Observe your child and see if he begins to question the people around him or wonder. If so, it's a sign that he's ready to hear the truth.
How do you tell your child that Santa Claus doesn't exist?
It is important to be honest but also to be very gentle when you tell your child that Santa Claus does not exist. Reassure him by explaining that it is a beautiful story, full of kindness and generosity, told for centuries. This is how families transmit the Christmas spirit.
What should I do if my child is upset or disappointed to learn that Santa doesn't exist?
If your child is upset or disappointed to learn that Santa doesn't exist, give him time to digest the information and make up his own mind. Tell him again that you understand it, that you can talk about it now or later, and that above all, it doesn't change the beauty of the end-of-year holidays.