No more believing in Santa. Really, America?

by Erika Torres

santa-claus3The first time I read about a family who was not allowing their children to believe in Santa, I disregarded it as an anomaly.

However, a few weeks later, and I’ve now come across three different blog posts declaring why they won’t let their children believe in Santa Clause.

Is this “a thing” now?

And if it is, I feel like there is just nothing left to hold on to from the “good old days.”

I know better than to leave nasty comments on other people’s blog posts (“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”) but this has seriously gotten me so hot and bothered that I can’t even think clearly.

What the hell is wrong with a jolly fat man?!

One of the main reasons given by parents for going against the Santa fantasy is that they don’t want to lie to their children.

Lying–like it’s the worst thing in the world to lie to your children. First of all–it’s called “make-believe,” “pretend,” “imagination.” Take your pick.

And second of all–if you happen to raise the first child in America who has never told a lie,   then you deserve a freakin’ Nobel Peace Prize. What is with all the parental self-righteousnous these days?*

I gag in protest.

Another reason parents cite in their defense is how it confuses children between reality and fiction, and how it doesn’t teach children the real meaning of Christmas–which is about Jesus.

Um, what?

Children have been growing up with Santa for decades and I’ve never come across anyone who was permanently scarred when they realized that the big fat man who brought you presents wasn’t real.

Furthermore, Parents, I think you’re really underestimating your children. Children are wickedly smart and pick up on social clues a lot more often than parents give them credit for. There is no “confusion” here.

And how does Santa not represent what Christmas is all about?

If you want to make sure your children realize that Christmas is really about Jesus (“Tis the reason for the season” after all), Santa is a perfectly good steward of the message of Jesus Christ: which is to love thy neighbor, and Santa loves all children and gives regardless of socioeconomic status or race.

Can I get an “Amen” up in here?


I honestly can’t believe how riled up I am over this.

To me, it is such a stupid, silly little thing, but I can’t believe it’s become so much of an issue that parents won’t even let their children believe in such a big part of the magic of the holiday season.

I have nothing but warm memories of all the things my parents and extended family would do to make us little kids believe in Santa. From presents magically appearing on our doorstep to my uncle shouting “ho, ho, ho” from the chimney, I smile at these stupid silly little things and it saddens me to think that children will purposely miss out on that.

I get that parents have every right to raise their children the way they see fit. But this is one instance where I strongly disagree.

What’s next? No more Mickey Mouse? Mo more Sesame Street (talking puppets?!?!? now, that’s a lie)? Where do we draw the line?

Meg from Moments Like This sums it up best:

I don’t think Santa makes or breaks a Christmas, I just think he’s kind of like the icing on the cake.

I also think this no lie about holiday figures (Santa, Easter Bunny, or even the tooth fairy or what have you) is another way we are forcing our children to grow up so quickly. To me, Santa is an iconic figure that symbolizes the fun and mystery and innocence of childhood.


Everyone does what they think is best for their children. But as for me and my family, we are Pro-Santa all the way.

Is this one example of political correctness going too far? Is the magic of Santa past its prime? Are you pro or anti Santa?  


*this comment is not directed at ALL parents, because I have some really cool friends who happen to be parents. Right now, this anger is pretty much directed to parents that belong on this blog. 

image credit 

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Teacher Girl January 4, 2014 - 3:16 pm

I know I am late on this, but AMEN, sister! I do NOT understand parents these days, which makes me sad because a lot of these parents are around my age. Why is our generation so self righteous that we think we can do parenting so much better? Who knows if I’ll even be able to get my kids to believe in Santa by the time I have them. By then, there probably won’t be any kids who believe. And also, as Christian, I agree with everything you said. Santa is a symbol of giving and selflessness and kindness– the same principles as Jesus. Kids these days need more imagination, not less (I am reading their boring essays every single day). This whole topic makes me angry too.

Sanibel December 30, 2013 - 2:41 pm

I love this post. I’m happy you wrote it. I have come to notice the same thing in our society recently. The 11 year old in our home still “believes.” I think she knows teh truth but she loves the magic of it so we all just roll with it. Childhood ends so soon these days so why not let their imaginations have some fun.

