Does anyone "do Santa" but make sure your kids know he is fake?

Jamie - posted on 12/09/2011 ( 17 moms have responded )




I am worried I'm confusing my kids. I let them watch shows about Santa (just like cartoons..that are clearly fake) And we fill their stockings for them to discover on Christmas morning.

I tried to explain to my children (three and four years) that Santa isn't real, then explain the history of the real St. Nicholas, and explain it is tradition, like a game.

They talk about how Santa isn't real quite often (I think my four year old totally ruined it for some kid at Trader Joe's today!)

I just hope by trying to keep the fun of the tradition I'm not royally confusing them.


Cheryl - posted on 01/17/2012




Never "did" the whole Santa thing with my two grown boys. They knew very young there was not the mythical human names Santa but that it was a feeling. My Mom wrote a poem some 50 yrs ago for me when I was told on the bus that there wasn't a Santa Claus. I told my boys the story and always taught them to be a "santa" too.

We know there is no Santa Claus, because this world is wide. And one poor man couldn't fly that fast that far no matter how hard he tried. But you can be a Santa Claus to each and everyone, just by saying Merry Christmas and having a lot of fun.

Worked for us, and we did explain to them that not everyone taught their children that so that it was for them to know and others to learn.

Good luck and remember Santa theory is like the Easter bunny and the Tooth Fairy! Truth works at any age.

Alisha - posted on 01/16/2012




I don't think you are confusing them at all, I think you are doing a service to them by keeping their relationship with you honest and upfront. I was horrified to find out that my parents had been lying to me for so long and never really discussed Santa's 'secret' well.. ever! I found out from my cousins and I would ask my mom and she would continue the lie and I believed my mom over my cousins because I thought my mom would never lie to me. I was absolutely confused and crushed when I found out she did lie to me for so long. I didn't get it. So, I think you are doing something so valuable in your relationship with them and you should definitely remind them that you will always tell them the truth. It will be tough for family members to understand and yes they may tell another kid every once in awhile, but just keep reminding them not to talk about Santa not being real to other kids and only to talk to you about it if they have questions. Don't make it a big deal though, I honestly think it's ridiculous parents who tell their children he is real make us feel bad for telling our kids the truth.

Michelle - posted on 12/09/2011




no I don't think you will confuse them but I would also talk to them about the reality that many families do not tell there kids that he is not real and that they should perhaps not ruin the magic for someone else.


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Angela - posted on 06/20/2012




I don't like Santa getting the credit for the gifts children receive! I want them to know Grandma got you this, Uncle Joe got you that, Auntie Sue got you the other! It's especially unfair to those relatives and friends who treat your children that aren't especially well-off!

I know some parents say "Well, Cousin Cathy bought you that present, she mailed it off to the North Pole and arranged for Santa to bring it out to you ...." Except Cousin Cathy's generosity is well and truly lost in the excitement of Santa visiting and leaving all kinds of gifts!

Most children work out there is no Santa and they work it out by themselves. I worked out there was no Santa when I was about 7. There are an astonishing number of children who keep up the pretence for years - for fear of upsetting their parents!

Learning about Christmas traditions from around the world (as suggested by Joy Vandenberg) is a great idea! My friend's little boy, who has a slight disability, was extremely disappointed that he didn't get a part in his school's Nativity Play. It was held on the same day as the Lucia festival at our local Swedish Church. So his mommy kept him off school that afternoon and took him to the Lucia Festival. It was magical for him! Seeing the young ladies in their long white gowns and crowns of lit candles was a very special experience - and one he will remember for the rest of his life. It was part of a Church service and there were refreshments afterwards, so he also had prayer, worship and good things to eat and drink.

The concept of Santa Claus is only very loosely based on St Nicholas. And most Christians would agree that it's very unlikely that Jesus was born on 25th December. That date is NOT Jesus' birthday, it's a date selected by the early Church to simply commemorate Christ's birth - and NOT His actual birthday!

