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When do you tell your kids the truth about Santa Claus?

Posted on 07 December 2017

Christmas is a long awaited, exciting time of year for children. From their first birthday to primary school age, they most likely believe in Santa and his reindeer. But there comes a time when they’re becoming more mature and may have heard rumours at school that Santa isn’t real. Usually because a child has been pretending to sleep, opened their eyes desperate to get a glimpse of the jolly man in a red suit, but they’re faced with their dad in his striped pyjamas! If your child doesn’t already know, it can be a devastating experience to learn that it wasn’t true.

Every parent dreads the question from their child ‘Is Santa real?’. Usually this comes from children around the age of 7 or 8 years old but all families differ.

When your child starts asking questions you can explain that the idea of Santa is to make children happy and being good means they receive a reward, this is one way to approach the subject. The real Saint Nicholas story makes it easy for children to understand why their parents have been ‘doing his job.’

St. Nicholas lived around 200AD and was a generous man who was a gift giver, a protector of children and a man of faith who dedicated his life and money to help those less fortunate. He had spirit of giving that he has passed on to mums and dads to share with their children. St. Nicholas may no longer be with us, but children now identify him in their parents as he lives on.

Explain to your kids that they are being given special knowledge that is kept safe because they’re grownup and it’s being passed down to them. This means they’ll feel privileged and understand the importance of keeping this a secret from younger siblings.

Singing Christmas songs and using photos or figures of Santa will help your child put it into perspective and ensure that they don’t feel silly for not realising sooner. If they enjoy the story you tell and you reassure them that you’ll continue to celebrate Christmas as normal, there shouldn’t be a problem.

WikiHow has a brilliant step-by-step guide which is short and easy to follow, including how to incorporate Christmas songs and stories. 

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