My three year old daughter brought me a picture the other day.  She said, “Daddy, here is a picture of you.” She handed me the picture.  This particular picture was taken before she was born.  In it were the three older children with a red-suited man who had a long, white beard.

Ever since my oldest daughter was old enough to understand language, I have told my children that I am Santa Claus.  I suspected that they would not believe me; I was right.  I have always told the truth about who Santa Claus is.

During the Christmas season, I have a song that I sing (to the tune of ‘Jolly Old St. Nicholas’) to reiterate my status as Santa:

Daddy is St. Nicholas,

He says so every day!

He’s always telling every soul,

What I’m about to say;

He is coming very soon;

He is a dear old man,

He won’t say what he’s bringing you;

So find out if you can.

Since the true reason for Christmas is so important, I did not want my children to wonder if the other person so closely identified with Christmas–the person whose name the holiday shares–was also a fictitious character.  So, I decided early on that I would simply tell the truth when asked about Santa Claus.

This has been a source of great amusement for my children.  They get to hear their “deluded” father claim that he is Santa Claus.  They then point out all of the reasons that I cannot be Santa.

I get the satisfaction of focusing the season not on a fictitious character, but on the Great Gift–the Christ.

From Hodgepodgedad’s 2008 archives

Last year’s Santa visit: Tradition Continued