Akirah December 27, 2013 - 1:18 pm

Still haven’t decided on Santa. From a justice standpoint, I don’t see myself teaching my kids about Santa. There are so many kids who don’t get presents at Christmastime and I kinda want my kids to be aware of that at a young age. But maybe it’s wrong to steal their innocence so young. I’m not sure. The important bottom line is that people should do what feels right for them and their families.

Erin @ My Alternate Life December 26, 2013 - 11:23 am

Eh, it doesn’t bother me what parents decide to do. I’m not sure whether or not I want to have Santa when I have kids, I’m assuming the answer will come when I actually have them. I don’t think anyone’s desire to do or not do Santa affects me in any way and therefore, I do not care. Children with both types of parents will likely turn out just fine.

Lizzy December 25, 2013 - 7:18 pm

My son is 4 1/2 and he loves Santa still. We have never had an issue of him questioning who he is, except he asks how Santa can be in so many places at once because of the ones in the mall, but that’s the only time he’s questioned it. I don’t see how make believe and pretend is lying to your children. Sure they get older and might question it, but being young and having Santa come is one of the best times of year. Why take away that imagination from them? They are only little once and then they grow up and their minds aren’t as creative sometimes. I love seeing my sons little brain work about Santa and elves. As he gets older, I will try to get him to volunteer more during the holiday time and try to get him to see the other side of it all instead of the commercialized side of Santa and Christmas.

I do feel that parents these days are all about giving toys to their overly spoiled kids(which I may get he*l for saying this, but it’s true! I mean, can Santa really give an iPad to a 8 year old for Christmas, probably not since he has to be able to give others gifts too!) than really thinking about what Christmas and Santa is about. I feel the holidays use to be about family, but now they are only about gifts. Costco had Christmas stuff out in July once. Target has had it out in October! I remember when Christmas stuff wasn’t put out until the middle or end of November! These days its all about buy, buy, buy! Kids throw fits if their parents or Santa didn’t get them what they wanted. I saw kids at my sons preschool ask Santa for things like video games, iPods, iPads, expensive stuff. They’re 4-5 year olds! I wish people would realize the best gift of all is spending time with your family and eating way too much food.

Now I just feel I’m rambling, but as a parent, I won’t ever tell my son Santa isn’t real until he asks. I’m sure he will be disappointed, but I don’t feel that I would be lying to him all those years. I actually don’t even remember being told Santa wasn’t real, and if I was told that, I don’t think I was completely devastated because Santa is still around in our family!

dojo December 25, 2013 - 2:35 am

I didn’t believe in Santa, even if my folks did try to ‘fool’ me, but we’ll try to have our daughter enjoy it fully, even with the make-believe. It’s a nice thing for the kids and, even if we don’t really go nuts over the holidays, we don’t want to deprive her of these magical moments we used to enjoy a lot as kids

Natalie December 24, 2013 - 10:53 am

I agree that some parent’s take it too far! The reasoning behind my choice to not have Santa apart of Christmas isn’t as extreme. To each their own though! 🙂 Love you blog.

Amanda December 24, 2013 - 8:11 am

I never believed in Santa but still always felt the joy of Christmas. My mom told me growing up that Santa wasn’t real, but I shouldn’t ruin it for the kids who did believe in him. I think her logic was that it was silly to get my hopes up so high for this amazing man who did something that seemed impossible, only to be crushed later when I found out he wasn’t real. And I’m fine with that! We still celebrated, and I still sat on “Santa’s” lap at the mall. I still had a good childhood. We still decorated the tree and had presents and sang carols and did crafts. That was all I needed.

Alice @ Earning My Two Cents December 24, 2013 - 6:50 am

I grew up with Santa and going to Church each week and on Christmas eve. I wasn’t confused and enjoy those happy memories. Amen.

