I use to be on the side of no Santa. I didn’t like lying to my Children and the idea of them finding out crushed me. I imagined a horrifying and earth shattering moment that would make them question everything. I didn’t want them to think I was a liar. So we decided on no Santa. Until my second son insisted to me with those big brown eyes, that Santa was indeed real. So in true unschooler fashion, I allowed his passion to lead me to reevaluate Santa and discover what joys it could bring. Now I’m more Concerned with them experiencing me as no-fun, joyless, Santa-dream crusher. I also know that as intelligent, critical thinkers they will be able to differentiate between lying for an amazing story that brings joy (and presents) to a liar who is out to hurt them.
After a few years now with Santa resurrected, I sense that they feel that this is a beautiful game we play like all the other imaginative play and I actually feel sad for my first son who missed out on all those years of believing because I was too philosophical and opinionated. I killed the tradition for him and I am sorry.
Yes, we we will still have the moment when my younger children realize it’s not true, but it won’t even compare to the years of memories we made leaving cookies, using an advent calendar from Santa, counting days and all the rest of the magic. When They do find out, it can evolve into a new Christmas joy for them as I let them be the sneaky Santa for others who still believe. I remember doing this for my younger brother, and I felt so
special and loving towards him.
I think this will have more to do with how we handle it and how the rest of their lives are. If they are surrounded by acceptance and love then a fake Santa will be not traumatic to them. However a home of anger, hate or lack of joy with no Santa could be traumatic. See? There are so many variables to consider. Remember there are no rules or categories or descriptions that are going to define you as unschooler, attachment parenter, earth-loving, whatever… It’s all you. I urge you to look inside your heart without your two or three sentence opinion (that was me!) and see what would bring you the most joy. Because that thing will trickle down to your children and become an unforgettable precious memory.