From the Momfilter Archives 

Sitting with my boys to write letters to Santa might be one of my favorite holiday rituals–the care with which they consider the ask, the penmanship, and even their sensitivity to S.C.’s demanding job. But the more questions I get about logistics–how the jolly fella manages to circle the globe in an evening, how he fits all of those gifts in the sleigh, to say nothing of those children who don’t have chimneys–the deeper I dig myself into a web of vague, if benign, falsehoods. My kids are 8 and 5 and I fear my 5-year-old is a bit more of a Columbo than his wide-eyed brother in terms of sniffing out the inconsistencies. I know I only have a couple more years, but I do struggle with the deception, however sweet. I always say when pressed that “I’ve never met Santa, and that it’s more about Christmas spirit, but I’ve heard….” fill-the-blank “he likes cookies,” or “he has helpers, possibly elves…” (I always go back to one of my favorite sayings from a labor lawyer friend, “If you’re talking, you’re losing.”) When it’s vague it’s Okay, when I start answering questions about why Santa brings Lego brand toys when he and the elves are supposed to be making all of the toys themselves, then I start feeling guilty. I’d love to hear if anyone else is ambivalent about the whole magical charade and how they handle it.


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Comments (6)


  1. You’re so right. When I start making things up, I feel dirty. Creating a web of deceit that will eventually be revealed. But when I play “I’m as confused as you’, it feels like I put it in his hands. I have no idea how he gets around the world in the one night. Does it have something to do with time zones? Each year I cop to a little more; the Santa at the mall isn’t real (has anybody really seen Santa? I don’t think so), parents sometimes say something is from Santa when it’s really from them (but there are still some mysteries under the tree). But I paint the whole thing as a giant mystery that no One really understands. Which is why people keep making up stories about it. That way he can come to it on his own, when he’s good and ready.

  2. Posted by: FS

    Yes! I’m with you. I was just thinking this morning that all parents needs to agree on the “story” and write it up so we know collectively what to tell our kids in case they compare notes.

  3. Love your little ones letter to Santa and I think your approach sounds great.

  4. Pingback: Merry Christmas Eve! « pieces of poppy

  5. Posted by: shannon

    It just happened tonight- I told my 8.5 year old the truth. She’s been asking for a few months and I could tell she wasn’t happy with the “do you want to believe in Santa Claus?” answers I was giving her. When I said, “Moms and dads buy the presents” she smiled at finally knowing what she’d suspected, but I think there was some sadness mixed in there. Sigh…. I hope i did the right thing.

  6. Posted by: Sammi

    Regarding the branded toys thing, have you seen miracle on 34th st. in that movie kris kingle says it doesn’t matter where the toys are from as long as it makes the children happy, and i think that is a good answer for branded toys :) xx i hope you and your children had a lovely christmas x

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