How To Tell Your Kids The Truth About Santa

By now you all have hung your stockings with care and are waiting for St. Nicholas to soon be there.

Folks, we are one week away from Christmas Day! I know a lot of you are looking forward to it to spend time with loved ones you haven’t seen in a while. Or maybe you are just ready to stop moving that Elf around! Either way, it’s always a magical time of year that – to me – is all about family and celebrating traditions and making our homes even more beautiful, cozy and inviting.

For those of us with small children, I think it is even more magical because of Santa Claus. We get to indulge our kids in the belief in a person who lives at the North Pole and has little elves who help him make toys for kids for one special day each year. I don’t think there is anything wrong with spoiling our kids once a year and letting their little minds become so imaginative with the idea of this person’s existence. This is what THEY look forward to each year: seeing this wondrous person who has these magical powers that no one else does. It is a big deal for them as it was for us when we were kids.

But you might be asking yourself, “But when do I tell them the truth and HOW do I tell them the truth?!”

As my son grew older and kids started getting smarter – or their parents or older siblings told them the truth – I wondered when he would figure it all out. A couple of years ago, he began to ask questions, so I had to come up with something quick. I didn’t want to ruin Christmas for him or destroy his idea of what it was all about. He wondered why there were so many toys in stores when Santa makes them and brings them with him.

Uh.

Those are toys that parents buy in addition to Santa. Aunts and Uncles buy them as well when we get together as family for Christmas Eve.

But where is the point at which they know Santa isn’t real?

What we decided was to tell our son that Santa stops delivering to kids when they turn double digits (10). That Santa figures they are getting to an age where they are bigger kids and are getting closer to being teenagers and teenagers aren’t really “kids” in his eyes. Teenagers don’t usually sit on Santa’s lap when he comes to town. If they do, it’s just because they want to say hello again.

Last year was our last year for Santa as our son turned 10 in January. He was prepared. And it saved us from telling him that Santa was a lie we told him all these years just to get him to behave. That is not actually the case. We wanted him to believe in Santa because for him, that was the magic of the season. And for us, we get to live vicariously through him and reminisce on our childhoods. We weren’t trying to get him to behave better, but of course, literature always reminded him that it was a stipulation.

So our son still believes. And he gets to watch Santa with other kids as he will grow up and one day watch those kids be his own. And he will always believe in Santa Claus.