Parenting

Moms Reveal Why They’re For Or Against Letting Their Kids Believe In Santa Claus

Team Santa Claus, Or Nah?

Ariel Skelley/Blend Images
Brittney Oliver
Dec, 07, 2016 6:06 PM UTC

Moms everywhere know how to make the holidays magical. Whether it’s passing down family traditions, blending together cultural practices or celebrating the true meaning of the season, women are making their own family rules for the holidays. One thing that still remains up for debate is whether or not kids should be taught to believe in Santa Claus. Some mothers are totally fine with using the moniker of Santa Claus to uphold the magic of Christmas nostalgia, while others want their children to know that the gifts under the family tree come from mom and dad, not a fictional character. We asked moms of all ages to weigh in on the matter, and here’s what they had to say.

Ariel Skelley/Blend Images

Nikki Osei-Barrett, 32
Children:
Jaylen, 16, Nicholas, 4

“My youngest son, Prince Nick, was actually born on Christmas Day, and named because of St. Nicholas, so we're definitely #TeamSanta! Growing up in a Ghanaian household, my parents didn't really entertain the idea of Santa, so I wanted my kids to grow up with that Christmas whimsy. Our children are young for such a short time. I think it's ok to allow them to believe in holiday magic. With my oldest, Jaylen, he came to his own conclusions about Santa. When he was in second grade, I went to put out cookies, and he said, ‘You don't have to leave cookies out. I know Santa's not real.’ When I asked him how he knew, with a smirk he replied, ‘I’m smart; I know better.’ Lol.”

 

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Ebonie Simms, 36

Kids: Son, age 10

“I’ve never told my son about Santa Claus, but we spend a lot of time around my mother and sister, who has a 10-year-old daughter, so they bring Santa up quite often. I began doing research about the origin of Christmas and read about its pagan roots, so I decided that I would not teach my son about Santa. Instead, we would focus on Jesus. I was quite the Grinch. My son and his Godmother had to talk me into getting a Christmas tree!”

Rashane Ruffin, 31
Children: Jaden, 6

“I did tell Jaden about Santa Claus. As a child, I grew up believing in Santa and there is something special about the anticipation and excitement of knowing that Santa is bringing you gifts.”

Lisa Owens
Kids: Destiny, 10

“When my child was a toddler, I did let her believe there was a Santa. I told her because she was young and it was exciting to her. I also wanted her to experience, at a young age, child fairy tales. Around the preschool age, I shared with my daughter that Santa Claus was not real; it was man-made and commercialized. I told her, Santa Claus is her daddy, mommy, family, and friends.”

Jateria Huley, 27
Children:
Layla, 8, Christopher, 4, Leslie, 10 months

“He isn't a big deal in our home. I just let the kids form their own opinion when it comes to Santa Claus. If they bring him up then we'll talk about him. When my oldest child was around 5-years-old, she talked about how the other kids at school said he was real. I asked her if she thought he was real and she said yes. So, from that conversation I was just like oh ok and went on to tell her the story about Santa Claus.”

 

Aminah Imani, 29
Kids: Son, 2

“I do not tell my child about Santa Claus. I wasn't raised to celebrate the tradition of Santa Claus. I was born Muslim so our religious beliefs didn't support those values but even as a Christian woman, I will teach my son about the true reason of Christmas which is Christ. Santa Claus seems to be a way to promote consumerism during the holiday season. I do not subscribe to the Santa Claus tale.”

Alexion Dunn, 27
Child:
Ashtre, 5

“I believe in keeping the spirit of Santa Claus alive because of tradition. When I was a kid, I believed in Santa Claus and my grandparents did the same for my parents.  So it's only right to keep the spirit alive through my son. On the other hand, he doesn't believe in Santa Claus. When I talk to him about Santa Claus, Ashtre says, ‘No, Santa Claus is Papa.’ Papa is my dad. I respect my son's way of thinking and support it, but as a mom, I keep the belief alive in my household because that's what my mom did for me.”

 

Asury Ariza
Children:
Mariana, 9, Javier, 7

“First, I'll say that I grew up not believing in Santa, simply because it wasn't part of my Panamanian culture. We celebrated Christmas much different where I am from. We knew about him, however, we didn't write letters, make cookies, etc. Therefore, it was very tough for me to implement something that I didn't grow up with. My children naturally believe in Santa considering they are growing up in a culture that encourages that Santa does exist. The question of if Santa is real has come up and I can tell they have conflicting beliefs because we have celebrated our traditional Panamanian way, where we stay up past midnight and exchanged gifts and the American traditional way where everyone goes to bed early so Santa can come. My response to them has always been, if you want to believe in Santa, then he's real. If you don't want to believe in him, then that's fine, but don't tell other kids that. I think they're just happy to receive the gifts that they have wanted for so long. No matter if it came from Santa or Mom. I've also taught them that Christmas is more than just Santa and gifts. They know that is about the birth of Jesus. I know this may all be confusing but ultimately is about kids being kids and keeping their minds as pure and innocent as possible.”

