Last year I came up with a fun Christmas idea, and since we’ve just done it again this year I thought I’d share the details.
We’d written letters to Santa and sent them via the generic NZ Post Santa service the year before, but the replies were fairly unsatisfactory: obviously they can’t customise anything, but you’re not going to have much little kid magic happening if you’ve got a sibling and they get exactly the same reply as you. I wrote a post last year on Facebook and asked if any of my friends would like to play Santa for my Hattie and Joe, and let me do the same thing for their children. My friend Alex was keen, so she and I helped our kids to write their letters, and then sent them to each other’s addresses (because the kids are under five, and obviously can’t tell the difference between place names on an envelope). We briefed each other on appropriate replies, and it all went very well.
We’ve done the same thing again this year, and this evening Hattie and Joe got their replies from ‘Santa’. It was absolutely gorgeous to see how excited and amazed they were that Santa knew about Hattie giving up thumb-sucking, Joe trying so hard to not flip out when things don’t go his way, and other things totally relevant to their lives, like starting school soon, and practising their swimming. Alex did such a wonderful job, and I’m crossing my fingers that her children are as happy with their Santa letters as Hattie and Joe were!
I’m sure there will be some Christmas grinches who think that lying to kids about make-believe stuff is a terrible idea, but do you know what? I feel really sorry for people like that. Children are only young for such a short time, and they will have ample opportunity in later life to learn that magic isn’t real. Why would you not want to see the wonder in the eyes of your kids, as they wholeheartedly believe that Santa really does care about them and know what they’re up to? You haven’t known fun at Christmas until you’ve enjoyed the build-up with pre-schoolers. They completely believe all of it, and have already asked me what snacks we should leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve this year.
If your children are still young and you’re the kind of person who likes to develop family traditions, I really recommend this one! And if you’ve got friends in the same town who are willing to help out, I reckon it’s not too late to do your own letters this year.
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