With Sophia's first Christmas coming up, Amy and I have been discussing how we will be handling Santa. Obviously it won't be much of an issue this year, but the question is, should you lie to your children about Santa? We've made the decision that it is a bad idea to perpetuate a myth and to lose trust of our child. But what about all the Christians who lie to their children about Santa? Aren't they breaking one of their commandments? Isn't it a sin to lie? If taken literally, Christians are committing a crime against God on the level of coveting their neighbor's wife or killing someone when they lie about Santa.

So, is it really worth it to lie to our children?


Ooh my goodness!!! I sure hope that comment about those who "lie" about Santa going to hell, was sarcasm. You can handle the subject of Santa and the Easter Bunny and all the other mythical characters (tooth fairy) however you want, but know that small children don't distinguish between fantasy and reality until about the ages of 5 or so and fantastic thinking is a normal and natural part of child development. You may be stuck with her believing in what you perceive as imaginary whether you want her to or not.

Let her be a kid why dontcha' and save the deep philosophical stuff for debate when she's older. Demythologizing our fantasy characters, heros, parents (whom we think are perfect and godlike for a good long time), is a stage that she will go through like every other kid. Maybe you should read up on some child psychology before you set about to murder all myths. You post really pissed me off but I still love you. Happy Holidays

On review from my editor Amy, I've rewritten this entry to not sound so mean, but keeping the irony that was intended.

Well, I don't remember ever believing that Santa was real. Even when the present gift tags said, "From Santa." I always knew that Mom & Dad put the presents under the tree and ate the cookies & milk we left out for St. Nick. But it was fun to think about Santa, just like it was (and still is) fun to put up the creche and Christmas tree and read the story about the baby in Bethlehem and sing carols. It was all just part of our tradition and it was OK that it was a myth.

But I am glad I knew it wasn't real because I know some parents who have kids in middle school that still believe in Santa, and those parents are freaking out about "what if my kid finds out I've been lying all this time?" I talked to some parents like this last year at work, and it was so messed up!

I agree with Stephen that lying to kids is bad. But I think it's OK to tell the story in the context of a myth and let them have fun with it. But full-out lying is bad. When I was six and my great grandpa told me I could catch the bunny rabbit in his back yard by sprinkling salt on it's tail (because that would make it freeze so I could put it in a box), I was soooo upset when I found out he was pulling my leg. And all the other adults went along with him in perpetuating the leg pulling. Maybe that's why my legs are so long...

Thanks Amy for mellowing it out so nicely. The new version is much more friendly, Stephen, and still makes your very legit point. Amy, sorry about the leg pulling... was a giggling participant in the salting the bunny tail deception... Come to think of it Grampa did the same sort of thing to me... remember the plum delicious ice cream story? I fell right into his hoodwink and I was about 12! Anyway, Steve's post hit me right in my childhood fantasy. I don't know about Santa, but there are many family members who believe that the Babe in Bethlehem story holds elements of truth... some consider it as literal truth. Some of them are young children. Some of them are grown up children... like me. Can we agree to a live and let live policy and to allow the little ones and not-so-little-ones too hold their cherished beliefs?

You are all on my naughty list!

Everyone is entitled to their beliefs. Our website is not a personal attack on anyone. It is simply a way for us to express our thoughts/opinions/quandries. "Live and let live" is all well and good until it steps on a person's freedom to express their feelings. Every year we receive Christmas cards that embody the strong Christian beliefs of many of our friends and family members. That is a great way for them to express their beliefs, just as our website is a great way for us to express opinions. So, live and let live, yes, but never be afraid to say what you mean and mean what you say.

So here's another can of worms. Would you tell someone else's child who was being raised in a household of faith that there is no God because you don't believe. Would you tell someone else's child that there is no Santa, because that is what you believe? Would you be a prosletizing asantaist?

I play along with those whose faith expresses itself differently than mine out of courtesy and respect. (When in Rome, do as the Romans do.) So the question is, in a social setting isn't it better to play along a bit in order to allow others the freedom of their beliefs?

Will Sophia be the kid who spills the beans, or will she be taught to keep her unbelief in Santa to herself in order to respect the belief of others?

Santa doesn't equal God/Jesus/Religion. It is a fact positive that he doesn't exist. The secret is going to get out. Now go eat some cookies.


I don't believe in Santa.

I never have.

I wouldn't propagate that lie.

Now Hanukkah Harry....I know he's real.

Latkes for all!

Ok...this is a good one.

Eddie believes in Santa...without much forethought on the matter on our part. We went about the process as most parents do...we did what our parents did. (Now I will rationalize our nonthoughtout path with an explanation that I hope will cover our asses someday). We passed along a story/myth that tells the story of a generous soul that reminds us to treat each other with respect and graciousness or there will be consequences (like not being able to use the computer tomorrow). The story of Santa provides a mythical example of someone who is a true philanthropist...someone who gives so much of himself without expectation of a return (except for perhaps an increase in goodwill between people). This is what Doug and I emphasize with Eddie and Claire. The other part of wanting to believe comes from a lack of true giving people in our Western society. If real giving was more common place, I am sure that the story of Santa would not have as much impact as it does.

I don't remember having any bad memories of pain and angst when I found out the actual identity of Santa except that I wished I could still believe. I recall going through a period of doubt after "finding out" that there wasn't actually that giving soul in the world. This is true of a lot of things that I learned growing up...that the world isn't made of fluffy clouds and unicorns and that there is some real tragedy in this world. I guess I need my kids to have a good foundation in hope before I can reveal the pain of the world to them. This is probably way over the top but I am trying to rationalize the "lying" aspect of your post to sharing a pretty good story and my children learning a valuable lesson from it. Being good for goodness' sake and giving are true virtues that I think are worth the teaching.

With that all said...I am sure that you guys can accomplish that task in a different method other than passing on the Santa myth.

Happy Winter Solistice everyone...the sun is coming back!

Hi everyone...since I'm the one that thought of bringing along The Polar Express to watch on the day after Christmas, I suppose I should throw my 2 cents in!

The myth of Santa Claus comes from the real life of a 4th century bishop/saint named Nicholas. I googled St. Nicholas for fun, and found out more about him than I ever knew. Here is the link if anyone is still curious:


His life was about helping the poor, especially children, and he was a devout Christian. Santa Claus has evolved into something quite different, but that's who he came from. I don't know how everyone feels about saints, but the heart of this man was the essence of Jesus teachings: care for the poor, the needy, the weak- this is what true religion really is, and Nicholas was a giver of needed gifts.

Christmas is a tightrope walk for parents. How to give gifts to our children to show love and the spirit of this season of giving- but yet teach them that a giving spirit to others who have less than we do, is an "all the time" way of life? We are still refining it, and every Christmas we do things a little differently.

We talked about Santa Claus with Gideon when he was old enough to understand- but he always knew that Dad was "Santa"- and when he was older,we told him about Saint Nicholas- the real guy. Our girls from Ethiopia knew about Santa Claus, but they also realize that Christmas gifts are a result of Dad's hard work.

Well- that's it for now- all three kids are up and I must make breakfast. I love all y'all, and that is no myth!

i'm writing an essay on the deception of santa clause and easter bunny, and i totally think its ok! the characters and their stories bring across the parallel meaning of the christian message, you know giving without thought of recieving, and that you can love someone you have never met unconditionally.
how many kids have been traumatised for life anyway!



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