Here, in the Ayotte household, we have two kids. A soon-to-be four year old and a soon-to-be three year old. They do not really know anything about Santa, but then again, they barely know any English. However, it is Christmas time, we’ve put up our tree, hung Christmas lights on and around the house, listen to Christmas songs, and have already watched Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and other Christmas classics. But one thing we do not plan on doing is lying to our kids about Santa Claus and here’s why!
- It isn’t necessary! Believing in Santa isn’t essential to our survival, in the hunter-gatherer sense of the word. Our kids will survive and will probably be better off not believing a lie.
- They’ll have just as much fun! Honestly, kids do not care about Santa, they care about what Santa brings them. They try to be nice all
yearDecember just to avoid annoying the jolly old fat man. Guess what! Our kids are still going to get presents. Somehow, them knowing that those presents come from mommy and daddy won’t reduce the gratification they’ll get from opening them.
- It’s more than just a story! We read our children a bedtime story every night. When it is finished we all say, in unison, “THE END!” But Santa is not a small white lie. It is a mythology, it lasts over a month and extends over years of a child’s life. Until they get old enough to realize that you are completely full of crap. When I was a kid, I figured out on my own that Santa was really just my dad. But I still told my parents I believe in him, hoping to trick them into getting me more presents. As if I wouldn’t get the same number of presents if they knew I didn’t believe in him.
- What about Jesus? Ok, so I’m probably the wrong one to even be asking this question, since I know Christmas has pretty much nothing to do with Jesus (like most holidays). But this question isn’t about “keeping Christ in Christmas”. What I mean is, I tell my kids about this guy who lives in Heaven with a bunch of angels and he gave his life as a gift for all people. Then I tell them about this guy who lives in the North Pole with a bunch of elves and he gives gifts to nice little children. Oh, and when they get older, I let them know it was all just a joke, except the first part, that was real, trust me!
- Lying is wrong! Yes, you look fat in that dress and Santa isn’t real. I know it’s a big pill to swallow, and most of us do tell tactful lies, “No sweetie, your butt doesn’t look big in those jeans.” We’re trying to build a trust relationship with our children. If they do not trust us to tell them the truth about the small things, how will they trust us to tell them to truth about big things? It’s bad enough that they are going to have to go through this world trying to discern if the media is lying to them, if the government is lying to them, if the stranger on the street is lying to them. Pardon me if I don’t want to be included in that group.
- Santa teaches the wrong thing! Santa is a grumpy old man who gives coal to children who misbehave. I love my children unconditionally, and sometimes that love is expressed by giving them gifts. They are not rewarded for being nice, they are rewarded because I love them. Wait, isn’t this how God treats us?
Here are a few more articles on this subject:
Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Lie To Your Kids About Santa
Bah Humbug! Why Parents Shouldn’t Teach Their Kids About Santa
Christmas Confessions: Should we Lie to our Kids about Santa Claus?