If you’re reading this while also entertaining a little one on your lap, we suggest you bookmark this page and come back when kids’ eyes aren’t around. Because we’re talking about Christmas. Father Christmas to be exact.
Every parent wants to make the festive season magical for their children, but does that all end when they find out the truth about Santa?
A mum on Mumsnet has shared that her 10-year-old son has recently found out about Santa and “feels like the magic has gone”.
“He’s feeling quite sad I think,” she wrote on 20 November. “I’d be really grateful for any tips to restore a bit of magic please.”
1. Get children involved in creating the magic.
One mum explained: “I’d get your son involved in the preparations like choosing what to eat and cooking, helping with presents and wrapping, helping with decorations.
“Now that he is older, he can help create magic. He will still get presents.”
Some parents said their children enjoyed doing the “adult responsibilities” at Christmas, like helping put the presents under the tree.
One mum said her son has now called himself her “little helper” and told his younger siblings he is an elf.
“His main job is to check the wooden advent calendar and make sure I’ve put chocolates in it,” she said.
2. Introduce a surprise.
Someone suggested shaking things up a bit so there are still surprises on the big day.
“You can change how you do presents,” they said. “Maybe introduce a small surprise gift at the table after lunch, or a Boxing Day gift on the Christmas tree?”
3. Remind them of family traditions.
One Mumsnet user explained that children will go through a transition at Christmas from “childhood awe” to appreciating family traditions. Remind your child of these traditions that you do every year, such as putting up the decorations and having afternoons watching Christmas films.
“Carry on with all the festive traditions you’ve always had and your son will get the Christmas vibe,” she said.
We’ve just treated it like a story or a make believe game, even to tracking Santa on Norad.” Mumsnet user.
4. Carry on the Santa story.
Many parents said even though their children no longer believe, they still go along with the Father Christmas story as a “make believe game”.
“My daughter was about eight or nine when she stopped believing but even now at 13 we still do the whole Santa thing,” one mum wrote.
“We do a stocking at the end of the bed and the last few years she would still even put out a plate with snacks and a drink for Santa.
“We’ve just treated it like a story or a make believe game, even to tracking Santa on Norad. Just because the believing has stopped it doesn’t mean the magic has to.”
One mum agreed, adding: “We always make some kind of scandalous mess and there is usually trouble of some kind caused by the reindeer. [The kids] know it’s me and it’ll probably feel more like waking up on April Fools day to see what pranks I’ve left for them, but it will still be fun.”
5. Make new ‘giving’ traditions.
“I have made my kids aware that not all children are as fortunate as them,” one mum explained.
“This year my children will be buying gifts for the giving tree in our local supermarket (for children less fortunate). Before now they assumed Santa took care of all that.”
Another mum agreed adding: “What about selecting a gift for another child, to be donated to a charity that distributes them to families in need?”
The original poster responded to the comments and ideas about making Christmas magical: “My eyes have welled up reading these ideas.”