How to fire Santa and change Christmas Forever!

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Ok, before you stone me for even THINKING of firing the most treasured childhood figure ever, let me explain myself. You might consider it my final last words before I get shot at by the wrath of all the Santa lovers out there. LOL… (awkward silence)

First of all, I am not a santa hater, just a mom on a mission. Every year I tell myself that I’m going to simplify Christmas and  focus on teaching my kids the true meaning of Christmas. Then every year, I end up ALWAYS getting caught up in the commercialism and the last-minute gifts I couldn’t resist…followed by regret and an overdrawn budget to account for in January. This is usually also followed by toys that get forgotten and children with high expectations for next year. This year is the year we learn from our past. In pondering how to make Christmas special this year and also instill the value of GIVING in our munchkins hearts we have come up with a new plan!

This is such a cool idea! I'm totally doing this with my kids this year.'ve officially been replaced!


As giving as Santa is with his belly full of jelly and rosy cheeks and all, he doesn’t get a whole lot of gratitude for all the good that he does every year. I mean, C’MON! Someone who travels the world in one night with the sole purpose of giving to one and all deserves a Nobel Peace Prize or SOMETHING! But alas, he is quickly forgotten in a pile of discarded wrapping paper and ribbons until the following year. This year we decided to give Santa a break! He’s getting old and just can’t keep up with all the demands so my kids are taking over his job! That’s right, we’ve informed them that they will be earning money to help santa BUY the presents, SHOPPING for the gifts, WRAPPING the gifts, and also GIVING the gifts. The end result: children who find more joy in giving this year and who appreciate and love the Savior who is really the true GIVER. Here is how we are doing it:

  1. Draw names. My kids will each get a sibling who they are responsible for giving to this year. They get to look over that persons wish list and decide how to truly make their Christmas magical this year, not only from buying gifts, but serving them in secret ways without getting caught.
  2. Earn the Money. We will be having some fun family projects and service projects for exteneded family members in need to help ‘raise money’ for our Christmas this year. Afterwards, each child will have a budget of how much they get to spend on their person.
  3. Buy the Presents. You might think this will be a huge stresser to take each child to the store to shop but NO. You see, that’s the beauty of Amazon Prime with free 2 day shipping in this house! We’ve been given tools to simplify folks, and this mom ain’t afraid to use ’em! My kids add their items to the cart (one at a time of course) and then we review them together to make sure they are a good fit for their name and then click that magic “ORDER” button and DONE! If you don’t have Amazon Prime, just hop over here for a free 30 day trial for the holidays!
  4. Wrapping. Oh how I’m gonna love this one! No more endless wrapping on Christmas Eve for me! My kids also love to wrap so I know this will be fun for them. Nothing elaborate here, just simply wrapped gifts. (I will need to buy twice as much tape this year but that’s ok!)
  5. Now for the most important part. Instead of only being focused on what they are getting this year, they will get the joy of also watching someone open gifts that they worked hard for and GAVE and the wonderful feeling that comes from that.How to fire santa

My hope is that not only will this make Christmas more fun and exciting this year for my family, but it will also help us to simplify our efforts with less gifts, more service, more time together, and more focus on our savior, Jesus Christ. After all, it was the savior who dedicated his life to truly serving and giving to all he met. Wouldn’t he want us to teach our families the same?

So, what do you think? Would you like to fire Santa this year?

And if you are really in the “simplify Christmas” mood, I highly recommend you read this hilarious post by my sister:

29 thoughts on “How to fire Santa and change Christmas Forever!”

  1. What a great idea! I don’t have any children, trying to think of a way to make this happen for my husband and myself, and get him on board, but I love it!

  2. Please google “children and imagination” before u go and fire the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and cancel Halloween next.

  3. LOL! I never said I was telling all my children Santa doesn’t exist (although it’s tempting) I only said we were going to “Help” him this year so that my children will be more involved and develop more of an attitude of GIVING rather than just GETTING. No intent to kill imaginations here πŸ™‚ but thank you for your comment. It gave me a good laugh today.

  4. One thing my parents did (and that my husband and I are now doing in our family) was to allow Santa to be a part of Christmas, but he was never the “main event.” All “Santa” gifts were in our stockings. My mom had a lot of fun filling our stockings to the brim with fun little things from Santa, but all the rest of the gifts were from my parents. My mom always said, “Why should Santa get all the credit for all the work I did?” And I agree. I spend months thinking about the perfect thing that will light up my kids’ eyes on Christmas morning and then Santa is the hero? Nope, nope, nope. My kids love Santa — they absolutely love leaving out cookies and milk for him the night before — but that isn’t what our Christmas is focused on.

