Is Santa Real?


I’m having a serious holiday identity crisis and it’s reaching the height of its intensity this week before Christmas.

My perceptive three-year-old has been asking a lot of questions about Santa, my Pinterest boards are blowing up with cooler moms’ Santa crafts, and here I am, suiting up for my role as the frazzled, cynical mom in the Christmas movies.


(Cue my parental Grinch guilt…and…go!)

See, I have a confession to make. We’re not encouraging our girls to believe in Santa. (Ducks and covers). We celebrate a fairly normal Christmas with a nativity, a tree, and Dr. Who Christmas specials. We give gifts, we sing carols, and we have our Christmas breakfast tradition, but we don’t maintain the charade that Santa is real.

I’ve wrestled with this a lot- I certainly want to cultivate a childhood of wonder and surprise, but I just dread the moment when our kids find out that they’ve been massively trolled by their parents for years.

So here’s our plan- when our daughters ask, we tell them that Santa is pretend, just like Cinderella, Woody, and Elmo. It’s fun to imagine that Santa brings us presents, but really, it’s Mom and Dad giving them gifts because we love them. Santa is a reminder that it’s fun to give gifts and show love to the people around us.

I did some Pinteresting and found a really sweet letter for parents whose kids find out that Santa isn’t real. (Holla if you know the original source, by the way- I’d love to give these thoughtful parents the credit due to them!) This might be a happy medium for some of you Santa Believers.

I’m curious- how do the rest of y’all fall on the Santa Spectrum? Is he real and everyone who doesn’t believe in him is ruining Christmas? Is he simply a commercial construct intended to line the pockets of department stores worldwide? Let us know what you think!


  1. LOVE this letter… we are just now dealing with this with our four year old… we told her he was like Mickey Mouse and that it is fun to believe…. however in her young joyful spirit she still desires to believe and gets excited when talking about him coming… I will be showing my hubby this letter! Thank you for sharing Liz!

  2. I loved laying in bed on Christmas Eve filled with excitement and wonder about Santa Claus coming. Around 6, I kind of had the feeling that it couldn’t be possible but didn’t want to know either way until I was about 8 and flat out asked my dad who willingly told me that Santa was pretend but that we needed to keep it special for my little sister. The magic and wonder of Santa was gone, but I was/am so grateful I got 8 fun years out of it and ever since I’ve been looking forward to dong the same with my kids! And now here we are with a 4 year old that thinks Peter Pan lives in Neverland, Spiderman in New York, and Santa at the North Pole all of which we allow him to believe because I think that’s just a fun part of childhood that only lasts for such a short time, same reason we’ll put a dollar under pillows for lost teeth and candy filled eggs on the lawn Easter morning. When my boys start asking questions, we’ll let the cat out of the bag and continue to put Santa gifts under the tree like my parents did for us until we moved out! I think it’s fun either way!

    and no, I don’t think those who don’t do Santa are ruining Christmas. I think it’s a bummer they don’t get to have the Santa experience since I know how exciting it is on both ends (as a child and as a parent), but each family makes their own decisions! 😉

  3. We did this with our kids when they were toddlers because of some fear/guilt I felt laid on me by the church. Within days I realized I had just made Christmas SO MUCH HARDER for myself and my children. All the kids in pre-k, k, & 1st believe. I felt like I was missing out too. The stores are full of “we believe” regalia. Any attempts to backtrack and reinvest in the magic were stiff armed by my husband because I had done such a good job of convincing him I couldn’t handle the guilt of lying. It would have been so much more joyful and peaceful to roll with it. Watch the movies (THEY ALL PRIVE UNBELIEVERS WRONG.) And worry about disappointment from an 8-10 year old when their brains are actually 8-10 years old. It makes me hide from some of the best parts of Xmas because saying “it’s fun to pretend _____!” feels like a cheap replacement.


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