My family hates me because I refuse to lie to my kids about Santa Claus

Last year my children were too little to understand much at Christmas time. They were excited to open some presents under the tree at grandma’s house, but there was no discussion of who brought them or why they were there. Even at nine months and two-and-a-half-years-old they were smart enough to not look a gift horse in the mouth.

This year, my son is old enough to start asking questions and I am prepared to answer them. With the truth.

“Honey, Santa Claus isn’t real,” I expect to tell my 3-year-old very simply. I shared this plan with family members over the Thanksgiving holiday. There was nothing short of hatred returned my way.

“Why would you rob a little kid of that joy?” they demanded.

“Why would I lie to him?” I shot back.

Without me saying anything on the topic, he is already catching on to the inconsistencies. “Mommy, uh, why does Santa need to bring us toys when they are already in Target?” he asked this weekend.

After that he will ask how it is possible to deliver all those toys in one night, where reindeer learn to fly, and why the Santa posing for pictures in the mall is drunk. Just thinking about all the questions I won’t be able to answer makes me uneasy.

I am, however, aware that some of these untruths could benefit me.  Having him write a letter to Santa telling him everything he wants means I don’t have to guess what is most important to him.  Santa also gives me a built in scapegoat when he doesn’t get every single item on his list.

“Santa only picked a few of your favorite things,” I’d say with a “hey-don’t-blame-me” face. I would also get to eat an entire plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies without being expected to share. Such a rare moment in a mother’s life could be worth all the Santa charades.