    I also love the idea of getting your kids more involved in gift-giving. My kids LOVE picking out gifts for other people and are surprisingly thoughtful and generous about it. It has helped our kids get more in the spirit of “giving” rather than “getting.”

  5. I love this.
    We don’t encourage Santa in our house. I won’t tell my kids just yet that he’s not real, and I allow them to believe what they want in him for now, but I don’t go out of my way to encourage the belief in him by playing the ‘Santa won’t come if you’re naughty’ or ‘ Look what Santa brought you’ cards etc…
    My kids know that most of what goes under the tree is from their hardworking parents.
    We have also chosen to only do 3 gifts per child this year (plus a simple stocking of treats), symbolic of the 3 gifts that Jesus got from the wise men.. it is after all his birthday right? I felt this was a great way to reduce commercialism with an overabundance of unnecessary gifts, stay within a reasonable budget and allow the focus to remain on the Savior, who in our home is still the reason for Christmas.
    Christmas is my favourite holiday and I very much want it to be a treasured family time. I LOVE giving my children gifts that I have thought over and researched for months to try and make sure it’s just the perfect thing for them.. and I love to watch their excitement as they open them, but I so much want the day to be about family, and gratitude and for them to appreciate the few gifts well thought out gifts they are given, rather than just be in a chaotic frenzy of junk as they open far too many toys than they can possibly learn to appreciate.

  6. Thank you Emily. I really like the idea of making stockings from santa and the rest from the actual people who actually bought the gift. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I read somewhere that people should think about being modest with their gifts from Santa because not everyone can afford to give children a bunch of expensive gifts, have Santa give 1 and have the rest from you!

  8. Great read and you are correct. Love, love, love Santa and the all the magic that he brings but he isn’t all there is to Christmas. Santa only brings one present to my boys, the rest are from the family. I have a huge problem with Christmas only being one day a year when Easter is four. We are Catholic, I get that part but come on. So I decided to extend Christmas to a month in our house. Yes, that is right ONE whole month. We start on the first Sunday in December when the main tree is put up (we have 3 trees in total). We exchange new Christmas decorations for the main tree and give silly little gifts like licorice as coal. It is a formal dinner with a roast and a Christmas type dessert. We are big cooks here so all the cookies and cakes for December are Christmas related. This is normally two batches every week. We also make a gingerbread house. We have a family photo session with the dogs and make our own Christmas cards. When the boys where smaller I would read them a Christmas story every night and we watch Christmas movies during December (we still do this one). My sons have an advent calender that I made a few years ago. On the 1st of December they get a riddle to solve. It has to be solved by Christmas morning as it their first present, usually something silly so I can drive them nuts with the riddle. We make our own bon bons and put gift vouchers and movie tickets inside plus all the other normal stuff. Christmas Eve is the roast turkey, a new movie to watch before going to Midnight Mass. Christmas Day takes all day to open presents. Not because there are so many but because they are spread out during the day. There are certain times when presents are opened eg Santa sacks are opened at the main meal of the day which being in Australia is ham and prawns. Boxing Day is left over day and we go on a picnic, usually to the beach with the dogs. The next day we go to the movies as a family. So as you can see Christmas is a major event in my house. No extra expense and my boys love it. By the way they are 15 and 20 and can’t believe people celebrate Christmas for only one day.

  9. I was skeptical but I love this idea. Alas this year is all ready done but totally doing this next year…giving Santa the year off! I love it!

  10. We do this with my kids. They have a $10 limit and my oldest, who is old enough to earn an allowance, has to put in half.
    We don’t go big on Santa, he brings the kids each one small gift and maybe something in their stocking (but usually mommy helps fill the stocking too). I hated the let-down that happened when I was a kid and finding out that ALL THOSE PRESENTS weren’t actually from Santa. I’d much rather him be a fun, but background influence to the season. We’re really trying to focus on giving, not getting, and Santa isn’t really helpful for that.

  11. I love all these ideas. Last year we decided to lessen the number of gifts to 4 or so for each boy. *mommy and daddy don’t need gifts* They ended up with several more than that with family. This year, it’s mostly books, 3 each I think. and I will be doing a letter from Santa asking for help, as well as the stocking only thing. Happy Holly Days everyone.

