Keep Santa Away From Your Little Kids

santa with toddlerAre you so excited to share the Christmas spirit with your toddler? The trees, the lights, the music -- and Santa! But wait, do you really need to introduce Santa to your toddler this year? What if you didn't? Because when it comes right down to it, my son didn't give a fig for Santa when he was a toddler. 

Wouldn't YOU rather get all the credit for the Christmas magic, anyway? You and the other REAL people in your child's life? You have this brief window of time where your child still believes in magic and can talk. Who needs Santa at this point?

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Think about it from the toddler's perspective. There's the people he sees in his life every day: his family, maybe his daycare workers or relatives, neighbors, friends. And then there's that random stranger you keep mentioning, that SANTA guy. He wears all red pajamas (who wouldn't?) and seems nice enough. And at some point, he'll be sneaking into your house and leaving stuff behind. Freaky!

No wonder so many toddlers cry on Santa's lap! Oh sure, go ahead and take the picture with Santa for the grandparents. But to my recollection, Santa did not make sense to my little boy until he was around 3 years old. Looking through our photos, I can't even find a picture of him with Santa until he's 4! And that Santa bribery thing? "Better be nice or Santa won't bring you toys this year." It was completely lost on our 2-year-old. All he knew was NOW.

Maybe it's different if there are older siblings in your house who are excited about Santa. But I don't think toddlers need Santa. They just need you. And some boxes and wrapping paper to demolish.

Have you introduced your toddler to Santa? If not, are you going to or are you waiting?

 

Image via Leszek Leszczynski/Flickr

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