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: 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.

  • My daughter started asking whether Santa was real or not at about five years of age and I eased my way to the truth by telling her that the Santas she sees now are carrying on the work that St Nicholas started many years ago. She was happy with that answer.


  • i think having fun with family is important however families want to


  • This comes up every year. I truly can’t believe it does harm.


  • Let those parents who are good parents and listen to their children do the right thing on this. Those who are social media parents don’t need advice, they know it all!!


  • Let the kids enjoy the fantasy of Santa while they are little. It brings them so much fun and happiness.


  • I don’t like lying to my kids.
    When kids start to ask questions about Santa being real or not, it’s time for some truth.
    Nice thing it that part of the Santa story is real. He was a good man with a generous heart who lived hundreds of years ago and remember him and get inspired by him at Christmas. In a way we bring his spirit alive by doing so.


  • I agree with Kelly-Anne Allen -her argument makes sense and leaves parenting to parents! There are so many more important issues and the whole Santa/lie issue is over saturated on all platforms.


  • It’s seeming like the word “expert” is being used too freely nowadays! Everyone should just continue to go on doing what they are doing! If kids have issues that u lied to them about Santa etc just tell them the truth, you gave them magic for their childhood!


  • I think this is one that there is no right or wrong way to do it. Each kid will handle it differently and their parents are probably the best equipped to decided how to go about it.


  • We try not to lie to our kids – but I regard Santa as a bit like a fairy story.


  • Some of the points are interesting I don’t think credit for the presents should be a consideration.


  • I don’t agree with telling kids young that there isn’t a Santa. Seriously they are only young for such a short time, let them believe in magic, let them be kids. Sure they will be a little upset that there inst a Santa when they find out ( I know I was!) but I never once resented my parents for ‘Lying’to me about it! If anything it made me appreciate all the extra effort they went to to make sure I had a magical Christmas year after year.

    • Exactly! Perfectly summed up! I never had any resentment – just respect!


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