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to tell my 4 and half year old about Santa?

(115 Posts)
MummyAbroad Wed 07-Nov-12 18:06:22

So my four and half year old just asked me if Santa is real or not. I was a bit surprised and stalled him by asking him what he thought. He said "yes!" and ran off, but I know I will get asked again later (he likes repetition!)

Last week I had to do a great deal of explaining that ghosts and dracula and all that other Halloween stuff wasnt real because it was making him scared at bedtime, and I have also been telling him that "fibbing" is naughty (as he has just started doing it) So why would I make up a great big lie about Santa? How am I going to explain the fact that I lied when he does find out?

I never believed in Santa myself as the first year I asked who he was my older sister told me it was all made up and he didnt exist.

Is it a big deal to believe in the "magic"? Can I just tell him the truth? Does anyone else?

Quip Wed 07-Nov-12 18:07:18


TomsBentPinky Wed 07-Nov-12 18:07:30

You sicko.

ChickenFillet Wed 07-Nov-12 18:07:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ZeldaUpNorth Wed 07-Nov-12 18:07:52

Aww no, don't spoil the magic. My dd1 (nearly 9) still believes. I will be sad when she stops believing sad

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 07-Nov-12 18:08:18

I am dreading this. We are an atheist family so I am worried about lying about one beard in the sky while saying the other one is 'just something some people believe in". This parenting lark is difficult. DH wants to tell her it is all cobblers. Thankfully she isn't 2 yet grin

LindyHemming Wed 07-Nov-12 18:08:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Wed 07-Nov-12 18:09:11

No - don't spoil the magic, you can't 'unspoil' it. By the time he's old enough to know that you 'lied' he'll be old enough to understand the difference between lying and magic smile

Mollydoggerson Wed 07-Nov-12 18:09:58

YABU, a little white lie is acceptable in this scenario, no need to be too literal about it!

I think being vague about most things Santa related works out best.

MummyAbroad Wed 07-Nov-12 18:10:08

MrsTerry, I am atheist too, and exactly the same thing has occured to me!

For those who believe in the "magic" doesnt it all go sour when they find out you lied?

MummyAbroad Wed 07-Nov-12 18:11:01

x posts with chipping I like the theory.

SelfRighteousPrissyPants Wed 07-Nov-12 18:12:39

There's a difference between lies and stories.

Unlurked Wed 07-Nov-12 18:12:52

I wouldn't lie. I'm sure he'll still enjoy Xmas even if he doesn't believe a beardy bloke will be wandering around his room at night.

Butkin Wed 07-Nov-12 18:13:05

You only get one go at this. Once they know they never blame you. They just appreciate the wonderful excitement they felt when they weren't "in the know".

I would not confuse this with religion. This is just fun.

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 07-Nov-12 18:14:57

What is the difference between lies and stories when they ask you directly? I am dreading this. I would be happy to tell her it's a story but what about the other parents who want their DCs to believe until they are in double figures?

ZeldaUpNorth Wed 07-Nov-12 18:15:02

"doesn't it all go sour when they find out you lied?"

That I do not know as mine still believes. However i do think she has an inkling as she's asked about it and knows i buy and wrap all the presents, expect one present each (or sometimes a group gift ie Wii) which Santa wraps and brings. I just said some people believe, some do not. The ones who do not believe, still get presents, but they don't get the "special" present from Santa.

mutny Wed 07-Nov-12 18:15:11

For those who believe in the "magic" doesnt it all go sour when they find out you lied?

No. I have told dd (8) its up to her if she believes or not. We told her that believing in santa is more about believing in 'christmas spirit' rather than an actual man.
But, as pp said, when they are older they understand more about the why.

Also at 4.5, if you tell him, is he old enough not to tell the other kids at school? Because if he goes in and tells the whole class you will have all the parents being really pissy with you. smile

Sonatensatz Wed 07-Nov-12 18:15:58

I think your being reasonable.I've always been honest with my kids that santa is just a fun story. It hasn't spoiled christmas for them they still do stockings etc. I have never been comfortable with the idea of lying to kids. I want them to grow up knowing they can trust what I say to them. Also I have always wanted them to know that there are children whose families can't afford christmas and we should be generous towards them at christmas and part of them understanding why we give to them at christmas is there is no santa to give those kids gifts.

Shakirasma Wed 07-Nov-12 18:16:37

Noooo don't spoil it. It's not the same once they know!

Not only that, I doubt his classmates parents will be too chuffed when he has gone and told them there's no such thing as Santa!

Redknickerswillstoptrains Wed 07-Nov-12 18:18:04

4 1/2 ,my 9 year old still believes,

MummyAbroad Wed 07-Nov-12 18:20:48

Wow, I am really surprised at the ages of some of the still believers (9/10) I guess even my sister didnt believe for very long then - I think she was 5 or so when she told me he didnt exist)

MummyAbroad Wed 07-Nov-12 18:23:17

Actually here in Abroadland the kids are bigger believers of Jesus than Santa. DS is more likely to get asked "Who is Santa?" if he talks about it at school. I guess that is part of the dilema, its going to take an AWFUL LOT of lying to keep this gag going.

willitbe Wed 07-Nov-12 18:23:27

I have managed about 6 years of "what do you think?" my 9,8 and 4 year olds still believe. I would never lie outrightly to them, but putting it back to them works great.

"Where is the north pole, where santa is?" - "where do you think?"
"is the tooth fairy real?" -"what do you think?"
"how does santa get all the presents to everyone?" - "well the film we watched last year said he stops time, do you think that is real?"
"how does santa get our presents to us, when we have no chimney?" - "how do you think?"

These are just a few of my latests questions and replies.

I find that answering a question with a question (politician style!), works wonders as they really do still want to believe.

Don't go being scrooge yet if you can help it. Time will come soon enough for your child to stop believing, and that will happen when they are ready. (for me I hope the believing carries on for another little while for my children)

ZeldaUpNorth Wed 07-Nov-12 18:24:02

I cannot ever remember believing in Santa, I also cannot remember any Christmases before i was about 10 so maybe if i can keep dd believing she will remember better? Hell if i didn't know better i'd still believe. I love the magic of Christmas smile

jammydodger1 Wed 07-Nov-12 18:25:26

My dd (8) still believes and at this time of year she also believes that santa has access to alarm sensor light and watches through it to see if she is being good or not smile

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