Let me take this moment to dispel you of the misguided notion that not doing Santa is a horrible thing. Here are some of the comments that we get regularly — and why these comments are missing the point.
“You’re ruining your kids’ imagination!”
To hear others say it, if you don’t do Santa, your child will be one heck of a dullard. I love imagination, I love watching and engaging with my daughter when she’s deep in pretend play. I love it so much I strive to foster that in my child all year round. Believe it or not, Santa sometimes makes it into these stories as he, too, is a character she loves and pretends with — she just doesn’t think he’s real. Let’s talk about the Santa-imagination link: I’m not sure Santa actually encourages imagination. Santa, in our culture, is personified to such a degree that there’s no room left for imagination. Children know what he looks like, what the North Pole is like, what the reindeer look like, and so on. Kids can even go online and follow his progress on Christmas Eve. If I believe something exists, it’s not my imagination I’m using, but something else entirely. My daughter knows Santa is a character like Harry Potter, Queen Elsa, or Red Riding Hood — a wonderful, fun, and amazing character that enriches her life with stories and movies and play, but she doesn’t need to feel that anyof these characters or stories are real to enjoy them. Indeed, part of the magic of these stories for us is the knowledge that they persist and delight even when they are not real.