When and How to Tell the Truth about Santa to your Childen?

December 5, 2017 Published by

We all remember the time when we found out that Father Christmas didn’t exist. I was 10. My older brother had written my note from Santa, and I recognised his handwriting and his green pen. I kept it a secret for another couple of years, as I was worried that I would get fewer gifts if I owned up! I don’t remember being disappointed, and Christmas certainly wasn’t less magical once I realised the truth.

So, when is the right time to break the news to your children that the big man doesn’t really exist? 

It is totally down to personal preference as to when you should tell your child the truth.  Some parents like to keep the magic going for as long as possible, while others believe that telling ‘untruths’ to children is never okay. 

Like me, many children find out the truth without actually being told; they may hear friends and family talking which brings their beliefs into question.  Also, as their reasoning develops, they may start to ask questions: how does he fit down the chimney?  How does to he travel the whole world in one night? Why do some children not get presents?  You can make up answers to these, but then the lie gets bigger and perhaps it is time to let children realise the truth for themselves.   

It’s a good idea to take the lead from your child; when they start questioning Father Christmas, try and give them honest responses without being too harsh and making them feel ‘silly’ for believing.  There are ways of telling them and not spoiling the magic of Christmas – one mother wrote a letter to her daughter explaining that she did indeed choose and wrap the presents, but she wasn’t Father Christmas:

Dear Lucy,

Thank you for your letter. You asked a very good question: “Are you Santa?”

I know you’ve wanted the answer to this question for a long time, and I’ve had to give it careful thought to know just what to say.

The answer is no. I am not Santa. There is no, one Santa.

I am the person who fills your stockings with presents, though. I also choose and wrap the presents under the tree, the same way my mum did for me, and the same way her mum did for her. (And yes, Daddy helps, too.)

I imagine you will someday do this for your children, and I know you will love seeing them run down the Christmas magic stairs on Christmas morning. You will love seeing them sit under the tree, their small faces lit with Christmas lights.

This won’t make you Santa, though.

Santa is bigger than any person, and his work has gone on longer than any of us have lived. What he does is simple, but it is powerful. He teaches children how to have belief in something they can’t see or touch.

It’s a big job, and it’s an important one. Throughout your life, you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your friends, in your talents, and in your family. You’ll also need to believe in things you can’t measure or even hold in your hand. Here, I am talking about love, that great power that will light your life from the inside out, even during its darkest, coldest moments.

Santa is a teacher, and I have been his student, and now you know the secret of how he gets down all those chimneys on Christmas Eve: he has help from all the people whose hearts he’s filled with joy.

With full hearts, people like Daddy and me take our turns helping Santa do a job that would otherwise be impossible.

So, no, I am not Santa. Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness. I’m on his team, and now you are, too.

I love you and I always will. Mama  

Original letter written by Martha Brockenbrough. Taken from PopSugar

We think this letter sums up the spirit of Christmas perfectly; it lets children know the truth while keeping the magic of Christmas alive.

Many children will have found out for themselves before starting secondary school, but if not, you may want to go down the route of the letter above. As hard as it is to feel like you’re spoiling the magic of Christmas for your child, you run the risk of them ridiculed by friends at school for still believing. It doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy Christmas anymore – it’s just a sign that they are growing up!

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This post was written by Claire Gillies

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