Healing with Santa

Monday, December 21, 2020

I grew up in a Muslim household (mostly), and there was no Christmas, let alone Santa. As an adult, I was that mom who did not support the idea of telling children that Santa is real. Some children are growing up in poverty, and they should know that Santa did not forget about them. Some are growing up where money is tight and cannot get the gifts they want. Other children may be growing up in abuse and wondering why Santa is not helping them, and the list can go on. The fact is, I told myself I would never let Noah believe in Santa.

I am not religious but wanted the chance to make memories with Noah so for the first few years of Noah's life, we celebrate the winter solstice, which I told him we were celebrating. I like the celebration of the seasons, so it just flowed. For the first four years, Noah knew Santa was not real; we had to talk about not telling his friends that. However, in 2017 after Kay's murder, I noticed Noah's belief in Santa was solid and unwavering. 

I knew his death was the catalyst to this change in belief as just a few weeks before his death, Noah had asked what I was getting him for Christmas (he called the winter solstice Christmas).  All of a sudden, Noah was scared of ghosts and talking about Santa. Children at his age (5 at the time) use fantasy to deal with death and uncertainty. I had to ask myself, was this a battle I wanted to win?

The answer is no if believing in Santa was going to help him think that there is some good in the world. He can have him. If it makes the world magical and less scary, he can believe in Santa. I write this post to say you don't know why a child believes in Santa, but before you feel the need to judge, think twice. You don't know what peace for the child believing in  Santa is bringing. 

I want Noah to see others as kind, the world as beautiful, and to know he is safe. If believing in Santa and getting gifts on Christmas can bring that foundation of peace, I feel it is my job as a mother to cultivate that.

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