November 24, 2019


The Conversation asked five experts: should I lie to my children about Santa?

Ah yes, the countdown to Christmas. Christmas trees and decorations are popping up in shop windows, the weather is warming up, and the school holiday period looms. This may be exciting or distressing, depending on your relationship with your family.

Not everyone celebrates Christmas. But, for those who do, you may find yourself lying to your children during the holidays about jolly old Saint Nick. But is there real harm in lying to your children to prop up a popular myth? And don’t you deserve the credit for buying all the presents?

As adults we know Santa Claus isn’t real, but many of us remember the disappointing day we discovered this was the case.

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The Conversation asked five experts from various fields if you should lie to your children about Santa. The answers may surprise you!

Four out of five experts said no


Here are their detailed responses:

If you have a “yes or no” education question you’d like posed to Five Experts, email your suggestion to: sophie.heizer@theconversation.edu.au


Disclosures: David Zyngier is convenor of The Public Education Network.The Conversation

Sophie Heizer, Commissioning Editor, Education, The Conversation

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

  • I think you just have to phrase it carefully when they eventually find out.


  • I don’t think it is bad to lie about Santa, but it comes with limits. I don’t want to be one of those parents that tells their child that Santa will only bring them presents if they are good and when they start to question if he is real or not, I don’t want to lie to them about it. I just think that Santa creates another level of excitement to Christmas for kids and life gets too serious when you get older, so why not let them enjoy it while they can.


  • I don’t think it’s lying…it’s magical.


  • I don’t think lying is ok when we teach our children in the meantime not to lye


  • Oooo this is interesting


  • I had no problem creating and sharing the magic of Santa with my son. He found out at 10, and I don’t believe he is in anyway damaged by the revelation.


  • My kids already know about the truth.


  • I don’t try to convince my child that unicorns are real, or Spiderman, or any other make-believe character that exists–including Santa. But I absolutely and wholeheartedly celebrate the wonderful stories of them all!


  • I don’t believe it’s lying to your children. If my boys asked me if Santa was real I just asked them what they thought. I also asked them not to say to their friends that Santa wasn’t real for the sake of not upsetting them.


  • I don’t believe it is lying also. Santa is part of the spirit of Christmas.


  • I do not think it is lying to your kids. Why can’t they believe in Santa. Our kids got a small present from Santa and one from their parents. When they got a little older we told them Santa was so busy he had to have helpers and those people could be your parents
    They were not harmed by this and they taught their kids the same. Why do we have to have all this political correctness. Let the kids have an imagination and believe in the unknown


  • I don’t really care but I will leave it until it seems like the right time


  • Let children be children. Most of us loved the magic of Santa. Then when they ask, tell them in a sensitive way. Life is full of ups and downs, children adapt.


  • With access to the internet I thinks times are different from when we all believed in Santa


  • My kids knew Santa wasn’t real, but said they liked the thought of it even though they knew also the real reason for celebrating Christmas.


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