Is it wrong to lie to my children about the existence of Santa? When they get older how do I explain to them that I was lying? How can I expect them not to lie when I confess to them that I had been lying about Santa's existence?

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    Welcome to Christianity.SE. This site is of for questions generally relating to Christianty. Santa Claus not being a Christian figure, this is kind of off topic here. Perhaps you could try Parenting.SE for this question or ask a question here about the ethics of honesty in relation to Christianity? – Caleb Sep 7 '11 at 21:41
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    Then don't phrase it in the context of Santa. Or lying to your children. Talk about lying in general. In which case, we already have questions that cover that. – El'endia Starman Sep 7 '11 at 21:44
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    I don't lie to my children apart from the existence of Santa. – David Heffernan Sep 7 '11 at 21:44
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    @David: A question about Santa is off topic. If your question is really about lying, then just ask that question. – Flimzy Sep 7 '11 at 22:05
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    Since Santa is based off of the story about St. Nicholas, I do think that a question directed to Christians about Santa is appropriate and unique from one directed to general society, and there are Christian options for handling the situation that aren't appropriate for, say, atheists dealing w/ this issue. – Ethel Evans Sep 7 '11 at 22:20

Perhaps the question really is, "Should I lie to my children?" or "Should I lie?" The answer to both of those is, of course, "No."

Certainly it is culturally normative to tell children about Santa. However, right and wrong in Christianity are not determined by how acceptable it is to a culture.

My parents told me the gifts were from them, and I appreciated them for it--not some mythical being. Christmas for devout Christians is a remembrance of Jesus and not the celebration of fairy tales.


Tell them about St. Nicholas the Bishop of Myra and then tell them that it's an old tradition. Then have more traditions so this one tradition doesn't end up being the only thing they remember from their childhood.

  • So I wanted to organize a Christmas party (for adults) in my church and wanted to bring in Santa. The church took offence and told me I wasn't to have a "pagan symbol" in the church. (Bizarrely they considered Mickey Mouse and acceptable substitute). My plan was to have someone dress as St. Nicholas, Bishop of Smyrna and come in and say "Ho Ho Ho", explain his history, and give out presents. Probably just as well I didn't. – DJClayworth Nov 17 '11 at 4:44

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