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I suppose no one who reads these posts believes that "Santa" is a real person! But I found this approach to teaching six or seven year olds how to transition quite good. I'm not sure of the source.

"In our family, we have a special way of transitioning the kids from receiving from Santa, to becoming a Santa. This way, the Santa construct is not a lie that gets discovered, but an unfolding series of good deeds and Christmas spirit.

When you see that dawning suspicion that Santa may not be a material being, that means the child is ready.
I take them out "for coffee" at the local wherever. We get a booth, order our drinks, and the following pronouncement is made:
“You sure have grown an awful lot this year. Not only are you taller, but I can see that your heart has grown, too.
[Point out 2-3 examples of empathetic behavior, consideration of people's feelings, good deeds etc, the kid has done in the past year]. In fact, your heart has grown so much that I think you are ready to become a Santa.

You probably have noticed that most of the Santas you see are people dressed up like him. Some of your friends might have even told you that there is no Santa. A lot of children think that, because they aren't ready to BE a Santa yet, but YOU ARE.
Tell me the best things about Santa. What does Santa get for all of his trouble? [lead the kid from "cookies" to the good feeling of having done something for someone else]. Well, now YOU are ready to do your first job as a Santa!

Make sure you maintain the proper conspiratorial tone.
We then have the child choose someone they know--a neighbor, usually. The child's mission is to secretly, deviously, find out something that the person needs, and then provide it, wrap it, deliver it--and never reveal to the target where it came from. Being a Santa isn't about getting credit, you see. It's unselfish giving."


And I still think he really wears green! :o)
Nicholas of Myra. 4th century. Myra being in what is now Turkey
nice way of using the Santa story!
Thanks for sharing

goes along with the legend that the good Bishop secretly tossed purses of gold in the window (or down the chimney) for the dowery to allow the daughters of a poor man to wed - he was a secret santa

Edited at 2016-12-16 04:44 (UTC)