Santa Claus, Old Saint Nick, Father Christmas: A hideous lie or a magical belief?


Silly question right?! Well you would think that, but I recently read an article in The Telegraph that discussed how Scientists have conjured a crazy grinch like theory that parents are in fact traumatising their children by ‘lying’ to them about a non existent jolly red clad present over that visits you at Christmas. Dr Kathy McKay has published an article in The Lancet Psychiatry detailing how we are ‘undermining’ our children’s trust at this festive season which will later damage their mental state and question the trust between them and their parents. So is Santa a hideous lie or a magical belief that we should indulge our children’s imaginations in?


“If they [parents] are capable of lying about something so special and magical, can they be relied upon to continued as the guardians of wisdom and truth?”

I think that if she can go as far as to say that Santa is ‘something so special and magical’ then why would it be bad to spark imagination on our children and let them believe in a hopeful and inspiring myth.

And is it so much of a lie really? I mean Saint Nicholas was a real person, dubbed a Saint after he was recognised for his kindness to others; hence the transition to Kris Kringle, Santa Claus or Old Saint Nick, the giver of kindness in the form of wrapped bundles of festive goodness.

Surely if we tell our children from an early age that Santa is not real, then we are making them ‘lie’ to their peers at school or neighbours who do still believe? Is that right? Making our children lie to keep the dreams of others alive? Or would Dr McKay suggest that our children should be the crusher of children’s dreams?

If this amazingly magical myth is being claimed tedious and ‘damaging’ then where is the line drawn? Should we therefore, by the Dr’s logic, not indulge in any fantasies of holiday characters or historic figures that we cannot scientifically prove? What about religion? God?

I myself had a beautifully magical and creative childhood and now treasure memories of the joy of waking Christmas morning to a stocking filled with lovingly wrapped treasures. I have many yuletide traditions that my parents started when we were children that I am hoping to pass on to my own little man to instil the magic and imagination of Christmas.

Dr McKay has gone as far as to also suggest that talking to their children about Father Christmas is merely a selfish desire to relive their own childhood. Well what is so wrong about that? If you have fond memories of the festive season, of kindness and giving, of family and warmth, then why not encourage the same morals in our children? I hope that the Christmas season enhances my small princes already amazing kindness, gratitude and warmth of spirit.

In the words of Cliff… Christmas is ‘a time for giving’ and imagination in the magical and the hopeful. I for one am so happy to be encouraging this in my little man and have absolutely to fear that I am damaging our relationship; he will look back fondly at our warm, kind and magical family Christmas Day.

The lovely Mama over at The Mum Reviews has some interesting thoughts on this debate too so hop on over and have a read…  join the debate!

What is your stance on this festive season and the belief in Father Christmas?

Do you believe?

Brilliant blog posts on

Diary of an imperfect mum
DIY Daddy Blog

25 thoughts on “Santa Claus, Old Saint Nick, Father Christmas: A hideous lie or a magical belief?

  1. I for one would be extremely sad and disappointed if we had to live in a world without magic and wonder. Christmas is a magical time for kids and it is not lying it is sharing long held customs and traditions and what is wrong with that? They give us a sense of who we are. Christmas is about kindness to all men! Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime 🎉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES! I totally and utterly would too! No worries… I even get a little teary when I think about Christmas time as it holds such warm, gratifying and kind memories for me and I am super excited to share those with my little man and my own lil fam ❤


  2. I have just written a post on along a similar vein. I am a Christian, I don’t have a problem with taking my boys to see Santa I have in the past (though the cost for me is a factor). It has certainly made me think about lying to our children, and where I stand. Personally I want my boys to know why we celebrate Christmas, and to not get hung up on Santa and presents, and how much they get. This is definitely an interesting debate though, thanks for writing this. xx #ablogginggoodtime

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    1. I totally get where you are coming from… I do hope that my little man grows and loves Christmas for the magic and hope it holds… not the presents and food (Although they are perks admittedly!) I have such for memories of the spirit of Christmas and the kindest and family love that I felt as a kid… I hope this is shared with my son so that he feels the true magic of Christmas not the shallow, commercial version we so frequently see today ❤

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  3. My daughter and I just had a conversation a few nights ago about how Santa has a shrinking button on his belt buckle like Ant Man does and thats how he’s able to get into some houses. I’m fairly certain she will forgive me the lie. #brilliantblogposts

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  4. Well, we ‘fessed up this year. They asked us straight and we gave an honest answer. One of our kids is very disappointed, the other, well now realises mama has the power and that’s what’s causing all the temper tantrums! But they still want to bake cookies for Santa, leave him a wee tipple, and carrots for Rudolph! So I guess deep down they still kinda believe!

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    1. Oh no! I dread that conversation! I think when they ask then you are obliged to then not lie and tell the truth but encourage the magic! Im glad the deep down they know that there is still magic in the air this season ❤


  5. If magic is a part of the equation, the ‘lie’ may be worthwhile. If the lie has intent to harm, which this clearly does not, it is unsuitable by all means. I say let the magic play out and continue. Otherwise it’s all materialism and ‘gimme’s’ #ablogginggoodtime

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  6. I would be so sad if we lived without this magic and imagination. As a child, it sparked wonder in me and also never detracted me from why my family was actually celebrating Christmas. It was a strange feeling when I was told Santa (well, at least our version of him) wasn’t real, but Christmas remained just as magical to me and I have so many wonderful memories surrounding it xx


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    1. I know right! I have extremely fond memories of my magical Christmas time… I am filled with warmth and emotion when I think about this time of year! I cannot wait to share that same feeling with my little man. A Christmas without magic seems like a dismal Christmas to me ❤ x


  7. I think it’s so funny that people are so up in arms about the “lie” of Christmas. I know that people are sick of the commercialism of Christmas. I get that they want it to be more about “the real reason for the season”. I just think that if people are blaming the Christmas lies for their trust issues they are looking in the wrong places. I’m pretty sure there is more going on there.

    Thanks for posting this at That Friday Linky for me to find!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Haha, I saw the article in question and thought what a load of nonsense! Santa is a magical part of childhood. The innocence of children and the fact they can believe in something magical, in a world that can be so cruel, is so precious to me. I love the build up to Christmas. I love watching my kids faces when they see Santa at his grotto and when they realise Santa has been! Thanks for joining in with That Friday Linky #ThatFriday Linky

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly what I thought when I first saw it too! Yes… well summed up… we do live in a cruel world and although we all need to remember to be kind all year round Christmas is a great time of year from sparking the magic in our lives and reminding us of the warmth and beauty in the world. I am so excited to be sharing this with my son as my parents did with me. ❤


  9. I believe deeply in integrity as a parent. I believe in being as truthful as possible with my kids because it is clear to me that they see through a lot of th lies that we tell ourselves as adults.
    That said, my son is very excitied about Santa and there is no way I’m ruining that for him. Especially as it is such an institutional myth within our soecity.
    If he ever asks about it, or when the time comes that mean old reality sets in, I will explain to him that Santa is the embodiment of Christmas spirit. That he is a way that the world uses to capture the happiness and sharing and fun of Christmas time. That those feelings and emotions are bigger than one man in a red suit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely with you on that one. Integrity is key. I too will be completely honest with my son if he ever asks the fateful question but I absolutely no doubt that that will not change the magic and imagination that surrounds Christmas. The feelings and emotions, as you say, are definitely the reason Christmas is so special to me and I hope that my son carries that forward too ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Wouldn’t it be sad without the magic of Santa I for one would be gutted Santa is real yeh great post Thanks for linking to the #THAT FRIDAY LINKY come back next week please

    Liked by 1 person

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