|
|
|
The Times
  • Family Matters: Keeping the magic of Santa Claus alive

  • While catching up with a friend, he mentioned a little problem in his house this holiday season. He said that although his 6-year-old truly believes in Santa, his 10-year-old does not, and he can see how difficult it is for his older daughter to keep a secret.

    • email print
  • While catching up with a friend, he mentioned a little problem in his house this holiday season.
    Although his 6-year-old truly believes in Santa, his 10-year-old does not, and he can see how difficult it is for his older daughter to keep a secret.
    He said it began while enjoying the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV, and his older daughter remarked that Santa’s costume wasn’t very good this year. Her dad gave her a stare, which temporarily ended further remarks. He said that during those times when her younger sister is talking about Santa, the older daughter drops little hints, and struggles to keep the secret.
    For simplicity, I will refer to the 6-year-old as Susie and the 10-year-old as Tara.
    Building the bond
    Rather than try to curb Tara’s desire to spoil Susie’s fantasy, encourage her to help keep that magic alive. It is much easier and more enjoyable for everyone to keep both girls involved in activities throughout the season, and Tara can be put in charge of finding ways to be merry and bright.
    With a little guidance, Tara’s involvement can build and nurture a more loving sibling relationship, and will empower her to be creative and protective of the secret.
    So what can an older sister do to bring on some Christmas joy?
    • Invite Tara to be a secret helper by wrapping gifts from Santa to be placed under the tree. Purchase specially designed Santa paper, ribbons and bows, and tie on candy canes for Susie.
    • Remind Tara that, “She who believes, receives!” This simple, silly expression always put a smile on my children’s faces when they asked about Santa. Be sure that there are gifts for Tara from Santa under the tree.
    • Suggest that Tara teach Susie to be on the lookout each night for Rudolph’s red nose in the sky. Airplane lights in the distant night sky tend to look like Santa’s sleigh. Spark stories of Santa planning his route and watching over all the good little girls and boys.
    • Include both girls in planning and preparation for Santa and his reindeer on Christmas Eve. Purchase velvet ribbon and jingle bells, which the girls can string and leave out as a gift for Santa’s eight tiny reindeer. Bake cookies and decorate them in preparation for Santa’s visit. Don’t forget to peel carrots and cut into bite-sized pieces for the reindeer! With Tara’s help, Susie can write a letter to leave out for Santa, wishing him a warm, safe ride in his sleigh.
    • Introduce old movie classics such as “Miracle on 34th Street” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Fill up a bowl of popcorn, find time to watch as a family and build a tradition.
    Page 2 of 2 - With a little help from Mom and Dad, older children can become memory makers instead of deal breakers. Help each child to find his or her own inner goodness and true happiness by finding ways of bringing joy to others.
    Diana Boggia, M.Ed., is a parenting coach who lives in Stark County, Ohio. She is author of “Parenting with a Purpose.” Send your child-rearing questions to FamilyMatters@cantonrep.com. Find parenting resources at her website, www.yourperfectchild.com.

      calendar