I LIED TO MY CHILDREN ABOUT SANTA

“Mommy, is it almost Christmas?”

“Mommy, how many days are there until Santa arrives?”

“Mommy, please don’t tell Santa!”

Maxwell firmly believes in Santa. He loves him. He dreams about him. He is willing to stand in line (no matter how long) to see him.

A coworker proudly proclaimed that her parents never told her about Santa. Instead, they told her that they were the ones providing her gifts and that Christmas was about Jesus’ birth and not Santa Claus and frivolous trinkets. She went on to say (in a somewhat judgmental way) that she appreciated the fact that her parents didn’t lie to her. That stung. I am guilty of telling my boys about Santa. Not only do I tell Max and Myles about Santa, I threaten to call, text, and email him when they misbehave.

The uncomfortable truth is that I am a liar. But am I wrong?

Some of my fondest childhood memories revolve around Santa Claus and my belief in his existence. I remember being unable to sleep for days leading up to the big day. I could not wait for Santa to arrive. My excitement permeated the atmosphere of our home like the aroma of freshly-baked gingerbread cookies and pine from the tree. I asked my parents on a daily basis if the next day was Christmas. I patiently watched commercials so I could compile my list for Santa. I even tried my best to behave during the preceding month…which was no easy feat. Finally, on Christmas Eve, my five siblings and I would hurry to bed in eager anticipation of waking up to mysteriously find loads of presents underneath the tree. At 5am or earlier, we would bum rush my parents’ room and plead to go downstairs to open our gifts.

It was a magical time and one that lasted only a few short years before, one by one, we sadly realized Santa did not exist and that my parents were the ones providing the gifts. Innocence is fleeting; we were bound to find out. After all only my mom would buy second hand clothes for Christmas! Santa would never do such a thing…everyone knows he only brings brand new gifts.

I want my boys to have those same magical memories. They have their whole lives to realize that we live in a cold world where magic only exists on the silver screen. It will not be long before they realize gifts cost real money and their imperfect parents have a very real budget for their gifts. In the meantime, I love watching the joy on Maxwell’s face as he notices that the Elf of the Shelf has moved each morning. This week, he placed a ball next to the Elf and then said he wanted to see if the Elf would take it with him to the North Pole. I love watching him write his wish list then asking to mail it to Santa. I love hearing him squeal with delight when I tell him that Santa will probably give him yet another random toy he saw when we visited Costco.

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Even today I wish I could fully recapture the joy and excitement I felt in anticipation of Christmas. Fortunately, I get to experience a small part of it through my boys. I never thought my parents were liars… But they did lie about Santa. And I thank them for it. Of course, in addition to talking about Santa, they taught me the nativity story. The beauty of it is that my immature mind was able to accommodate both. I am confident that my boys will be able to do so as well.

What are your thoughts? Are parents wrong for telling their kids about Santa?

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70 thoughts on “I LIED TO MY CHILDREN ABOUT SANTA

  1. I agree with you 100%, children are only children for a minute, let them enjoy their childhood. I told my children the same thing it was only until they grew up & began asking more & more questions (after talking to older children that knew Santa didn’t exist) did I confess to buying their gifts & taught them the blessing of Christmas as Christ birthday. My baby boy still believes in the tooth fairy! Lol

    Great read again but where’s the new piece you’ve made?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lol! I even have a random number saved in my phone with a picture of Santa as the icon. I also cut my eyes at Alix every time she forms her lips to tell Fayth, Santa isn’t real. I see no harm in believing in Santa. I see it much like playing into any other fairy tales or “land of make believe” that exist in the minds of children.

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  3. My parents never told me about Santa…I just remember as I got older we just figured it out and I as not emotionally scarred for life. My son is 13 and I REFUSE to say there is no Santa. I told him when he was 11 that Santa only delivers gifts until you are 10 because there are so many new babies born, he can’t get to everyone. I said after you’re 10, mom and dad by you gifts, but Santa still exists. That Christmas and last Christmas, he still insisted on making cookies for Santa in case he showed up….cue the tears. I TOTALLY agree with you. There really is no reason to ruin a child’s dreams and hopes of Santa:)

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  4. I remember the year I figured out that Santa’s handwriting looked identical to my mother’s. It crushed me! But, my brothers and I had very similar stories of being in pins and needles for days before Christmas in anticipation. Those are the best memories.

