Ok, so if you DO want your kids to believe in Santa then you and your partner better be on the same page ‘cause this isn’t like a little thing. Being Santa requires dedication and enthusiasm! If you can’t muster the mental strength to perpetuate the charade, and answer point-blank questions without batting an eyelash, or think you can but doubt your spouse will, then maybe you should consider an approach you can both get 100% behind. If you’re both on board, here are some ideas for creating a convincing, magical moment for the littles.
My folks were SO good at creating a Santa my sister and I could believe in. All the evidence was there! I thought my friends were crazy when they told me Santa didn’t exist. In fact, to this day, as a fully-grown adult, if you walk up to my dad and ask him if Santa is real, he’ll look you straight in the eye and say, “You bet he’s real! Did you write your letter to him this year? Better hurry up, it’s nearly Christmas!”
And every year that Santa finds his way into our living room and leaves special gifts for everyone. He’s such a thoughtful Santa. We all love him and are happy he visits us on Christmas Eve.
Leading up to Christmas
Talking about Santa
Parent 1: “How’s Santa?”
Parent 2: “Oh, you know, he gets really busy this time of year, just before he makes his big trip on Christmas Eve.”
To me, it was like he was a friend of my parents. He just entered into my parents’ casual conversation every once in a while, when I happened to be in the vicinity.
Fortunately, I never thought that Santa wouldn’t come because of my behavior. My parents never threatened that Santa wouldn’t come because I behaved badly- though they DID tell me he wouldn’t come if I didn’t get (and STAY) in bed on Christmas Eve!
Hiding the Toys
Don’t want to blow your cover before the big day? Better hide those presents! Here are some tips- Level: Maximum Security
- In a suitcase in your closet, at maximum height.
- At your parents’/neighbors’ house. The year my dad got my sister and I a kitty he had our neighbors watch her until Christmas day- it was perfect because the mom was a veterinarian.
- The dark part of the basement/attic/garage that scares the kids away. Built-in child deterrent, mwahahaha!
- A cardboard box labeled ‘old shoes’. Your kids probably won’t wonder why you’re keeping a box with old shoes in it, but you can just write whatever they aren’t interested in on the box- cleaning towels, summer work books, halloween decorations…
- Bait and Switch: put your actual presents in one of the hard-to-find locations and then put some fake-out presents (new socks, etc.) in a slightly easier location so they think they found their toys and stop looking.
- The office. Your boss totally won’t mind the meowing coming from your filing cabinet.
- The back of the car under a blanket. This might be too easy or impractical, but it also might work for a last-minute cache.
- An empty garbage bin with some plastic bags or some other ‘trash’ on top to disguise it- just make sure your partner doesn’t bring it to the curb with the other bins.
- In their own room. The last place they’d think to look (or to clean, if I’m being honest).
Writing a Letter
Santa expects a letter each year, it helps him get organized for Christmas. You can put whatever you like in your letter, but it has to be your very best handwriting, particularly the address, so it doesn’t get lost, and it has to be an actual letter- not just a list.
This is a great activity for kids. Way to tie in some literacy into the holiday prep, parents!
If you live in Canada, you can send your letter through the Canadian Post, too!
Alright parents. The moment has arrived, this is Santa’s big scene! Here are some final touches that are sure to convince the littles.
- Read The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore to the kiddos
- Wrangle your highly excited children into their beds, field 13987 questions about Santa, and make them swear not to get out of bed or Santa can’t come.
- Nibble the cookie and drink a little milk- don’t just pour/put it back in the carton or box.
- Leave footprints on the floor with soot using a big pair of boots, coming FROM the chimney obviously (or, in my case as we don’t have a fireplace, the front door).
- Half-eaten carrot in the front yard.
- Jingling bells under the windows.
- Throw pinecones on the roof to simulate hooves.
Good luck, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!