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Should Children believe Santa Claus is real? Christmas Challenge for parents

The ever present dilemma of parenthood, should children believe Santa Claus is real or do you raise your children knowing of the falsehood of the Mystical Jolly Ol' Guy who flies with reindeer and gets all the credit for the hard thought out presents you purchase for your children.
Should Children believe Santa Claus is real? Christmas Parenting Dilemma
 
Dear Santa Claus,
It's me again reminding you I'm here, I'm making my list easier and shorter than last year. I'd like a stack of comic books, a dozen apple pies, a box of chocolate brownies and an elephant that flies. A dolphin for the bathtub and a dragon for my room, a robot that does homework and can also use a broom. And I'd like a hippopotamus, a trumpet and a drum. I could use a half a dollar and a million sticks of gum. Just leave them underneath our tree or near our fireplace. OH! You probably won't bring them But I'm writing…Just in case!
(Author Unknown)

Why should Children believe Santa Clause is real?

What do you think? Should children believe Santa Claus is real? It's a very popular question about the Christmas Holiday season. And when you have little kids, it's a big parenting issue; whether you allow your kids to believe Santa Claus is real or to be completely honest with them and not let them even begin a believe. 
Oh I'm not trying to be a cynic; but really, how unfair is it that WE the parents work so hard to make a magical Christmas for our children and an old guy who doesn't even exist gets all the credit! 
Should Children believe Santa Claus is real? Christmas Parenting Dilemma
 
Don't worry, I haven't killed the fun and mystery of Santa for my kids. My Husband and I came to an agreement long ago that we would neither encourage  nor discourage Santa with our children. If they decided they wanted to believe Santa Clause is real; that was fine with us. Neither of us were raised believing in Santa. We knew of Santa but were never encouraged to believe. My parents always had one or two little presents "from Santa" under the tree for us which we all knew meant they were from "Dad"; but other than that there was no encouragement. We never left cookies for Santa, we never wrote him letters. I only felt slightly disappointed. I knew there wasn't a Santa, but I still thought the festivities would have been fun. 
 
Should Children believe Santa Claus is real? Christmas Parenting Dilemma
The 7 year old
 
This year is different from all the past years however. This year my boys, ages 7 and 6, have decided that they believe Santa Claus is real. Even after their cousins told them that there was no SANTA; they STILL choose to believe in him. Whether it's from knowing that Mommy and Daddy's funds for Christmas are much lower than previous years, or if they just finally discovered the joy in believing– I don't know. But either way I'm left thinking "NOW what?" Do I play passive and just put off their questions about Santa, or do I actively play along? 
 
Should Children believe Santa Claus is real? Christmas Parenting Dilemma
The 6 year old

Believe Santa Claus brings the toys

While we were talking about Christmas presents the other day, my 6 year old asked "Mommy, I want a DS for Christmas". Well, a DS is way out of the price range and I don't want him to be disappointed on Christmas Morning, so I thought I'd explain to him why that won't be happening this year. I explained to him, "Oh sweetheart. A DS would be fun; but it costs a lot of money that Mommy and Daddy don't have." His immediate response was "Can Santa afford it? I can ask Santa!" Well now I'm stuck between a rock and a hard spot. I don't want to crush his dream in Santa that he just discovered, but at the same time, I don't want him believing that he will get a game system that we just can't get him this year. So I fibbed. Yes, what a great role model I'm turning out to be…fibbing to an innocent 6 year old! CURSE you SANTA!!

 

I told my son that Santa has to get presents for lots of little boys and girls across the world and with money so tight with every family; even Santa is having to be more careful with his funds. So Santa lets the parents buy the BIG presents for the kids if they can afford it; and he gives little gifts to kids so that he can give presents to more girls and boys.

Yes, not a very well thought out lie, but I was put on the spot. It was the best I could come up with. And thankfully my son accepted this explanation, without much complaint and he wasn't even disappointed! His next response:

"Mommy, can Santa bring me a Star Wars Toy? Not the Legos because those are expensive, but just a little Master Windu or Super Battle Droid action figure? "  Oh, my poor boy having to learn to think of frugal presents at such a young age. I told him we could write Santa a letter and at least ask. 

 
Should Children believe Santa Claus is real? Christmas Parenting Dilemma
 

Allowing Children to believe in Santa Clause

So here I am, a few days later and my son brings home the above poem. It is part of the skit his class is performing for the Christmas school program. He is excited, and he can't wait! And he starts talking about Santa again and how we have to leave him cookies on Christmas Eve, and we need to let him know he needs to come through the door because we don't have a chimney and on and on.

I see in my little son his innocence and how it brings him so much joy. So I've made a decision. As long as Santa doesn't get more attention than the Real Meaning of Christmas, our Savior, then I'm going to just go with it! I'm going to allow my children to believe in Santa Claus. We're going to write letters to Santa and we're going to hunt out and find all the "Santa Sightings" in town and let my kids see Santa and we're going to make and leave Santa my favorite kind of cookies on Christmas Eve…after all; eating cookies to help instill joy and smiles on my beautiful boy's face is the least I can do. I know..it's a huge sacrifice, but one I think I'm willing to take.

 

Do you allow your kids to believe Santa Claus is real? 

Should Children believe Santa Claus is real? Christmas Parenting Dilemma
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