Holidays

Should you tell your kids the truth about Santa?

Just before I went on holiday my colleague confided (quite shamelessly) that she told her kids the truth about Santa.

I won’t lie, I was shocked. I couldn’t fathom why any parent would tell the truth about Santa, the biggest white lie in history.

My children know that Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ but Santa has his place in our festivities too!

It seems however, that my colleague was not the only mom who felt ready to dispel the myth of Santa…

Lying to your children about Santa will damage them

After a recent study, experts claim that continouing to lie to your children about Santa could be damaging.

According to and article published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry, fabricating the tale of Father Christmas can damage the relationship between parents and their children, leaving kids open to “abject disappointment” when the truth finally comes out. Source: www.practicalparenting.com.au

Well, we obvs  don’t want to damage our kids! So when should we give up the ruse and admit that Santa does not exist?

Admittedly, after all the carefully selected gifts and hours I spent fighting crowds at the mall, it would be nice to finally get some credit for my efforts. It does kind of suck that I’m sitting up all alone until midnight wrapping presents. Why should Santa get all the credit?

Telling the truth

Last night I finally convinced myself that it was time to drop the act. I wanted my kids to acknowledge and appreciate the lengths to which I go to make their Christmas extra special. I wanted appreciation for the thoughtfully selected and hard earned presents. I didn’t want to pretend that it was all made by in a workshop in the North Pole!

I went as far as to unpack all their presents underneath the Christmas tree. I felt good about my decision and then went to bed.

For about thirty minutes.

Then I started thinking…how would it play out tomorrow morning? The pleasant surprise then confusion when they discover there are presents are under the tree? Delivery ahead of schedule?

For days they’d been plotting Santa’s imaginary route around the world from the North Pole and the ETA was on Christmas Eve.

Santa is about making memories

I wondered if they’d still want to bake cookies for Santa with me tomorrow.

The cookies are traditionally set out next to the Christmas tree with milk before bed time on Christmas eve. On Santa’s special plate. 

Christmas eve

I remembered all the giggles from last year’s Christmas morning when they discovered the eaten snacks.

Their infectious giggling while cleaning up snowy (talc) reindeer hoof prints on the carpet. Clearing away Santa’s empty snack plate and cup and wiping the table of his crumbs. They were unbelievably excited to rip into their presents to see what creative genius the elves had thought up for them both to play with.

Maybe I wasn’t ready to let that go! I’m already secretly devastated that Alex is old enough for big school! I mean, I’m proud of her achievements but where did the time go?

With every milestone reached they become a little bit more mature and less childlike. Call me selfish but I am not ready to give up yet another part of their childhood.

All I wanted as a child was to be a grown up. In hindsight, I should have enjoyed every moment and tried to make it last longer!

My children have their whole lives to be grown-up. They only have a few short years to be children.

“Today’s kids are surround by technology and don’t play outside like older generations did as kids. They have lost the gift of imagination and creative play.

“What’s wrong with a small white lie that inspires imagination and instills a little magic?” Source: www.practicalparenting.com.au

My favorite “memories” of Santa

From my childhood I remember the anticipation of bedtime at Christmas eve. I’d want to stay awake but I knew that Santa only came down the chimney while the household slept. That  same wonder and delight is what I see on my own children’s faces!

It’s a joy to see their imaginations give them such a sense of wonder and excitement as only children can.

Singing to imaginary music with headphones unplugged.

Stick around Santa

Much of motherhood is a thankless task anyway. We might as well add Christmas presents to the list.

Someone does see us though. Someone sees all the hours you’ve spent wrapping the gifts you worked so hard to get. He knows every glimmer of secret glee you feel watching them enjoy the magic of Christmas. Don’t ever forget that God knows about your aching back and feet. He sees how you  bake and decorate the cookies with the kids anyway. And all for a man who doesn’t exist.

Getting to share in their joy and delight makes it so worthwhile. It’s about making their experience memorable. These memories of old traditions are what we enjoyed as children. One day when they are grown up their own memories will be treasured.

I doubt they’ll be damaged or angry at me for the lie. They will appreciate the sacrifices made to ensure they had a great childhood.

I’ve already asked Ashley to remove all their presents and hide it back in the cupboard. I think we can wait a few more years!

Until then, I’ll enjoy watching them grow.

And give them the space to have the best and most imaginative childhoods.

How do you feel about telling the truth about Santa? Please leave a comment below and let me know your opinion!

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Anthea

Anthea O'Neill is happily married wife and proud mother of two, a son and a daughter. She is a digital designer & front-end developer by day and a self-proclaimed glitter & crafting addict with a flair for the dramatic. Anthea's Project Life is a place for anyone who is looking to add some creativity and fun into their family life.

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2 Comments

  1. I totally agree with this. They grow up so fast, and believe in things like magic and fairies for such a limited time, Santa will always be welcome in my house.

  2. Brandon says:

    Hi. The media and commercial brainwashing playing us all. It’s a time to make as much money from us as possible. If it means taking a religious day…even better they’d say. So I say…If you’re a devoted Christian the truth will be told. If not…then white lie is the way to go. Either way..its a choice parents must make.

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