When do I Tell Them? “Breaking the news” about Santa


Confession: I have mixed feelings about Santa. When my children were old enough to start feeling excited about Santa, I kinda felt bad about lying to them. But, I enjoyed Santa as a child, and I wanted my children to feel the same way. So for the last few years, we’ve written letters to Santa, left out cookies for him on Christmas Eve, and excitedly run into the living room on Christmas morning to see what he’s brought.

And every year, I’m jealous of him. 

My kids excitedly exclaim, “Look at what Santa brought me!!! I love him so much!” and I can’t help but want to yell out, “But, it wasn’t Santa! It’s ME that loves you so much!!” 

This year, my 8-year-old is starting to question Santa, and so seems to be attempting to milk the Santa deal for all it’s worth. She’s asking for a $400 Princess Carriage as some sort of “test” to see if Santa is real. I’ve tried to tell her that Santa can’t spend that much money on every kid. I’ve tried telling her that she’s too big for it, and her response was, “If Santa makes all the toys, he can make one the right size.” I’ve tried and tried to redirect her to another toy, but she’s not budging. (Thankfully, she’ll be at her dad’s on Christmas morning, so he’ll have to figure out what to do…ha.)

Because of this, I was an inch away from telling her and her younger sister the “truth” about Santa last week. Their dad wants to wait longer, so we will, but I’ve been thinking about how we will do it. I remember my mom telling me, and it wasn’t pretty. I asked, she frankly answered, and I was heartbroken. I don’t want my kids to feel the same way, and I don’t want them to think of me as a liar. 

Thank goodness, I came across this great suggestion on Huffington Post. A mom on FB posted about an idea she came across in which you welcome your children across the threshold of “becoming” a Santa. The idea is to make them feel like you’ve chosen this moment to tell them because you see them becoming older, and having a kind and helpful heart. You make them feel as though they are being initiated into a special club, which is a very different scenario than what most of us picture (“breaking the news” to our kids while they cry and angrily doubt everything you’ve ever told them). 

So, mamas – what do you think? Have you already told your kids about Santa? How old were they? How did you do it? And if you haven’t told them yet, what do you think of the above idea?

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One Response to When do I Tell Them? “Breaking the news” about Santa

  1. Priscilla Crosby December 23, 2016 at 12:29 am #

    My son is 5. He is very advanced for his age and very understanding. I have told my son this year that Santa wasn’t real. I want him to know the time true meaning of Christmas and the birth of Jesus and giving thanks and being thankful for what he has because their are ppl unfortunate and can’t have presents, food, or a roof over their heads. I want him to really understand the Tru meaning and give All Glory to God instead of being obsessed with Santa. We were driving home back to Knoxville one night and he kept being ungrateful for what he had and was acting rotten, and kept referring to if Santa can get so in so this why can’t I have what I want. My husband and i just told him the truth. We told him that Santa and the elves play on tv but they weren’t real. But he insisted they were bc he has seen them. So we told he that the elves make toys and Santa ships them to the stores for mommy’s and daddy’s to buy. We said that we cannot afford everything he wants and we explained the reason for the holidays. We also explained that moms and dads work very hard to get them things, not bc we have to but want to show them they are loved. We taught h about being thankful for what he has bc some kids do not get anything bc their parents can’t afford it. He took it very well. We have seen a tremendous difference in his behavior and actually applied being thankful. He boxed up over 4 boxes of very nice toys to give away to someone who needed them. We had an early Christmas last weekend with our family and he was thrilled with what he got and knew where it came from. He says mommy you are right. I got something even better, and he felt good about giving his things away. I feel in my heart I made a good decision no doubt. I hope this helps and God Bless.