My daughter is in the fifth grade, so she’s known the truth about the whole SANTA thing for a while. But, when it came up I was completely unprepared.
We were getting our nails done right before Easter, and she leaned over to me across her pedicure chair. “Mom, tell it to me straight– there’s no Easter Bunny is there?”
I panicked. Was this really happening? She’s still a baby. I always promised myself I wouldn’t lie to her if she ever asked outright, but I thought I had at least another year of this. This can’t be happening! “Are you sure you want me to answer that?”
She already knew the answer. Why would she ask the question if she didn’t?
She looked down at her tiny toes. “Let me think about that for a little while. I will let you know.”
I breathed a sigh of relief. Okay, maybe this bullet is officially dodged. She wants to keep the magic up at least one more year, and I am okay with that.
We finished up our nails without incident, packed into the car, and she called from the backseat, “Okay, mom I am ready for the truth. Is the Easter Bunny real?”
And I had to answer her. I had to tell her the truth, because she is my kid, and it is important that I be honest with her if I ever want her to be honest with me. “No, baby. He’s not real.”
“It’s you and Dad?”
“It’s me and Dad.”
“I knew it. Thanks for telling me the truth, mom.”
We pulled into the house. I hugged her and told her I loved her, and by the time we’d made it into the living room, she had more questions. “So, that means to Tooth Fairy?”
“That’s what it means.” I was fighting back tears. I knew what came next.
“Should I ask the last one?”
“You should ask it if you want to, but you don’t have to.” We were on the couch. Her dad had joined us, I had warned him with a text on my way into the house.
“He’s not real? Santa?”
I shook my head. He’s something mom and dad love to do, though. He’s an idea, not a person. He’s all about giving and surprising the people you love.
She smiled. “Wait, so does this mean I get to be Santa to other people now?”
“It does. Who do you want to surprise?”
And then it was okay. It was okay because I was open and honest with her. She asked because she was ready, and I told her because she’s my kid.
How To Tell Your Kids The Truth About Santa
- Be honest. Don’t lie to your kid when they outright ask you. Why would you do that? Is that something you want them to learn?
- Be up front. If you aren’t ready for Santa to end yet, but your kid is– then tell them you aren’t ready to talk about it yet. That’s okay.
- Explain to them that Santa isn’t about presents. Santa is about the spirit of giving. Santa is something we do because we just like to see them smile on Christmas morning, and it’s so much fun we don’t even mind giving the big guy all the credit.
- Teach them how important it is to keep the magic alive for their friends who don’t know the truth yet. Make them promise to tell their friends to ask their own parents if they have questions about Santa. The last thing you want is an angry mom calling you up because your kiddo ruined Christmas.
- Keep the magic alive. Just because there’s no Santa doesn’t mean you can’t pretend. My daughter asked “Santa” to come the next year just because she wasn’t ready to give it up yet. It was fun for both of us, and she had a great time.
- If you have younger ones, let them in on the fun. Wake them up and have them put out the presents. This is a special moment your oldest will remember forever.
- Don’t panic. This is a big moment in your kid’s life, but if you just treat it like anything else, a part of growing up, it will be FINE. I promise. If it’s not, call me. I will walk you through. 🙂