Keeping Santa Real

Dear Sue Ellen,

What do you tell a little kid when they ask you if Santa is real?

– CC


Dear CC,

That is a tough question. I have heard some interesting stories of how kids decide Santa isn’t real…but is he?

My son hid in the family room late one Christmas Eve, determined to find Santa. It was a hilarious moment when I found him crouching behind the couch. We still laugh about it. Siblings are notorious for telling their younger brother or sister that Santa isn’t real. Traitors!!

For some kids, discovering who their Santa really is diminishes the magic of Christmas. They feel their parent’s lied to them and the holidays will never be the same. Other kids see the sadness on their parent’s faces during the Christmas season and never experience the true magic of the season, in spite of all the festive trimmings. Some kids have no festive trimmings, but have love of family surrounding them, and nothing else seems important. Some families do all the traditional things that are expected of Christmas, but only feel an emptiness that no festive meal, or beautifully wrapped presents under a magnificent tree, can fill.

Using Santa as leverage to reign kids in is a perk for parents…wouldn’t you agree? I also personally love a good letter to Santa written in that adorable first grade scrawl. There are so many things to enjoy about the Holidays. Good food; good music, children’s plays, gifts, parties, Christmas lights, and occasional moments of quietness and tranquility. A little bit of the hustle bustle is pleasant too. When you put all of these things together, it makes magic. But there is a core reason for this season, and that is the birth of Jesus Christ and the gift of his life. There is no greater gift.

So when a little kid asks me if Santa is real, I say yes. People have been enjoying the story of Santa for many years and it is magic indeed! I tell them there are some funny things about the story of Santa that might not be exactly true but it’s just for fun. I still tell my children and grandchildren that Santa is coming. They always smile.

As we enter into this Christmas season be bold! Celebrate every day with your children. Start new traditions…laugh…and sing. Tell your children to be watching in the sky for Santa and his reindeer. Embrace the magic and when they ask if Santa is real, smile real big and say, “What do you think?”


– Sue Ellen