For many, Santa is one of the most magical parts of childhood. As a parent, deciding whether or not to teach your children to believe in Santa, and how to handle the difficult conversations that often surround the subject, can be daunting. Martha Brockenbrough's sweet book, Love, Santa
, is one way to help children understand the wonderment that surrounds Santa.
The book is about a young girl named Lucy. Each year, she writes a letter to Santa. For example, when she was five, she wrote a letter asking Santa how he stays warm at the North Pole; Santa brings her a red coat that year. As Lucy gets older, she starts to question more and more how Santa works his magic. When Lucy is eight, instead of leaving the letter for Santa, she leaves it on her mother's pillow. She asks, "Dear Mom, Are you Santa?" The next morning she receives a letter from her mom, explaining that she isn't Santa, "Santa is a teacher who helps us believe...Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness, and now you know the secret of how he gets down the chimneys on Christmas eve...He has help from the people whose hearts he's filled with joy. I am on his team, and now you are, too. Love, Mom." Lucy feels better knowing the truth, and although she does have mixed feelings of happiness and sadness, ultimately she is ready and excited to go out and be on Santa's team.
I found this story very sweet and uplifting. I have often struggled with the notion of telling children about Santa; I do not want to lie, but I also do not want to ruin the magic and hope that he brings. I think this story provides a wonderful way to explain the truth about Santa, and remind us that Santa stands for something special that we can hold onto all year long. The book has lovely illustrations and includes Lucy's actual letters in envelopes that can be taken out and perused. It is available in print at the library
, click the picture of the book's cover to place on hold!