- First of all, Santa has a different wrapping paper than anyone else. Make sure that your child doesn't see you buy it, wrap with it, or use it for ANY reason. I know how tempting it is to use that little scrap for something your mailing to your brother, but don't do it if there is any chance your little one will see it: they're more observant than you think they are.
- Santa always had a different handwriting on the tags than my parents did. One year they forgot and I asked why Santa had the same handwriting as Dad. The answer: "Because there are so many children in the world that sometimes Santa has the Daddys help."
- If your kids find Santa presents in your house early (I was a little snoop, this happened to me, too). The answer: "Santa has so many kids to visit in one night that he dropped off the presents with us early." Of course, emphasize that they're magical presents and if your kids aren't good, or if they find them again, the presents will disappear before Christmas morning.
- We always wanted to get out of bed to see if Santa had come. Not necessarily to catch him, but we were just too excited for that long night to end! Santa solved this problem by placing a piece of candy on our nightstands. That way when we woke up and wanted to know if Santa had come, we didn't have to get out of bed!
- When Jennie asked if Santa was real or if the Bishop was lying, we were stumped. How do you tell your little one not to believe your religious leader in this one thing only? The answer: "Santa only comes to houses where kids believe in him. So, even though the Bishop's house doesn't believe, we do; Santa will be here." This also works for kids who hear "the truth" at school.
- Finally, a really fun tradition. There is a German custom of having a blown glass pickle ornament. Santa hides the pickle and leaves an extra present marked "pickle." The first one to find the pickle gets the extra present. It's harder to find than you may think! In our house, the pickle present is always something we can use as a family. No matter who opens it, it belongs to everyone - that way there is no fighting over who gets the extra present. In years past it has been video games, movies, cell phones, board games, etc. It's always one of my favorites because it's a family thing. And even though Jennie is 24, she still gets a little miffed if she doesn't find the pickle: it's really fun to watch!
Have fun and let me know if you have any other questions about "the truth." I'm actually pretty good at answering them, if I do say so myself!