    Santa’s existence isn’t what truly matters, in my opinion. It’s those memories….

    Keep doing what you’re doing!

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  5. I think the magic of Santa is a very special part of childhood. As parents your lie is in good company. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog. Merry Christmas to you, Kwabs, Max and Miles!

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  6. I so love this topic, as it’s a big deal for our kids. If I’m honest my husband and I have different views on how much we play into these things whether it’s Santa or the toothfairy. I’m more on the liberal side, while my husband is a bit conservative. We do intially teach our kids what Christmas is about, but we don’t down play who Santa. We really don’t talk about Santa much at all and really treat him as a fictional character, like Mickey Mouse. Thanks for allowing me to share.

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    1. Thanks for reading! There are definitely different schools of thought on the subject. I understand both. We are very liberal and I just can’t imagine taking this experience away from them. It was such an exciting time when we were kids!

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  7. I don’t think you’re wrong at all. Every parents goes about things differently. I too have fond memories of waiting for Santa all night and being sad I missed him when I finally drifted off but happy when I woke up the next morning to the cookies and milk gone and presents under the tree.

    Don’t feel bad! 🙂

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  8. I love the magic of Christmas and Santa is part of that magic! My kids have no trouble keeping the magic alive for younger siblings after they are old enough that they want to know the full story.

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  9. You are fine!! Let the kids be kids. Maybe we as adults got it wrong, maybe truly believing is the pathway to happiness. Perhaps if we channeled such a belief in God we all would be happier

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  10. Camile, that photo is gorgeous, so adorable. Our kids are 24, 15 and 13. I still talk about Santa and his “helper elf” that comes every year to check in and help out with the list. Yes they know, better, but I want to keep the magic alive while they are still living at home.
    Believe 🙂

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  11. I been a mother for 20yrs and in thatvtime havevtold my children in addition to being a Registered Nurse on 2 jobs that i also work for the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, Mother Nature and good ‘ole Father Time. Back in the day i wrote letters to them periodically to update them on my son’s behavior good or bad. I also made sure that I reported loose teeth, clean rooms, and yummy treats he may like to eat. These days i text/email them on their smartphone. It works wonders to see those faces light up Or frownbdepending on the situation. Let kids be kids. Favorite foods, super hero, cartoon, and enjoy those holidays. We bake cookies and wrap presents for adults. We write that its from Santa too. Always makes them smile or giggle. My kids think Im the bomb to be so busy. We make easter baskets and donate them. I teach the values. I teach them religion. I show them love and protect them from the mean ‘ole hurts of adulthood living in this guilty world. They are young impressionable and imagination…..

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  12. I still believe! And at one time there really was a St. Nicholas. There’s nothing wrong in fairy tales and I remember my mom and dad making Christmas and Santa a magical celebration. I did it for my children and now I’m seeing Christmas & Santa through the eyes of my grandchildren. It’s the most wonderful (and magical) time of the year!

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    1. It would be amazing if they believed until 15! Lol…their friends would think they are so weird. My friends told me about a recent show in which a young man believed until he was an adult. His parents did really elaborate things to ensure he would continue to believe. He is now angry with his parents for keeping up the rouse for so long. It sounds so odd! I guess his parents are like us they wanted the magic to last forever. Lol Merry Christmas!

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  13. My kids believe in Santa & know the truth behind Christmas so no judgement here. I say let them be little for as long as they can be…the world is hard enough lets make it a little easier with a little fun. Besides, they will know soon enough.

