Ever since I became a Mum I started wondering which holiday traditions I’d be passing down to my kids When I was growing up there were some really essential ones – baking with my Nana, the advent calendar, Christmas morning early gift opening, and the eager anticipation of Santa’s arrival. As a grown woman, some of these traditions seem as important to me today as they did back then but I did start to question this whole ‘Santa’ thing.
My kids are growing up in a very culturally diverse area in the city and there are quite a lot of families in our neighborhood who don’t celebrate Christmas. Plus, I’ve got a few friends who just don’t agree with ‘perpetuating a lie’ – about Santa or anything – and have been letting their kids ‘in’ on the secret all along. I wondered if it was a wise choice to continue this tradition and what the odds are of getting ‘caught’ early if there were so many other kids around who didn’t believe in Santa. As I’ve gotten to know my eldest daughter and I’ve been literally confronted with the decision of towing the line or not, I decided to just go with it. My girl is naturally skeptical and kind of hates trickery and sarcasm. You’d think this would have tipped me over in the other direction. Instead, I sort of felt that I wanted to let her believe in the idea of something that she couldn’t see. I mean, she already knows that what she reads in books and sees on TV aren’t really things. She knows that there isn’t REALLY a girl named Cinderella (all on her own figuring out, I’d like to add.. not because I’ve encouraged this at all) but I think I can see that she almost wants to think that there’s some magic in the world.
So, that’s it. We’re a family who celebrates Christmas; builds gingerbread houses; decorates and bakes; opens our advent calendar; and a family who believes in Santa Claus. With the kids, well my oldest anyway, just at the right age for really wanting to know EVERYTHING about Santa, we’ll also be giving our kids a DVD from Santa this year. Have you heard about it? It’s a product called Your Santa Story. You visit the website and fill out an online form, and then you receive a personalized DVD from Santa to give to the kids on Christmas morning.
The form will ask basic questions like your family name, the names of the kids and the pets, what kind of cookies you’ll be leaving for Santa and whether or not you leave any treats for the reindeer. Then, there’s an open box where you can write a personal message from Santa to your kids. At the end you can review the script before buying the DVD in case you want to make changes (pro tip: maybe write your answers for the form in a text editor or something first. If you need to go back to make changes, the entire form gets reset to blank and so re-typing in each thing is a pain. Plus, I couldn’t remember what the personalized message was that I’d written the first time. And darnnit that first one was good. I’m sure of it). You hit ‘buy” and make a payment and then, in a far away magical land some dear dear soul in a Santa costume and on a great little North Pole set reads this script off a teleprompter while being filmed. Add in a gorgeously shot title screen with some suspenseful Christmas music and you’ve got yourself one gift that’s guaranteed to BLOW.THEIR. MINDS.
I received my DVD a few weeks ago so I got to take a peek. The Santa in the DVD is entirely convincing. I know some actors (dabbling in amateur theatre as I do) and we are seriously impressed. I think after the 100th time I’d read essentially the same script I’d be a bit lackluster. Not this guy – truly jolly. He mentions our kids by name, gives my youngest a high-five at the camera, and the personal messages are so specific, the kids are going to be beside themselves. At the end, Santa tells them that he left one last gift in a hiding spot for them (you pick the spot) so that they can go running off to find out what the last present is.
I think at our house, we’ll be leaving the DVD with the filled stockings and nearby my laptop so that the kids and parents can watch it while the grandparents are settling in with their coffee and before the rest of the gift exchange begins.
I know it’s a little crazy, but I kind of get excited just thinking about how they’ll react. I can’t wait to see their faces and I think they’re going to love love love it. Even my skeptical almost five year old, I’m pretty sure, will believe in the magic of Santa after watching this!
If you want to read more about it and see a sample of the video, visit www.yoursantastory.com. It’s not too late to order yours for this year, limited quantities are still available. Get your order in ASAP, Santa is a busy guy these days! There are only so many DVD messages Santa can record between now and December 21st. After December 21st, we will take orders for “last minute” streaming video messages (sent via a link in an email) up to 12:00pm CST on December 24th.
Oh, and if you’ve got older kids and you aren’t sure how to ‘tell them’ – I offer this link (which I’ve pinned for future reference): “How to tell your kids about Santa”