I love the tradition of Santa Claus. The big jolly man with a large white beard and a stomach that shakes like a bowl full of jelly coming down the chimney to deliver gifts for all the good boys and girls of the world. What’s not to love about this? Really, what?
Well, over the years, I’ve come across people who have a bad taste in their mouths for the tradition of Santa Claus. It’s not that they hate Christmas or dislike the idea of Santa giving gifts, thus taking their credit. No, it’s more of a… logistical or philosophical issue. I’ve found that parents who struggle with Santa tend to fall into two categories:
The No Chimney Parents and The No Intruders Parents.
I have a solution for both of you.
No Chimney Parents have an obvious problem. The lack of a fireplace presents a logistical issue. Santa is up on the housetop, click click click, and down through the chimney with… absolutely no one because there’s no fireplace. Without a fireplace, does Santa skip their house? If not, how does he get in?
No Intruder Parents have a more common issue that’s rarely talked about. These parents aren’t particularly fond of teaching their children that an intruder can just magically appear in their house. For them, it’s fundamental issue of safety.
So here’s what you do…
Get an old looking key. Large decorative keys or skeleton keys work great (check out these ones or these ones on Amazon.) Tie a pretty ribbon on it, put glitter on it, do whatever you’d like to make it feel magical.
The idea is you and your child will put the key on your front door Christmas Eve so that Santa has a safe way to get into the house. For The No Chimney Parents, this is Santa’s way in. For The No Intruders Parents, this is the opportunity for your child and family to formally welcome Santa (and just Santa) into their house.
There’s a number of ways to introduce this tradition into your family.
If you don’t have kids yet or have very, very young kids: Start now! We put the key out every Christmas Eve to make sure it’s part of our family traditions by the time we have children.
If your kids are over the age of 2/3: Write a letter to your child from Santa. The letter should be of the nature Santa sending them a key for the holidays so he can deliver their gifts. Maybe your child has questioned the possibility of him coming in without a chimney – this is a great opportunity to address that suspicion directly. You can put the key in an envelop with the key, address it to your child and decorate the envelop to look like it came from the North Pole. Alternatively, if you use Elf on the Shelf, the Elf can bring it with him/her the next time s/he returns from the North Pole. Or maybe you just moved into a new house – have it magically appear in their stocking with the letter! The possibilities are endless! Get creative!
How would you introduce the key to your household? I’d love to hear your suggestions.