More and more parents I know are telling their kids that Santa is not real.
I understand all of their reasons, except lying to their children. I lie to my kids all. the. time. Maybe not outright lies, maybe just little white lies, but lies all the same.
Of all the things my parents told me growing up, lying about there not being a Santa was not one that I was upset about. My mom used to tell me that if I popped a zit on my face I'd die. I once laid awake all night waiting to die from a brain hemorrhage because I popped a zit on my face. Now that is a lie to be angry about. But, I guess my mom saved me from zit scars.
I never felt betrayed about Santa not being real but we celebrated the feast day of St. Nicholas of Bari, too. Sure, it confused me as I got older and my brain was trying to reconcile Santa and St. Nick, but knowing that our traditional Santa was inspired by a bishop gone saint, who helped the poor is really a wonderful idea to celebrate. He was a man who gave his wealth and his life to the poor. It proves that the spirit and generosity of one man can move others.
I've also heard parents exclaim that they don't want credit to go to some other guy for what their hard earned dollars bought. They will stop believing one day. I was sad when my parents stopped trying, wrapped all our gifts, and left them on the dining room table for us to see until we were allowed to open them on Christmas.
The season should not be solely on gift giving, but it is a pretty big part of the season. We could put unrealistic pressures on ourselves to have a perfect Christmas and spend tons of money, but that is a choice.
Our "Santa" brings three gifts to each child representing the three gifts the wise men brought the baby Jesus. They have heard me say this since their first Christmas. It helps tie in the story of the birth. Which if you want to stop lying to your kid about Santa then you should be celebrating in June or maybe at the end of September.
I know that we should be discouraging our kids from whispering secret wishes to the fat. jolly man and we should be encouraging them to be praying and going to church. But, they are only young for such a short time. Take them to Santa, take them to church, take them to see the holiday lights, teach them a generous heart gives, to receive gracefully, and to cherish all of these memories it is gone so fast.
Or, tell them the truth but, kindly remind them not to ruin it for their friends who don't know, yet.