Uncle Sam, the mythical figure that personifies America isn't real - nor is John Bull, another mythical figure that personifies Britain.

They're not real people - and nor is Santa Claus. Santa's just the mythical character that personifies Christmas. All three are just ideas or traditions!

Jennifer - posted on 06/19/2012




I told my son that Santa Clause is not real, that he is fake. He is just a person dressed up in a Santa suit. I told him the true meaning of Christmas,it's Jesus' birthday. I also told him not to tell any other kids because some of their parents teaches them about Santa Clause. And that we don't want to hurt their feelings. He still sits on Santa's lap and tells him what he wants,

Joy - posted on 06/16/2012




I've been showing my 2 year old daughter (who'll be 3 by next Christmas) different traditions that people have for Christmastime around the world. We do exchange presents and have stockings, but last year we didn't say who the presents were from. She was just happy to have presents. My church also does a couple of charity drives around that time.

As for Jesus being the 'reason for the season' there's more to it than that:

Jesus was probably born in September or October. The time of Christmas was chosen for celebrating his birth because it was convenient for several pagan holidays at the time (Winter Solstice among them) and the Roman Empire was trying to convert people to Christianity. Pilgrims did not celebrate Christmas (or Easter) when they came over and the Christmas holiday was actually outlawed for a few years back in the early days of MA.

I'll be teaching my daughter all that too when she gets old enough to understand it.

Nicki - posted on 06/03/2012




My parents did. They were just straight up honest about it. When we asked them if santa was real they told us no he is not and explained that the character santa is supposed to represent the christmas spirit and all that good stuff. We asked if we could pretend he was real anyway and they said it was up to us. So we pretended santa was real even though we knew he wasn't. They never really did or didn't do santa either though it was kind of an idea we picked up from other kids and christmas specials. I do santa with my little one. When she's old enough I plan on handling it the same way my parents did.

Michelle - posted on 05/30/2012




My daughter is 3, will be 4 on Christmas Eve this year, and my son is turning 5 very soon. This past Christmas I decided I was getting everything... absolutely everything out of our house that references Santa. If I see people talk to them about Santa, I quickly stop them. Isn't it AMAZING how many ppl will talk to them about Santa at Christmas, and not Jesus, the real meaning of the holiday?!!! ARGS! I am quick to let them know I don't encourage it. I was raised quite the opposite, and was nothing shy of being absolutely devastated when I found out he wasn't real... but at the exact same time, I was being taught about Jesus, given bible studies of sorts in my privet school. Jesus IS real, and His gift(s) are real! My mind has been made up for me. I will not lie to my children. They need to know the truth and I will only tell them the truth, and wouldn't lie to them if I can ever help it. I want them to trust me. Lying to them right out the gate is unfair to all of us in the end.

Tanya - posted on 03/23/2012




i like what alisha said that "you are doing a service to them by keeping their relationship with you honest and upfront." i remember somebody posing the question one time: how can we expect our kids to fully believe in {an invisible} God if we tell them about {an invisible} santa -- & then tell them that he's not real . . .

so we've always told our child that santa isn't real, but we've also explained that it's not our responsibility to share that with others; it's the responsibility of the family. (b/c there are so many ways that families handle it, & we didn't want to interfere.)

but we haven't avoided santa, either. basically, we treat him like any other character (like elmo or barney, etc.). so we let him read books & watch movies about santa, just like we let him read books & watch shows w/ elmo in it. that kind of idea.

hope that helps!



Angela - posted on 01/18/2012




Oh! Are we still discussing Santa halfway through January?

As I have to pay a credit card bill from Christmas before next Saturday at the latest to avoid interest charges, I would like to comment that it's a real shame there ISN'T a Santa. It would've been nice not to have this bill to pay! LOL!!

Roxie - posted on 01/09/2012




Me and my husband decided to tell him that mommy and daddy gets the gifts and Santa helps out. Once he gets in to school and start asking questions we will let him know the truth about Christmas but we still celebrate it because of what it represents; giving and being thankful.

