Now I know many people not only don't believe in Santa, but they also frown upon me encouraging my children to believe. Well I have a question for you...
Is the act of giving without expecting or getting anything in return (such as a gift in return or even the "thank you's" and "your so wonderful" personal fulfillment's) a bad thing? Of course not.
My older children (who range from my step-daughter who will be 22 Christmas day, daughters at home ages 15, 13, and 13) love Santa. When they reached the age of question and "hey...!!!" I taught them how much fun it is to be Santa. To give in secret without anything in return. Not only do they love being Santa to their younger siblings (ages 7 and 2), but also to others they don't even know. We have many times bought gifts for less fortunate and they got to be Santa (using their own money and mine as well). And of course there are those not so random acts of kindness to others.
We have the book "The Elf On The Shelf" that we read and "Smidge" our Elf is moved daily by my husband (because he gets up at 4:30 AM). Of course the behavior reinforcement is helpful, but its more of a tradition of fun and giving to believe in Santa.
I have read and researched the history of Santa. I read the information about "lying to your children". Is it a lie? Really? Giving gifts is fun. Giving gifts anonymously is even more fun. If giving gifts isn't fun for you then you should really stop doing it.
When I was 4 years old my Mother told me that Santa's Elves hid the presents for each house in that house to make Christmas easier on Santa. So of course I searched high and low for those presents. My Mother warned me that if the Elves caught me searching for the presents they would be very angry. So I was careful. As I opened the sliding closet door in our hallway, a yard stick fell and scraped the door all the way down which made a horrible sound, I ran screaming to my room! I thought the Elves had caught me. It took me 2 more days, but I found the presents. In hind-sight, I think it took me longer because I avoided the closets, and they were in the top of the guest room closet. True story, by the way.
Did my Mother lie to me? Technically. Am I angry with her for lying? Do I trust her less because of this? NO. I love Christmas, everything about it. Do I understand the original meaning of Christmas (Christianity wise)? Yes. Does it make me a bad Christian for believing in Santa and encouraging my children to believe or be Santa? NO. (and anyone who has a Christmas tree in their house better not give me any Pagan believing crap over Santa. Because the Christmas Tree has Pagan roots too!)
Anyway, I love Christmas. I love shopping, buying, wrapping, and giving gifts to my friends and family. I love giving more than I love receiving...seriously. I love Christmas baking, decorating, smells, music, and lights. I miss my family and friends so far away in California and wish we could all be together. But most of all, I love the way everyone seems to change during the Christmas season, a little more polite, a little nicer, more generous, and many more smiles than the rest of the year. And I am not talking about the children who are worrying about Santa knowing whether they are being Naughty or Nice!
So if you love Christmas and Santa but your children are starting to doubt you, a kid at school spoiled it with their negativism, or someone else ruined the Santa fun with their bah humbug mentality...teach your children to be Santa. Buy some gifts for a charity, take some donations to a shelter, give your time at a food bank or soup kitchen, or just do something in the giving spirit anonymously together with your children,(have one sneak over to your older neighbors and shovel their snow without them knowing...that's a fun one!)
Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!!!
Families are like fudge, mostly sweet with a few nuts. -Author Unknown
I would like to add:
If you don't think your family has any nuts, then your the nut!