For all parents there will come a time when your kids ask the inevitable question, ‘Mum, are you Santa?’
It can hit you like a candy cane in the eye as it represents a moment when a part of their childhood slips away.
If it is your youngest child, it can mean the end of the magical part of Christmas, few things make Christmas as wonderful as the infectious excitement of children finding clues left by the reindeer, stockings full of treats or brightly wrapped packages that have magically appeared under the tree.
At Stuck on You, we first came across this letter on the parenting blog Pop Sugar and it spread around our office like wildfire. Several of the parents here printed it out and made a few modifications to make it suit their own children. It was written by Martha Brockenbrough and first published in the New York Times.
For us, it is a way to keep Christmas magical for kids who may not be quite ready to stop believing.
Check out the full letter below, courtesy of Pop Sugar:
Thank you for your letter. You asked a very good question: “Are you Santa?”
I know you’ve wanted the answer to this question for a long time, and I’ve had to give it careful thought to know just what to say.
The answer is no. I am not Santa. There is no one Santa.
I am the person who fills your stockings with presents, though. I also choose and wrap the presents under the tree, the same way my mom did for me, and the same way her mom did for her. (And yes, Daddy helps, too.)
I imagine you will someday do this for your children, and I know you will love seeing them run down the Christmas magic stairs on Christmas morning. You will love seeing them sit under the tree, their small faces lit with Christmas lights.
This won’t make you Santa, though.
Santa is bigger than any person, and his work has gone on longer than any of us have lived. What he does is simple, but it is powerful. He teaches children how to have belief in something they can’t see or touch.
It’s a big job, and it’s an important one. Throughout your life, you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your friends, in your talents, and in your family. You’ll also need to believe in things you can’t measure or even hold in your hand. Here, I am talking about love, that great power that will light your life from the inside out, even during its darkest, coldest moments.
Santa is a teacher, and I have been his student, and now you know the secret of how he gets down all those chimneys on Christmas Eve: he has help from all the people whose hearts he’s filled with joy.
With full hearts, people like Daddy and me take our turns helping Santa do a job that would otherwise be impossible.
So, no, I am not Santa. Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness. I’m on his team, and now you are, too.
I love you and I always will.
Have you had this conversation with your kids? Are you dreading it? How did you explain it? Does this letter help? Let us know in the comment section below!