• Elizabeth Larson

Is Santa Real?

The holidays are here. Is it just me or did they sneak up on everyone else, too? I mean, Christmas is NEXT WEEK! Luckily all of my gifts are purchased – now I just need to wrap them all.

You may or may not know that I have a six-year-old daughter. She, so far, has not questioned whether Santa Claus is real or fake – at least not to me. I am confident she is starting to wonder, though.

I have been doing a little bit of reading so I can explain to her why I’ve been telling her this guy is real her whole life, when he actually isn’t… anymore, anyway. Over a thousand years ago, there was a man in Turkey called Saint Nicholas. He was a very rich man with a generous heart and a reputation for helping the poor and giving secret gifts to people who needed it. Wouldn’t this be a great way for me to describe who and what Santa Claus is to her? That we have taken the noble acts of this man and have passed them down, generation to generation, all becoming a sort of Santa Claus ourselves. To use Santa Claus as a way for her to understand the importance of helping people with no expectation of “Thanks” or any kind of recognition. To help her understand philanthropy.

The great thing about explaining it this way, is that it can be spread all throughout the year. Last week I heard someone speak on philanthropy, but before starting, she asked each of us to stand up and talk about ways that we give back. Every single person in that group had something to speak about, whether it be they give their time, resources, or money – or all three. I walked out of there feeling so inspired. People are GOOD! They WANT to help.

It’s exciting to think of the different ways I can teach her to help. She already spends time with me while I’m volunteering, but I know there are things she can do on her own. It could be making our elderly neighbor a card, or giving some of the money she has saved to a cause she believes in. We can all be Santa Claus and teach our kids early on that they can be too.

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