Looking for a way to help your children understand why Santa can’t always get every kid the gift they ask for? Check out why we use The Santa Budget and why it is important.
My Kids Still Believe
My kids are 7 & 10 and still wholeheartedly believe in Santa. I am not here to argue with you about if this is lying to them or not. Look, I will lie if it lets my child be a child and enjoy an experience that brings them joy in their hearts. I am not a mom that uses “don’t do that or I’ll tell Santa” against my kids, but I am a mom that will take them to visit the old guy, move a damn elf around the house and help them write their letters to a fictional character and I will do it until they no longer want to believe.
I think it is completely ok to believe in something that brings you joy and peace. How I feel about Santa, I imagine is how people feel about their religion. I also firmly believe that we need to let children be children for as long as we possibly can. As a high school teacher, I watch too many kids growing up too fast and making choices that are dangerous and being slammed into adulthood much quicker than they should be. Let them be little, let them believe.
Santa is very real to my kids. Call them gullible if you must, but truthfully, I love it. I know our daughter is all in at 7 years old and that as our son approaches those tween years, his beliefs are starting to waiver. However, I honestly do not think that my son has figured it out. He has not once asked me if Santa is real, when he approaches me with a question about his Christmas wishes, I am pretty quick witted but also, he almost always starts with, “I am not sure if this is in Santa’s budget”.
The Santa Budget
Santa’s Budget. I honestly, don’t know where I came up with this. I did a quick Google search and all that comes up is how much money Santa has in his budget, so I think I actually did come up with this, but I cannot be sure. Anyway, the Santa Budget is something that I told the kids about when they started asking for really expensive gifts. I did it for two reasons.
- I want to be the one that gives our kids the awesome big gifts. Selfish…sure, but my husband and I work REALLY hard and we want that credit.
- I want them to realize that not all kids experience Christmas the same and that they are very fortunate to live the life they do.
The Santa budget is what our family calls the amount of money set aside for gifts from Santa. My kids early on realized that the elves cannot possibly make all the gifts that are also found in the stores and called us out on that, without asking about Santa. We told the kids, that the elves do make a lot of the gifts but that it does cost money and sometimes they can’t get them all done now that there are so many people on Earth.
So parents, help Santa out by giving him a budget. Parents can choose how much money each year they can afford and then a child can select a gift within that range of money. Some years it is $25.00, some years it is higher, but each year, it is dependent on what mom and dad can afford to pay Santa. Santa still delivers the gifts assuming they have been good and Santa can decide not to spend the budget or to switch out the gift, but that is at his discretion.
Why The Santa Budget is Important
When I started talking about this with our kids, I don’t think I fully realized how much my kids would learn from this. However, The Santa Budget has been really amazing at teaching our kids about how fortunate they are, the value of money, the value of experiences and modesty. My kids have been able to realize that some kids do not get a Santa Budget which is why people help out at Christmas and adopt families (we do this too).
When making their Christmas lists, they look at the cost of the items and they always ask if the item is in “Santa’s Budget” and they understand that sometimes mom and dad cannot afford to give Santa as much. Which actually has lead these two to ask Santa for other things that are not always toys. They have asked for gifts for other kids, they have asked Santa to donate their budget to families that need it, and as of late, they have asked Santa to get rid of COVID.