Since then, even when Maya and Seth were still little, our approach to Santa has been more "Yes, Virginia There Is a Santa Claus" than a literal one. We treat Santa (and the tooth fairy and Easter bunny) as a story, a character we get into when we are gift giving, decorating, wrapping presents, and most especially when we're sneaking around plotting surprises for each other. When any of us shop for surprise Christmas gifts for each other, we don't call it "helping Santa," we call it, "being Santa." It's about making magic for each other, and it's something we all get to enjoy doing.
This year, Riley (12), Maya (9), and Seth(7) talked about maybe wanting us to put out presents on Christmas Eve before they went to bed. In the end, they decided it was more fun and exciting to go to bed with nothing under the tree and leave room for the magic of Santa.