As Christmas creeps ever closer, new and rehashed challenges arise for parents of little ‘uns. Depending on their age, parents have to decide how to present Christmas to their innocent, trusting kids.

Many parents make a conscious decision not to lie to their kids, not even a white teeny tiny lie. So when Christmas comes around, what do you do about Santa? It is such a lovely tradition. I remember as a kid straining to hear the hoofs on the roof and the key in the lock (we had no chimney). As morning dawned, my toes curled at the thought that Santa, the Santa, had been in my house and left me my dream present.

When my son was three, he asked me straight out if Santa was real and I answered, “What do you think”. He said, “Yes” and we left it at that. I think as they get older they catch onto it but are too scared they’ll miss out on presents if they own up to it. The challenge for parents is how to balance the fable and the nicey warm lovely traditions with the truth.

Some go for it, no regrets,  Santa all the way. My mum actually wrote a letter from Rudolph, using my dog’s footprints as evidence. And then there was the time our clothesline accidentally acquired some fluff at the right time of year so we told our tiny son that it was Santa’s beard (he crashed onto our washing line).

Every year new theories of Santa-dom are created by the over-zealous, the zealous and the irritated parents of our generation. It’s like he has multiple personalities, multiple lives and a million habits and abilities. He is the image of the perfect Grandfather with an endless amount of patience, money and jolliness. No wonder we love him.

I wonder as our kids grow, if they do feel betrayed by the story or, like me, appreciate that little bit of magic it provided. Kids love stories and I think in the end, most of them like the fact they have been part of a story; even if it wasn’t exactly real. But that’s what they do everyday. They pretend to be princesses, Ben 10s, monsters, knights and fairies.

What are some Santa stories you were told or you have heard of? Have there been any disastrous revelations that ended in tears?

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