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Is Santa Real? What To Tell The Kids

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I guess I’m ambivalent about the whole thing.

Which is probably why Siena doesn’t really give a flip about Santa. We’ve never told her Santa is a figment of Hallmark’s imagination, and as far as I know, no other child has broken the bad news. But she does know enough to ask her Nana for that tricked out pink bicycle she wanted, rather than waiting to sit on Santa’s lap.

I’ve never really encouraged the whole Santa Claus thing. She’s in a Waldorf school, so we don’t watch TV and get bombarded by the media with white puffball red hats and such. But we’ve let the collective Santa fantasy ride.

So what would I do if she discovered the truth and wanted to tell all the other kindergarteners? Good question.

After all, I’m the founder of Owning Pink. I’m all about being ALL YOU, ALL THE TIME and speaking your truth. I’m a believer in being authentic and letting your freak flag fly. I discourage half truths and conformity and pretending to be something you’re not. So should I tell my daughter to lie for the sake schoolyard peace?

Maybe.

It’s not that I’d ask her to get all excited and fake it. It’s not that I’d want her to buy into the well-intended white lie if she didn’t believe it to be true. But there’s a fine line between being authentically, truthfully YOU and risking someone else’s joy and well being.

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Read more: Children, Christmas, Family, Holidays, Inspiration, Life, News & Issues, Spirit, Uncategorized, , , , , , ,

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Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.  She is on a grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.  Lissa blogs at LissaRankin.com and also created two online communities - HealHealthCareNow.com and OwningPink.com. She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.

56 comments

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3:48PM PST on Dec 10, 2012

Dear Lissa: It may interest you and your readers to know that my legal name is Santa Claus. I serve as a volunteer advocate for the 2 million children in the U.S. annually who are abused, neglected, exploited, abandoned, homeless, and institutionalized in our great nation. I'm also a Monk and believe that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ, not the crass, commercial, secular spectacle it has become in many places, and that the greatest gift one can give is love, not presents. Blessings to all, Santa (TheSanta(im))

1:12PM PST on Jan 17, 2011

Believe in your dreams be it Santa,Easter Bunny or whatever,we all need something, They are harmless, never did us any harm,In our house we STILL have pressies from Santa and we are adults, have fun in giving to others like Santa.

4:59PM PST on Jan 2, 2011

Information is power. Don't lie to kids.

9:10AM PST on Dec 22, 2010

Thank you, Lissa, for wrestling with these difficult issues. To us, mom and two teenage girls, Santa transformed over the years. He was an actual jolly dude in a red suit at first. Then questions started (like how come there are so many different Santas at all the malls?) and the Santa story evolved. He was magical, that is how he was able to deliver so many presents to so many children around the world and he did not need a chimney. They the family, everyone who loved the girls was a Santa representative and very honoured to be. Now Santa is the spirit of giving, love and selflessness. Those are very much tied to Baby Jesus and the miracle of a tiny, helpless hope that changes the world. Merry Christmas to all who celebrate, and Happy Holidays to those who celebrate differently. Bless.

1:41PM PST on Dec 19, 2010

the problem doesn't seem to be your daughter or her imagination as much as it seems to be you and your beliefs....you have no problem passing along beliefs in anything else...why this one?? because it's so commercial? possibly...but perhaps before you toss the baby out with the bathwater you might consider telling your daughter the ancient story of saint nick and how he only wanted to offer help and bring happiness to those with so little...it's a story of giving, of charity, of openness, of hope......you can even tie it into the story of the nativity...but that too has become so commercial, so maybe not....

9:59AM PST on Dec 19, 2010

c'est magique Noel , je garde mon âme d'enfant ;)

4:59PM PST on Dec 18, 2010

Fantasy fun is great :-) Eventual truth at the right time is good. Each person knows when the right timing is. thanx

3:58PM PST on Dec 18, 2010

You know this does tramatize kids maybe many do ok. But as a school teacher I had a boy who cried to me that he found out that Santa and the Easter Bunny weren't real even tho his parents had told him they were and now he was afraid that God may not be real either. Very sad to do this to kids!

6:03AM PST on Dec 18, 2010

Everyone finds out eventually and doesn't get traumatised so I wouldn't worry about it... and I think everyone still gets to keep the wonderfull memories of how excited and happy they felt when they did believe in Santa

12:16AM PST on Dec 18, 2010

thanks for the article.

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