Ask the Moms: Do Your Kids Believe in Santa?

Do your children believe in Santa Clause? Does your family celebrate Christmas with Santa and the whole deal? Telling Santa what they want for Christmas, being good for Santa, sitting on Santa’s lap.
I have mixed feeling about Santa.
What does your family do? At what age do you tell your kids Santa is not real? If they ask questions when they’re young, do you tell them the truth?

Published by Samantha Mellen

Certified personal trainer & health coach helping women transform their lives through fitness, abundant mindset coaching and internal peace. Mom of two boys, living life in Alaska.

27 thoughts on “Ask the Moms: Do Your Kids Believe in Santa?

  1. I am intrested in the responses you get – my son is a few months older than yours and I have mixed feelings too. I know that we will let him/teach him to believe in Santa, but also really stress the real meaning of Christmas – and focus more on that. I think DH and I will have fun with the Santa stuff and I liked believing in Santa…so

  2. Interesting.

    I have two girls under 4 1/2 and they definitely believe in Santa. Don't force them on his knee, but they know Santa's watching and they have their letters. I love the magic! My husband and I both remember that feeling you get at Christmastime when you're anticipating Santa's arrival.

    But that being said, the thing I'm more concerned about with my kids is that we put more focus on giving than receiving. Santa's going to bring the one big thing they ask for and he'll fill their stockings. But we're trying to emphasize the fact that we should be excited to give things to people we love.

    We've created handmade gifts for everyone on our list this year instead of buying things so my girls learn at a young age that to give is more important than to receive.

    Sorry I went off on a tangent there, but I couldn't help it! The commercialization of Christmas drives me nuts.


  3. Hunter does not, but he is 12. He is under penalty of DS-Loss if he tells Boo. Boo does, but I don't know how MUCH of it she believes.

    We are not a religious family, so while my kids know about the true meaning of Christmas it is not the main thing. We focus on family, and being together. That is our main goal for the day.

  4. We do Santa. I did growing up with my parents and I decided to do it with my kids as well. Of course, we also teach the real reason for the holiday. But Santa has been a fun tradition and part of the holidays in our family. It was hard last year as my 12 year old was brought to the realization that Santa is not real due to kids at his school. It was very hard and very brutal but I believe we handled it well I think (in our explanation as to WHY we “lied” to him about Santa. I think the decision is ultimately yours but if you decide to do it, be sure you know how to let them know when someone tells them there is no Santa

  5. We won't be telling our children that there is a Santa. It seems confusing to tell children that there is a good, old man who is always watching them and gives them good things and we can communicate with, then to tell them, “Just kidding–but there really IS a God.” If they ask about Santa, we will tell them that some people like to pretend that there is a Santa, and we can pretend too, but it's just a nice story.

    We will try very, very hard not to lie or mislead our children, so hopefully they will trust us when it comes to the truth.

    Christmas is a time for our family to come together, to give to one another, to stop and take time to be thankful for our blessings and share with others who have need. It's a lot of fun for kids and parents even without Santa Clause.

  6. Our boys are 4 and almost 3. I think they pretty much see santa as a character from a story or movie. Kind of like seeing someone dressed up like Bob the builder. We don't avoid santa but we don't play it up either. Their gifts will be from us, but we may say their stockings are from Santa. We do celebrate St. Nick day etc and focus on the Nativity and Advent. Santa is just kind of a background character…kind of like the Easter bunny. We'll see what happens as they get older.

  7. My kids know about Saint Nick. If they believe in Santa more power to them but I dont sit there and tell them all about Santa and since they were young I have always told them the Santa's they see are fake. we have our own traditions which we will do until the kids are grown and out of our home. we leave cookies because everyone else does but we dont even remember to do that yearly.

  8. we don't do santa. mainly because i don't want to lie to our kiddos. and any way you look at it santa is a lie. i don't want them to find out one day there is no santa, and then wonder if there is no jesus. and it's creepy to think of some fat man in a red suit 'sees you when you're sleeping'. i'd rather them be good because it's what jesus wants, not because it's what santa wants. to them it's just some guy dressed up in a costume.

  9. I have 2 girls, 7 y.o. and 13 mos. We did the whole Santa thing with my oldest. I hated it. Once she started asking questions we had to come up with one story after another about Santa. She was very curious and I hated knowing that one day she would figure out it was a lie. Well she learned the truth a few months ago and actually thanked us for giving her Christmas presents that she once thought were from Santa. We have decided not to do Santa with our little one. He's not outlawed or anything. I have decor with Santa on it, we did pictures with him already etc. We're just not going to tell her that he's real and brings presents. He'll be like snowmen and penguins, just another icon of the winter season. We would rather focus on what Christmas is. Every year since my oldest was 2 we have made a birthday cake for Jesus 🙂

  10. I am the youngest of four and I don't ever remember believing in Santa. My mom thinks that's really sad, but I never felt like I was missing out. I won't go so far as to tell my daughter Santa bought her the presents or anything, I think it will be more like he's a Christmas character like Rudolph or Frosty. I always thought it was a strange lie to tell kids–a fat guy in a red suit will watch you and judge you and then break into your house? I know I look too much into it, but it just seems really weird.

