Seeing so many Santas this time of year, inevitably brings up the question for the little ones “is Santa real"? Here's how  Steph and I explained it to our kids.

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No parent wants to burst the magical bubble that makes the holiday season so special. Both Steph and I have been through it with our own kids. I'll go first and then Steph will share her experience. Here's a conversation that I had with my three children when they were all under the age of ten.Let me begin by saying when all three of my kids were believers of Santa Claus.

To begin with at that age none of my three kids asked if Santa was real. They would always ask if he was coming or how does he get in the house etc. Most of the time I could explain that very well. My kids, like all kids really loved Santa Claus and really wanted him to be real. As a result they spent very little time trying to figure out if he was real or not. When it came to seeing the mall Santa's they knew he wasn't the guy.

When my son Josh, the oldest thought he had it all figured out we talked. I was honest but gentle. His reaction wasn't one of surprise or disappointment. But one of acceptance. I did ask him to keep our conversation between us, and not to share with his sisters. One other quick note..I never had to have a conversation with my daughters. Keep it simple..your kids most likely know more than you think.'s Steph. My way of explaining Santa to my three children came from an experience from my childhood. At the age of seven, I found myself in a new house, in a new school, and with a new step-father. Having been through all of that, the one thing that I worried about was Santa being able to find me and my little brother, Tad, who was five. On Christmas Eve, Tad and I made a pact to stay up and watch for Santa. We lived in an old farmhouse, with heat grates in the floor. In Tad's room the grate looked down in to the kitchen, so that's where we camped out on the floor, in our sleeping bags. It must have been around 5am on Christmas morning when our diligence paid off. We saw the lights come on downstairs and a cloud of cigarette smoke came up from an ashtray on the kitchen table...and we could see that Santa smoked the same kind of cigarettes that Mom did. I never told Mom about that night until I was much older, but on that morning, Santa became human for my brother and I.

When my kids were little, I did the usual Christmas stuff that parents do with their kids at this magical time of year. We went to the Christmas parade and saw Santa on his float, and we went to Santa's house so that they all could could share their Christmas lists. We put out homemade Christmas cookies and milk for Santa on Christmas Eve, and hay for his reindeer. But we also adopted children who weren't as blessed as we were for the holidays. Andrew, Emily and Brandon loved to shop for them, and in that way, Santa became human to my kids as well. It's funny now that I think about it. I've never actually told them that Santa isn't real. I guess there's never been a reason, and I would be willing to bet that if I asked them today, they all would say that they still believe in good old jolly St. Nick.

Rod and I hope that a little part of you still believes in Santa Clause and that you and your family have a wonderful and blessed Christmas!