Don’t put your au pair in that awful situation of being the person who blows Santa’s secret.
Explain to your au pair how your family talks about the man in the red suit, what he does, and what he means. Help her understand your way of discussing the Santa phenomenon, so that she can coordinate what she tells the kids with what you want the kids to believe.
Santa seems to infiltrate every neighborhood and every kid’s consciousness right about now. Talk about Santa if you celebrate Christmas. And, talk about Santa if he is not part of your own family’s traditions. Kids need to be told something …
And then there’s the matter of the tall tales we spin around the holidays. This season with its celebrations and rituals makes us suspend our disbelief. But how exactly does the carefully constructed story with the — zip — magical ending fit into our practical, offer-them-the-real-world-to-make-their-own approach?
Whether it’s explaining how Santa manages to get to the stores for pictures while he’s supposed to be working or muddling through details of the Maccabees and oil lamps and ending up at eight of presents and chocolate coins, here’s a reminder of how illusion too, and the joy it brings, is a necessary building block of childhood:
"The illusions of childhood are necessary experiences:
a child should not be denied a balloon just because an adult knows that sooner or later it will burst."
— Marcelene Cox