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 will you do about Santa? Will you tell your children who he is?”

Truthfully, I hadn’t thought about it! I reflected and realized that neither my husband nor I had particularly negative experiences with Santa growing up. Both of us couldn’t even remember when we found out he wasn’t real.

Even though we weren’t emotionally scared by it, we felt uneasy about promoting Santa.

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

Why We Don’t Do Santa in Our House

First, we want Christmas to be about something other than receiving 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 faces when they open it!

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

Worried you may miss out on some of the magic of Christmas? Don’t fret! You can still have a magical holiday even if you don’t promote Satna. We have Christmas traditions that the kids look forward to every year.

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

READ: 10 Family Christmas Traditions to Start This Year!

A 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.

Feeling like we need “more” to enjoy the day even happens to me as an adult. However, when I focus on the “more,” I miss the true wonder of God’s love. Instead of looking heavenward, my mind focuses on temporary things. Things that ultimately will not satisfy my soul.

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.

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

And plus, our kids enjoy wrapping gifts for other family members. When you get them involved in the gift-giving process, they understand what a joy it is to bless someone else!

Botton line: I 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

Even without 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. 

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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.

In case you’re wondering, our kids know who Santa is…a fictional character. We aren’t entirely eliminating Santa and aren’t judging people who believe in Santa. We also try not to ruin the magic for other families.

We’ve read books that describe St. Nick and how “Santa” came to be. One of the books is called The Legend of St. Nicholas: A Story of Christmas Giving. Another one is called Saint Nicholas: The Real Story of the Christmas Legend.

I’m thankful that my friend asked how we would handle Santa. It gave us time to thoughtfully consider it before our kids grew up. We decided 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? How do you share Christmas’s true meaning with your kids? Let us know in the comments below!

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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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