I’m not a herd mentality mother, but I also don’t ruffle feathers unnecessarily.

Deciding whether or not to carry on about Santa Claus is where I draw the line — I think that is a choice every family has to make for themselves.  Besides, those moms hate the kid who breaks the news to your child before he is ready to hear the truth, but that kid is typically trying to be a “know-it-all” show-off. If I tell my son at the age of three, I doubt he will have that mentality about spreading the news and rubbing it in. I also plan to remind him that December is a special time of year for everyone, but families celebrate their holidays in many different ways. He should be respectful of other children even if their beliefs are different from his own.

I intend to share the tale of Santa Claus, but as an exciting story that surrounds this time of year. Not as truth. We can still enjoy the tradition of giving and receiving gifts but with the understanding that those presents come from close family members, not some jolly old heavyset stranger in a red suit who lives in the North Pole with magical toy making elves and flying reindeer. I’m not sure I could even say all that with a straight face.

Christmas should be less about the man who brings the gifts and more about the magic of the season.   Beyond the consumerism, the December holidays give off a feel-good spirit of giving and kindness. This is what I want my children to think of when they consider Christmas. That feeling does not revolve around an old man with a white beard and it’s something I can share with my children without perpetuating a single falsehood.

Although they still aren’t crazy about the idea, the family accepts that we are essentially on the same page. We all want the children to enjoy the joy, magic, and excitement of Christmas. With that foundation set, they were on board. At least until I told them my other holiday plan — no more than two gifts per child per pair of grandparents (there are three sets).

Now they really hate me for taking all the fun out of Christmas.

(photo: Ljupco Smokovski / Shutterstock)