Why We Don’t Celebrate Santa With Our Kid


Why We Don't Celebrate Santa With Our KidIt’s the most wonderful time of the year! The holidays are always a special time to spend with family, celebrate, and unwind before the new year. But there is something my husband and I decided to leave out when our daughter was just a baby: we don’t celebrate Santa Claus in our home. This is starting to get more complicated for us as she enters Pre-K and becomes more influenced by her peers, but we still think it is the best path for us.

A few reasons led us to this decision:

1. We want her to value that you have to work for things.

Making it seem like presents just appear out of thin air made us feel like she wouldn’t value the work that was put into the gift. The old saying “money doesn’t grow on trees” goes along the same thinking.

2. We want her to know who the gift came from.

If a family member or one of the parents buys a gift, especially a thoughtful or extravagant one, we want the credit to be given where the credit is due.

3. We don’t want our child to feel entitled to gifts.

Expecting gifts to magically appear is not something we want to perpetuate. Yes, it is a special occasion, but it should be about the spirit of giving more than receiving, and no one should have expectations that they are entitled to gifts.

4. I don’t want the extra work involved.

Hiding gifts, wrapping them on Christmas Eve, and putting them out isn’t a huge task, but it is an extra one and I don’t want to add more to the to-do list. We travel on the holidays to see family and it makes the Santa complicated as now she is old enough to spot the gifts in the trunk of the car before they are supposed to be presented to her by “Santa.”

5. I don’t want Christmas to be about things.

I don’t want to make Christmas about material things, and let’s be honest, that is A LOT of what Santa is about. There are enough commercials about toys already and Santa is just one more marketing ploy to sell more toys.

So what do we do instead?

1. We make our own traditions.

We are making up our own family traditions as we go. This year, we added baking cookies and decorating the tree together since she is old enough. We have also watched one Harry Potter movie every year on Christmas Day since she was born, so she kind of grows up with the story.

2.  We make our own holiday magic.

We don’t make it about Santa, but we still celebrate things that are about the holidays. Making snowflakes out of paper and hanging them on the mantle, snowball fights (with fake snowballs I bought at Target because it does not snow enough here in Tennessee), making ornaments to hang on the tree, and more.

3.  We are the Santas.

We choose to teach more about giving than receiving. Giving things to people that need them is way more gratifying than getting a bunch of gifts that she won’t play with four months from now.

4. The grandparents can take her to see Santa.

It is important to them and it doesn’t bother me if they take her, but the rule stays the same as it is in our house. Santa doesn’t leave gifts here — all the gifts are from someone she loves. We don’t make her think that Santa just skipped our house; instead, we explain that Santa is pretend and parents and loved ones are really the ones getting her gifts. You know — we tell her the truth.

I don’t want my daughter to burst another kid’s bubble and tell them the truth, especially not if that is what their family chooses to celebrate, but opting not to celebrate Santa is definitely the best choice for us. If you have any tips on how to handle the situation with other kids and talk with them about Santa, comment below because I would love to hear them!

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Lindsay Ruggieri
Lindsay Barrows Ruggieri lives in East Knoxville with her 3-year-old daughter and husband. Lindsay owns Custom Love Gifts, Events, and Prints, a company in the wedding industry offering Event Planning, Gourment Favors, and Wedding Stationery. Lindsay is co-owner of The Bride Link, which offers expert wedding planning advice, including a Youtube Channel and Podcast. Lindsay has Masters degrees from WVU in Industrial Relations as well as a MBA.


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