Why We Don’t Do Santa

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With the holiday season upon us (my goodness this year flew by!) I knew I had to write about this and share a pretty unpopular opinion. Although I know it’s a hot topic and I may get some hate for this, I know we are not the only family that feels this way and I need to clear a few things up.

Why We Don't Do Santa

First, let me explain what I mean by “we don’t do Santa” with our kids.
When I was pregnant with my first son my husband and I decided that the whole Santa thing wasn’t for us. I don’t know why we even started the conversation but we just sort of talked about it and strangely agreed that we really wanted to just tell our kids the truth from the get go. Strange only because it’s not something “most” people do.

So that’s what we did. We have always told our kids that Santa is a fun part of Christmas but it’s just a character in a story. They know mommy, daddy and family are the ones that get them gifts and Santa Claus is based on a Saint Nicholas and many tales told throughout time. We also try to focus on Jesus and the reason for the season because it’s important to us.

The problem is, we’ve gotten a lot of flack for this over the years. Since it’s not the norm, people tend to be very judgmental and I want to address a few things I’ve heard in the past and will probably hear in the future.

“You’re ruining their childhood by not letting them have the magic of Christmas!”

Okay, first of all, the “magic” of Christmas has NOTHING to do with Santa Claus. Christmas is about Christ. We still have plenty of magic and wonderful traditions as a family.
Why We Don't Do Santa
“You’re taking away their imagination!”

I’m not taking anything away from my kids. They have a super active and healthy imagination as it is. My boys pretend play all the time and even have “make-believe” friends like my youngest calls them.

“But you’ve taken your kids for pictures with Santa, what gives?”

Yes, we have taken the boys for Santa pictures for years simply because it’s fun. When they were babies it was just for us to have as a memory and as they got older and realized what was happening, they asked to do it and we obliged. I’m an adult and I still like taking photos with Santa so it’s all in good fun and the holiday spirit!

They better not ruin it for others!”

This one gets to me. We are doing our best to raise good, kind-hearted, and accepting people. We want our kids to know that everyone has their own beliefs and we don’t impose our beliefs on others. Of course I tell my kids not to go around and “ruin” it for other kids, I’m not an asshole! But they are little kids and can make a mistake. I won’t condone them being mean and spilling the beans on purpose ever because that’s not what we teach them. However, if it happens by accident, my kids are not jerks, they are average children.

What bothers me the most is when adults speak ill of kids because they “ruined” Christmas for their kid by telling them Santa isn’t real. You’re an adult, take control of the situation and instead of bashing a CHILD, turn the conversation around to something positive. Remind your kids that everyone celebrates differently and just because someone doesn’t believe the same as you it doesn’t affect the way you celebrate the holiday.
I also warn the teachers way in advance so they can step in and intervene if they hear my kids about to say something in class. Like I said, I don’t encourage them to go around talking about it but it’s all about being understanding.

“How sad.” 

I’m not sure what anyone ever means by this because there is absolutely nothing sad about Christmas for my kids. They are ridiculously spoiled by us and their grandparents (so happy they have loving grandparents!), we spend time with family & friends, they get to party, eat junk and have an amazing good time.
You know what’s really sad? Children dying all over the world. People without food. Homeless families. War. Legitimate tragedies. Let’s all have some perspective!

“If you don’t do Santa, what do you do?”

Christmas is our favorite holiday and we do it up big time. Decorations, candy canes, specialty pajamas, hot chocolate, we do it all. We love Christmas and have a blast celebrating every year. Just because our kids know the truth about Santa it doesn’t mean we don’t include Santa in our holiday. He’s a character just like anything else so if they want to take pictures at the mall, we do it. If they want to watch Santa movies, we watch them. Knowing the truth DOES NOT take away any of the fun or spirit of Christmas for us at all. (We also don’t do that elf on the shelf nonsense because it’s creepy AF and no way in hell would we ever do that even if we super believed in Santa.) 

we don't do santa

So I am asking everyone to be less judgmental and more open this holiday season. If we can accept others’ points of views and respect their beliefs, then we deserve the same in return. Let’s a make a deal, you can do Santa with your kids and I can choose not to do it with mine and we can still both live our lives happily without worrying about what the other does. At the end of the day, with all the bad in the world, there are bigger things to be concerned with and the last thing I want to be doing this Christmas is defending my family’s choices in traditions.
However you celebrate, have a very Merry Christmas!



