How and what age should you tell your kids about Santa?

It might be a question you dread. Maybe. Is Santa Real? We thought we’d ask this question since some of you have experienced this already or will experience it soon. So let’s help some parents out!

Thanks in advance for all the tips and advice!

I’ve always told my daughter that Santa is a fun symbol of the warmth and generosity of the season, not an actual person. She is every bit as excited to see a guy in a Santa suit as the other kids, and I didn’t even have to lie to her!

when we were older (me and my 3 brothers), youngest brother old enough (11) (we were 3 years apart each), we would open presents on christmas eve. They let us ‘in’ on it by telling us to go into another room while ‘santa’ made his delivery. We did, and came back to see the new gifts.

Now I am a father, but it is a little tougher. I have a 11 year old, a 4 year old, and a 2 year old. So that trick cant be done like they did with us. As far as the when, it is hard to say. I assume at age 12 will be the best time to slowly let her in, Maybe even help out with the deliveries.

But as I look around, and see Santa’s driving around, or ringing a bell for good donations causes, I begin to think, rather than just a phisical person, the spirit of Santa exists, everywhere. It is to not be a disappointment, as an older child finds out, but an oppertunity to better explain about the spirit of Santa.

Many kids at schools, whether out of anger, heartbreak, or what ever, love to break other kid’s hearts younger than them, and think it is ‘Kool’ to verbally denounce santa. But this is what we must remember. Children all over recieve surprise gifts that were not there the previous night.

Even good donation programs, whether it be Churches, shelters, or the US Marines toys for tots, are always there to make sure that the spirit of Santa lives on in as many children as they can reach.

If the toughest fighting men on the planet, men who can snap people’s necks with just thier thumb, The US Marines, believe in the spirit of Santa, then that is good enough for anyone else.

Don’t let your kids figure out on their own. Why do that? The kids at school that already know about Santa not being real may bully or make fun of them. Personally I have never believed in Santa that rides his Reindeer to every house in the world. But I was taught about the real Santa, Saint Nicolas, that is the Santa kids should learn about not the one who gives toys just because they ask for it. Some children may become spoiled if they learn like that. Tell them there WAS a Santa Claus but one who gave to the needy and didn’t have magical powers. I hope I helped! 🙂

I don’t tell them, I let them figure it out by themselves. They’re kids such a short time, let them have some fun.

I did however last year take my almost 10 year old (and my other kids) to 5 below, had them pick out something they thought another kid might be interested in, and then take them to the Toys For Tots Santa train to give the toys.

Then later I went for a walk with the oldest, I explained to him that we did that for kids that may not have a Mom, or Dad (or Step-Mom, or Step-Dad) that can afford gifts like he does.

I asked if he knew who he was to the little boy or girl who opens that gift on Christmas morning.

He said “No.”

I said “Santa Claus. So if you or your friends are having a discussion about whether or not he’s real…well, there’s a reason I had no problem naming my first son ‘Nicholas”

“I can use myself as an example?” he said confused

I started whistling a Christmas song and kept walking along (I believe “Santa Claus is coming to town.”)

I never stated whether or not there was a Santa Claus, just provided my example of how the spirit is there.

Now I’m sure I’m misplacing some words as I convey this memory, but the basic gist is there, and I like this story a lot. I think Santa Claus is in all of us in some form, whether at this, or some other point of the year, or any other religion for that matter, oh it may be called something else, but it’s still that spirit.

By the way, I am now 36 years old, and every December 24th, i still make sure to take a look in the sky. (Now I even do it on the 23rd, since the kids Mom and I are divorced, and we’re both on to other marriages, Santa tends to come the day before when we take turns for who has them for Christmas Eve and who has them for Christmas day 😉 )

Merry Christmas to all.

I have heard some people say santa is not real and i’ve heard some people say Santa’s real so…

If Santa is real…don’t tell them while they are too young (e.g 3 or 4). However be careful not to tell them when they are too old (e.g 8 or 9). I suggest you tell them by the age of 5, where they can cope with the surroundings and are capable of handling information like Santa.

If Santa isn’t real…don’t tell them as that will be lying. However don’t tell them that Santa doesn’t exsist. Tell them find out themselves. It is always best to let their mind wander of. This will also help when it comes to creative work/lessons/projects.

Hope i helped. You might also want to ask parents who have the same difficulty or parents who have passed through that stage of life. Happy Holidays!


From a 16 year old’s perspective, it was fun learning about the “real Santa Claus” *wink wink*.
I don’t think parents (mine at least) should tell their children that Santa Claus isn’t real for the benefit of their childhood. Now, there are some cases like if the child is not a child, more like a 14 year old teen! When kids are going though the 8-14 year old phase in life they are experiancing new things and starting to learn new things on their own.
By parents just waking up one morning and saying Santa isn’t real takes away the pleasure that children get from figuring things out on their own.

Kids should figure it out on their own. In my experience, that’s what usually happens- they either figure it out it’s not real or come across something that proves it’s not. (i.e- my father accidentally woke me up trying to get a tooth I had lost, and I knew then if my parents were the tooth fairy, they were the Easter Bunny and Santa, too)

Only tell if believing in Santa becomes age-inappropriate for the kid and they haven’t grown out of that phase.


In response to people condemning telling kids Santa Claus is real because it’s a lie: I understand you feeling that way and I respect your belief (I’ve noticed a regular poster in the Photography section who I like is one person in this group). However, I never saw it as some horrible thing when I found out it wasn’t real. It’s an exciting thing that is such a great part of childhood and it makes Christmas so much funner for families with children young enough to believe in Santa.

Figuring out that santa, tooth fairy, easter bunny and all those others don’t exist, was something terrible for me. If I were you I would probably just give them little hints about santa not existing when they come to the age that they are mature enough to figure out. I got told when I was about 8-9. But I already had a bit of a clue that my parents might be the magic people. Just let time go by and see.

Hi, this is coming from one of your younger viewers. I think they should keep believing until thy can’t anymore (either from adulthood or just learning). Christmas is the one time of year that kids (even adults) can feel young, happy, and magical for even if you do not believe then you still feel happy and ready for joy that Santa brought. Remember waking up on Christmas morning and seeing that Santa has stuffed your stockings and made an extra special stop by your house? It was fantastic that way! Christmas is a time for joy and for people to not even care if they are “too old” for Santa. Why do we even like Christmas as a kid? Because we know Santa thought of us. Plus for all you sneaky parents it is a way to get your kid to behave ;). There is no need for kids to lose the magic Santa gave to us all. So I say let them love the winter with hopes that Santa is coming without worrying about being “an adult” or caring about people’s thoughts. And if they learn he is not real, then keep the magic anyway, still push Santa to be there despite the known knowledge. 🙂 Good luck to all you parents and kids out there! 🙂

I have to differ with the majority completely. In my view it is not right to tell kids that Santa is real in the first place. Saying that a package/toy is from Santa when in reality it is from the parent it lying. Lying is wrong, period. (see Exodus 20:16)
Let me put it another way, ‘Ah, those treasured childhood memories of my parents LYING to me every Christmas..’
I recommend that parents give presents to their children and tell them who they are really from. If you want to make them think that someone is watching their behavior all the time then tell them the truth, Jesus IS watching them. When they ask questions about Santa after hearing about him at school or such, just explain to them the truth; That Santa is a fictitious character that many parents tell their children instead of telling them the true reason we celebrate Christmas.

Edit: Ok I know that Santa was a real person who was very charitable but the magical character that people make him out to be is not real, never was. And yes, this information is safe to tell your kids.
You can’t disappoint them by changing your story on Santa if you never told them the lie in the first place, Right?

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