  11. We're doing the Santa thing, but the three year old is already asking questions. I don't think it is going to last long, but it sure does help to be able to play the Santa card when she is being naughty 🙂

  12. well I still believe in Santa. I am 28.

    My daughter KNOWS that Santa is not real. She also goes to a private school where they tell her the true meaning of Christmas. I am perfectly okay with that.
    I simply told her it is something in her heart.
    Perhaps next year I will tell her the story of how Santa became. For now her knowing the true meaning of Christmas and believing is all that matters to me

  13. My kids are only 3 and 8mo so they aren't really old enough to understand any of it yet. My 3yr old knows that there is a Santa at Christmas but he doesn't know why. But we do do 1 big gift from Santa, we aren't sure what we're going to do though.

  14. My kids will know who Santa is and how he became known as “Santa Claus” but will know the truth. We are about focusing on the true meaning of Christmas and what it is really about.

    One thing I was thinking about the other day – she doesn't really know or wouldn't even completely understand the real meaning quite yet, but we talk about it a little (our oldest is 2 1/2) and when we go somewhere people always ask her “Oh, are you excited for Santa to come?” … and well she just sort of looks at them funny, but just today I thought, wouldn't it be cool if some day she could turn around and say “No, but I'm excited to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ!”

  15. We talk about Santa the same way we talk about Dora or Mickey Mouse. It's a fun story, and my girls like seeing Santa at the mall, but they don't actually receive any presents from Santa. I was devastated when I found out there wasn't a Santa, and I remember clearly feeling like my mom had lied to me. I just don't want to work so hard to convince them something is real when it's not.

    They know the basics of St. Nicholas, but we'll talk about that more as they get older as well.

    Right now, we're happy with the way we do things. My only fear is that they're going to ruin it for someone else. We stress up and down that they are not to tell another kid that there's no Santa, but I'm realizing I need to figure out what they *should* say, specifically when we celebrate with my husband's family on the 26th and the grownups start asking what Santa brought them, since I know their cousins do believe.

  16. We won't be “celebrating with Santa”. My son is only 5 months old, but we want him to know that Christmas is about Jesus, and not Santa. We want him to focus on the true meaning of Christmas, and not just what he's gonna get. I also agree with the ones that talked about telling him that Santa isn't real, but God and Jesus are real. How's he going to know what to think?

    I remember believing in Santa when I was a child, and I think it would be fun for him to know that it is just a story, something pretend, and he can still read about him, and watch the Christmas shows, but he will know that Christmas is about Jesus' birthday.

  17. I have 4 kids…3 that believe but the oldest last year at age 8 asked…I tried to convince him…but he knows now. I have tried to explain the importance of this secret and hope that he is able to keep it!! 🙂

  18. I will take it to the grave-Santa is REAL!
    My mom always told me, “When you stop believing, Santa stops coming.”
    It's true. I will tell my kiddos the same thing. 🙂
    Of course, they know the TRUE meaning of CHIRSTmas too.

  19. my daughter definitely believes in Santa! And she's 7! But she's starting to doubt. I totally lie to her! I feel horrible, though, but I couldn't bring myself to tell her the truth!

  20. I wrote a whole blog about this. You aren't the only one with mixed feelings. Hubby and I have decided to forego believing in Santa and teach our son who “Saint Nick” was and what he did. We plan to incorporate 'Santa' into the giving aspect of Christmas and focus most of what Christmas really means.

  21. Nope, no Santa here. However, we don't do Christmas in our house either. It's a little confusing, since the rest of my family (parents, siblings) and also Hubby's family celebrate Christmas (and generally a religious Christmas). We're a different religion, but we ARE spending Christmas Day over at Grandma's house. But Baby H doesn't get a stocking and we've requested no Santa for her growing up. We'll be careful not to spoil it for my sister's kids, but it's not part of our family traditions we are building.

  22. I totally agree with Mandi…my kids aren't old enough for school yet but my worry is the same, I don't want them to ruin it for someone else. I have nothing against parents who do do the whole Santa thing (I grew up believing) which is why I don't want my kids to spoil it for someone else.

  23. My husband and I have talked and we decided with our 4 mo old we will do santa. My husband grew up with no santa and I did grow up with santa, so with much discussion we decided to do santa. We of course will teach the true meaning of christmas and will by no means push santa onto our child. We have decided that santa will bring one gift and the stocking.

    We have also decided to adopt a family every year. We want to teach Brook that if you have the means to help the less fortunate then do so, who knows…we may need the help one day and would appreciate the help.

  24. Hayden is 2 and he believes in santa.. we do gifts from santa but of course they aren't the most expensive or nicest ones. But since this is the first year he understands santa, we also have to explain that santa and christmas are different. That took a while. We aren't completely religious but I think when he gets older we'll go into more detail about what christmas means.

    As far as when he stops believing in santa? I'm not sure… his cousins are 8 and 6 and they still believe so I'm not sure yet how to deal with that.

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