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.

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:


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 don’t want to lie to my kids. They just learn the truth.


  • We’ve never encourage Santa or any of the other make believe things. Today I was going through the kids toys and told my 3 year old we were donating unwanted toys to kids whose parents couldn’t afford Christmas presents and he said “but Santa brings presents while we sleep” I don’t even know where he heard that.


  • When my kids ask I WILL tell them


  • We don’t teach our kids that Santa is real from the start, or any of those fictional characters. We teach that Jesus is the reason for the season


  • I’ll wait until she asks me first


  • I will let my daughter keep believing as long as she wants to. If she comes straight out and asks then I will tell her the truth. Until then, no harm no foul.


  • I was so angry at my parents for lying about Santa that I still remember it, why would you lie to us I use to ask. Now with my own kids I will tell them the truth when they ask


  • Interesting read, the instinct is the lye as we don;t want to grown up too quick and lose the magic. But if they are questioning then their belief is already fading and I want to tell them in a loving way not her it from bullies at school, like I did


  • In this world, what harm is there in believing in a wonderful, kind being who gives out gifts and love? I think the way you tell them about Santa is more important than making them believe.


  • I will let my son believe as long as he wants to.
    It’s exciting for kids. Let them be little, believe in Santa, fairies, Easter bunny etc etc..
    there only little for a short time, enjoy the excitement on their faces.


  • I never “lied” to my children about Santa, when they questioned it at a very young age I answered their question with a question to get them thinking and figure it out rather than a “no”. As they got older and questioned again then they realised reality and what is physically possible and what isn’t.


  • What makes them experts?! So they studied something someone else decided was ‘right’?! What happens in the future when their studies become irrelevant? Soo basically its just someone’s opinion.. don’t care!


  • I’ll let my son believe till he wants to believe… its all in the festivity!


  • You do what’s right for your kids/family. I personally don’t see any harm letting this time of year being extra special and magical for kids. The world is hard and cruel enough as they get older…let them enjoy a bit of magical beauty while they can


  • I wouldn’t steal a little one’s dream before or just after Christmas unless they ask and demand an answer. I would wait a week or so. There has probably been discussions / arguments at school. The older kids need to understand that it isn’t fair to upset their younger siblings yet, that they can have fun believing until they are a little bit older.


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