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Why we chose to tell our kids the real story of St. Nick

When our son was born, we were convinced that we did not want to do the whole Santa thing.

Why we chose to tell our kids the real story of St. Nick

If, like me and my husband, you have doubts about making the visit from Santa the central event of your holidays, let me tell you the story of why we decided this iconic character shouldn't visit our house.

Let me say, before we start, that I have nothing against Santa. I like him and his rosy cheeks. Nor am I some Grinch who hates Christmas. On the contrary, December 1st, like clockwork, our house is fully decorated and Bing Crosby is Dreaming of A White Christmas. Still, my husband and I have decided to go against the tide and not include a visit from Santa in our holiday traditions. The gifts under the tree are from family and friends.

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Before I had kids, I couldn't understand why other parents around me would go to such lengths to make the story of Santa believable. The letter, the photo, the half-eaten cookie. It all felt like an exhausting lie.

"When you have your own kids, you will understand"—a standard phrase that became true so many times. But in the case of Santa, my view did not change after having kids.

When our son was born, we were convinced that we did not want to do the whole Santa thing. I could not see myself putting on what felt like a whole charade. But, looking around to all the Santa excitement, it seemed like we couldn't avoid it.

In his first two years, our son was too young to care about Santa. He was just ecstatic with the lights, the decorations, the gifts. Before his third Christmas, we decided to get ahead of the Santa wagon. Instead of waiting for him to ask, we explained that the story of the true Santa, Saint Nicolas, is the moving story of a kind man, a long long time ago, who would go around and offer poor children gifts.

In honor of that man, for Christmas, we all become Santa and offer each other gifts. In the question of whether Santa exists or not, the answer is that he did exist, but now he exists only in stories. He does not ride a sleigh around the world every Christmas Eve to bring gifts, though. Simple as that. Our daughter, now three, is going to hear the same story this year.

The most common remark we get in response to our decision is that we deprive our kids of the magic of Christmas. My reaction is, have you watched kids? It takes a lot to destroy magic for them, as they go on discovering the world balancing between imagination and reality. Mice can talk, bicycles can fly, and, yes, a man in red can go around the world on a sleigh over one night. Kids do not need us for this imaginary world.

On the contrary, I think that many of the newest traditions related to Santa are thought out by and addressed to adults. It feels like we have taken a lovely tradition, stripped all its magic and brought it down to our own mundane adult world, trying to make it more "realistic." In the process, we have added one more source of stress in our already overflowing life.

Of course, there are parents who enjoy every moment of it. Which is great. But most parents I know seem to be stressed over Santa, the letter, the cookie and everything that comes with. And that is what I mostly fail to understand.

Why set up yourself for that? It is ridiculous to claim parents are lying to their kids when they tell them about Santa. It is just a fun story, a game we play. It is the extreme effort in making it believable, of leaving no ambiguity, that makes it look like a lie after all.

And our own kids? How do they like the holidays without Santa? They both look forward to decorating the tree, choosing the gifts and spending time together as a family. And I am proud to see that they enjoy this process a lot.

By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

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For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.

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Hands-Free Pumping Bra

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Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!

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Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.

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Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌

$9.99

Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.

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Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.

$24.99

Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.

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Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.

$7.99


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

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

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