When You Should tell Kids the Truth about Santa

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Even if you haven’t actively nurtured your children’s acceptance of the legend of Santa Claus, odds are good, thanks to the plethora of Christmas TV specials and holiday marketing, that they believe in Santa.  And while the fantasy is fun for everyone, eventually you have to think about when you should tell kids the truth about Santa.

How do you recognize when it’s time to let your kids in on the big mystery of Santa?

There’s actually no one exact time to tell kids that there’s no Santa Claus.  The important thing is to take your signals from your children, and try not to extend the fantasy for your own delight when they may be prepared to give it up. 

You need to look for indications that they’re ready to give up the myth of Santa, but pay attention because they will also let you know if they’re not ready.  If they don’t want to hear the truth, they just won’t accept it.  That is your sign to not push and wreck their holiday dreams.

So what happens when a child’s sense of reason, or maybe a friend, exposes some discrepancies in the Santa Claus tale?  Most importantly, specialists agree that the main concern is not so much as to when is the exact right time to break the news, but rather how to transform the belief in Santa into other demonstrations of the spirit of the holiday.  You can explain how the customs practiced with Santa are simply a way of communicating the happiness and love found in the act of giving.

To learn more about when you should tell kids the truth about Santa, read the original article here:

When Santa Stops being Real

The history of Santa Claus is a rich tapestry woven from various cultural traditions, legends, and historical figures. Here’s a recap of how the beloved figure of Santa Claus came to be:

1. St. Nicholas of Myra: The Beginning

  • Historical Figure: Santa Claus has his roots in the real-life figure of St. Nicholas, a 4th-century Greek bishop of Myra (modern-day Turkey).
  • Legend: Known for his generosity, St. Nicholas became famous for giving gifts to the poor and performing miracles. One popular story tells of him secretly providing dowries for three impoverished sisters, saving them from destitution.

2. Sinterklaas in the Netherlands

  • Dutch Tradition: St. Nicholas’s legend continued to grow in Europe, particularly in the Netherlands, where he was known as Sinterklaas. Celebrated on December 5th, Sinterklaas was depicted as an elderly man with a white beard, red robes, and a bishop’s mitre, arriving on a ship from Spain with his helper, Zwarte Piet.
  • Customs: Dutch children would place their shoes by the fireplace, hoping Sinterklaas would fill them with gifts and treats.

3. Colonial America: Transformation into Santa Claus

  • Arrival in America: Dutch settlers brought the Sinterklaas tradition to America in the 17th century, particularly in New York (formerly New Amsterdam).
  • American Influence: The name “Sinterklaas” evolved into “Santa Claus.” The character began to blend with other influences, including British Father Christmas and Germanic traditions.

4. 19th Century: The Modern Image Emerges

  • Washington Irving: In 1809, Washington Irving’s book “Knickerbocker’s History of New York” depicted a jolly, pipe-smoking St. Nicholas flying over rooftops in a wagon, beginning the transformation of the image of Santa Claus.
  • Clement Clarke Moore: The 1823 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (commonly known as “The Night Before Christmas”) by Clement Clarke Moore further shaped the modern image of Santa Claus. The poem described Santa as a “right jolly old elf” with a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer, delivering toys to children on Christmas Eve.
  • Thomas Nast: In the mid-19th century, cartoonist Thomas Nast popularized the current image of Santa Claus with his illustrations for Harper’s Weekly. Nast depicted Santa with a rotund figure, a white beard, a red suit, and a North Pole workshop.

5. 20th Century: Global Icon

  • Coca-Cola: In the 1930s, Coca-Cola’s holiday advertisements further solidified Santa’s image. Artist Haddon Sundblom created the iconic depiction of Santa as a cheerful, plump, red-suited figure we recognize today.
  • Global Spread: Santa Claus became a global symbol of Christmas, spreading beyond American borders and merging with local traditions worldwide.

6. Modern Day: Cultural Icon

  • Present-Day Santa: Today, Santa Claus is a central figure in Christmas celebrations around the world. Known for his workshop at the North Pole, where he makes toys with the help of elves, Santa delivers presents to children worldwide on Christmas Eve.
  • Traditions: Modern traditions include writing letters to Santa, visiting Santa in shopping malls, and tracking Santa’s journey on Christmas Eve through services like NORAD’s Santa Tracker.

Santa Claus continues to evolve, embodying the spirit of generosity, joy, and the magic of Christmas for children and adults alike.

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