 

Shaqonda Pettus, 28
Child:
DaiQuan, 7

“Any time you ask my 7-year-old son, DaiQuan, who Santa Claus is, he will respond by saying Santa is ‘a big fat jolly man that is fat because he eats too many cookies and drinks too much milk.’ Right now, I leave it at that. He has a huge imagination and believes in magic. Next week, Santa may be a transformer or something. You never know. Eventually, I know he will discover the truth, and Christmas will be an ordinary day like our Sundays, but until then I do not want to rob him of his joy. Right now, he is young with no worries in the world. He’s living a free and happy life that most adults wish they could go back too. It allows him to have hope and look forward to something on Christmas. The look on his face is priceless.”

 

Rhoda Super, 51
Child: Janay, 13

“We had chosen not to tell our daughter Janay, who is now 13-year-old about Santa Claus.  
We wanted to keep her young and innocent as long as possible.”

 

Simona Joy Noce, 27
Children:
Sebastian, 2, Roman, 6 months

“Growing up in Ghana, West Africa, we didn't have chimneys, snow or the North Pole, however, my parents allowed me to enjoy a bit of holiday magic which included Santa. I remembered the joy on Christmas morning bolting down the stairs to see what Santa brought me, so I (and my beau) am #teamSanta! We are planting Santa seeds in our home by leaving milk and cookies for Santa, and reading Christmas bedtime stories to our boys. It's harmless and all in good fun! When the time comes when these smart kids figure it out, we'll have a good laugh at it.”

 

Ayesha Williams, 25
Children:
Anjuan, 7, Angel, 5

“I do tell my kids about Santa because I grew up believing in Santa. Some people think it’s lying, but I think it's just the spirit of Christmas.”

Jocelyn Smith
Child:
Kayla, 5

“I haven't really talked to her about Santa Claus yet, but she knows who he is by seeing or hearing about him. I don't mind her having the imagination about Santa Claus because I grew up thinking there was one, too. I love that my daughter can just have fun with it, for instance just the same as she knows about the tooth fairy, and other imaginary stuff. It's fun for children in my opinion.”

 

Tia Richards
Children:
Shamaria, 12, Damarion, 10, Zaytoven, 6, Khalid, 4

“When I was younger, I grew up knowing Santa. Therefore, it only felt right to continue the tradition with my kids.  My older two kids now realize that their gifts come from family and friends, but my younger children still believe in Santa’s magic.”

Rashunda Young, 43
Children:
Ron, Jr., 12, Adrieanna, 9

“In my house, Santa Claus was ALWAYS real. My 12 -year-old son learned from his older cousins that Santa was not real. He half asked and half told me that he no longer believed when he was 10-years-old. He agreed to keep the mystery of Santa for his younger sister who hinted to me a few months ago that she no longer believed. As a result, I asked my 9-year-old daughter directly if she believed in Santa. Her answer took me off guard. She told me that she believed in Saint Nicholas because she researched him for school, but she did not believe that Santa existed because her daddy would not have allowed him to break in our house each year.”

 

Jade Hill, 27
Child:
Jaylen, 7

“I have told my son about Santa Claus. I feel it's an important aspect of being a child in believing in something like Santa Claus, the tooth fairy or any other fictional character parents tell their children. I think it gives that child a sense of hope, joy or even wonder in having that belief of Santa.”

 

Quiniqua Hampton, 28
Kids: Zanai, 3 and Qwest, 17 months
    
“I make sure I teach my children truths in order to prevent disappointments in the future. My daughter mentioned Santa Claus and quickly I explained that Santa Clause is not real. I clarified to her that you only receive presents from your family and friends. She grasped the concept very well because I did not start the lies in the first place. I need her to know that she receives these gifts from the hard work and love that her family puts into it. I don’t like the idea of giving that joy, my joy to a false imaginary figure.”

Jessica Owens Roberson, 28
Children:
Jacob, 6, Josiah, 2

“I tell my boys about Santa because I was taught about Santa when I was younger. It brought magic and excitement to my younger years. I also feel like Jacob is on his very best behavior when he knows Santa is watching his actions.”

 

Courtney Martin
Children:
Jayden, 13, Nariya, 7

“I have told both of my children about Santa. I do it because growing up my parents told me so, therefore it’s more like a tradition. I also, tell them about Santa because it gives them something to look forward to each year.”

Alethia Daney, 38
Children:
Bryan Jr., 14, Brianna, 7

“I tell my kids about Santa Claus, because my mother told it to me. Of course my 14-year-old realized years ago he's not real but my daughter is still unsure.  I did have to explain to my daughter that some people say Santa is not real but it is not true. I tell her this because other than God, it gives her something to believe in this time of year and as long as she believes, she remains my innocent little angel. It's all in the holiday spirit and fun!!”

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