I’m not ready for you to stop believing in Santa.

You came home the other day telling me you had some classmates say he wasn’t real. They tried to convince you that we, your parents, actually buy your gifts.

You looked at me with your big blue eyes, waiting for the answer and anticipating it’d be the one you want to hear.

“Santa does exist because he is the spirit of Christmas,” I started to explain, knowing I couldn’t fully divulge the truth, not just yet. “He’s all the love you feel during this season and that urge you feel to give to and do good for others during this time. Who do you think puts that on your heart?”

But your response to my rebuttal stopped me in my tracks.

“No, mommy, Jesus is the spirit of Christmas. He’s the reason we feel good during Christmas.”

And you’re right, my dear little boy, that He is. Your conviction was too real to shut down any other belief. The reason for the season is also who you’re told not to speak of too loudly, especially in places where topics of religion seem too taboo.

But you assured me you do not hesitate to share what you firmly believe, “. . . and I told them the reason we celebrate Christmas is Jesus.” Your logic between Santa existing was equivocal to that of Jesus’ very existence.

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Both are figures you don’t get to see but only get to know. Both share in the spirit of good and bring pure joy to this world all while reminding us we are still capable of sin. Both make us strive to be the best versions of ourselves but for a purpose bigger than ourselves. And ultimately, both forgive us for our mistakes and give us hope as we await the greatest gift of all.

You’re not always able to speak of these things freely. But you, my sweet, innocent boy, are so assured in your belief you don’t want to know differently. You want to share the good news you see and in turn, share that love with others.

Your belief in Santa is equivocal to that of Jesus, and as I know you’ll outgrow the belief of one’s existence, I don’t ever want you to lose the other. We’ve led you to believe He opens your heart to love, He brings the best out in the world, and He rewards those who share in His good word.

Ultimately, I feared if you stopped believing in that jolly, old man spreading Christmas cheer, it would make you suddenly mature and see life through darker glasses. But now I see you cast your eyes on the Lord, so you only see the pure, beautiful world around us and how wonderful it can be.

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I don’t want you to stop believing in Santa quite yet, because I want you know the joyful innocence of seeing the world through the eyes of a child. But I now know your belief in Santa is knowing you can spread cheer and bring joy. And once you outgrow that belief, you still hold true the spirit of Christmas and know the greater reason for us celebrating. And the foundation you’ve shown us you’ve built your beliefs on is mighty, our big, little boy, and we’re so very proud of you.

Pri Walker

Pri Walker is based out of Orlando, Florida, where she indulges in all the simple joys that life has to offer. She, her husband, and their two young children are avid world travelers, fun seekers, and always yearning to learn through experience. Her passion to write comes from her love to get lost in a good book. She is proud owner and writer at Adventure Somewhere, where she documents her family's travels and inspires others to take the trip.