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Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Santa Debate: Should You Tell Kids the Jolly Elf Exists?

By Brianne Moore

Most of us who grew up celebrating Christmas also grew up believing in Santa Claus—the holiday’s undisputed secular mascot. It’s impossible to avoid his image this time of year: he’s on billboards and soda cans, gracing greeting cards and starring in classic poems, movies and cartoons. It’s only natural that kids, whether they’re raised with the Santa myth or not, will ask who he is. And when that happens, what’s a parent to do?

The question of whether or not to tell kids that Santa is real has engendered a lively debate in the WebMD community. Some parents see no harm in including the classic letter-to-Santa and milk-and-cookies traditions in their holiday, while others are wary of telling their children something they know isn’t true. After all, although most kids will just shrug off this particular falsehood in later years, there’s always a chance they’ll feel betrayed by their parents when they find out the truth. And at one point is it appropriate to tell kids that truth? Should you sit them down and talk it out or let them figure it out for themselves (or get the unhappy news from a friend or classmate)? What are your thoughts, readers? Did you tell your kids there was a Santa Claus? Is it a harmless bit of holiday fun, or a deliberate lie? Share your thoughts in the comments below or join the discussion in our community.

Further Reading

Health Advice for Santa

Surviving the Santa Talk

Santa Claus: Naughty or Nice

When Santa Stops Being Real

Posted by: Brianne Moore at 8:31 pm

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