1st Grader and Santa


How freely can I 'speak' here. You don't suppose we have readers THAT young, do you? ;)

I didn't feel like I handled 'the Santa talk' well with my 9 year old when she was back in first grade and I want to do better with my current first grader. I once dismissed the opinion of some devout relatives that the USA 'Santa culture' was harmful to our faith and taught kids to distrust their parents word on anything they can't verify physically. But I found it is sort of true!

My best approach idea so far is to sit down and explain the story of Saint Nicholas, who he was, how his faith shaped him and caused him to help the less fortunate. How people honored his example by continuing his practice of gift giving anonymously.

She already understands the concept of exaggeration and tall tale storytelling as we addressed it when her older sister did a report on Saint Patrick and the story of "Driving out the snakes from Ireland" came up. (You gotta love catholic schools, eh?) I'm thinking that might be the best way to explain the flying reindeer, north pole, elves and so forth. Those are add-ons that have nothing to do with Christmas itself or even Saint Nicholas.

Further ideas?


That sounds like a good plan. You can then explain the mystery of all the store santas too - as being not real santas - just actors playing at a version of St Nicholas. Your idea also plants the seed for discussing the differences between Catholic Christmas and secular Christmas - they don’t have the real St Nicholas, they have the Coke version. That way your duaghter can hold onto the idea of St Nicholas visiting and answering prayers without lying to her about the secular, sleigh riding santa.

God Bless your family!


:slight_smile: I just dealt with something similar with my 2 and 4 year olds. They know of Christmas as Jesus’s birthday and that is what we celebrate. We focus on religion and giving to others. We listen to Christmas carols and music though, so they’ve heard of Santa, but I’ve never seen the point of telling them about an imaginary man that they are only supposed to believe in for a couple of years. But, everyone thinks I am so weird and that I’m being mean to them!?! This year my husband asked me to talk to them about Santa so there wouldn’t be all the awkward moments when everyone asks them about Santa and they have no idea what they are talking about.

I told my daughters that some people believe in Santa, which is a Christmas idea that is based on Saint Nicholas… and then they got to learn all about Saint Nicholas! :stuck_out_tongue:

It worked for me, now my daughters have heard of Santa without me telling them silly stories, and my husband and parents are happy with me! :smiley:

Good luck, sorry I don’t really have any great ideas, but I can relate!


What you do is make sure they know there IS a Santa Claus. He's ST. NICHOLAS. You tell her the story about the chimney and the gold coins and his charity. You explain how our culture has secularized the red velvet and ermine robes and hat bishops wore. He was a bishop of the east with a white beard. And he was probably pulled in a cart with horses because they didn't have cars then. You talk about how he lives further north than the north pole... in heaven.

Then you lean in close and ask her to keep a big secret she can't tell littler kids.



And mommies and daddies are really the elves. We help St. Nicholas deliver the presents because the only people who love little children more than St. Nicholas and Baby Jesus are the parents of those little children. And even they can't love them more than Baby Jesus. Since it's His birthday He wants to share presents with everyone. And so parents help deliver them. Because when you love people you want to give them good things. And so you're following his holy example giving to others this time of year.

No lies there.


I like that. It manages to keep the magic, and there is nothing wrong with that.


*Liberano--that is the most beautiful imagery of describing Santa I have heard yet... *


[quote="manualman, post:1, topic:181115"]
How freely can I 'speak' here. You don't suppose we have readers THAT young, do you? ;)

I didn't feel like I handled 'the Santa talk' well with my 9 year old


You mean we're supposed to have the talk before they are nine??? :whistle:


[quote="graceandglory, post:7, topic:181115"]
You mean we're supposed to have the talk before they are nine??? :whistle:


I don't have the talk before they are nine. I actually wait until they figure it out for themselves, then I'll even "stretch it" if I think they are not ready to know. Majorly debated on these boards, but that's what we do...

I still like Libero's description, and respect manualman's decision to stop it at nine!


One idea for readers of this thread. Open another window that you can quickly click to in case a young child who reads walks into the room.:wink:


Liberano--for whatever it's worth, I told my dd what you said here--her eyes opened wide, and she said...''why didn't you tell us the story like that, mom?''

:shrug: :D


We do something very similar to what Liberanosamalo wrote except when we share all the details, we promote the child to “Elf”. Then they help us with activities such as distribution, wrapping and stockings.

We almost promoted another child to elf this year. But when we sat down with him to have the conversation, but a little bit into it we realized he simply wasn’t ready for it. This child isn’t yet to understand some of the finer nuances of annonymous giving.


When my grand-daughter was a little girl she asked me about Santa Claus.

I told her that Santa Claus was a good spirit that encouraged people to give presents to each other. That every Christmas he shows up in spirit all over the world. Santa tells her parents to buy presents for her and for others.

My final words to her was that Santa will always live in the spirit world because he is the spirit of giving gifts. My grand-daughter agreed that Santa was in the spirit world and making lots of people happy. I remember her moving her hands and arms up in a circle when she agreed with me. It made her very happy.

Her parents had told me that she believed in Santa Claus when she asked me that question. I don’t know if she ever told her parents what I said about Santa.LOL.

My grand-daughter is 21yrs.old now and I know that she passed on my story to her friends who might say there is no Santa Claus. She will always carry the spirit of Christmas giving in her heart.

My Santa was my favorite grand-mother when I was 9yrs.old. I truly miss her.

I like my version of Santa because the spirit of giving is around us all the time especially at Christmas time.
Sometimes… it is the month of July that I love to give lots of presents to friends and it feels like a Santa moment.


.....I am hoping I can get one more year from my 9 year old!! Lol! An older mean cousin has put the question in her head though.....:(


First go to this website:


Then tell your first grader that "Santa" is real, because he is. Then explain who the real historical Santa is, and why they should charish giving this time of year, espeacially to those in desperate need.

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