What?! Santa’s not real? But, I just talked to him today, at the mall!
Yes, you have a point… we are lying to our children. But I personally don’t think it does any harm. While I have talked to many young adults that resent their parents for many things, being tricked about Santa has not been one of them. In my experience with my own kids, as well as many of my friends, the whole Santa thing has gone like this: between age two and seven-ish, it is a fun game, with letters to Santa, half-eaten cookie on a plate Christmas morning, etc. Then the child finally gets in on the secret, probably thanks to one of his friends. At this point, letters to Santa (and the tooth-fairy for that matter) are addressed to “Dad”, and the older child has fun playing Santa games on the younger siblings.
I think most of us have a lot of great “Santa memories”. I vividly remember trying to explain to my 5 year-old why she saw Santa Claus walking down the street! I do get a little bit sad when I think about my little girl growing up and losing that Christmas magic. It seems like a metaphor for life… it isn’t always going to be a bowl of cherries. I guess I wish we could all keep believing in Santa. For now, I need to help my younger one mail a letter to the North Pole, and also teach him the real meaning behind Christmas.