Your child may be coming to the age of questioning whether Santa exists or not. This can be a sad time for you as a caregiver as you may want to hold onto the magic that little bit longer. Well, maybe you can!
At around 10 years of age and up, your child will start to figure out that all may not be as you said it is, you may be accused of lying as they start to unravel the truth so why not get them involved and tell them about Santa in a way that doesn’t make it feel or sound like a lie.
If there are younger children in the house it makes it all the easier. Your child may approach you asking out straight ‘Is Santa real?’, your heart sinks to your stomach as you realise you thought you may have just one more Christmas but now that’s not the case. However, answer with a ‘Yes. Santa is real. But not quite in the way we’ve explained’.
Tell them the story of the legacy of Saint Nicholas – he is a man now called Santa who delivered gifts to as many children as he could, but he passed away, so adults decided to keep his tradition alive and now all adults and children in the know are collectively known as ‘Santa’, therefore now that your child has asked that question, they get to now be Santa with you!
Pencil in dates for you and your fellow Santa to go shopping and pick up presents for family if there are no younger kids or toys for younger siblings if there are. Your child gets to pick the toys they think their siblings will love and then need to keep that fun secret until Christmas day. Include them in the decoration, any baking or any excitement in the run up to Christmas. Give them the choice on whether or not they would like to visit Santa or if they are the youngest or only child in the family, maybe mark what would have been a visiting Santa day with something else like a day out to pick up a Christmas tree or go for a hot chocolate.
The first couple of years post Santa may feel quite strange for your child so make sure nothing changes in traditions coming up to Christmas and on Christmas morning. Keep all the same traditions you might have, whether that may be a Christmas Eve box with pyjamas and a story or if you visit Christmas Markets around the country in the weeks precluding Christmas. For Christmas day secretly gather presents as you always have and treat them with a similar number of gifts they always got (unless they’re more expensive, in that case warn them in advance).
Your child may feel a subconscious sadness at the ending of their own experience but if they are fully immersed in another exciting side of it, that can help keep any sadness at bay.
Continuing Christmas in an exciting and fun way is so much nicer for all involved!