The Santa Debate and Advice From a Maryland Childcare Center

Nov 01, 2022

I remember when I was about 9 struggling with the reality of Santa. I think I was one of the last kids in my class to stay holding on to the belief of Santa. He would write me notes every year, thanking me for the cookies for him and carrots for the reindeer. 

With social media, everyone has their two cents on whether or not you should have your children believe in Santa. Some feel it’s deceptive. Some want their children to believe in Santa magic. I’ve watched the addition of the Elf on the Shelf as a way to extend the fun of Christmas beyond just Christmas Eve/Day. 

I’ve seen online discourse about Santa bringing more expensive gifts to some kids than others. While I understand the logic of Santa favoring other children with lavish gifts, some children may only receive one or two “Santa” gifts. This topic seems to be one more area to disagree on—and I think we have enough reasons to disagree on in general. 

What we can agree on is that this time of year should be about spending time together and loving on our families. It’s not about Santa— he does not define the amount of love in your home. He does not bring the fun of making cookies or decorating the tree. He does not sit and watch Polar Express or Home Alone with your kids in fun pajamas. 

Your value to your children does not come from the number of gifts you and Santa can put under the tree. Your children love you so much. This is not a time to stress about not doing enough for your kids during the season. These last two years have been hard on everyone. Many of you have lost your jobs or lost income due to COVID. We’re all doing the best that we can. 

The bottom line is that if you want Santa to visit your house this week— great! If not- -that’s okay too. Regardless of who is putting the gifts under your tree, YOU are the source of magic and love for your kids. You’re doing enough. Your kids adore you. Spending time with them and making memories will always be more important than having the latest and most expensive toys under the tree. A few fun memory-making ideas are:

  • Special Christmas Breakfast: Make pancakes and decorate them Christmas cookie style
  • Christmas Eve Drive: Take a ride to look at Christmas lights and see if Santa is out flying around
  • Scavenger Hunt: Create clues for your children to use to find their gifts around the house 
  • Caroling: Get Youtube and find some fun holiday music and carol around in your car— or do a “concert” in the living room

Memories are made from love— not from gifts purchased at the store. Make those memories, spread love to others, and be safe! Merry Christmas!