Turning your Santa believers into Santa helpers one magical moment at a time!

Keeping the Magic of Santa 86 Holidays

Turning your Santa believers into Santa helpers one magical moment at a time!

By Julie Atkinson

Photos by Heidi Lea Photography

As Thanksgiving rolls around this month, I can’t help thinking about the next big holiday ahead. From decorations to spending time with family and friends, Christmas is simply a wonderful time of year. As the mom of two little elves – I mean boys – Christmas is more than just wonderful. It’s truly a magical season for our family. I happen to love the little visitor that flies in from the North Pole, our Elf on the Shelf Charles, because the behavior in our house during his stay is almost perfect. All I need to do is point to Charles and remind the boys that he will be heading back to report to Santa whether they should be on the naughty or nice list. It’s tough to swallow that this tiny elf is better than I am at keeping the peace in our house, but I’ve learned to pick and choose my battles––Charles, you win!

Since the birth of our first son, my husband and I have gone to great lengths to make the jolly guy in the big red suit every bit deserving of the title Santa. We followed all of the “good Santa” rules. We shopped at odd hours of the day and night so there would be plenty of surprises under the tree. We’ve risked our lives looking for new creative places to hide presents. The attic appears to be a great hiding place––until the ladder falls––and you’re stuck in the attic! The numerous hours wrapping presents way after our bedtimes on the garage floor would sometimes put Mr. & Mrs. Claus’ marriage to the test. We would even wait for the “too excited to go to sleep” little ones to finally close their eyes so we could play Santa and eat a cookie, or two––alright three! The finale is Christmas morning when you get to see the wide-eyed precious faces you have been envisioning all season. It is true bliss, followed by a trip to the store to get batteries for a million different toys. Way to go Santa! Somehow those were forgotten on the list!

The holidays come and go this beautiful way for about 10 glorious years and then it happens–– the magical part of Christmas starts becoming a BIG topic on playgrounds all across the world. Our Santa believers come home one day and ask the dreaded question: “Is Santa real?” I can remember the day my oldest came home and said he needed to talk to his magical elf because some people at school were saying horrible things about Santa. He went on to say he was in a fight with about 90 percent of his friends because he was defending Santa. Uh oh!

The hubs and I didn’t see this coming, but we should have since he was in fifth grade. We panicked. Could it really be time to expose the secret we worked so hard to protect? I’ll be honest, my husband was ready to throw in the towel. He was thinking it might be nice to get a small amount of appreciation for spending a good amount of money and three hours in line for that hard-to-find item of the year that is always number one on our kids’ Christmas list. I convinced him that we needed to figure out a way to keep from going from magical to the ultimate letdown in one quick conversation. That night, I wrote the very first copy of my book Santa’s Secret Society: Where Secrets are Unlocked and the Magic of Santa Lives on Forever.

Presenting the book, which is more of a treasured keepsake, worked better than I ever could have imagined! My son was so excited to be one of the Santas. He loved seeing his name and pictures in several spots of the book. He said the best part was signing a contract at the end of book where he promised to never share the secret with someone small, so the joy of Christmas will continue for all. Not only was he able to transition from being a Santa believer into a Santa Helper, but he was actually excited about keeping the “Santa Secret” from others that are not ready to be part of our Santa’s Secret Society.

The last page of the book is my favorite: “On Christmas Eve night, when all are asleep and not one soul is making a peep…believe in the magic you always have known…for your own special Santa, still comes when you’re grown!”

When your child is ready to transition from a Santa believer to a Santa helper, or if you just want to make sure you are prepared for the day the BIG question arrives, you may want to consider purchasing Santa’s Secret Society on amazon.com. I already have one ready to go on my closet shelf for my 10 year old, although I’m hoping to get one more magical Santa year!

So, that’s how we handled the Santa question in our house. I couldn’t be happier to still get to enjoy the magic of Christmas with both of our boys in different ways. I’m off to inform my husband that he is in charge of the next BIG question. Oh boy, wish the poor man luck!


© 2018 85086 Magazine. A Division of Strickbine Publishing Inc.

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