Christmas is a magical time, full of whimsy and wonder, celebrations and cheer. And questions. SO. MANY. QUESTIONS.
So what do you do when your little one starts asking about the logistics of Saint Nick? You can cough and pretend you didn’t hear them. Or, you can try some of these tricky tactics.
There is a lot confusion around this whole Kris Kringle fella. And rightfully so. The whole notion of a large man in a red suit creeping into our homes at night is a little strange, especially to a young child.
Truth be told, when the kids start asking questions about Santa, I never really know what to say. Do I stick to the traditional story? Do I let them in on the Santa secret? Or do I muster up some elaborate plan that is sure to keep the magic alive for a few more years? Do I tell them mummy has to pee, go hide in the toilet for five minutes and hope they forget by the time I get out?
If you find yourself in the same boat, then here’s a few responses to tide you over until next year, when the never-ending questions about Santa start all over again.
The Logistics of Christmas
1. How does Santa deliver all of those presents in just one night?
“Two words: Arthur Christmas.
Turn it on and I promise, you won’t have any more questions about the logistics of gift delivery. The ultra-high-tech operation, involving a massive invisible sleigh and about 8 billion elves, pretty much sums it up.”
2. How do the gifts all fit in Santa’s sleigh?
“Santa’s sleigh is like a magician’s hat that can store millions and millions of surprises. It keeps going on and on and on.”
Kind of like the pile of washing mummy has to do every night. But Christmasy. And probably less smelly.
3. How does Santa get in if we don’t have a chimney?
“Santa is very resourceful. If there’s no chimney, he usually just comes in through the door.”
But you can leave him out a key, which eliminates the risk of Santa being arrested for B&E.
4. How do reindeer fly?
“Didn’t you know? Reindeer are actually Christmas unicorns but without the horns or the colourful wings.
Plus, Santa sprinkles magic dust on them on Christmas Eve that helps them take flight and not get tired along the journey.”
5. How does Santa have time to read all of those letters?
“Santa went to uni for speed reading. He also did all his homework when he was your age which helped him be a master speed reader and letter writer. And he did so without whinging to his mum every night.”
6. How does Santa know if you’ve been naughty or nice?
“Santa has millions of elves who report back to him at the North Pole. He can also track you through the vacuum cleaner. The more times you use it to clean up your mess, rather than just walking past it, the more ticks you get on the nice list.”
So best put down the Xbox remote and pick up the vacuum…
The “Santa’s Existence” Questions
I’ve saved the best two questions about Santa for last. And I actually have a pretty good answer for both. Ready for them?
7. Is Santa even real?
“Yes. Santa is real. And Santa’s elves are real. And the magic he delivers is real. Many people don’t believe in him because they’ve never seen him, but just because you’ve never seen something doesn’t make it not real. I’ve never seen South America. But I’m pretty sure it’s still a real continent.
The truth is, Santa’s realness extends far beyond what you can see. And he wouldn’t exist without the help of his millions of elves (ahem, mums who have to check 15 different Kmarts to find a freakin’ Fingerling).
Santa has been around for a very very very long time and he will continue to work his magic during Christmas. As long as we believe, then he will continue to come. You don’t have to see him to know he’s there.”
For older kids
My kids are young. They still believe. They don’t want to stop believing and I am not ready for them to stop just yet. But when the time comes in my household and in your home too, this letter sums up another very tricky question that older kids often ask.
8. Are you Santa?
“The answer is no. I am not Santa. There is no one Santa.
I am the person who fills your stockings with presents, though. I also choose and wrap the presents under the tree, the same way my mum did for me, and the same way her mum did for her. (And yes, Daddy helps, too.)
I imagine you will someday do this for your children, and I know you will love seeing them run down the stairs on Christmas morning. You will love seeing them sit under the tree, their small faces lit with Christmas lights.
This won’t make you Santa, though.
Santa is bigger than any person, and his work has gone on longer than any of us have lived. What he does is simple, but it is powerful. He teaches children how to have belief in something they can’t see or touch.
It’s a big job, and it’s an important one. Throughout your life, you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your friends, in your talents and in your family. You’ll also need to believe in things you can’t measure or even hold in your hand. Here, I am talking about love, that great power that will light your life from the inside out, even during its darkest, coldest moments.
So, no. I am not Santa. Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness. I’m on his team, and now you are, too.”
So there you go. The questions about Santa may never end, but there’s always a logical answer. You just need to add a dash of magic to your words to help them understand. And ensure they use the vacuum once in a while.
Need more Christmas in your week? Have a look at these ideas on keeping the wonders of Christmas going in your household.