lie about Santa Claus

Should we lie about Santa Claus to our kids?

Christmas is coming soon! People have decorated the house, bought some presents. Everyone has a cool Christmas jumper. It will be our first ever Noël with Baba and I am very excited about it, especially as we are going to France this year. I am sure my entire family is looking forward to squeezing Baba’s cheeks! Are you all getting in the mood? Are les enfants excited about it all? Did you take them to meet le Père Noël? I didn’t as Baba is still small and I am concerned that he might be a bit scared. Another thing that stopped me: by doing so, I am lying to my son. You know the big secret about Christmas right? Santa Claus doesn’t exist! So do you think we should lie about Santa Claus to our kids?

In the Frenchie household, we are divided on the question. Grumpy Boyfriend is adamant that we won’t tell all this fairytale to Baba. We should not tell him about Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy for example. In his opinion, it is lying to our children and breaking this trust that they have in us.

lie about Santa Claus
Baba is ready for Noël!

I partly agree with him. If you think about it, the meaning behind Santa Claus and other fantasy figures like him are based on a fabrication and are a way for us to control our children. I am sure you all had it! When I was a little girl, my parents blackmailed me every year to be a good girl if I wanted Santa Claus to bring me my presents.

Kids are naïve and blindly believe their parents. After all, they are supposed to show kids the path and teach them life. So why do you want to build this relationship on such a bad basis? As parents, we are supposed to set the example and build a relationship of trust with our little ones. So why compromise this? On behalf of giving them a magic moment? But what is the point if it’s for mon enfant to be disappointed later on?

lie about Santa Claus

I know I don’t have to worry about it for this year as Baba is still too young and won’t understand, but I am torn about it. I don’t want him to miss out the fun. Imagine, at school when all his friends are getting in the mood and he is not part of it? He will feel excluded. Plus, he is a child and should enjoy the joys of it as well.

I remember a friend of mine being devastated when a pupil told her that Santa Claus didn’t exist. Personally, I can’t remember being traumatised so much about it when I discovered the truth. I was actually one of the first ones to have discovered the fraud and felt quite proud of it. It was like knowing a special secret. From then, the most difficult part was to resist not telling my younger cousins. But did I perceive my parents in a bad way as soon as I discovered that they lied to me all those years?  Pas vraiment. I don’t even remember being that upset about the whole thing. I was more concerned about having presents, to be honest!

So what do you make of it? Do you think we teach our children betrayal when we lie about Santa Claus? Are we somehow showing them that we, parents can’t be trusted? Is it another way to manipulate our children and control their thoughts? I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts about it, as I have not decided yet what I will personally do myself.

This post first appeared on Meet Other Mums. You can view that version, and my other posts as a member of the #BlogSquad, here.

25 thoughts on “Should we lie about Santa Claus to our kids?

  1. So cute. I believe in Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy. 😉 I would just not make a huge deal about the people (Santa, bunny etc) and just make it about the event. Happy holidays.

  2. I chose to tell my daughter the truth early on, it has always been my policy not to lie to her. I think the idea of Santa is kinda creepy anyway. She was upset with me at first, then as a teen she thanked me for being honest. Keeping it to ourselves is a house rule as well, we don’t ruin it for others.

  3. This is thought-provoking! I don’t have kids but I’m glad my parents never lied to me about Santa. Saves me a lot of confusion and devastation 🙂

  4. Kids need to learn to be imaginative and creative! I wouldn’t look at it as, “Lying,” per se. You’re preserving childhood innocent and magic. There is plenty of time later in life for kids to worry about who’s lying and being truthful to them . . . kids need to be kids! I can’t imagine my life if I hadn’t ever believed in Santa.

  5. I’ve always struggled with this! This will probably be my son’s last year believing and when he finds out I lied all of these years, he’s probably going to be pretty upset with me. LOL. (Of course, he’ll forgive me.)

    What I HATE isn’t the fact I’m lying, but rather that I have to give Santa credit for MY gifts to my kids.

    PS. Your Baba is ridiculously adorable. You have to lie to him about Santa. There’s something about the magic and the sparkle in their eyes when we’re living the North Pole lie.


  6. It’s so hard to know what’s right to do. I remember so well finding out he didn’t exist but on the other hand I cherish the amazing memories I had believing. For now we will carry on as we do ❤

  7. Creation and imagination is what is required Hence kids need to apply that to it but not sure to tell them or not, but with age they can get to know on their own.
    I would let them discover their version of truth with age.


  8. My boyfriend says he always associated Santa and Jesus together in his mind as a kid, and never 100% believed either. When he realised there was no Santa he also decided he didn’t believe in Jesus either.
    This is either a good or bad thing depending on your perspective.

    A silly anecdote but I actually think there is little harm in the Santa myth. It is just magical 🙂

  9. My boyfriend says he always associated Santa and Jesus together in his mind as a kid, and never 100% believed either. When he realised there was no Santa he also decided he didn’t believe in Jesus either.
    This is either a good or bad thing depending on your perspective.

    A silly anecdote but I actually think there is little harm in the Santa myth. It is just magical ?

  10. We let our children enjoy Santa for several years. By the time they were 7 they asked the question. Is Santa real. We told the the truth but said not to tell the younger children who still believed. Worked for our kids.

  11. You’ve got me thinking..I truly do not know which is better – honesty from the start or creating magic and imagination for our little ones. Have to think this one trough – although I’m late, as my kids are starting to see, that Santa doesn’t exist! We’ll see what happens!;)

  12. I know there are plenty of parents who believe that it’s wrong to perpetuate the myth of Santa. While I understand the logic behind these arguments, we choose to teach our kids about Santa. My older two know the story of Saint Nicholas, and I hope to use that story to help the transition when they finally understand. There’s really is no easy answer. At least you have some time before you need to make a final decision. 😀

  13. This is a really interesting post. I love the magic of Christmas and I really think that believing in Father Christmas is a big part of that. I don’t see it as lying at all, just another aspect of the Christmas celebrations. I’d be quite sad to see a child not believing – I think it’s just another aspect of imaginative play. I don’t remember ever being made at my parents for lying to me and I also don’t ever remember finding put thay he wasn’t real! I do see that it might be hard for you if your partner has at different view and wants to do things differently.

  14. Some of my favorite memories are from Christmas as a child and the stories of Santa and I really wanted my children to e joy those memories too. So we did do the whole santa thing, however, we have told our little one that family buy the gifts and send them to santa who will deliver them and if he makes it onto the nice list santa will leave him one small gift in his stocking. We wanted him to know who bits the gifts.
    I would like to think then when the time comes to tell him that santa is a fairytale he will understand that we did it to make the time magical for him.

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