We let them believe in Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Peter Pan.
We let them enjoy Big Bird, Ernie, and Elmo.
We introduce them to Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Cinderella. In fact, I choose to believe she's sleeping soundly in that glorious castle, even now.
When we introduce them to each of these imaginary friends, we don't follow with a careful caveat: "But remember, she's not real. Remember, he's just make believe."
They learn soon enough.
So, why the debate on whether or not to let children believe in Santa?
I don't believe that the tradition of Santa is diametrically opposed to the birth of Christ. I absolutely, with all of me, celebrate the birth of my Savior this time of year. (And throughout the year, in many ways.) And I teach my children these values that are the core of our family and our faith. And while we're talking about what's really important, I also intend for them to learn that it is indeed 'better to give than receive,' and they will understand 'the reason for the seaon.'
And this year, they are four and two. So we're singing Joy to the World, O Come Let Us Adore Him, and Angels We Have Heard On High. But we're also singing Jingle Bells, Frosty the Snowman, and all about Rudolph's shiny nose. Mostly, we're singing a lot these days.
They're learning the truth of Christmas, but they're also enjoying the fantasy of tradition.
I'm all about the magic.
And Santa's on his way.