Do your children still believe in Santa Claus? My 9 year old son still does and my youngest who is aged 2 now recognizes who Santa Claus is. Christmas is almost synonymous to Santa Claus and is definitely our children's season.
Looking back, I stopped believing in Santa as early as five years old when I caught my mom hiding Santa's gift for me in her closet. Christmases after that was not too exciting as it was when I was still waiting for Santa's gift at midnight or staying up late to try to catch him walk through our door. But that feeling was sparked once again when I had my first child. It's now my turn to do the conspiracy-secret-mission with the rest of the household members to keep the magic alive.
As parents, we become more creative and more resourceful in coming up with stories about Santa Claus and doing all tricks we could think of to convince them that he is real as long as we can. So how do I keep my eldest child still believing in Santa Claus?
- Introduce Santa Claus. As early as 2 years old, when they are at their most curious stage and are sponges for learning new things, you may introduce Santa Claus already through pictures, decors and story books.
- Hang Christmas Stockings, Fill it up. When December 1 arrives, stockings with the children's names are already hung on our door. You may do the same and put treats every night when the kids are soundly asleep. Keep them excited every morning when they wake up by finding what treats Santa Claus left them! Never get caught! That's 24 nights in a row before Christmas day!
- Ask children to write Santa Claus a letter. Ask the children to think of what they really really want to receive from Santa Claus for Christmas. I usually ask them to put three wishes or options so that if any in that list is not available or is too expensive, you know what else you could buy.
- Plan with household members. Yes you've planned it all perfectly but forgot to tell the other members to keep a hush hush! That's a no-no! Conspire with the rest and ask not to spoil the secret about Santa Claus' identity.
- Shop alone for Santa's gift a few days before Christmas. Never bring the kids with you when shopping for their gifts - form Santa Claus - you don't want them to find out easily that it was you all along! Set another schedule for shopping for your children's gifts and make sure you call home to keep the kids busy with something else, before coming home.
- Hide loot in a very secured place. This is very tricky. This was also the reason why I found out early on that Santa Claus was my parents. After shopping and arriving home while kids are away or busy (because you called and conspired with yaya or lolo to keep them away so they won't see you) first thing to do is to hide their gift in a place you know they wouldn't snoop. Somewhere not reachable or dark.
- Specially wrap Santa's gift. I don't use same gift wrapper as I did with the other gifts. I use a pattern paper or a simple brown paper with ribbon so they won't suspect that the wrapper is the same as those you bought from the department or book store.
- Change the handwriting. If you're right-handed, use your left hand in writing Santa Claus' message on their gifts. Make sure it's very different from your handwriting. When they get older, it's harder to trick them, so do this perfectly or imperfectly.
- Be ready with a bunch of creative stories. In case you are close to getting caught or you are actually caught, make sure you create cute stories about Santa that would bring back your children's belief in him. I was almost caught bringing in the gifts myself from where I hid them outside. When I saw my eldest. I said "I almost caught Santa! I just saw his back and because he's afraid I'll see him, he immediately left the gifts here outside!" That story worked out so fine that my son tells his classmates about me, almost catching Santa Claus.
- Be excited as your children. As parents, nothing brings us so much joy than seeing our children happy! When they are excited, feel excited, be a kid and be as crazy as you can get! When your children see you giddy excited, they wouldn't have a hint at all that it was you all along!
As parents it's our duty to make the the season one of the most memorable events in their lives. Let's establish a Christmas tradition so that when they become parents themselves, they will do the same for their children and share how happy their memories of Santa Claus were when they were still younger.
What are your crazy tricks in making Santa Claus alive in your children's world?
*Photo Credit: AlmightyDad.com
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