Telling children Santa exists...right or wrong?

I don’t like the idea of being dishonest to my children. However as a child th idea of Santa was very fun and exciting. It was so much fun waiting for Christmas morni g knowing he was going to leave gifts.

How did it feel when you realized the adults had been lying to you?

I don’t remember being upset at being lied to. I remember being frustrated that I could no longer believe in the lie.

The window for believing in Santa is really short. It’s really just 2 - 5.

Hey, no spoiler alert?

I think giving children an opportunity to go through the process of evaluating and eventually discarding a belief teaches a very valuable lesson.

Right, it’s also one of the first coming of age processes.

Are there any adults walking around seriously traumatized literally because they found out there was no Santa Claus?

Der Trihs?

I agree. It is disturbing that the people you trust to care for you sometimes do not tell the truth. but you know what? Sometimes the people that you trust to care for you do not tell the truth. It’s a good lesson to learn, and a safe way to learn it.

I cried for about ten minutes, then my mom made french fries for dinner that night, and I felt all better. I was more just disappointed.

(FWIW, I was nine. I’m glad I believed in Santa, I think it’s harmless, and it’s fun.)

Even as adults, we all believe in some myths to a greater or lesser extent. A myth that allows a child to be overwhelmingly happy and to experience that unique brand of excitement leading up to Christmas Eve cannot possibly be a bad thing. Not only is it NOT harmful, it’s postively beneficial in that it creates a sense of wonder that I feel many kids nowadays are lacking: confronted with a material world full of doom and sometimes gloom, some kids are so weighed down, I reckon it’s incumbent upon us grown-ups to bring a bit of magic back.

It also gives us jaded adults the opportunity to relive that wonderful time again vicariously through our own children and then our grandchildren.

(This year for the first time in many, I’ve erected the Christmas Tree complete with lights and baubles. I’m a grandmother now, and I think it’s most important that the little ones see the Old Farts Inc getting in on the Santa Action. That my new grandson is only 7 weeks old and would prefer a tree adorned with milky-boobs is neither here nor there. :D)

kam…who still believes in the Santa Spirit, despite being a rationalist and an atheist. :stuck_out_tongue:

My parents never admitted it. They still haven’t.
When my oldest daughter figured it out, I told her that there was really a St. Nicholas, who really did give presents to children and that “Santa” is now something that parents perpetuate in his spirit to make Christmas fun and magical for chidren. I also told her that we could now enlist her to keep up the fun for her sisters. She liked the idea of being in on the secret, and being trusted as the oldest that way.
Santa is harmless. Show me a grown adult who’s actually still emotionally wounded over finding out there’s no Santa, and I’ll show you the world’s biggest pussy.

I never imagined I see Santa and pussy in the same sentence! :stuck_out_tongue:

Santa’s just a bit of harmless fun. I see no harm in keeping up the myth until the child disabuses himself/herself of the notion. That’s how it played out with me, and while I’ve got problems, they aren’t related to finding out that Santa didn’t exist.

I’ve heard people say they were, at least at the time. And I’ve heard of parents being traumatized when the kids ask questions like “You lied to me about Santa. How do I know you aren’t lying about…”

To answer the OP, no I wouldn’t. I don’t lie to children; or to anyone.

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics” – Benjamin Disraeli

I think it completely harmless to tell children there is a Santa, and a tooth fairy as well. If they really and truly become traumatized upon learning the truth, well that just teaches the little bastards that life’s not always what it seems, hehehe.


I have never told my children that there was a Santa or that St. Nicholas and Black Peter wander around once a year handing out presents. I have never told them that there was not, either – it has been an interesting experience in the transmission of belief. Indeed, I have not instructed them that there is a God, nor that there are fairies and dragons and unicorns and magic swords and elves. Nevertheless they do or have believed in all of these things and their belief waxes and wanes and changes.

When they ask if these things exist I ask them what they think. When my 10 year old finally out and asked me what I thought, I told him that I was not altogether sure but that it seemed to me that St. Nicholas was certainly Bishop of Myra some years ago and it seemed to me unlikely that he was still walking around, so I figured that people just keep passing the story and the traditions on to their children to keep the love alive even after the actual person died.

So, no trauma yet. My own parents have not yet acknowledged the whole Santa thing so I keep playing along to make them happy.

Slightly modifying Der Trihs’s position, I wouldn’t lie to my kids without a good reason. I don’t know whether they’d be happier thinking an imaginary fat man is bringing them presents rather than knowing that Mom and Dad are bringing them presents, so I see no harm in telling them the truth.

I must say it’s only been in recent weeks and on this Board that I’ve ever first encountered even the very idea that someone could possibly be traumatized by discovering their parents lied to them about Santa Claus.