This year, the kids are older, understanding more and for the most part, get what's going on around them.
Today is only December 5th. Already this year, people have come up to my kids and talked over and over about Santa, more than any other year.
When someone starts talking to the kids about Santa, Lily and Jonah's response is "I don't believe in Santa". One neighbor was very disappointed to hear this and kept saying "Oh, you are too young not to believe in Santa". The kids know who Santa is, but they know that he is not real.
I am really glad that we decided not to "do Santa" with our kids. We want Christmas to focus on what it's really about, the birth of Jesus. When we ask the kids what Christmas is, they say that it's Jesus' birthday, which I think is great. We are even going to make a birthday cake :)
Christmas is not about presents in our house. Yes, of course the kids get presents, but it's not what we focus on. We are making the Christmas season more about experiences rather than things. We are teaching them about Jesus and his birth. Our advent calendar is not a piece of chocolate each day, but a fun Christmas activity to do together (which the kids are loving!).
I am however, teaching the kids not to ruin Santa for any other kids. If someone starts talking about Santa or asks them questions about Santa, they don't say "Santa's not real", but instead "I don't believe in Santa". Hopefully they will remember this when there is talk of Santa at their schools when I am not around to remind them.
But I am really happy with the way we are teaching the kids about Christmas, and that for now at least, it is not all about the presents, but celebrating the true meaning of Christmas.