The Christmas countdown is ON! My absolute favourite time of the year, and yes I’m one of those believers and double yes, one of those who have bought and wrapped before the end of November.
For me the build up is more magical and exciting than the actual day and I still haven’t tired of all those Hallmark Christmas Movies which have been airing since the end of Halloween!
My husband and I are parents to an 11 year old and a 13 year old and when we talk about the subject of Santa Claus (Father Christmas, St. Nicholas), we know we are living on desperately borrowed time.
We are a family of believers! And even at the ripe old age of 46 , I still have to check myself and be reminded that Santa is not a living, breathing person that flies through the air one night a year! Seriously – I’ve just put that out there!
One of the greatest joys of being a parent is to create magic in the lives of your children. Their innocence lasts for only a short period of time and I find I’m in constant battle with the world and those in it who, if given the chance, would take that innocence away.
Just one example of this was in my sons Kindergarten year, his best friend at the time (no longer a best friend may I add!) told the class Santa wasn’t real – They were 5 years old! Worse still, this child declared that parents lie to their children about Santa. So suddenly, parents like me, ‘believer parents’, became the BAD PEOPLE!
There was some serious discussions between the parents and the teacher and other parents in that class, because of his unwanted declaration. It was a moment in my life where I truly respected and appreciated the lengths other parents would go to to keep the magic alive as much as possible in the lives of their children.
That non-believer parent decided something for her child without considering the consequences for other children and to damage and question that precious innocence and wonder by forcing their opinions on others.
So why do I write this now, and tell the story? Because this story happens all year through. It may not be Santa, or indeed Christmas related, but people often forget that everyone has a right to believe in what they want.
To believe in something that brings them comfort during difficult times or that brings clarity or meaning to their lives. Or something that brings joy and helps spark sentimental memories. Who are we to take away anyone’s God given right to believe in what they want believe in?
I am a great writer. Not great in the fabulously incredible sense of the word, but great as in I do it a lot and I enjoy it!
I love the personal connection of a hand written note or a personal letter composed just for me. Something in scrawly handwriting means so much more than that well intentioned, perfectly scripted email.
Santa has been writing to my children every year since they could read, (of course with a little help from Mum and Dad). These are the first things that come out of their stockings every Christmas morning and my kids still have all of their letters to date. I hope they will serve as a reminder of how magical their parents tried to make the Christmas season. I also hope they are the start of a Press family tradition, something that they can look back on and do with their own children.
The letters have always congratulated them on a great year with a focus on the year ahead and often a reminder to use their manners and clean their rooms – You have no idea how I have used Santa’s superpowers to get a bed made or a room tidied 🙂
This year is the first year that my little believers, with great minds and spirits, have really started to question the existence of that big jolly fellow. With one kid half way through junior high and the other in his last year of elementary school, I think we are doing damn well!
To try and ease our children into the reality that Santa is more than a big guy sporting a red suit driving a team of reindeer from his workshop in the North Pole, we have decided to write them a letter to help them understand their role in life, especially during Christmas, is to help create the same magic for others. That this role will change and grow, as they change and grow, and to help them realize that giving does more for the soul than receiving ever will.
Have we told them Santa doesn’t exist? Absolutely not, because that in itself would be a lie. Yes I said it! A LIE!!!
It’s a lie because the belief that there’s something out there bigger than ourselves should always exist. I often feel the human race is on a downward spiral because many have lost the ability to respect something or believe in a power greater than themselves and to have the faith and belief. The hope and love for the season and inspiration and motivation for the coming year, comes from a place that we can see or can’t touch.
So, I am sharing with you our letter to our children this Christmas. If you are in a similar situation it may be a help, or if you are struggling this year, as parents often do, I hope you find it a source of inspiration and that it helps create that spark of magic. Just as importantly, I hope it reminds others that you are at this place, at this point in your lives now, whatever it is you are doing, because you once believed in the unknown, you believed in something that didn’t exist. You took a chance on something you couldn’t see or touch ♥
I hope you enjoy it…
Dear Emily and Ollie
As you are getting older you are probably wondering if we, Mum and Dad, are really Santa Claus. The truth is there is only one Santa Claus and neither one of us will ever have the power to fill his big boots!
Santa is bigger than any person, ever! He has spread his love and magic to millions of people all over the world for hundreds of years. He will always be a part of the season and he will be here for your children, your children’s children and your children’s children’s children.
When we became your parents, we made a commitment to you both that we would always do our best to create wonder and amazement in your lives. Now you are both getting older, we have to create that wonder in different ways, in ways that will help you understand the world better, to help you prepare for your futures and to help you appreciate and realize what an important symbol Santa Claus is to everyone on earth, regardless of their beliefs.
Santa represents all that is good in the world. He represents love, caring, hope, charity and giving. There is nothing more powerful than to offer these gifts to the people we love.
The greatest gift Santa will ever give you is the power to believe in something you can’t see or touch. Something magical and wonderful. The world is full of these gifts if you open your eyes and expand your mind.
You will need this capacity, this vision, throughout your lives. To believe in things you can’t see and can’t touch.
Love is one of these things…
Love is always kind but that kindness can’t be measured.
Love can’t be seen, but you’ll always know when you are truly loved.
Love can’t be held in your hand, but it will always be held in your heart.
We have been blessed to watch the beauty of your innocence, the sparkle in your eyes when Santa visits our back deck on Christmas Eve and the rush of excitement when you are sitting under the tree examining all your gifts in wonder before that final unwrapping.
So, no, we are not Santa. Do we help him? Yes, we help him a lot, and when you have grown you will help him in the same way for your own family.
The important part about Santa Claus is for each of us to follow in his kindness and love and continue to spread the Christmas spirit all year through. This is where you come in! You are now old enough and you are now responsible enough to help Santa too.
Start imagining the magic you can bring into someone else’s life. How you can give to someone in secret without the prospect of thanks or praise.
Create wonder and amazement in the lives of others as we have done for you. Believe in miracles, because miracles do exist. We have a beautiful and constant reminder of our two miracles every time we look at you.
Always live your lives like Santa is watching. Always cherish the magic of Christmas and the wonder that surrounds you, year through. Live your lives to the fullest and never forget… Always look to the sky on Christmas Eve and take in the beauty of the unknown universe that surrounds you.
Your greatest achievements will start with the unknown, with having to put your faith in something you can’t see. And even though you can’t see it, always know and be confident that there is greatness in both of you. You just have to have the courage to believe.
Mummy and Daddy xx
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