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Should we tell kids Santa isn't real or lie?

Updated: Nov 27, 2022

Let me share a story with you.

Last month my 5yo came home from school and shared that another student told him Santa wasn’t real; “it’s just your parents!”

Man oh man was I not happy. It was a pretty big blow as a parent having someone else infringe upon what we set up within our home. I knew once the kids were in school we wouldn't be able to maintain all of the same protection, buffers, values, beliefs, and so on that we have built up in their short little lives so far.

Santa though!? We were 6 weeks out from Christmas.

The struggle that I was faced with was:

1. Acknowledge the truth about the guy


2. Lie

It was one or the other in my head.

And I hated it.

On the one hand, I didn’t want to outright lie to him because we value truth telling and being honest if our kids ask. On the other hand though, I didn’t want to kill the fun of Christmas so early!

Related: Register for TMP Responsive Parenting Course. The best course for transforming your home into a more peaceful space while supporting your children's social and emotional growth. Click the picture below.

I was torn to say the least.

I slept on it and decided to take him to breakfast the next morning to discuss further (plus it bought me some time to sort out how I wanted to handle it). During my 24hour back and forth between the two, neither really felt perfect and genuine for what I was trying to teach; honesty and holiday spirit.

So out came a 3rd option! Isn't nice being able to make our own rules.

We went out to breakfast and I lightly broached the subject again over some hot chocolate. When he was all ears, I said

"Santa isn't a real person like you or me, but in this house we believe in the story and magic of Christmas. This time of year we like to celebrate the fun and special feelings that the story provides".

Boom! Transparent and magical. Santa approved.

I also added that every home may celebrate differently and some don't celebrate Christmas at all (hence differing story's about what is real/not), we prepped how to handle it if it was said again to him, ordered breakfast, and continued on with the morning. Easy Peasie.

It was the perfect way to maintain honesty and trust within our home while still lacing the holiday spirit throughout!

Whether your family decides to "come clean" when faced with this, or continue with the story, just know that there can also be a nice middle ground!

Click on the picture below to read the thread on IG:

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