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They Can Know The Truth And Still Believe

When my oldest was 2 years old, she was petrified of the dudes dressed up as Santa in the shopping centres. It was real, legitimate fear.

Without thinking twice, I told her that anybody can dress up like Santa. It took her another year, but after a while, she wasn’t frightened anymore. She’s 6 1/2 now, and we still ‘do‘ Santa. On Christmas Eve, we put cookies and (rice) milk out for him (daddy). And, sparkly oats and carrots for the reindeer… My kids know the truth and it’s still fun. Something that adults often forget is that children have an amazing imagination. They can know something isn’t real and still play along with all the enthusiasm as if it were real.

I generally don’t lie to my children about anything, and let’s face it, telling kids that Santa is real, is actually a big fat lie. I know it’s a nice, sweet, well intentioned lie… but it’s still a lie.  I know a lot of my friends are conflicted about whether they should ‘keep the magic‘ of Santa, or tell the truth and then Santa is ruined. So, that’s why I’m sharing my experience. You can do both! Tell them the truth and still have the fun.

Not pictured is my 4 year old… for some reason, she was terrified of Santa this year. I’m not really into the pictures of crying kids on Santa’s lap and I mean… really, look at the dude, he does look pretty scary. (He was actually the nicest Santa ever)

7 Responses »

  1. I love this. Mine aren’t all that interested in the Santa thing, and have always known the truth, but my son lost his first tooth a few months back and asked if we could do the tooth fairy game that he’d heard about. He loved waking up to money under his pillow and the excitement of where his tooth could have gone (though he knew it was me of course!) and I love that we can still enjoy the game of it without presenting it as fact.

    • We do the same with the tooth fairy! I think adults think it spoils the magic if the kids know the truth… so far from it!

      • From the start I told Joshi that Santa isn’t real but that it’s fun game to play and that anyone who is kind and generous and giving is playing Santa. So now we play it and we watch other people playing it and we have just as much fun as everyone else, but without the stress of the pending reveal later. I love this approach so much. It’s really working for us.

  2. This is exactly what I am doing. My son is 2 years old and we are treating the Santa story as just another story. He is very excited about seeing Santa, just like he would if he saw a character from from something else he likes, but we are just doing it without the lies. We all have stockings with presents in, but will never pretend that santa has climbed down our imaginary chimney to deliver them. From my own experience i was really angry when I found out santa wasn’t real. I felt very betrayed and wondered what else my parents had lied about – I know this sounds dramatic, and not all kids react the same way, but was my experience

  3. thanks Kate i was wondering how i was going to go about this one & i like all these thoughts 🙂 Yay.

  4. Oh this is awesome and exactly what my parents did with my sister and I
    Which I’m super grateful for
    We had santa and also left biscuits out
    We got gold coins from the tooth fairy etc
    But we always knew it was our parents and make believe


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