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3 Reasons I Want My Kids to Believe in Santa

3 Reasons I Want My Kids to Believe in Santa

If you celebrate Christmas and believe that the holiday season is, at its core, about family, you probably find Santa Claus to be a fun symbol of the holiday's "spirit of love and giving,” as Circle of Moms member Laura S. describes it. Still, as conversations on Circle of Moms reveal, not everyone who celebrates the holiday is enthusiastic about Santa, either because their Christmas traditions emphasize the holiday's religious history or because they don't want to lie to their kids. I personally plan on teaching my kids to believe in Santa for as long as it feels appropriate. Here's why.

1. Santa Spreads the Spirit of Giving

There’s nothing wrong with a little make believe, especially during the holiday season. After all, as Circle of Moms member Carla A. says, “Reality is gonna smack [your children] in the face soon enough; they should be child[ren] for as long as we can allow.” Her family always had a tree and Santa and she remembers the holiday as “magical.” “Santa was a person who spread good cheer and fantasy. In a world where there is not much good for a child to believe in, I feel Santa is harmless.”

Debra P. is a mom who knows from experience that it’s no fun to be left out of the Christmas tale. She grew up in a staunch Christian home where there was no Santa, no tooth fairy and no Easter Bunny, “and I can tell you it was awful." As a parent now herself, she includes the story of Jesus in the holiday but also lets her two daughters believe in these imaginary characters, which she says encourage imagination. And Danielle C. believes the Santa story helps bring the spirit of the holidays to life. “I am in no way religious, so for me Christmas has no religious value. It is purely about the happiness of others and spending time together as a whole family and sharing in the laughter . . . .Christmas is a special time for our family and Santa is just the icing on the cake


The most important part about the holiday season, says Circle of Moms Christa B., is that people should be giving just as much, if not more, than receiving gifts, and she thinks “Santa Claus and the sleigh and reindeer help to get young children into the holiday spirit.”

Telling your child about Santa, of course, is a personal decision. If you choose to tell the tale, then “maybe not this year, but next year your child will be old enough to start understanding who Santa is and what he does,” she says. In the meantime, “There is nothing like seeing your child's face Christmas morning when receiving a gift from Santa."


2. The Santa Myth is Adaptable

The best part about the Christmas character is that parents can eaily emphasize only the aspects of his myth that they are comfrotable with, say several Circle of Moms members. Krista E. was taught that Santa is a “kind and generous and giving and cheerful [man], and that he appeared as a jolly, round man with a white beard, dressed in a red suit. This way, we weren't really taught that he was a real person, like you and me, but [we] still got to believe in some of the magic and fun.”

Many choose to emphasize St. Nicholas instead of just the jolly old Santa we know today. As Laura S. explains, “There are many different myths and legends regarding Santa, including the factual story about the Turkish priest, St. Nicholas. St. Nicholas was known to give coins to orphaned and poor children. Now that my daughter is older, we are exploring Santa from different cultures, namely from my Dutch and northern European heritage."

Indeed, even Nicole B., who is not so sure about Santa, said she doesn’t see anything wrong with telling her children about Saint Nick, “after all, he was a real person.”

3. Children Grow Out of It Naturally

Carolyn W. is among many moms who don't worry at all that their kids will eventually resent them for lying about Santa. The Santa myth, she says is "a fun thing for kids to think for a few years. Yes, they will find out eventually that it was a lie, but I don’t necessarily think that will make them trust me less. I never mistrusted my parents just because they told me Santa was real when he wasn’t.”

Sarah H. agrees, recalling the "excitement of make believe," and the fact that she never felt her parents lied to her: "It was a fun tradition and memory we had as kids growing up.” And Carolyn S.'s little girls, who believed in Santa as little ones, "had no problem accepting the fact that fantasies do have some truth, and sometimes daddies and mommies make the best Santas.”

Chelsea P. plans to tell her daughter about all aspects of the Christmas celebration, including Santa. She suspects that by focusing on St. Nick's evolution into Santa, she'll be setting the stage for her daughter’s belief in the mythical character to fade away naturally over time.

Please Don’t Ruin it for Other Kids!

Finally, if you choose to tell your preschool-aged children that Santa doesn’t exist, please also tell them not to ruin the myth for their classmates. As Circle of Moms members Renae K. shares, “I was the horrible child who from Kindergarten [on] told all of the other children that Santa was made up and was not real. I honestly did not understand that children believed in him or why their parents were lying to them." She now regrets that she only stopped telling other children the truth “when a little girl cried.”

