Should your child believe in Santa?

It’s that time of the year when the question comes up, if it hasn’t already, and you have to decide: where are these Christmas gifts coming from? I mean, we KNOW where they’re coming from but what your child believes is kind of a big deal. 
One of my coworkers asked me the other day if I was going to “let Raegan” believe in Santa and that’s a tricky question. Am I going to let her? Sure. Am I going to lead her into believing in Santa? Yes. Will I try to convince her of Santa once the cat is out of the bag? Not at all. 

Christmas is by far my favorite holiday and I want Raegan to have the fun and imagination of believing in Santa(and the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy, the sand man…etc) when that time of year comes around. Now I have heard several arguments for and against perpetuating the Santa Myth but here are three common examples:

“I want them to know Mommy and Daddy work hard to buy their gifts”

And you can do that. We plan on telling Raegan that Santa brings some of the gifts and mommies and daddies take care of the rest! This is also good for when we spend Christmas’s with her older cousins who know who really buys the gifts and they turn around and thank someone for a gift. But do I want my little munchkin concerned with how hard I work to buy presents? Absolutely not! If they are young enough to believe in Santa, the last thing they need to worry about is my debt to income ratio. The holiday season is for good times & memories, not financial lessons.
“Their dreams will be crushed when they find out the truth”

There’s lots of harsh reality a person learns in their life….Santa is not that deep. And it’s even more of a reason to allow your child to believe in Santa so he doesn’t ruin it for my little pumpkin super early! And there are lots of ways to explain the truth to your little one when they learn the magic isn’t real. It won’t ruin Christmas and it won’t ruin their imagination. 
“Believing in Santa undermines the religious reason for the season.”

How? And why can’t you teach your children about both? Are they mutually exclusive? There’s a difference between believing in a little magic and knowing the reason for the holiday. And let’s be real: for a child, faith and magic are understood in similar ways. Why can’t I as a parent find a way for it to not be one or the other. 
It’s a tough situation when your decision can directly affect other kids in an important but innocent way. What is your approach to explaining Santa to your children?

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