Customizable videos with photos and details integrated, unbelievably impressive letters with wax seals, interactive text messages?
Have parents gone to far? Are we crossing the line? Let's chat about it together. I'd like your insights.
"Hey, Santa is wearing the same shoes as Uncle John." I discovered the Santa at our family gathering wasn't real when I was in second grade.
How old were you when you discovered Santa wasn't real? Share your story here on Facebook.
I have a good friend who just set-up an iCloud account for her daughter's Elf on the Shelf. When she was a little girl, she found out Santa wasn't real because his handwriting looked like her mothers.
It seems many of the tragic "my parents lied to me" holiday discoveries I've heard people tell occurred with children who were older. While the idea of text messaging with an elf or Santa is clever, I ask you...
1. Are we taking away the opportunity to discover the truth at a healthy age?
My friend and I chatted about the nature of the elf's text messages and they are not behaviorally-based (see Santa example), but rather innocent and sweet interactions.
2. If we promote kindness, love, and holiday spirit vs "Santa is watching you" is it ok to take things this far?
When I sit and really think about it, I wonder...
3. When we bring in technology are we crossing the line?
We drink half the milk, leave crumbs on the cookie tray, hide presents under the tree when the kids are asleep, and take our kids to the mall to meet the Big Guy. So how are interactive text messaging, custom videos, or handwritten wax sealed letters different?
In my mind, it all comes down to how the child feels upon learning the version of Santa they believe in has been fabricated.
Take a moment to read this article:
How to Ensure You Don’t Botch the “Is Santa Real?” Conversation
How you answer this loaded question can empower — or completely crush — your child’s spirit. This is a must-read article for parents of young children.
In this article, the goal is to reduce any feelings of shame and to turn this tricky inquiry into a magical milestone for you and your child.
All the classic Santa shenanigans mentioned above, well in my mind, I imagine children can quickly deduce that "Mom orchestrated all of that" and move onto the larger topic at hand. However...
These new advanced situations we are creating for our kids... they are more personal and REAL.
It is no longer a 2-minute conversation with a mall Santa, it is interactions and conversations via text. It is no longer just writing a wish list and mailing it to the North Pole, it is getting something official-looking RETURNED. It isn't just imagining Santa watching you, it is a customized video showing photos and details.
4. Are we stealing the opportunity for our children to use their own imaginations?
I also worry...
The deeper we push that the belief is a reality, the more painful the truth will feel.
I should note at this point: I *do* believe in Santa.
Again, if you haven't already, please take a moment to read the “Is Santa Real?" article above.
So what I'd like to discuss with you is...
5. Where do you draw the line when it comes to encouraging your child to believe in Santa?
Earlier this week I was on the minted website designing custom wrapping paper for my girls' Santa gifts this year. Each year I buy "special" wrapping paper just for Santa gifts and I was excited to be playful with the choices minted had to offer. I added my photos and custom text and review the final proof in my shopping cart.
Originally, I had added customized "From Santa" text on the paper.
I stared at the proof for a long time before going in and taking out the "From Santa" text reference all together.
It is one thing for me to get customized photo wrapping paper for the special Santa gifts, and it is another for me to declare "From Santa" on the paper. It is a fine line. The ambiguous customized paper allows me to still say, "I wonder who those gifts are from?" with a crooked smile on Christmas morning.
Check out some of the other playful custom wrapping paper options...
Are we crossing the line?
In the end, these three questions also spin around in my mind:
- Are we making Santa less whimsical with the advancements of technology?
- What are the long term repercussions of our behavior?
- Are we inadvertently stealing the magic of Christmas?
I also find myself asking....
Am I being a Luddite in thinking technology crosses the line?
Where is the line for YOU?
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. This is a sponsored post. Minted also provided our family some complementary wrapping paper to ensure this was a product I felt comfortable sharing with you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”