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According To Parents, Here’s The Best Answer To The Question: ‘Is Santa Real?’

Any parent who has a child that believes in Santa knows that one day that child will stop.

Many even dread that day and wonder who it will happen. Will they get caught carrying in the gifts on Christmas Eve? Will an older child tell your child that he isn’t real? Will your child simply grow up and use reason to come to the conclusion that you have been lying to him or her for the last 10 (or so) years?


Santa is a win and lose situation.

There is nothing better than watching your child’s eyes light up when they are next in line to sit on Santa’s lap. Helping them make their Christmas lists and baking cookies for him make for some great holiday memories. Most parents are in no hurry to give that up, and many even wonder if Christmas will be the same when their children stop believing.

For Charity Hutchinson of British Columbia, her days of writing “from Santa” on gift tags are numbered. She has two young boys and also helps raise her two nephews. She has spent the last few years hiding gifts, moving elves, and taking Santa photos of all the boys. It’s been a great time for the most part.

Recently, one of Charity’s nephews approached her and told her he no longer believed in Santa Claus.

She knew he still wanted to believe and was hoping she would tell him that Santa was real. She knew she had to say something, but she wasn’t prepared to lie to the child.

She said:

“I felt sad because he seemed disappointed telling me his news. And in that moment, I didn’t know what to say to him.”
Charity knew that her nephew would eventually find out the truth and that if she lied to him just to try to make his Christmas memories more magical, there is a chance he wouldn’t trust her with questions and advice about more important things as he got older. This wasn’t something she was willing to risk. She had to find a way to give him the answer he wanted without ruining Christmas or losing his trust.

She found a way to transition children from getting from Santa to becoming Santa.

She shared this idea from Leslie Rush:

“In our family, we have a special way of transitioning the kids from receiving from Santa, to becoming a Santa. This way, the Santa construct is not a lie that gets discovered, but an unfolding series of good deeds and Christmas spirit. When they are 6 or 7, whenever you see that dawning suspicion that Santa may not be a material being, that means the child is ready. I take them out “for coffee” at the local wherever. We get a booth, order our drinks, and the following pronouncement is made:

‘You sure have grown an awful lot this year. Not only are you taller, but I can see that your heart has grown, too. [ Point out 2-3 examples of empathetic behavior, consideration of people’s feelings, good deeds etc, the kid has done in the past year]. In fact, your heart has grown so much that I think you are ready to become a Santa Claus. You probably have noticed that most of the Santas you see are people dressed up like him. Some of your friends might have even told you that there is no Santa. A lot of children think that, because they aren’t ready to BE a Santa yet, but YOU ARE.’”

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