Santa ornament

Whether we like it or not, the holidays are here. And that means all things magical — flying reindeer, Santa Claus or The Elf on the Shelf (see my take on that guy here) — may be happening at your house.

If the big guy from the North Pole visits your house on Christmas morning, you’ll likely feel all the magic and excitement with your child as they open one of their coveted gifts.

Personally, I am all for Santa giving the gifts my children really want — whether it's something big like a bike or a much-wanted game. All I care about are the smiles on my kids' faces. My kids are little for such a short amount of time, and I am going to relish in the opportunity to help them believe in this magic a little bit longer. 

I feel like this isn’t always the opinion among parents, though. I know several parents who don’t like that Santa gets all the credit for their hard work and money spent.

While I get that, I’m not sure anyone really gets the credit — especially among young kids. A few weeks after Christmas, most kids wouldn’t be able to tell you who gave them what anyway. So what does it matter? The kids are happy and get to be kids on Christmas morning — and that’s what matters most to me. I’d hate to wish away my kids believing in Santa just to get credit for a gift.

However, I don’t think Santa needs to bring everything on a child’s list. So a good way to get around this for parents who would like some credit for bigger wish list gifts but also want to keep the magic of Santa around a little longer would be to distribute credit. Santa can get credit for some gifts, and mom and dad can get credit for others. Parents can even leave some items for future wish lists.

In the end, the season is about giving — no matter who does the giving. It's also a great time to teach our kids about giving to others. Giving without asking for anything in return is a lesson that will help our kids throughout their life.

In the meantime, I don't plan to rush this time of my kids being little and believing in Santa. My older brother had to open Santa gifts until he was 15 years old since I was so much younger than him. I’m so thankful my parents kept that up!

We will have years of getting all the credit coming up — whether that's for gifts or for “ruining their lives” once they become teenagers. So let’s be careful for what we wish for!


Jaime Wyant is a 33-year-old Omaha native, wife to Bret and mother to Marin and Liam. She writes monthly for Read more from Jaime here.

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