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24 thoughts on “Why We Don’t Do Santa

  1. Hi Bessy-
    We did the same with our kids from the beginning, as my parents did with me. I knew as a kid Santa wasn’t real and where my presents actually bcame from. This was probably partially because my family wanted the focus to be in Christ, but also because we didn’t have a lot of money growing up and they didn’t want us to feel like Santa passed us by – ha!
    The fact is, though we knew he was a character, like the Great Pumpkin or Easter Bunny, we still had fun pretending. And we pretend we my kids. We have fun doing all the holiday traditions and I never have to worry about breaking their hearts someday with the truth. They get to make special memories during the holidays and remain grounded.
    They also know not to tell other kids that may believe in Santa. We do like you’ve done…tell them others may believe differently and we need to respect that.
    So no – you’re not the only one, and none of us don’t feel like they have any less of a holiday! ☺️

  2. Yes yes yes! Jesus is the reason and there is still plenty of “magic” and joy in the season! We have chosen the exact same route for the very same reasons. My MIL always said “if you teach them Jesus is real and Santa is real, then tell them Santa isn’t real, how will they know what to actually believe?” I love that we are enjoying the season without lying or tricking our kids, plus it will give the kids a chance to get involved in the joy of giving from an earlier age. You’re doing a great job, mama!

  3. I understand your point. We do Santa, but I make darn sure my kids know that Christmas has very little to do about Santa and EVERYTHING to do with Jesus!

  4. We considered this when our boys were younger. My husband wanted them to believe in Santa so I went with it. But I am so relieved now that we don’t have to pretend anymore. It allows us to focus on the real reason behind Christmas.

  5. We did the whole Santa thing with our kiddos and I have a 17 year old who still believes ( special needs) but I have so many family and friends that have chosen to take your path and it never dawned on me to put them down for it to question their reasoning… we all have our own way of doing things and there should be more acceptance of choices that are truly personal…

  6. So we do Santa – and my daughter is only turning 2 this month so she still doesn’t quite get it. BUT I fully intend on my daughter knowing the real reason for Christmas! I think there should be a lot less judging in our world and we should all do what is best for our families. Good for you guys for doing what is best for you! 🙂

  7. You should do whatever you feel is the right thing for your family!! I come from Denmark and we have never really done the whole Santa thing either, our kids knows presents comes from mom and dad and other family members. We do have a little elf that move in the whole month of dec, that brings them a little present every day and tease us. But I could never judge any family’s on how they decide to live there life. Happy holidays <3

  8. Whatever works for your family! We have a few Christian friends that don’t celebrate Santa.
    We’re not Christians, but we do celebrate the commercialized version of Christmas, and Santa. We really focus it as a time of giving and have really gotten to explore the ideas of charity with Little Bug this holiday season. I cannot wait until she is old enough and we can explain that all kind people are Santas and challenger he to do some anonymous giving.
    That is why we celebrate even though we aren’t Christians, and we have gotten flack for that from other people., but it is a valuable lesson for my child just as you’re teaching your kids a valuable lesson, by how you guys celebrate.
    I think it’s such a wonderful and interesting thing how families can celebrate holidays so differently, but still use them as tools to raise great kids!

  9. I don’t think my boys ever believed in Santa. It wasn’t my doing, they just didn’t fall for it in the first place. (And to be fair I wasn’t all that invested in keeping the illusion gong.)

  10. I agree, your kids can still have magic and immagination even if they don’t believe in santa. Our kids is small but dont really care about santa, so I dont force them to believe or telling them that he isnt real. If they ask im not sure yet what to answer but I do not think its a big or important part in Christmas.

  11. I love this! We have decided to do the same thing with our kids! I have heard all the negative questions and concerns that you have listed from family and friends. It’s pretty easy for us right now because our only son is only 2 years old, he still loves Santa (he actually chose to be Santa for Halloween this year haha), we just keep reminding him that Santa is pretend and just for fun! Great post!

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