What Do You Tell Your Kids About Santa?


Illustration for article titled What Do You Tell Your Kids About Santa?

Photo: OlgaPonomarenko (Shutterstock)

I can remember, as a small child, thinking it odd that I bought Christmas gifts for my parents from my school’s mini holiday shop, and yet they didn’t buy me any gifts. Sure, Santa brought me plenty, it’s not like I didn’t have a slew of stuff to open, but stillshouldn’t a parent buy their kid a present on the biggest gift-giving day of the year?

Not that anything about Santa is particularly logical, but when I had a child of my own, I set out to reconcile this particular discrepancy in logic. I wanted Santa to be a part of our Christmas celebration, but I didn’t want him to be responsible for all of it. So in my home, Santa fills the stockings and he leaves a couple of gifts. The rest comes from mom and dad.

That means that, as @DivaLaci pointed out on Twitter, I would still get most of the credit for the incredible amount of work—and money—I put into preparing for Christmas morning. But I also found it helped me explain why it’s important to donate gifts to families in need. A child might be confused as to why we are buying a bunch of clothes and toys for other kids if Santa would normally take care of all that. Instead, I was able to say that, sure, Santa will bring them a gift or two like he does in our home, but their parents might not be able to afford all the extras that we can afford.

Some parents go all-in on a Santa-centric Christmas extravaganza, and others think that entertaining the myth at all is the height of gaslighting creepiness. If you celebrate Christmas, where do you fall on that spectrum? Does Santa bring it all? Some of it? None of it? Did you reveal the truth when they were very young, or do you intend to keep up the charade for as long as possible?

Tell me in the comments: How do you handle the myth of Santa Claus in your family?


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