DEAR HARRIETTE: My 11-year-old is still a firm Santa lover and believer. Her friends at school, however, deride her for her beliefs. What's interesting is that she doesn't seem to care much what they have to say. She says she knows who the real Santa is -- a man who is different from the mall Santas and others you see in movies and such. I really like that even as she is growing up, she appreciates the magic of Santa. What can I do to support her without babying her? -- Santa Love, Detroit
DEAR SANTA LOVE: Follow your daughter's lead. Know that there are adults who live their entire lives treasuring their thoughts of Santa Claus. Even some people who do not have children spend a tremendous amount of time and money on this season. It can be a time of great joy and camaraderie for individuals and communities.
Rather than worrying about your daughter, who does not seem to be worrying herself, support her in her beliefs. At her age, she should know that gifts come from a variety of sources, including parents, relatives and friends -- as well as Santa. Make sure that you emphasize the range of gifting that she may receive. You should also encourage her to give to those in need as she welcomes gifts of her own.