By DR. FRED HALL, LPC
QUESTION: I want to let my kids experience the wonder of Santa Claus, but my wife wants to tell them the truth from a very young age because otherwise we’re ‘lying.’ How do we resolve this?
Thanks, reader, for the question. This is a fun one to attempt to shed light on. Santa Claus can be a fun and harmless character for many people. The idea of a jolly fat man who at Christmastime brings toys and joy to boys and girls is an idealistic and magical figure from our past. The truth of the matter is, he is a myth. He is not real, much like the Easter bunny is not real either. Sometimes what seems harmless can be a source of pain and contention for others.
Your wife is correct in saying that the children need to know from an early age the truth about Christmas, which is really Christ. As long as the children know that Christmas is about Christ, and that Santa is a fun character but not real, it is fine. If your wife and you are not in agreement over allowing the children to experience Christmas with a Santa Claus theme, you should not commit to this. The disagreement is a bigger issue of a couple’s lack of unity.
Until the both of you can agree on how to present Christmas to your children, I would not bring up the idea of Santa, because this could confuse the children over the real meaning of Christmas. Continue to pray and dialogue with your wife as to if and when the idea of Santa could or should be introduced into the children’s reality.
Wishing you a very happy and joy-filled season of wonder called Christmas.
Dr. Fred Hall is a licensed professional counselor (LPC), supervisor, life and leadership coach and consultant. He works with individuals, couples, families and organizations in training, speaking, consulting and clinical practice. He does clinical work at Cornerstone Counseling in Jackson.