Should You Continue The Santa Tradition

We’ve reached a point in our society’s growth that we have to make a decision about a fond and mostly happy tradition. Do we tell our kids about Santa or not? Ultimately, the decision is up to you.

If you are here trying to decide if you should continue the tradition or not, all I can do is give you our opinions on it. Know this, no matter what you decide I don’t feel that either way is right or wrong, just parents making a decision that’s right for their family.

Telling Kids About Santa

Deciding if you are going to tell your kids about Santa or not really boils down to the feelings of you and your spouse. Either way I don’t have any hard feelings about it, and I promise I won’t judge your decision.

Growing up my parents did Santa and like most children by 8 or 9 I knew Santa wasn’t real. I didn’t hold it against my parents, I didn’t feel it was a bad lie, I was ok with it.

Before having a child of my own I believed I would continue the tradition of Santa. Once I had a kid though, and especially during a tough time financially, I started to understand why the Santa lie wouldn’t be a good thing.

We decided that telling L about Santa wasn’t something we wanted to do and we have some pretty good reasons why not. However, I also don’t want L spoiling the fun for other children so I we’ve come up with a plan to deal with our decision to keep it from affecting other families as much as possible.

Why We Aren’t Doing Santa

If you are wondering if Santa is a good idea for your family or not, I’m explaining the reasons why we aren’t doing Santa in our home.

1. Santa sometimes gives better gifts to other kids.

The number one reason why we don’t want to do Santa is because of the financial aspects of it. I don’t expect wealthy or financially stable people to buy socks and coloring books for their kids from Santa just because there are families where this is all that can be afforded.

Pile of gifts and a bag with a picture of Santa on it in front of a Christmas Tree

How do I explain to my child that the reason little Timmy got the new Playstation for Christmas and he didn’t? How do you explain it’s not because Santa doesn’t like him. I don’t want my sons Christmas being ruined because of an imaginary man who gives out gifts.

2. We are choosing to not lie to our kid.

The next reason is that we don’t want to teach our son that it’s ok to lie. A lie is a lie is a lie. Be it a fun lie like Santa, or a big lie like “I didn’t break that vase.” The complexity of lying is not something that children always understand.

I don’t want to have to try to get my kid to understand that some lies are good thing. In our family we believe polite honesty is still better than a white lie.

3. Just because we had Santa doesn’t mean he needs to.

While traditions are great and can be a lot of fun, as we progress certain traditions just don’t make a lot of sense. Some traditions don’t age well. If we always do what we always did we’d have a lot more problems. We grow and change as a society and sometimes that includes traditions like Santa.

Instead we’ve decided to create our own traditions to replace the tradition of Santa. Eating cookies while watching Christmas movies, opening jammies the night before, and giving gifts to those in need top our favorite Christmas traditions.

4. My husband’s birthday is on Christmas and we don’t need any more thunder stealing.

My husband was born on Christmas so in our house we celebrate his birthday before celebrating Christmas. Being excited for his birthday, planning gifts, food, and a celebration he will enjoy is far more important than anticipating the arrival of Santa.

5. Because Christmas is not about getting things.

During the recession of 2008 I grew weary of the idea of Christmas and actually started to despise the holiday all together. During a tough time for many families those that escaped the downturn didn’t seem to realize that not everyone was so lucky.

Christmas is not about getting gifts it’s about enjoying time with family and friends. It’s about celebrating the end of the year with laughter and joy.

6. The holidays are stressful enough without an imaginary stalker man.

“He sees you when he’s sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.” Um.. what? This has never sat well with me once I was old enough to realize the meaning.

Santa holding a list of names and a pen

Normalizing stalking to a child is not ok. Stalking is a serious situation and it’s important to teach your child that stalking is not acceptable be it happening to them or doing it themselves.

7. You don’t always get stuff because you are good.

I want to teach my child the realities in life. We don’t just get stuff because we are good. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how good you are, you aren’t always going to get your way. This is the more important life lesson to teach than be good so you can get gifts.

8. My son should be good because he is good instead of being afraid of being punished for being bad.

Additionally, I don’t want my child learning that by not getting things it must be because he was bad. There are always outside reasons why he may not receive the things that he really wants in life. Be it financial, out of stock, or otherwise he needs to know that the gifts he get are out of the kindness of someones heart instead of because he was good.

9. Because kindness and compassion come first.

Kindness and compassion come first before receiving gifts. We want to teach our son to embrace the “spirit” of Santa instead of believing in Santa. Give gifts, be kind, show compassion because it’s a good thing to do. Additionally, the act of giving is proven to make you happier.

10. Because we want to eat the cookies as a family.

What can I say we love cookies in our house and we love sharing them as a family. It’s a fun tradition to start on Christmas eve. Eat cookies, open up our christmas pajamas, and watch a Christmas movie together.

How To Explain Santa Without Lying

The way we are handling Santa is by not lying about him. Over time we will share the story of Santa. Who he really was and the tradition St. Nicholas started.

Then we will explain to him how parents often enjoy continuing the tradition by taking on the role of Santa and telling their kids that Santa came to drop off gifts. How we believed he would actually prefer the truth of the matter instead of the story that is told.

Family of four using digital tablet at home during Christmas

By encouraging him to be like Santa and picking out gifts for children in need that we can donate so all kids can receive something on Christmas day. We want to teach him that Christmas is a time of giving, kindness, and compassion.

Finally, we plan to explain to him that to keep the spirit of Santa alive we are going to keep this secret as a family. That if a kid he knows believes in Santa to not spoil the fun they are having with the truth.

Telling My Child About Santa When The Time Comes

My son is only 4 so this would be the first Christmas we could even talk about Santa with any excitement. We just aren’t talking about Santa until it’s necessary. The day will come when the Santa subject needs to be dealt with.

When that time arrives we will explain the truth to him in a gentle way while also explaining to him the importance that other kids may believe in Santa. That it’s ok for them to believe because it’s part of the magic of the season. For us, we create our own magic through different traditions and giving to those in need.

For you, be it you decide to tell the truth about Santa or continue the tradition, it’s fine with me. I truly believe that every parent gets to make their own decision and I respect that decision.

What are you planning on telling your kids about Santa? Let me know in the comments below. Follow me on Pinterest for more like this and pin this to your parenting boards.

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    Crystal Lynn

    Crystal is the founder & CEO of MommyThrives and also full-time mom to a very active little guy. She’s passionate about cooking, cleaning, and organizing and turns her experiences into actionable systems to make mom-life simpler. When she’s not busy, you can find her reading, painting, or even on occasion indulging herself shooting bandits in Borderlands on her PC.

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