Twas’ the night before Christmas, and you’re just hoping your older children won’t ruin the Santa magic for your littles. But just how do you keep the Santa magic alive with children of varying ages?
Tara Tuttle, LMHC, a staff therapist with Seasons Counseling of Michiana, said that children typically desire to be helpful (until maybe around their teen years).
“Parents can utilize this when trying to get their older children on board with keeping the magic of Santa alive for younger siblings,” Tuttle expressed. “Ask older siblings whether they have ideas for making the experience for their younger siblings even more magical, or if they’d like to help fill stockings, or eat ‘Santa’s cookies.’ Remind older children about the fun they had believing in Santa and ask them for favorite memories regarding their early ‘Santa experiences.’”
Tuttle commented that if older siblings have concerns about their younger siblings continuing to believe in Santa, hear them out until they feel understood. “Consider their concerns, and if you decide that you’d still like to keep the magic of Santa alive in your home for a bit longer, talk to your older kids about your reasoning behind this decision and ask them for their support,” she explained.
The B100 Mom Squad reached out to parents who have been through this transition for their tips. Here’s what they had to say:
Nancy L. — Once our kids got older, we tried to explain that Santa is really the spirit of giving what the Christmas season brings and that it’s up to all of us to keep it going. If you have time, check out The Autobiography of Santa Claus, it’s a combination of truth and legend, and you’d probably find some good ideas in it. We did.
Gretchen G. — My daughter once asked me if I was Santa. I said you think I’m that fat? We never discussed it again.
Linda H. — I still tell my kids, 26 – 18, you must believe to receive, and they still do.
Jane D. — My parents included us in helping them. We would keep the younger ones company until they fell asleep. Once they fell asleep, we helped set up their gifts.
Donna T. — When my children came home from school and told me a friend’s parents were the ones who brought the gifts from Santa, I said to them that if you didn’t believe in Santa your parents had to buy the gifts. They assured me they still believed. One of my girls even commented it was really sad if your parents had to buy the presents!
Let’s not forget about technology. Did you know several apps let Santa call and speak to your children? Check them out in your phone’s app store.
You could even set up a camera with your children. Once they’ve gone to bed, someone dressed up as Santa can be “caught” delivering gifts.
Go online with your children and visit Norad’s Santa Tracker. Since 1955, Norad has been tracking Santa’s journey around the globe.
Santa truly is magical, and no matter your age, or the age of your children, Santa’s magic lies within.