I did not believe in Santa for very long…
Here is the thing, I grew up in New York. We lived in an apartment on the first floor with no chimney and no fire escape. Like most buildings in New York, it had a basement so we were not exactly ground level.
I was a bit of an inquisitive kid, it did not take me long to put the pieces together and figure out that Santa coming to our apartment was not feasible. This had nothing to do with a lack of imagination. I was pretty creative and very imaginative. I would spend hours playing with my dollhouse, my Barbies, and stuffed animals.
Not believing in Santa did not take away from my excitement during Christmas. It did not make Christmas less magical for me in any way.
So what should you do if your kids start to question you about the logistics of Santa’s deliveries?
Honesty is always the best policy. Kids who are told the truth trust their parents more. Being truthful from the beginning is probably an even better idea. You will avoid worrying that your kid will come home broken-hearted because a classmate told them Santa isn’t real or that they will be going into the 7th grade soon still believing and end up being teased.
So when they start asking questions, reflect the questions to them. You can say something like; what do you think about that? Encourage critical thinking, how might Santa get all the presents delivered all in one night? how could he get into homes with no chimney? Allow them to figure it out.
Each kid is different so there is not an exact age I can guarantee you can expect these types of questions. What I can guarantee is that they will find out eventually. It will hurt more to find out from someone else and to feel betrayed by you.
Knowing the truth about Santa does not have to spoil Christmas for your kids, or make it less enjoyable. Children play pretend all the time and they have a blast. Playing make-believe is good for kids, it makes it easier to differentiate reality from fantasy. I would even say it might make the holidays better as you can all play pretend together. Think about how much fun you have leaving cookies out for yourself to eat later? Hehe or should I say Ho Ho?