Well, not Zachary.
I always wondered what we'd tell our kids about Santa Claus. I think I remember discussing it with my hubby once or twice. I don't remember what our conclusion was. On one hand, telling your kids that Santa Claus brings them presents is a fun and innocent tradition that as far as I know, has never scarred anyone for life or led anyone to mistrust their parents' every word. I was a Santa believer as a small child, and it is a fun part of Christmas. On the other hand, it's just a story. It's not really true. So if I tell Zachary that Santa Claus is real, I am 'technically' lying to him.
Anyhow, through last year, when Z turned 3, we just kind of ignored the whole 'Santa' part of Christmas. We read about Jesus' birth and the Grinch and Rudolph and introduced the Santas we saw on TV & at the store as, "Oh, yep, that's Santa" without elaborate descriptions of his Christmas-Eve-chimney-naughty-or-nice-list-keeping ways. It was just as if we were saying, "Oh, yep, that's Spongebob (or some other cartoon character he would recognize)." No further explanation needed.
Now, somewhere in the last year, Z has heard stories of Santa and his gift giving habits, and in the process, has decided on his own that Santa is just a story. Just a man dressed up in a red suit that people like to pretend about at Christmastime. And I think that's fine. I'm definitely not going to try to convince him otherwise, especially since what he believes is actually the truth. I also think the idea of Santa being real makes him a little nervous, because he always seems to be reassured when I tell him that he's right, that Santa is just a story.
I have been trying to help him understand, though, that lots of children DO believe in Santa. I'm trying to keep him from going to Sunday School or MOPS and telling all of his 3 and 4 year old friends that Santa isn't real. He says, "Yeah, okay. Some people believe Santa is real. But not me. And not Natalie either." Like she has a clue. :)
So, if your child is Z's friend and he/she comes home and tells you that someone told him Santa is just a man in a suit, and you have to deal with the fallout, I'm so sorry.
So, what do your kids think about Santa? Do you tell your kids he's real, at least while they're young? I'd love to hear how other moms have dealt with the Santa Claus 'issue'!