Susan D Crochet Addict UK December 24, 2013 - 5:20 am

Without make believe and imagination nothing would get invented. Also Santa is a good message – it’s all about giving and behaving.

Reply December 23, 2013 - 10:47 pm

I grew up believing in Santa, and it never caused me any harm nor was I devastated when I learned the truth. I think the thing that frustrates me about this conversation is when people who don’t believe in Santa purposely ruin things for those that still do. You may not enjoy the imagination that believing in Santa takes, but don’t ruin it for other people.

judy December 23, 2013 - 4:22 pm

I finally had to tell each of my kids when they reached 6th grade about Santa because they believed and they in turn did not tell the younger kids or their cousins but instead made it an even bigger deal. Santa was and is still loved in our house in fact the kids still get a gift from him every year, something silly or from their childhood(they are 24,21,18) We are Catholic so always do Advent and the importance of Jesus but Santa is a wonderful fantasy based on many different things and I truly thing to many people just get their friggin panties in a bunch over him. What is wrong with letting your children believe in something that yes is not true but who cares? It’s fun and harmless.

Although I gotta tell you that elf on a shelf creeps me out!

Christine December 23, 2013 - 4:10 pm

LOVE this post. That is all. 🙂

Jolene December 23, 2013 - 1:46 pm

I actually love how riled up you are about this! I guess for me, since I never believed or was told about Santa Claus, I tend to agree in not telling mine (if we have kids) about Santa…or letting them make their own decision in ‘learning’ about Santa. M is, of course, on your side and would want them to believe in Santa. I don’t have a HUGELY strong opinion one way or the other, I guess to me, from my own experience, I don’t see the big deal in ‘believing’ in Santa. I know you disagree, and that’s ok!! I LOVE that you love this tradition and the magic of it. I can see that, I really can 🙂

eemusings December 23, 2013 - 12:14 pm

Hmmm. I grew up never believing in Santa (mostly cultural as my parents are Chinese and we spent the first 8 years of my life overseas). I think the whole thing is just as weird as it is cute to be honest. Not sure what we will do with our own kids. The thing is we live in a society now where Santa is the dominant thing and our kids will be surrounded by other kids who all believe in Santa…

newlywedsonabudget December 23, 2013 - 12:27 pm

Well I think Santa is only dominant in families where there is no religious background (or at least that is my observation–so I could be totally wrong). But in my family, we all knew it was about celebrating Jesus. I hope that we will be able to instill traditions in our family that will allow us to have fun with Santa but also make the focus on the true reason for the season.

Tonya@Budget and the Beach December 23, 2013 - 11:41 am

lol yeah it seems people go a bit overboard with the PC….well I don’t even know what to call it thing. Of course parents can do what they want, but I do feel bad for the kids then. Santa is just an iconic Christmas character. Seems a bit silly that parents would do that.

LBC Teacher December 23, 2013 - 11:33 am

I believed in Santa for only a few years, but by the time I was five or six, I had grilled my mom and dad so much about it that they finally just told me the truth. I cried and was very upset (especially when I connected that this also meant that the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny weren’t real either), but I don’t think it scarred me permanently. I think it’s funny that I was so persistent I couldn’t just believe it for fun, I HAD TO KNOW THE TRUTH. That’s just the kind of kid I was.

I think it comes down to knowing your kids and yourself and doing whatever is best for your family. Some parents are really uncomfortable lying, even if they call it pretending. That’s fine, then don’t do Santa as real. Just say it’s a fun story. If you enjoy it and your kids play along, then do that. I don’t really get why it upsets you so much (sorry if that’s too blunt). I knew kids growing up who didn’t believe in Santa, so I don’t think this is a new thing.

Also, I was less socioeconomically advantaged than many of my friends at school, and later than my friends at church. I got involved in church in middle school, so no Santa issue there, but it was VERY noticeable that they got nicer gifts than I did. And if I were little and believed in Santa, that probably would’ve bothered me…I had a strong sense of justice as a kid too.

