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An alternative letter to Santa

Dec 14, 2017 • Mums, dads & kids

As you may already know, we do not celebrate Christmas in the traditional way (Santa Claus, nativity scene and gifts under the tree) and we are always looking for ways to make this time of the year special without going against our beliefs.

As I wrote in this post about Christmas and Montessori, we prefer not to lie to Oliver and Emily about the existence of Santa Claus, but this doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy the fun aspect of this tradition, without lying to our kids.

In this very short post, I’ll give you a nice idea that I’ve been reading on various blogs for a couple of years and that I think it’s a good one to make Christmas less consumeristic: an alternative letter to Santa.

Instead of writing the classic long list, children have three boxes where they write or draw: 1. one thing they would like (it can be anything, a game, a bike, a ball…); 2. one thing they need (for school, for swimming lessons, for their bedroom…); 3. a book (because reading is a beautiful habit). The original letter also has a box for clothes, but since we buy clothes for Oliver and Emily when they need it, I haven’t included it.

Parents then choose one thing (or one thing per box) and that will be the children’s gift(s).

I like it because it forces children not only to think about what they really want and make a selection, but also to think about the difference between what they want and what they need.

I don’t know whether or not we’ll decide to put this idea into practice in the future, but in the meantime, if you like it, I have prepared a template to print (and it looks so cute in my opinion 😬). You can find it here: Alternative Letter to Santa.at do you think about it? Do you have other ideas? I’d love for you to share them with us in the comments below. Happy Holidays!


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I write mostly about gentle parenting, Montessori, multilingualism, sustainability and traveling with kids (we do it full-time).

Mums, dads & kids

We don't know how to be parents, we learn it everyday as we go. This is my way of motherhood, the small victories and the bitter defeats, my inconvenient truths and the endless life lessons. And also all the baby products and toys we love the most.


One day a few years ago my husband came home and said, "Why don't we put a mattress on the floor in the baby room? It'd be much more natural". "Never" was my reply. That's how our Montessori journey started. Since then we've been living, breathing and applying the philosophy at home day in and day out, starting from ourselves. Because educating children starts from the parents.

Living sustainably

Living sustainably for me doesn’t only mean to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle. It means to make decisions that are sustainable for our planet, the people on it, but also for our life, our lifestyle, and our happiness. It means to take any daily chance to evolve and be happier, healthier, kinder, more responsible and more caring human beings—the only sustainable way for a meaningful future.