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  14. I believe that kids are misinformed by many things in this society and lying to them about a mystical character is also feeding them a bunch of crap. I never understood why parents would create such a thing to built up anticipation and wonder then disappoint them when they find out that “santa” isnt real. I think that parents should tell their kids who bought gifts and have them view their parents as good hardworking examples and solid points of reference to give them gifts. I think that will last way longer in their memories than believing a lie that their parents told them. IMO. Good read…

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    1. Thanks for reading. I appreciate your point of view. I think children realize there is no Santa at about 7 or 8 so they have plenty of time to realize the gifts they receive are the results of their parents hard work. On the other hand there are only a few short years during which they are innocent enough to believe in Santa. I’ve known for many years that my parents made many sacrifices to give my siblings and I great Christmases and yet I still look back fondly on those magical Santa years. Happy holidays to you and yours.

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  15. My parents brought me up the same, we believed in Santa. I don’t threaten that if she is bad she does not get presents though, she is only two, and there is no way I would ever follow through on that so I wouldn’t threaten it. I forgot all about the magic of Santa until at the mall one day when she was bouncing up and down with excitement, saying “I see him, I see him, look it’s SANTA!”. I will keep the magic going, and lie to them too, to help foster their imagination, happiness, and childhood. Kids get to be kids and believe in magic. Who am I to take it away from them? Besides, I am all about another excuse to give them gifts! We don’t get to spoil our kids much, I want to at Christmas!

    I would love it if you came to link up at our party:

    http://www.raisingfairiesandknights.com/category/bloggers-spotlight/

    It’s a link party and pin-up party, two parties in one! All posts will get pinned to our group pinterest board.

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    1. I agree…it makes me so happy to see the joy on my 5 year olds face. Of course the 1 year old is still clueless. I also agree with not using Santa to threaten them into behaving. I never tell him he won’t get gifts but I suppose that is inferred when I say I’ll tell Santa. I may have to reevaluate doing that in the future. Thanks so much for reading and for the invite!

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  16. Some of my kiddos believe in Santa still, some don’t. I still make phone calls to Santa and send emails. It’s all in good fun. Kids are only kids for so long and letting them believe in someone like Santa never hurt anybody.

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  17. This is a great post. Believing in Santa Claus made my childhood and I can’t imagine if I did not believe in him. Kids need to learn to believe in the things that they can not see or touch so they can have faith throughout life.

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  18. My parents lied to me about Santa, and I lie to my daughter about Santa! It is part of the magic of the holidays. I would not have it any other way!

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  19. I think that it is something that each family must make for themselves. We don’t do Santa here. There is enough confusing with growing up and we never wanted them to find out we lied about Santa, who they could go and visit and see and then wonder if we lied about a God that they cannot go see. There is enough magic and wonder surrounding Christmas for our children without adding in Santa. But we also stress that it is never OK to tell someone else that Santa is not real. I will not let my children be the ones who spoil it for someone else.

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  20. I am glad my parents lied to me about santa because as you said the boys will one day discover magical is only for the silver screen for now let them believe and teach them the true value of christmas outside santa and presents too.

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  21. I remember the magic of believing in Santa and I want my kids to have that too. However, at the risk of sounding like a bad mom, I’ve become so pragmatic that I almost don’t see the point in it. Don’t get me wrong…my kids know all about Santa (I keep my thoughts to myself!). To be honest, THEY are the ones who don’t show much interest in him!

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    1. You don’t sound like a bad mom. Many ppl don’t buy into the hype, my coworker included, and I respect that. At the end of the day I just want my boys to have amazing memories from their childhood. I think that can happen with or without Santa. Happy holidays and thanks for reading!

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  22. I don’t think it is wrong for parents to give their child/children the magical memories of believing in Santa. Them are my fondest memories thinking I was hearing Santa and his reindeer on the roof. We would go to my grandmothers on Christmas Eve every year and there was a tower with a red light on top. All of us kids would think it was Rudolph leading Santa’s sleigh on our way home from grandma’s house.

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  23. I didn’t believe in Santa as a child and haven’t taught my kids to believe in him, either. They are still pretty amazed by everything about Christmas, though – I don’t feel that they are missing out! 🙂 Totally think it’s a decision for every parent to make for their family, though.

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