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How Do You Talk to Your Child About Santa Claus?

Let me hear it. What do you think? How was the news broken to your child?

Anyone who has read Northfield Patch in the past year is well aware that my wife and I welcomed our first child this year.

As she closes in on the end of her first year and, given that it's Christmastime, I've been wondering about our approach with her when it comes to talking about the Big Guy.

How should we talk about Santa Claus?

Given the nature of my job and what I read and see at times, I have a very honest, realistic approach to life. But I also appreciate imagination and letting a kid be a kid. I fully intend to let our little girl grow up with the wonderment that is Santa Claus, but how long does it go on?

Do you let her find out about Santa on her own (parents, you know what I mean, but I want to be careful how I write this in case any 6 year olds come across this post). Do I let her reality get shattered by a kid at the bus stop? Or do I cut that dream short in an effort to save her hurt and embarrassment?

Let me hear it. What do you think? How was the news broken to your child?

John O'Brien December 21, 2012 at 06:40 PM
No Santa myth for my daughter. Just a fun pretend thing this time of year. I will also do my best to make sure she doesn't let other kids in on the truth.
Santa December 21, 2012 at 08:36 PM
All kids should have the magic of santa in their lives. Santa is as real as you percieve it to be. Keep them clean of adult "realities" and let them get infected with our "truths" when they get old and think they've figured it all out, just like we do. It's nowhere near as big of a deal as adults make of it. This nonsense about lying to your kid, blah, blah, blah. Should be ashamed of yourselves if you steal such precious joys and experiences from your kids. People forget what being a kid is all about. MAGIC!! Yes you old fools, life is magical and Santa Claus is as real as the many other realities that you can't explain, understand or even know about yet. Because reality is in the mind and in the mind only. God bless and Merry Christmas!! Santa
John O'Brien December 22, 2012 at 02:08 AM
That's just absurd. Perceiving somethign to be real does not make it so. What is so horrible about reality? Reality can be pretty amazing. Just look up in the sky at night and look at the stars that reality is plenty amazing. Saying people should eb ashamed for how they choose to raise their children is insulting and makes you a prick(yes I know that is insulting). Life is not magical it is real. If reality was only in the mind then why do we commit people who hear voices talking to them? Oh and you might find this intersteing "Santa"... OK prepare for a text avalanche in 3..2..1... No known species of reindeer can fly. However, there are hundreds of thousands, even millions of species of living organisms yet to be classified. While most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen. There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. Since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish & Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total - 378 million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes. One presumes there's at least one good child in each.
John O'Brien December 22, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with. This is due to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 822.6 visits/second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has .001 seconds to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles/household, a total trip of 75.5 million miles; not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once ever 31 hours, plus feeding etc.
John O'Brien December 22, 2012 at 02:09 AM
So Santa's sleigh must be moving at 650 miles/second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle on the earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second. A conventional reindeer can run, TOPS, 15 miles/hour. The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-size Lego set (2 lb.); the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 lbs. Even granting that "flying reindeer" (see above) could pull 10 TIMES the normal amount, we cannot do the job with 8, or even 9 reindeer. We need 214,200. This increases the payload - not counting the weight of the sleigh to 353,430 tons. This is four times the weight of the ocean-liner Queen Elizabeth!!!
John O'Brien December 22, 2012 at 02:09 AM
353,00 tons traveling at 650 miles/second creates enormous air resistance. This will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as a spacecraft reentering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy!!! Per second!!! Each!!! In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and creating deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within .00426th of a second. Meanwhile, Santa will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity, A 250 lb Santa (seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of this sleigh by 4,315,015 lbs. of force.
John O'Brien December 22, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Read the 3 comments by me below from the bottom one to the top. Sorry
Santa December 22, 2012 at 03:32 PM
OH HO HO!! Johnny, while you've been a bad boy by swearing at Santa, I'm glad that you were insulted with what I've said. Not because I was insulting you or that I was wrong, but just because it shows that you want to do right by your child(ren). But you're still struggling with this 'believe' or 'not believe' nonsense, so if you don't get it then how can you communicate it to your child? I understand, and seeing how well versed and entrenched you are in your "reality", it's going to be hard. But I've always had faith in you Johnny. Most adults reality is formed from their limited 5 senses and the majority from information that they've been told. How many reindeer have you met in your life? How many sleighs? Real sleighs? You mention looking up at the stars and the sky. Yes look up and think for a moment that your long list of facts were formed by adults just like you in the past couple of thousand years....in a space that is INFINITE and TIMELESS. No beginning, no end? How can that be when your reality is made up of "beginnings" and "endings". Of course you can't understand. Ahh but Johnny this life is meant to be lived, not understood with "facts" and "reality". Santa is as real as you perceive him to be whether you understand it or not. Reality indeed!! Merry Christmas, Santa
John O'Brien December 24, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Your condescending attitude does not make anything you said become accurate somehow. I do not struggle with "this 'believe' or 'not believe' nonsense" as you said. Facts are what make up reality and if you choose to ignore this that is fine but doesn't make reality any less real or factual.

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