It’s a little touchy running a daycare, because each family explains Santa a little differently. 

I try not to mention Santa here (as much as possible) because I don’t want to start getting questions from the older kids!  I don’t know what their parents have told them, because I have heard of parents who spill the beans EARLY, and I know most of us want to keep the magic alive as long as possible.

This year, for the first time ever (for the daycare) I pulled the “Santa is watching you so you better be good!  If you get in time out here, I’ll tell him!”  That was said the last couple days of Christmas break, when the little kids were so uber-excited about the Holiday and couldn’t figure out how to control their excitement so they started acting out.  Ignoring my house rules.  Running.  Wrestling.  Jumping on the furniture.  Pushing.  Shoving.  Grabbing toys away from each other.  Ugh.  Every year I think, “gee, maybe I should close the week leading up to Christmas- save myself- and spend that time with my own kids and enjoy the Holiday.”  But then every year as I create the next year’s calendar, I feel guilty closing for that week because I know it’s hard for families to get that time off work- since everyone else is trying to take that time off work, and I feel selfish, so I stay open.  And then regret it once I’m in the heat of Christmas week.  =o)  One of these years, I AM going to close for that week. 

Back to Santa.  My main reason for writing this….

I heard a news story this morning about a self-proclaimed Santa who went to the mall to spread Christmas cheer, but the mall kicked him out because they had a “hired” Santa and the people in line who saw both Santa’s simultaneously were freaking out- how would they explain to their kids that there’s TWO Santa’s!   The mall kicked the guy out.

So that got me thinking.

We’ve always told our kids that the Santa they see in public, at the Malls, parties, pageants, etc. are Santa Helpers.  The real Santa is always so busy at the North Pole that he can’t take the time to visit with the kids before Christmas, so he has helpers who go out and check on the kids and find out what they want for Christmas and report back to the real Santa.  That’s why they all look different.  Some have real beards, some have to wear fake beards.  So yes, Santa is real, but nobody ever sees him, we only get to see Santa’s Helpers.  Ever since that came out there’s never been a question of, “is that the REAL Santa?” or “he looks different this year” (because we HAVE heard that one- from Trevor- about age 4 or 5 he knew it was a different guy than last time?).

And stockings?  My kids know that we put things in their stockings.  And so does Santa.  This came out very early as they would overhear the term “stocking stuffers” all the time and wonder why people need to buy stocking stuffers if Santa is the one who stuffs the stockings.

I explained that Santa doesn’t FILL the stockings, that sometimes there’s extra room in there, so moms and dads add things to the stockings, things that are special from them.  And we like to buy things to put in other people’s stockings, too.

So no more “SHHHHHH!!” when talking about stockings!

So there you have it….how we handle Santa and stockings in our house- so that we can all speak freely and help our kids get into the magic of stuffing stockings….Riley picked out bouncy balls to put in her siblings stockings this year!