Christmas is in fact a pagan holiday created in roman times when Constantine was trying to keep the peace amongst religions. It is actually the birthday of Mithra the war God, and Christians during that time moved their date of celebration to Dec 25th.

So in our house there is no problem with Separating God and Santa because there isn't any God to begin with in Christmas. The only thing that remotely represents God is the Positive energies exhorted during this time.

I am a God fearing woman and i want to raise my son to be the same way. But just because we don't believe in Santa, we believe what the Christmas spirit represents and that's what's most important. Now i will be sure to tell him to not go on a campaign and ruin Christmas for his friends that believe in Don't want angry parent phone calls :0)

Ikia - posted on 01/04/2012




I dont think you are confusing them alot of kids still believe in Santa at the age of 7. We havent told my little cousins yet but we will soon its just the same how parents seem to well not exactly lie but they lie to their children bout santa, easter bunny, and tooth fairy. My family normally lets the kid find out for themselves unless an older sibling tells them that they cant believe they still believe in all of the imaginary people. My brother doesnt believe but he pretends to because he thinks the longer he pretends to believe the more present he can get from our mother that says from santa haha. But telling your kids that they are not real you have to worry about them telling other peoples kids whose families want them to believe that Santa is real just for the christmas spirit.

User - posted on 12/27/2011




We told the girls (age 4) that Christmas is Jesus' birthday, and we have a cake and party for that and explain that because Jesus loves little children so much, He wants them to have presents at His party too!

So that's why all the people who love them, their grandparents, uncles/aunties/etc... get the presents for the girls, and Santa and the Chanukkah Fairy collect them all and transport them to our house in time for Christmas. Jesus is too busy helping and loving people to do present delivery, so He outsources. (The presents are labeled "From: relative's name, To: kid's name")

Santa's elves and the Chanukkah sprites who usually wrap the presents were overwhelmed this year, so they outsourced the wrapping labor to the mommies and daddies - after the kids are asleep (just in case a kid wanders out in the middle of the wrap session, and it gets the girls to bed quicker the few nights before Christmas Eve.)

And the Santas in the mall or ringing bells are Santa's helpers - but they are still strangers since we don't actually know them personally.

It's worked so far :) The kids don't take the presents for granted, they feel loved by Jesus and their relatives, they don't think that "Santa" has a million bucks and can give things at the drop of a hat, and the girls understand that the guest of honor is Jesus.

We have a menorah (Jesus is a 'nice Jewish boy', after all!), a homemade Christmas tree (no killing trees or artificial, chemical and lead-filled trees), stockings, and a homemade creche scene.

The girls don't feel out of place with their classmates, they get to have the fun of Santa, but don't get overwhelmed by greed, over-commercialism, and Jesus as the reason for the season is preserved.

Pat - posted on 12/21/2011




im on the fence. my family doesnt understand why i dont like santa, that we are celebrating Jesus. so i let them do the santa thing and i get a couple santa presents but do not make an effort to pretend.

[deleted account]

That would be us! I like the whimsy of the American Santa the (jolly, fat guy we all know). From he start I told my son, our oldest by nearly 16 years, that there had been a guy called Saint Nick that gave gifts to many. We all like that idea he lived out -of being kind, generous and loving. Those are the very things that God wants of us.
Saint Nick died, because he was just a man, but we can be Santa for the people around us. These are the things we'd discuss as we went off Christmas shopping for family and friends. I DID tell him that some parents play a pretend game that Santa is real and it would be nice to not spoil thing for those kids.
He was never confused nor bothered by it.
It worked so well for him that we repeated the process 16 years later with SJ.

Teresa - posted on 12/16/2011




We are on the brink right now. I have never really pushed Santa, but we do have fun with it. We have always explained that Christmas is a celebration of Jesus's birth and we actively celebrate it at church and at home. The santa thing is getting pushed out. he even told us that he knows Santa shops at Wal-mart so i think he's getting it. We talk more about Jesus than we do Santa but it has been fun. He's 7 now and I know his buddies are talking.

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