Why We Don’t Tell Our Kids About Santa

Ohhh Santa. He’s holly, jolly and best of all he gives us presents!! So are we the worst parents ever for not promoting Santa this Christmas? Before you call me a grinch keep reading!

When we were expecting our first child, someone asked, “What are you going to do about Santa? Will you tell your children who he is?”

Neither of us had particularly negative experiences with Santa growing up. I honestly can’t even remember when I found out he wasn’t real.

That being said, I don’t think my parents made a BIG deal out of him. I also had an older sister who most likely told me he wasn’t real at an early age. I believed whatever she said! HAHA

So then why wouldn’t we tell our kids about Santa? There are a few reasons for this.

Why We Don’t Do Santa in Our House

First, we don’t want our children to focus on presents.

Christmas is so much more than opening gifts on Christmas morning. Don’t get me wrong I love finding the perfect gift and seeing smiles on my family’s face when they open it!

But we don’t want to feed into the “it’s all about me” attitude. “What am I getting this year!?”

Even though we don’t promote Santa, we still have Christmas magic! We have some Christmas traditions that they kids look forward to all year.

Leaving Santa out of the picture does not leave magic out of the season.

READ: 10 Family Christmas Traditions to Start This Year!

Another big reason we leave Santa out is because we want the focus to be on Jesus. It’s so easy to forget the true meaning of Christmas and get wrapped up in consumerism.

This even happens to me as an adult. I miss the true wonder of His love and focus on temporary things.

We pray our children will come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. And this starts with us. If we don’t share His love with them, how will they know it? 

The magic of Christmas is not in the presents, but in His presence.
The magic of Christmas is not in the presents, but in His presence.

Lastly, this may sound silly, but we don’t want some imaginary character getting credit for our love and presents!

Our kids really enjoy wrapping gifts for their family. It’s been a great thing for them to experience the joy of giving.

I also don’t like the idea of lying to our kids and having them find out one day the very thing they loved about Christmas isn’t real.

Why We Don’t Tell Our Kids About Santa

Christmas is still magical and our kids are still SUPER excited about the day.

Believe it or not you can have a wonderful Christmas without Elf on the Shelf or Jolly Old St. Nick. 

We don't promote Santa at our house during Christmas and we still have a magical Christmas! Ready why and how we do it.

Now our kids still know who Santa is. It’s inevitable that one day they will hear of him.

We aren’t completely eliminating Santa and we certainly aren’t judging people who believe in Santa. We also try not to ruin the magic for other families.

So there it is. We made the decision as a family to intentionally shift our focus to Jesus’ birthday on Christmas and we don’t regret it.

So do you tell your kids about Santa? What are some ways you share the true meaning of Christmas with your kids?

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  1. Dear Lauren,

    I agree with you, with your decision, it can be also good.

    I write down my story with this. I love Christmas, the coming of Jesus. When I was a child, I believed in Santa Claus and Jesus. (In Hungary, where I live, we celebrate the 6th of December –on this day parents say, Santa Claus brings especially chocolate to children. And the 24th of December, we celebrate Christmas, and parents say to kids, that Jesus brings the gifts to them).

    So when I was a child I really believed this. And my parents wasn’t really believers, so I didn’t know too much about christian faith, what does it mean fundamentally. So when I get bigger, I didn’t wanted to believe, that the truth is that, that my parents give the gifts, and Jesus and Santa Claus don’t exist. I was really sad about it, cause this was the only base of my faith. But that’ it, that was the truth.

    When I was a teenager I was far from the church and from faith, actually I didn’t know anything about God. Then, 10 years ago I became a believer, Jesus found me. Now, when I think about Christmas, I become more and more happy, it fills me with wonder, I can hardly write down my happiness. He took all of my sadness of that ages, when I thought, He don’t exist. Moreover, He gave me back and multiplied my joy, that He really exists, and all that I believed as a child, it’s not just a fairy tale, but now as an adult, with adult faith, I know that Jesus is the very TRUTH of life. And really from year to year, the greatest gift He gives us at Christmas and always, is His presence.

  2. Hi Lauren,

    It’s so refreshing to read your post. I was born and spent my childhood in Colombia, where we very much celebrated Christmas in a religious centered way, mostly Catholic. It’s not common to think that Santa brings the gifts, children are told that baby Jesus brings the gifts, and Santa is more of a mascot, I guess. When I found out that parents were the ones that gave us the gifts, my mom gave the most perfect answer, that even though the parents buy the presents, it is God who makes it possible for parents to buy those gifts, so it is Jesus who gives the presents, he gives us all. I felt very content with her answer, it just made sense. Now that I have children, my husband and I celebrate Christmas in a more Christ centered way. We try to instill in our children that the real meaning of Christmas is about celebrating the birth of our Lord and savior, not about the presents. Of course, kids will be kids and that’s all they can think about for Christmas, but we hope that at least this is the foundation we are laying out. We do tell them that baby Jesus brings them a gift, and when they find out we buy the gift, my answer will be the same as my mom.

  3. So looking for tips on handling the conversatiom, pls share any insights or what you might have done differently. Did you specifically ever say, santa is pretend?

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