Before I was a mother I didn't even know that this was an issue.
Apparently, whether to tell your kids that Santa isn't real is actually something that parents are debating.
The first reason why parents decide to tell their kids the truth is because they just can't stand the thought of lying to their child. First of all, I'm sure that there will be many other lies that you tell your children throughout their life. They are the child and you are the parent and kids can't know the truth about everything. So if you decide that you can't lie to your kids then you shouldn't tell them one single lie throughout their childhood. Ya right.
The next reason is one that I came across while at playgroup. One mom wanted to know how other moms dealt with Santa without taking away from the fact that Christmas is celebrating Jesus' birth. I was shocked by the number of moms who said that they didn't grow up believing in Santa and that they don't plan on telling their kids that Santa is real either. Their kids won't get gifts from Santa at all. They have a fear that the kids will glorify Santa and forget all about Jesus.
So here is my opinion. I grew up believing in Santa. I held onto that belief long after I really didn't believe anymore deep down. I have never once been upset at my parents for lying to me, I actually appreciate the fact that my parents allowed me to have an imagination and to believe in a little bit of magic.
I also grew up believing in Jesus. Every Christmas we would go to the Christmas eve service at church. We would often participate in the church Christmas production. We would read the Christmas story and play with the nativity scene. Although we knew that Santa would come to our house on Christmas eve, we also knew that the whole reason we were celebrating Christmas was because Jesus was born. The two aren't mutually exclusive, there isn't one or the other.
I can't wait to pretend that there's a Santa. To leave out milk and cookies and fill Parker's stocking with gifts after he goes to bed. To explain to him that Santa comes through our gas fireplace with magic and that yes he can in fact fly around the whole world in one night. To watch The Santa Clause with him and have that explain how the whole thing works!
And I can't wait to take him to church at Christmas time, to sing Christmas carols and tell him the Christmas story. To teach him how to appreciate this very special holiday for what it is and to help him to understand that it's about more than gifts.
Obviously each parent does what they feel is right for them and their children. But I think that in a world where imagination is being squashed and children would rather play video games than play make believe, having something that they can believe in is important. And they can believe in both Santa and Jesus.