When your children ask the tough, hard-hitting questions about Santa, it’s important to neither deny nor confirm. By answering their questions with a lot of your own questions, you will keep the conversation going and keep it very open-ended. Sure, the result is that your children will remain confused, or possibly end up even more confused, but this is one of few areas in life where uncertainty is kind of a good thing. You’ll be forcing your kids to think, and you’ll also help to keep the dream slightly alive without directly lying to them. For example:
Is Santa real?
What do you think? Do you want him to be real? What do you think ‘real’ means? We saw him in a book, didn’t we? And do you remember seeing him at the mall too?
Is Santa going to give me presents?
Oh! Did you want presents? Interesting. Do you think you deserve presents? [Reach for notebook and pen] What presents do think you deserve?
Is Santa going to come down the chimney?
Hmmm, have you ever seen anyone slide down a chimney before? Do you think he could fit? Do you think gravity would help him out? When you go to people’s houses, do you slide down the chimney or do you walk through the front door? Do you think he would get kind of dirty in there? I wonder what would happen to his suit and his white beard if he did that?
Can Santa fly through the air on his sled?
Do you remember when we went on the airplane? Wasn’t that kind of like a big sled? Was that flown by pilots or by reindeer?
Can Santa see me when I’m sleeping?
Well, (hold up video monitor) Mommy and Daddy can definitely see when you’re sleeping. Do you think a wireless service could reach all the way from the North Pole?
Should we leave cookies out for Santa?
Happy Holidays everyone.
Jocelyn Jane Cox is a freelance writer and author. Her 2012 humor book on life in the New York suburbs, The Homeowner’s Guide to Greatness: How to handle natural disasters, design dilemmas and various infestations, is available on Amazon.com. Follow her on Twitter at @JocelynJaneCox.