Anyway, I plan to do Santa when I have kids, but if someone else doesn’t want to, that’s fine too. I always say that I’m giving the best gifts though, and Santa gives a smaller one…I want the credit for the big one! 🙂

newlywedsonabudget December 23, 2013 - 12:25 pm

haha, this is why you should never write a blog post when you’re still in the heat of the moment and you’re pounding on the keyboard because you come across looking as crazy to get so riled up over something as silly as Santa! haha.

Honestly, it’s a silly little thing, but to me, it’s just a big shock that parents would go so far as to not even let their kids believe in Santa. Like what is the big freakin’ deal?

When I mentioned this new trend to my family yesterday, they all groaned in unison. There is definitely a shift going on in the way people parent, and it saddens me sometimes to think that it has to go this far.

Kathy December 23, 2013 - 11:31 am

I seriously doubt that most of the ones who are opposed to their children believing in Santa do so because of religion. I suspect it is more about the self-esteem crowd and the crowd who believes no one should ever be offended because of some imagined offense. They probably know that Santa is a symbol that represents a holiday that is actually religious in origin and that is what they want to wipe out. . These same people probably are the ones who let their kids dictate where to live, where to go on vacation, what to eat etc. Millions of kids have believed in Santa and were not scarred for life upon learning the truth. What will more likely scar the kids is growing up being very different from most of their peers for no good reason.

Catherine December 23, 2013 - 10:27 am

I totally agree with you, The first time I read about this I thought it was a joke, also, you’re kid is going to be HATED at school when he starts telling all the other kids that santa isn’t real.

I love the notion of Santa, I think it’s magical to have a child believe in such a thing and to (usually) strive to be a better person because of it. I think it’s amazing that a ”jolly old man” can unite so many people. I also think it’s amazing that he teaches us to question things too. Life is too real sometimes, this can be a nasty world, I like that something remains totally magical and innocent for kids to enjoy.

newlywedsonabudget December 23, 2013 - 10:55 am

I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who thought this whole “Down with Santa!” campaign was a joke 🙂

Poor fat chick December 23, 2013 - 9:07 am

I totally agree here. Its not lying to your children its make believe. Like dragons and fairies and knights and ninja turtles and all such other fun things. When I was younger my brother and I spent a year convincing my younger sister that a fairy lived in the bottom of the garden. Complete with letters left on the door step for her.
Why. Because we wanted to create a sense of wonder and imagination for her and she loved it. She still sometimes talks about it with my niece.
I get parents don’t want to “lie” to their children but in this day in age with ipads, iphones, Xboxes and kids spending more and more time watching the tv where is there sense of wonder now.
Hey I am nearly 35 and I still believe in Santa Claus

newlywedsonabudget December 23, 2013 - 10:56 am

Me too, I love Santa! And I love being my own Santa now that I’m older, because I bring myself everything I want and it shows up under the Xmas tree!

Alexandra December 23, 2013 - 8:51 am

Santa is a poor representation of Jesus, to put it mildly. Santa gives presents to boys and girls who have been “good” (“naughty or nice”) which teaches children you have to earn good gifts. There is nothing that you can do to earn favor, good gifts or salvation – these are given by God’s grace. Furthermore, the Christmas season is about feeling thankful for the gift that was given to us (Jesus) and the hope and joy he brings to the world – not about receiving presents. I don’t think there’s anything bad about letting kids believe in Santa, but I certainly respect parents who don’t want to put such an emphasis on him during the Christmas season.

newlywedsonabudget December 23, 2013 - 11:02 am

I never meant that Santa WAS Jesus, but just that he’s a good steward of Jesus’ message. And while those things (favor, good gifts, salvation) may be given by God’s grace, there IS something you have to do in order to receive them, and that is to be a Christian. That’s why all religions have their rules into entering God’s kingdom.

And as for receiving presents, even Jesus received presents on His birthday by the three wise men–that’s why presents are exchanged (although that was how it was explained in my family–I realize that these days there IS a lot of commercialization that has happened, and you really have to work at keeping the religious influence over Christmas if it’s important to you).

