It’s that time of year again where your kids are begging for all of the latest toys, as well as some of the most outrageous and extravagant gifts that no four-year-old truly needs. (Seriously, has anyone ever actually gotten a pony? Oh you have? Well, we all hate you.) You’ve been drilling it into your children’s brain (not literally, sheesh) that “Santa is watching!” to improve their behavior, and if you’re lucky, it’s been working. Now is the time for you to sit down with them and write their letter to that jolly old man. To avoid disaster, here are some tips to writing to the North Pole.
Tip #1: Rein in the Requests
Unless you’re incredibly wealthy and are capable of spoiling your children by fulfilling every want that they ask for, then some guidelines need to be enforced. Maybe limit the number of things they can ask Santa for because, as we all unfortunately know, Santa does not exist, which means you are the one buying the stuff. So if your child asks for a 72-inch flat screen television, you may need to have a talk.
Do: Encourage them to ask for what’s on their heart, but explain to them that Santa may not provide everything on their list.
Don’t: Don’t panic if your child only wants expensive or outlandish things that only Santa really could provide. On Christmas morning, your kid is going to be happy no matter what.
EXCEPTION: If your kid is like me and writes to Santa saying that they are only asking for a puppy/television/iPod/tablet/pony from Santa so that their parents don’t have to pay for it, get them something extra awesome just for being so generous. I mean I always asked Santa for a puppy so that my parents wouldn’t have to buy one for me…I have yet to get that puppy. Don’t make your child bitter.
Tip #2: Let the Kids Write It
Even if your child can’t write yet, at least let them draw a picture for Santa and then help them make their list. It could even be fun to go through toy magazines or newspaper ads and cut out the toys they want and glue the pictures to the letter. (Santa is ancient; he needs visuals, you know.)
Tip #3: Put it in the Mailbox
Make a big deal about putting the letter to Santa Claus in the mailbox. Better yet, let the children do it themselves. It’s not enough to just write the letter, they need to know it’s going to make it to Santa. How else will they get that puppy?
Don’t: Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, keep your children’s letters to Santa. And, if for some reason you do, make sure you hide it well. And I mean really well. I discovered all of my letters to Santa when I was little as I was trying to find a toy in one of my dad’s filing cabinet drawers. (Yes, for some reason he had toys in there.) What a sad, sad day that was for me—for me to realize that my parents had conspired against me in my pursuit of a puppy. So take note, either send the stinking letter or guard them with your life.
Tip #4: Write Back
Write a letter, as if you’re Santa, to your kids. They will be so thrilled to know that Santa received their letters and took the time to write them back. Make it look fancy and magical. It will make their day and will be one of their best Christmas memories.
Do: If you’re feeling fancy, purchase flash paper—a special kind of paper that, when lit, will disappear into thin air. Write your letter from Santa on this flash paper, show it and read it to the kids, then light it on fire. It’ll disappear before their eyes! It’s like magic, and Santa is magic, right?
Don’t: Do not leave a copy of your letter from Santa lying around the house, in the trashcan, or saved on the computer. It’s Christmas time; your kids will snoop. (Or was that just me?) Also, if you use the flash paper, don’t set the house on fire. But that goes without saying…right?Google+