Santa-Claus-Christmas-wink-secretAh, Christmas is rapidly approaching and with it the scariest question you will hear this time of the year. Is Santa real? Oh, poop. What now? Do you lie to your children, you monster, so that they can have a few years of magic in their lives? Maybe you should tell them the truth and crush their hopes and dreams, you monster. No matter what your feelings on this vital matter, you are wrong. You are, because your friends will feel differently, so will your mom. And your mother in law. And your kid’s teachers, and the guy at the grocery store. One would think that an imaginary fat guy in a red suit giving presents to children would be pretty inoffensive. One would think wrong.

The truth is more complicated than that. Because there obviously is no right answer, there is a whole spectrum of opinions, and everybody thinks that their way is best. There are those who want their kids to believe in magic, so they tell them Santa is real. But then, some don’t want their kids to forget the true spirit for Christmas, so their presents are brought by Baby Jesus. Except that is a materialistic view of our Lord, so maybe not. Besides, if you spent so much time picking the perfect gift, why should some fat guy get all the credit? Also, lying is wrong and you should try to raise your kids to believe in logic. But what if they tell their friends that Santa is not real and crush their hopes and dreams? We don’t blame you for panicking.

So, when your rosy-cheeked, wide-eyed kid comes to your and asks: “Is Santa real?”, what should you do? A safe strategy is to avoid the question. No, I don’t mean throw a smoke bomb, run away and stay out of town until February rolls around. But maybe answer the question with another question: “What do you think, honey?”. Ask them for their reasoning. If they are old enough to ask questions, they are old enough to try to think their own answers.

The idea of Santa is fun. Baking cookies, writing letters and surprising, mysterious gifts under the tree make Christmas magical. But even if you choose to tell the truth, Christmas can be fun as well. The lights, the decorations, the stories and that wonderful, generous spirit that everyone seems to have make this time of the year pretty magical as well.

In the end, the choice is yours. There are no wrong answers. The only way to ruin Christmas is to judge other parents in what they chose to tell their kids.