Should children KNOW Santa isn't Real?
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Question: Should children know Santa is not real?
Answer: Santa and whether or not you should tell your child that he isn't real is one of the most common problems parents (especially those who are Christian) have to face. Questions such as who (the parents, the school, friends, etc.) should tell your child about Santa or at what age should they be told can come up. Deciding what to do can be tough, especially when adults are consistently pressured by the world to just "go along" and pretend that patented Xmas lies are actually true "for the sake of the children." Some have the additional problem of deciding how, when and where to convey to their kids that the family, out of conscience, doesn't participate in the Christmas holiday.
This modern world has at its disposal an impressive array of techniques and methods in which to promote how "real" Santa Claus is and the propaganda of how "good" it is to participate in the trappings of Christmas. The pressure to conform can come from the media (e.g. TV, radio, newspapers, books, magazines, the Internet, etc.), entertainment (movies, plays, games, etc.), family, friends, church, the workplace, stores and even schools to name a few.
When my friend's child was young he and his wife had to deal with the same problem as you have. They found that children learn more by example than by words. Years ago, while they walked in the shopping malls before Christmas, their family would invariably see several versions of "Santa" along the way. Since they didn't celebrate Christmas, they would simply walk past anyone dressed as Santa without making any comments. One year a lady asked their five year old what Santa brought him for Christmas. He simply replied, "We don't keep Christmas."
If a child is about five years old or less (e.g. before they start school) they won't understand explanations for not keeping Christmas, such as its obvious non-Christian origins that pre-date the birth of Jesus. They wont be able to grasp why Santa does not exist no matter how it is explained to them. My advice for handling whether Santa is alive with someone so young is, for now, to avoid bringing up the subject. And, if you don't keep Christmas out of conscience toward God, you'd do well to keep up the practice.