How Do You Tell Your Kids the Truth About Santa?
When Do You Tell Kids the Truth About Santa Claus?
The day inevitably comes when your child starts to poke holes in the Santa Claus myth. You know, the lie you've been perpetuating for years?
How (and when) do you tell your kids the truth about Santa?
It's different for every family, in part because we all have varying levels of how much we've built this guy Santa up over the years.
In our family, for instance, we've taken a middle ground about just how magical Santa is -- there was never much surrounding Old St. Nick in our house, but letters were written and milk and cookies were left on the table. Santa left a few very small packages, but the rest of the Christmas loot was from mom and dad since -- you know -- we're footing the bill and all, seems only fair.
My kids, I'm pretty sure, don't believe at all, yet they hold out some hope that, unlike the fake Easter Bunny and phony Tooth Fairy (they figured those out early), that maybe, just maybe, there is a Santa Claus.
When your kids ask if Santa is real, how do you respond?
When there's a younger sibling involved that still believes, do you tell the older kid(s) the truth, or keep them wondering to spare the littlest from being crushed?
Responses to how to answer this question run the gamut, from continuing to lie and letting them figure it out on their own, to teaching them about the real Saint Nick and how the myth of Santa Claus came to be.
Of course, one of the best ways to gauge their level of belief or disbelief is to ask "What do you think?"
Talk through the logic of it all -- my kids first started poking holes when they questioned how a man could get to all of those houses in one night ... or how he could fit down the chimney.
They can start to piece together whether it's real or not and come to their own conclusions.
Will they hate you for lying all those years? Maybe. But it's short lived, at least.
And, someday, they'll continue the tradition and lie to their children about Santa too.