Image Source: andrewmalone via Flickr/Creative Commons

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

Join The Conversation
DawnBach36812 DawnBach36812 5 years
The problem I have with Santa is that our children are taught that he brings toys to all the GOOD girls and boys. So what does your child think when they are good, yet only receive small gifts for Christmas because Mom and Dad don't make a lot of money. But Billy down the street, who is a bully and steals, gets a new bike, an X-Box, games, Timberlands, etc. etc.?? My son grew up knowing the truth and, at 21, has suffered no long-term emotional damage because of it.
KarenLawrence7186 KarenLawrence7186 5 years
My little kids are 4 and 6 and even though we are Christians, we let them have some magical imagination with the belief of Santa. Kids are growing up so fast these days and its only a few years that they live in this "make believe" time of their lives so let them have fun. As long as you don't lose the reason for Christmas then ho ho ho
RhondaKelly RhondaKelly 5 years
Jesus is the reason for the season and the word of God says not to lie. My kids don't believe in Santa and never have and they have great Christmas'. I think anything satan can do to take the attention off of Jesus is something he is winning with. I praise God that my kids love the Lord and know that Christmas is ALL ABOUT JESUS!!!!!!!1
ShavonneWhite ShavonneWhite 5 years
I am going to tell my children the truth. I will tell them the story of Jesus. Santa is OK. But Jesus is the reason for the season.
JoEllenKano JoEllenKano 5 years
This article is very biased. You presume that everyone celebrates Christmas and do not take into consideration that maybe people celebrate other holidays around this time and telling stories about Santa Claus is against their beliefs. This article is attacking those who do not participate in the traditional Christmas celebration and I find this very offensive. The person who felt deprived growing up in a staunch Christian home eludes to the fact that this article is geared to one specific group. This is poorly written and meant to influence people that it is okay to make up stories such as these to kids.
MadieKnudson MadieKnudson 5 years
Santa is a big lie that people tell their children. I don't see the reason in it at all. I mean, come on! Who wants to work their butts off to buy stuff for their kids then say some fake dude brought it to them.. Totally ridiculous to me!! But I guess people believe what they want to believe. Like December 25th is Jesus birthday, when in reality it's 3 1/2 months away.. I just don't get it.
StephanieTonkinson StephanieTonkinson 5 years
I don't think we should say it's lying to say st.nick exists.anything that encourages our little one to be kind,giving and grateful is a positive.after all I've never seen god,Jesus,the devil or any other religious icon but I still believe because it makes me wanna be a better person.
SaraCamposFuller SaraCamposFuller 5 years
My family has always made Christmas about Jesus and Santa. Both Jesus and Santa are givers to the world, more so to the less fortunate and this is why our family always donates gently used toys and clothes to our neighborhood homeless shelter. As a child I was told Santa is a feeling of magic and brings out the best in everyone, just because you don't SEE him doesn't mean he's not real, something like believing in Jesus.
MelanieVance69267 MelanieVance69267 5 years
I don't see why people choose to lie to their kids. Why can't Santa (and the Easter Bunny, etc...) be fun fairy tales for some giggles and reinforcing giving and fun. But to actually MAKE children believe a lie is beyond me. I was mortified when I found out that my parents had lied to me. Fortunately I was not so negatively affected that I did not believe in the real TRUTH of Jesus Christ and that God sent His only begotten Son into the world to save us from our sins and that's the reason we celebrate Christmas!! Besides...we don't have alot of money and we work hard for any gift we give our child. I don't want to tell her they came from someone else!! I want her to know that we worked hard and sacrificed alot and love her so very much that we are giving these gifts to her. We just asked our daughter last night if she felt like she was cheated out of some fun and fantasy because we chose a different road than many people with the Santa story....her answer was a resounding NO! I love Jesus and I love you guys for always being honest. (She is 10 years old). That's the most important thing in our home is that we can trust each other to tell the truth and we endeavour to be a family of integrity. We can tell fairy tales and pretend and have lots of fun, but when it comes down to the actual TRUTH...we are all on the same page and extrememly happy and better off for it. Merry Christmas and God bless us every one.
SirenaCampbell SirenaCampbell 5 years
My daughter learned from her preschool teacher that Santa Clause is not real, because they can't celebrate any holidays at her school so when she asked the teacher about Santa Clause she said that Santa was just imaginary and that some people believe in Santa but not everyone does because he is part of religion and she left it at that my daughter came home crying and I had to tell her the truth because he school would just keep on telling her any way
ChristinaEdgerton10499 ChristinaEdgerton10499 5 years
Christmas is a religious holiday, but my kids believe in Santa. My sisters kids do also they are way older than mine. You don't believe you don't get is her moto. I teach my kids some believe some don't we had some boys tell them we were liars because they are raised in a strict Christian home. I have no problem with that but it upset me they would try to take the "magic out of christmas" for my children. When they get old enough I will do what my mom did. Everything will be from Santa. They still believe
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