The 25 Days of Christmas - How We Have Fun At Christmas Without Santa

Before Elise was born, we made the decision that we would not "do" Santa. While it is magical for children, to us, it just felt dishonest. And we knew that one day Elise would figure out that Santa was not real and that we had lied to her. We didn't want to break her trust or give her any cause to doubt our word. (There is a whole other theological discussion that we could have here, but not today.)

Now, let me stop here...I'm not judging you if you do Santa at your house, just as I don't want you to judge me for not doing it at my house. We all have to make our own parenting decisions and whatever works for individual families is totally OK with me.

That being said, people who know this about us always have 1 question - "Don't you think that Elise will miss the magic?" The answer, "Nope." We still have fun, she visits with Santa at school (we aren't anti-Santa, he just doesn't get the credit for bringing the gifts at our house!), we plan plenty of intentional activities that make the month of December as magical for her as any other child.

We have a set of 25 drawers that I decorated last year when she was old enough for us to begin the tradition and each day holds a surprise. She has literally been asking about the drawers since October! Some days hold a small treat, others something fun that we can do as a family. She looks forward to opening that drawer as much as, if not more than, I have seen kids look forward to sitting on Santa's lap and giving their Christmas list.

In Elise's mind, Santa is a character just like Minnie Mouse or a Disney princess, and because every year at school he passes out candy canes, if you ask her what Santa is bringing her, she will tell you a candy cane. We have talked with her this year about what others believe and how we don't spoil what they believe, we just keep it a secret.

Here is what the 25 Days of Christmas look like for us this year: (pictures of what we have done so far are included!)

·       Let’s deck the halls outside!

·       Make a gingerbread village.

·       It’s time for the Christmas Parade!

·       Christmas Party at the Hefner’s.

·       Yummy! A sweet treat!

·       Decorate the refrigerator and windows.

·       Who wants to make Christmas Rice Krispy Treats?

·       Let’s go on a Candy Cane hunt!

·       Let’s snuggle with Christmas movies and cocoa.

·       Buy cookies to bake with Ms. Caitlin.

·       See Mimi sing in the Messiah.  See the Christmas lights!

·       Special breakfast is waiting. And Santa is coming to school!

·       Let’s bake Chocolate Crinkle cookies to take to school.

·       It’s Christmas Party Day at school!  Don’t forget the cookies!

·       Hang a new ornament on the tree.

·       Let’s decorate a tree and wreath for Elise’s room.

·       Let’s make ornaments to give to family and friends.

·       Party at our house tomorrow night! Let’s decorate!

·       Who wants a big girl room?

·       Yummy! A sweet treat!

·       Christmas Party at Church. Let’s give gifts to our friends!

·       Read a new Christmas book.

·       Let’s play the Saran Wrap Ball game!

·       Put out your stocking so we can fill it up!

·       Merry Christmas! Read Luke 2.


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