Does santa claus really exist?

Santa Claus

Every year, millions of parents around the world feverishly try to keep the myth of Santa Claus alive for their children during the Christmas season. Often, however, an older sibling blabs or the children are "enlightened" by cheeky classmates. But it’s even more difficult for separated parents – especially if they disagree on Christmas traditions, customs and education around the Christmas theme. Expert Anne-Christin Ermisch gives tips for a contemplative Christmas season – not only for separated parents.

The Christmas season is magical. The magic has always been carried on through stories. They frame cherished traditions, create a sense of connection and spark the imagination. Just like fragrant cookies and shining fir trees.

Santa Claus is not a tall tale, but part of the magic

Last year my daughter started school. One evening in December she lay sleepless in bed. Sadly, she recounted that a child and his friends raised her because she believed in Santa Claus like a baby. It would not exist. I listened and we then made a plan. Carrots for the reindeer we wanted to buy and cookies for Santa Claus to provide on Christmas Eve. Then we would see..

Children show us whether or not they want to believe in the man with the rakish beard and red coat. Around the age of five, the first doubts about his existence arise. With time, magic is simply replaced by realistic thinking. Natural skepticism is fueled by comments from others. When children demand the truth, they are old enough for it. Otherwise, they can be asked what they think and there is room for imagination. My daughter wanted to hold on to her faith at that time.

Every year: Christmas means family time

No one will say: I had a bad childhood because Santa Claus does not exist. Rather, quarreling parents and a lack of Christmas spirit will lead to it. Therefore, especially for separated parents early, clear and binding agreements are essential.

I’ve lived apart from my husband for over two years, yet we’re spending Christmas Eve together with our two kids. We meet in the early afternoon and visit a Christmas market. It is an innocuous place. After that, we return to my apartment, where the gifts are waiting. This is how we answer the question "Why does Santa Claus come twice??" out of the way. But the children get older, new partners can come along and already new arrangements are needed.

Keep Christmas magic despite challenges

There are many ways to celebrate Christmas. Even before I had my children, I dedicated myself in kindergarten to making the pre-Christmas season cross-cultural. I now use this experience for my family. A patent remedy for the most contemplative time of the year does not exist, especially not when emotions boil up and parents disagree whether separated or not. The following three tips can counteract stress:

1. If the children are old enough, involve them.

When it comes to planning, kids can say how they want to celebrate. With siblings, if one already knows you’re putting presents under the tree, give them a task so they become a significant part of the festivities and keep their knowledge to themselves.

2. Stay authentic.

Kids have a keen sense and can tell when they’re being fibbed at or you’re uncomfortable celebrating together with your ex-partner. While a child-centered approach is important, don’t forget your own needs and views.

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