Tuesday, 12 December 2017

3 tips for dealing with Santa-non-believers at Christmas time

Our household walks a fine line at Christmas time.

With kids aged from 16 down to 4-and-a-bit at home, Christmas is a big deal around these parts.

They are all believers in the magic of Christmas, and some still believe in the reality of Santa.

So it is beyond annoying when someone says "I don't believe in Santa" to them.

And when it's a close family relative, their jaws hit the floor.

"You don't believe in Santa?" asked Natalie

"What does that mean?" Riley said.

"Caiden!" yells Aunty Cate.

Non-believing often rears its head as kids start school and become exposed to other families belief systems, but becomes more prevalent as kids get closer to 9 or 10 years of age.

At that age, kids are starting to understand money concepts, and noticing details of how the world works, and taking in how other people respond to events, which can impact their beliefs and values.

Which brings them to questioning the reality of Santa.

Up until this age, it's easy to turn the non-believing questions around with a simple question in return

"What do you believe?"

But once the response moves from I believe in Santa to he's not real, how do you move forward with believers and non-believers living peacefully together?

1 - remind them it's ok not to believe


Let's face it, Santa is just about the biggest con going in the Western world.

So it is completely and utterly ok if kids stop believing the stories that we tell them about Santa.

If we remind our kids of the magic of the season, the build up and excitement of spending time together, and get them involved, then not believing is ok.

But it is totally not ok for them to tell other kids that they don't think Santa is real.

2 - get them involved.


There's plenty of stories that roll out across social media each year about involving the non-believers in the secret process. Because it works.

For the last couple of years, I've actively involved my teenager in shopping for the Santa Sack presents. He loves the process of choosing something just right for each of his siblings, and doesn't always see me sneaking in the item he looked at 3 times, so still ends up with a surprise in his sack.

3 - accept when the gig is up.


At some stage there is naturally a point of no return for your entire household.

I'd like to think that we're still quite a number of years off that point, but it is entirely possible that it could be sooner rather than later.

Keeping the focus on the traditions, family time and magic of the season makes it much less painful when they finally say "I know it was you mum."

How did you handle Santa non-believers?
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3 comments

  1. Oh that would be a challenging one with older kids in the house too. No advice, just good luck!

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  2. We are a non Santa household, for a whole ton of reasons. We threatened our children with near death (not quite but kind of) if they told other children that Santa isn't real. We made sure they understood that every family has different ways of celebrating Christmas, and it was not up to them to spoil it for other kids, when their parents had included Santa in their celebrations. To my knowledge they kept it all to themselves.

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  3. Great post with some ideas I'm sure I am going to need soon! We have been lucky to make it through Punky's first year at school without having this come up, but I know it is only a matter of time! I loved it when I was old enough to help Mum with Santa & the Tooth Fairy & Easter Bunny, it was a great way to still get to have fun with it without actually believing myself (there was 10 years between myself and the youngest kid so there were a lot of years of not "believing ins Santa but keeping the spirit alive" for me!
    #teamIBOT

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