Ho ho ho...Everybody knows jolly Old Saint Nicholas, the big guy who brings you Christmas presents that you ask for every year and leaves them under the tree every December 25 -- if you are on the nice list, of course. But eventually everyone's Christmas fantasy gets ruined by finding out their favorite person isn’t real. Some may think it would be better if parents just don’t tell their kids about Santa to save their children’s feelings from being hurt, to avoid the distrust, and simply to keep them from forgetting the true meaning of Christmas.
Several parents, like my cousin Rheannon Benton and her husband Sam, don’t want to lie to their kids, so they plan to keep their trust by just telling them that Santa isn’t real. This left me with some questions. Do your kids still get presents? What if your kids tell other kids Santa isn’t real? Then will you tell them the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy aren't real? Rheannon said, “ We will still, of course, leave Christmas presents under the tree, but from ourselves, not Santa, and we plan to tell our kids not to tell other kids that Santa isn’t real.”
Some may say then that kids are kids, so they are probably going to tell other kids the secret. But the Bentons plan to homeschool their kids, so the children probably won’t know many other kids while they are young. But all their parents can really do is just hope that their kids aren't that rude. They do not plan on telling their kids about the Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy, either. They said they will still leave candy and gifts for Easter and money for the teeth, but as a gift from themselves.
Some may argue that the Bentons are then just asking their kids to lie to other kids about Santa. There really isn’t an answer to that, it’s true, but at least they aren't lying to their own kids.
Other people say that the most important reason for not telling their kids the truth about Santa is the loss of their children's trust. Granted, seeing the happiness on your kids’ faces is so wonderful when children have something so magical as Santa to believe in, but the results of them eventually finding out the truth are unbearable. And for some parents, that's too much to go through. They feel guilt for lying to their kids, because their kids look up to them while they are actually lying.
Many people tell their kids about Santa, but for the few that don’t, they shouldn’t get shamed for that. It’s their family and their life. It really isn’t a bad thing not to tell your kids about Santa. He is a part of childhood, but some families don’t feel comfortable with the issue of Santa’s story. They would rather see their children's happiness coming from the truth.
Photos from public domain images