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How I turned the Santa ‘lie’ into something good

I gave her magic until she was eight, and I gave her the spirit of giving for the rest of her life.

How I turned the Santa ‘lie’ into something good

To Santa Claus or not to Santa Claus?

As a wellness consultant, journalist, and mother of two, this was a delicate topic for me. When my children were born, I had mixed feelings about "lying" to my kids about the existence of Santa Claus. Because the very career I chose is about supporting people's physical and emotional health, it was a difficult decision.

The relationship between parents and children is critical, I was worried that violating my daughter's trust could damage it entirely.

So I read what experts had to say, and concluded that my fears were largely unfounded. "When it comes to the Santa Claus Myth, the misleading does not harm [kids] because their focus is more on the symbolism of the events occurring during this season rather than the specifics of any reality behind the 'why,'" says Dr. John Mayer, psychologist at Doctor On Demand, who specializes in children and parenting. Mayer emphasizes that the story of Santa Claus is part of our tradition, and that tradition can be very important to children, with many social and developmental advantages.

His explanation made sense to me. Plus, who doesn't want the Jolly Old Soul around?So I decided to tell the lie. My husband insisted it made Christmas more "magical."

So, Santa came. I kept him to a minimum in our home, telling the girls that they could only ask him for one big thing (though he always managed to bring a couple of extra trinkets too). We chose a service project every year, trying to take the focus off the man in the big red suit.

Still, it made me cringe every time I had to manipulate the truth about Santa to my sweet, sensitive, trusting daughters. So this year, when my oldest turned 8, I decided enough was enough. I wanted to tell her before someone else did.

But how could I tell her without breaking her heart and taking away her trust?

It was a hard decision and I didn't know if I was doing it too soon, but the impending doom of her finding out on her own felt like a clock ticking down to the day when my lies would suddenly be discovered.

Still, I thought of the experts, who claim that my worries were for naught. "Most children understand when they find out why their parents lied to them about Santa, so it rarely impacts the trust relationship," explains Dr. Wyatt Fisher, a licensed psychologist and marriage counselor in Boulder, CO, who works with a lot of parents. However, when parents are considering whether to participate in the Santa tradition, they must consider that when children learn the truth, they may be shocked, disappointed, and frustrated temporarily, he says.

Despite the potential for disaster, I was hoping for a good reaction.

I took my daughter out for ice cream and explained that now that she was old enough, it was time to put her on the Santa team. I said that the magic of Santa Claus is passed down from parent to child and that it is about giving thoughtfully and anonymously all year long. I told her that not every 8-year-old is mature enough to take this responsibility, so she can't tell her friends, but now she is an official Santa Claus.

According to Mayer, "When children find out about Santa, it provides children with that 'ah-ha' moment about their parents that they can be whimsical, and that they are giving and loving and fun. Overwhelmingly, most children have fond memories of the discovery of the secret." This has really been true for my daughter.

She is so pleased with herself that she was "ready to be a Santa," and she's excited to pick out her little sister's presents and fill her stocking on Christmas Eve!

I told her that her duties aren't just once a year—that she can be Santa Claus to anyone who truly has a need. So sometimes we make cupcakes for elderly neighbors and surprise them at their doorstep or even leave them anonymously.

There are lots of other ways to break the news about Santa. You may even find that the discovery happens naturally. You know your child best, so let your relationship guide the conversation.

The Santa tradition merely transformed in my household from one of secretive, magical giving by a stranger, to anonymous, heartfelt giving to others. It was a beautiful experience.

As a family health consultant, I feel that this not only preserved our relationship but also taught a valuable lesson about giving. She loves to wink at me when we talk about Christmas in front of her little sister.

She is so excited to give her sister the gifts she picked out for her, letting Santa get the credit. Of course, she picked out some to come from her as well. I can't wait for her to help me fill the stockings on Christmas Eve.

I have no regrets anymore. I gave her magic until she was eight, and I gave her the spirit of giving for the rest of her life.

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These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.


Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin


Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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