6 Totally legit reasons to lie to your kids about Santa

Dec 9, 2014 at 9:12 a.m. ET

December is here so Santa is coming. Or, you know, not really. We just pretend that he is. So what do you tell the kids? The truth? Or not? Are you pro-Santa? Or pro-truth? Can you be both? Are they not exclusive?

Why you should tell the kids that Santa is real:

1. Because lying is fun.

2. Because there is nothing creepy about a plump man in a red jumpsuit breaking into your house in the middle of the night who knows your kids' names.

3. Because you'll have somebody else to blame if they hate their presents.

4. Magical and stuff.

5. So you will have that manipulative power of "I'll tell Santa" if kids don't behave.

6. Because when they find out later they will feel betrayed which will be a powerful learning experience.

So what happens if you tell the kids that Santa is not real?

The magic will be gone and kids will hate Christmas.

I suspect many people will base their decision on how it all went down when they were kids. Devasted by the truth later? They might not be as motivated to keep up the Santa thing for long with their kids. Have fond and nostalgic memories of truly believing? Then you might be keen on replicating this for your kids.

So what to do? Take a lazy approach perhaps? That always sounds good.

You could let them decide. Use "some people believe" and "it's fun to believe" and let the magic in but without ever stating that Santa is actually real. Without ever actually lying.

Some parents approach it in the same way they do elves, gnomes and fairies. Shut up, they're real. It's fun to believe.

In our own house, pretty early on, my son said, "He isn't actually real, is he?" And I replied, "Nah. But it's fun to pretend. And some kids believe so keep it to yourself."

He responded:

So there you have it folks. As long as there are presents, it doesn't matter who they are from.

Presents! Now that’s the true meaning of Christmas! Oh, wait...

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