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Is Santa Real? What To Tell The Kids

If my daughter discovers the truth about Santa before her peers do, I think I’ll her this:

You know how we read stories that are make believe and you pretend to be a fairy sometimes? You know and I know that youíre not really a fairy–youíre a little girl–but we do these things because make believe brings us joy and make us smile. Believing in Santa makes some children very happy. So even though you know the truth about Santa, itís best if you keep the secret to yourself.

Some secrets arenít good to keep. Keeping them hurts people. But other secrets make people happy–like when we surprise you by taking you to Disney World or giving you a party for your birthday. Santa is like one of those secrets.

Many of us believe in things we canít prove really exist. Just like you and I believe in God and angels, some people donít- and thatís okay. But it makes us happy to believe in God and angels, and if weíre wrong, and God and angels donít really exist, we might not want to know, right? The same goes for Santa.

You can always tell me the truth–about anything. Here at home, your secrets are safe. But when youíre with other kids who believe in Santa, letís enjoy helping them feel happy, okay?

Would I feel like a fake for asking my daughter not to be completely authentic at school? Am I squelching her from being ALL HER, ALL THE TIME? No. Iím teaching her about compassion, and encouraging her not to be constrained by truth but to be respectful of it and the consequences of what telling the truth can mean.

Itís a fuzzy line, though! And I havenít had to face it yet. What about the rest of you? What do you do when your kid busts you for putting a ribbon around the bicycle he asked Santa for? What do you say when her friend tells her Santa isnít real? Do you argue with your kids? Try to convince them they made a mistake? If your child discovers the truth young, how do you keep them from causing a riot at school? How do you encourage them to stay PINK in the process? How do YOU stay authentic to who you are while allowing your children to enjoy living in fantasy?

Related Links:
Do You Believe in Santa, Mommy?
Who Needs Santa Claus?

Read more: Children, Christmas, Family, Holidays, Inspiration, Life, News & Issues, Spirit, Uncategorized, , , , , , ,

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Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the†Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of†Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.† She is on a grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.† Lissa blogs at†LissaRankin.com and also created two online communities -†HealHealthCareNow.com and†OwningPink.com. She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.

56 comments

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3:48PM PST on Dec 10, 2012

Dear Lissa: It may interest you and your readers to know that my legal name is Santa Claus. I serve as a volunteer advocate for the 2 million children in the U.S. annually who are abused, neglected, exploited, abandoned, homeless, and institutionalized in our great nation. I'm also a Monk and believe that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ, not the crass, commercial, secular spectacle it has become in many places, and that the greatest gift one can give is love, not presents. Blessings to all, Santa (TheSanta(im))

1:12PM PST on Jan 17, 2011

Believe in your dreams be it Santa,Easter Bunny or whatever,we all need something, They are harmless, never did us any harm,In our house we STILL have pressies from Santa and we are adults, have fun in giving to others like Santa.

4:59PM PST on Jan 2, 2011

Information is power. Don't lie to kids.

9:10AM PST on Dec 22, 2010

Thank you, Lissa, for wrestling with these difficult issues. To us, mom and two teenage girls, Santa transformed over the years. He was an actual jolly dude in a red suit at first. Then questions started (like how come there are so many different Santas at all the malls?) and the Santa story evolved. He was magical, that is how he was able to deliver so many presents to so many children around the world and he did not need a chimney. They the family, everyone who loved the girls was a Santa representative and very honoured to be. Now Santa is the spirit of giving, love and selflessness. Those are very much tied to Baby Jesus and the miracle of a tiny, helpless hope that changes the world. Merry Christmas to all who celebrate, and Happy Holidays to those who celebrate differently. Bless.

1:41PM PST on Dec 19, 2010

the problem doesn't seem to be your daughter or her imagination as much as it seems to be you and your beliefs....you have no problem passing along beliefs in anything else...why this one?? because it's so commercial? possibly...but perhaps before you toss the baby out with the bathwater you might consider telling your daughter the ancient story of saint nick and how he only wanted to offer help and bring happiness to those with so little...it's a story of giving, of charity, of openness, of hope......you can even tie it into the story of the nativity...but that too has become so commercial, so maybe not....

9:59AM PST on Dec 19, 2010

c'est magique Noel , je garde mon âme d'enfant ;)

4:59PM PST on Dec 18, 2010

Fantasy fun is great :-) Eventual truth at the right time is good. Each person knows when the right timing is. thanx

3:58PM PST on Dec 18, 2010

You know this does tramatize kids maybe many do ok. But as a school teacher I had a boy who cried to me that he found out that Santa and the Easter Bunny weren't real even tho his parents had told him they were and now he was afraid that God may not be real either. Very sad to do this to kids!

6:03AM PST on Dec 18, 2010

Everyone finds out eventually and doesn't get traumatised so I wouldn't worry about it... and I think everyone still gets to keep the wonderfull memories of how excited and happy they felt when they did believe in Santa

12:16AM PST on Dec 18, 2010

thanks for the article.

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