Written by: Mary Martinez

Are we the only family that doesn’t do Santa?

If you have little ones and it’s getting close to Christmas, you’ve probably had a family member or random stranger ask your child what they asked Santa for Christmas. I love seeing people’s faces when my children tell them we don’t do Santa, or Santa isn’t real. Typically it’s a look of shock or confusion, and most of the time, it leaves the unsuspecting adult speechless. Although I know people’s intentions are harmless, and it just seems like the thing you ask during this time of year, sometimes I do feel judged for not participating in the tradition of Santa.

Before I go on, I want to make sure you know that I’m not judging or criticizing anyone who does Santa. I also want to make it perfectly clear that my family does not avoid or shun holiday activities based upon Santa. Our family still takes pictures with Santa, watches Santa movies, and enjoys other festivities that have Santa involved. We have chosen to talk about St. Nicholas and the stories behind Santa Clause and how it has changed over the years. We don’t hate Santa; we just talk a lot about what is real and what is make-believe.

For those who maybe haven’t had children yet or your children are still too small to understand Santa, I just want you to know that it’s okay to opt-out of the whole Santa thing if you choose to do so. There isn’t a rule that all kids have to believe in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, or Easter Bunny, for that matter. When our oldest son was only about a year old, my husband and I decided that we weren’t going to do Santa, the Easter Bunny, or theTooth Fairy. We made the decision to always be honest with our children, and even though Santa seemed harmless in many ways, we didn’t want to start our relationship with a lie, even in good fun.

For those trying to decide if they should continue with the Santa tradition or start it for that matter, here are some “bonuses” for not doing Santa:

a) My husband and I get credit for the presents our children get. We still do stockings, but my children know that it’s mom sneaking down in the middle of the night to fill them, not some stranger.

b) Because my children know it’s make-believe, I don’t have to answer 20 questions, most of which I’d have to make up the answers to. I happily get to avoid questions like, “How does Santa get into our house if we don’t have a chimney?” “How can Santa visit billions of children in one night?” or “Why does Santa know when I’m sleeping or awake?” I’ve always found those lyrics a little strange anyway.

c) Lastly, I don’t have to worry about my children finding out later he isn’t real.

However, I do have to make sure my children don’t ruin it for other children because I know that it’s an important part of their holiday traditions for some.

So if you are on the fence about Santa, just know it’s okay to not do Santa.

Written By: Mary Martinez