Santa, Are You for Real?
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Santa, Are You for Real? explains that the Santa Claus myth is just that and goes on to discuss the real St. Nicholas and the holiday traditions, such as gift-giving, inspired by him. Author Harold Myra was CEO of Christianity Today International for 32 years, and his Christian perspective informs the storytelling.
What's the story?
Does Santa exist? And, if he doesn't, can Todd ever again have faith in the adults who told him the Santa story? The answer is a resounding yes when those grown-ups teach Todd the true story of St. Nicholas and about the spirit of giving.
Is it any good?
What this story does best is present the truth -- a truth that's sometimes hard for parents to fess up to their children. It's a rite of passage in every child's life: Is Santa Claus real? This book is directed at those who are ready to learn the truth (and is definitely not for those who are hanging on to the myth a little longer). The rhyme helps keep children's interest, and the pictures are lively and almost cartoon-like, which lends to the book's appeal.
Unfortunately, the story turns to prose at the point where Todd's dad tells him the truth about St. Nick and the tradition of giving Christmas presents. It may be more direct, but it's dull in comparison with the liveliness of the poem. When children are ready for the truth, though, explaining our December traditions through the use of this book can be a special shared moment between parent and child, and can help make the explosion of the Santa myth a little easier to take.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about holiday traditions and stories. What are your own family traditions? Are they long-established or new to your family?
How is the story of St. Nicholas different from stories you've heard about Santa Claus? What elements are similar?
What's your favorite thing about the holidays?