  12. Lindsay, thanks for sharing! My oldest has known about santa for a couple of years now and she LOVES being my helper every year. Sometimes BEING santa, is a whole lot more fun than GETTING from santa. πŸ˜‰ I have been amazed at how much my kids have pitched in this year wanting to help neighbors, family and around the house to earn money for our Christmas fund this year. We told them we would contribute a chunk of change for every act of service they did. Last week, I got out of the shower only to find 2 of my kids grinning from ear to ear. They had washed the dishes and the entire basement without even being asked. When I praised them they said, “Just put some money in our family Christmas fund mom!” Love it!

  13. These are my thoughts. Why are we as parents constantly trying to improve something? I grew up believing in Santa. I became an adult who loved giving and the feel-good things that come from it. Why does everything always need to have a lesson? Lastly, I suggest ‘The Giving Manger’ as a side Christmas tradition if you want to incorporate Jesus and the true meaning. Elf of the shelf is nothing compared to this holiday tradition! lol

  14. I love this. I have two 4-year-olds and years ago we planned to do Santa but when the questions came about here he lives, etc. I found that I just couldn’t let the “lies” fly. I had to be honest and my kids have a blast every Christmas. AND they are quick to tell others that Christmas is about Jesus. Kids can enjoy Christmas without Santa. What we have in the birth of Christ is all the magic and wonder they need. Merry Christmas everyone!

  15. Have you ever thought of helping out a family that doesn’t have enough money for Christmas. Every year my kid’s shop for a deserving family. We get a list of things the family needs and a list of wants. Of course my kids like receiving gifts but they really love shopping for the family and knowing that we are bringing joy to others during the magical month. It has really tought them to appreciate all they have. I like to emphasize how it makes them feel to give to others that need our help.

  16. Yes, that is also a wonderful idea Maile. Anything to get them outside of themselves. When I say “them” I also mean “me” as I learn right along side my children.

  17. My daughter in law started just doing 3 gifts from Santa bc baby Jesus only got 3 gifts from the 3 wise men. Then they buy for each other and wrap.. I like the idea the lady has about the Stockings only from Santa I will have to tell my DIL this one. Thanks for sharing.

  18. In our home we teach that Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas. We ask The Lord, in our prayer, if we have may receive a gift from Santa for Jesus birthday. Then on Christmas morning there is only ONE big present and the rest are needed items. The children know we paid for the gift and SANTA was able to deliver it from the North Pole. This has helped us to lower the stress of trying to do too much or buy too much every year. We don’t want to have any remorse over the things we chose to buy for our family. It works for our family.

  19. A wonderful friend told me something when I adopted my children last year (age 6 and 7) and were getting ready for our first Christmas with them. So what you need to understand is that our children were very young when they went into foster care, and had been in foster care most of their life when we had adopted them. Apparently while they were in foster care all of the gifts that they got every year were from Santa to protect them knowing who gave them things and more importantly who did NOT. Well we are now trying to transition them to a more reasonable idea of Christmas focused on all the things that it is supposed to be. Well, we explained to them, as my friend suggested, that while Santa my bring the gifts to the kids, Mommy and Daddy have to pay the bill Santa brings them after Christmas. This helps to explain to them why Santa does not bring the same number of gifts to each kid or the same value of gifts to each kid. So we are slowly transitioning them to Santa giving less and less and choosing to give themselves, and I loved the idea of giving Santa the year off and letting the kids “play” Santa themselves.

  20. For the last few years Santa has given a joint gift to our family consisting of a family board game, a puzzle and books. The girls get a stocking consisting of needed clothing items, art supplies, and a sweet treat. Then dad and I get them one cherished wanted item. Everyone in our family makes each other a homemade gift. We focus on Jesus for the reason for the season by completing an act of kindness each week from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Our girls save money to buy a toy for Toys for Tots or the Angel Tree for one act of kindness. As this is all spread out over 5 to 6 weeks we love celebrating Jesus but have to admit giving them a little magic of Santa lets them experience life both as a Child of God and through the joys of magic and imagination. Not letting the idea of Santa getting out of hand anymore brightens our holiday.

  21. Fired him years ago and Christmas has been more about family, the love we have for one another, giving our time to our children and grandchildren and saving money to go see them but,more importantly, worshiping Jesus Christ!!!

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