Ethical Question: do you teach your kids about Santa?

Cyn & I grew up believing in Santa.  Our parents didn’t “proselytize” Santa, as if believing in him was consequential in some way, but Santa was still a part of our childhood years.  Christmas included Santa.  He was a part of the “magic”.  I generally view it as a positive experience.  And, thus, we’ve decided to talk about Santa to our kids, too.

But I must confess I wonder about the wisdom of this decision.  Especially under incisive questioning from my daughter:

  • Is Santa real? (that question is particularly to the point)
  • ‘Why does he ride a sleigh?’
  • Why does this present say ‘from Dad’ if it’s from Santa?
  • How does he get to all the houses in one night?
  • Why are there presents under the tree already, if Santa comes on Christmas Eve?
  • And especially, Are both Santa and Jesus real?

Not bad for a four year old.  And it’s tempting to give an answer along the lines of “well, Santa is just an idea, but there’s no actual person who is Santa…”

But I haven’t yet, and I wonder what the hesitation is.  Why do I feel like I’m supposed to perpetuate this idea? I suppose I feel like I’m robbing her of something, if I tell her it’s just a myth or an idea.

And this post has no conclusion after the questioning.  I’m still in the middle of the question.

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2 Responses to Ethical Question: do you teach your kids about Santa?

  1. Missi S. says:

    Tim, are you saying there’s no Santa?? WHAT!! Abbey, you’ll see Santa this Christmas Eve! Love Auntie Missi 😉

  2. We just talked to Lucy about Saint Nicholas and read a book about it called “Santa, Are You for Real?” We also celebrated St. Nicholas Day by having stockings and making at about giving a toy or gifts to someone in need (we wrapped presents and sent them to our sponsor child in Guatemala). So Lucy knows about Santa and enjoys stories about him too but I don’t think she believes he is real.

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