Julie December 23, 2013 - 8:27 am

I was struggling with this for the first time, as our nearly-three-year-old daughter is just “getting” Christmas this year. I agree that, as a parent (especially one who’s not a good liar), it’s a lot of work and hard to keep the story straight and make sure everything adds up (Does Santa have his own wrapping paper? Who fills the stockings, just SC or Mom and Dad, too? Are all Santas we see the real Santa?, etc.) I’m sure I’m over-analyzing it, but I wanted to make sure I have the answers ahead of time if the questions should arrive, since I’m not quick on my feet. So, for a few moments, I considered not elaborating on the Santa myth. I wouldn’t come right out and say Santa isn’t real, but I thought about not propagating it actively. For my own sake.

But then I remembered all the excitement and traditions and happy memories I had of Santa and his story as a kid. We were still raised as Christians, and I don’t remember any religious confusion happening. And, when I was old enough to know the truth, I loved continuing the story for my younger brother. So why would I deny myself and my child this fun and magic? We’ll figure out the details, but Santa’s alive and well in our house. Just have to remember to leave out (and then eat) the cookies and carrots on Christmas Eve.

newlywedsonabudget December 23, 2013 - 11:07 am

I think all families create their traditions with Santa as they go. Like I am surprised when I hear from some people that ONLY Santa brought gifts in their family. In my family, we got one gift from Santa and one from my parents. It wasn’t the free-for-all that so many families have today.

Another reason I’ve heard for the “Down with Santa” campaign is that there is no way to explain why Santa brings more gifts to rich children and no gifts to poor children. Most children go to school with children in the same socioeconomic class since school boundaries and admission are based on where you live–so this is really a moot point.

Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies December 23, 2013 - 5:32 am

I think this is one of those things that isn’t worth worrying about one way or another. After all, does it really affect your life at all if someone you don’t know at all doesn’t profess a faux-belief in santa to their children who you also don’t know?

On a personal level, I don’t think we’d really take a stance one way or another if we had kids. If they asked us if santa was real we’d probably say, “no” but I can’t see us going out of our way to tell them santa’s a myth if they wanted to believe.

My siblings were old enough that the santa myth was out of the bag in our family by the time I came around and we had enough lessons on “stranger danger” that I freaked the f- out whenever someone would try and set me on the lap of a stranger. There are pictures of me screaming and tantruming in santa’s lap, with the easter bunny trying to hold on to me as I kick and scream, and even trying to run away from some of the sesame street characters (big bird and oscar ring a bell) when we went to sesame place when I was 3.

newlywedsonabudget December 23, 2013 - 7:17 am

You’re completely right that it doesn’t affect my life one way or another if parents won’t let their children believe in Santa. But I wreote this post almost immediately after I found out and it just bugged me so much that we’ve come so far and are getting so politically correct that children can’t even believe in something as silly as Santa.
I know that that “phase” doesn’t last long anyway; most children learn the truth by about 6 or 7. But what is the big deal if children want to believe in Santa? I really think it’s just sad overall.

MomofTwoPreciousGirls December 23, 2013 - 4:48 am

You know who Santa is traumatizing to? The parents! My oldest will be 6 in two weeks and the youngest is 4.5. I do not know what I will do when they no longer believe! I love Christmas and the magic and imagination. I love how infatuated they are with the whole thing!

We are not a religious family but we do teach them about the different beliefs surrounding this time of year (maybe just Christian and Jewish since that is what we are familiar with). Most of all we teach them that this time of year is about family and love.

Keeping the story of Santa going can be tough when the kids are convinced whatever they ask for will be given by the jolly man. Also hard to explain giving to things like toys for tots. They couldn’t grasp why Santa wouldn’t be giving those kids gifts and why we need to share. My 6 yo thought it was bc the kids were on the naughty list! We figure if out though and enjoy every moment of their belief in magic!

newlywedsonabudget December 23, 2013 - 7:18 am

I don’t think you have much to worry about! Even when I stopped believing, it was still fun to play along. I still get presents under the tree that come from Santa.


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