I Don't Believe in Santa but My Husband Does

This whole parenting thing is hard. Making decisions and choices that can impact another human and mold them into who they are. Scary business. Then when you factor in two parents who have different views, experiences and maybe different wishes for their children things can get complicated.

My husband and I have been together for going on 13 years — married for almost 8 years. My high school sweetheart he really is the perfect partner for me. We are very different people though with little in common.

Like I mentioned above — the two of us have different views, experiences and different ideas in some aspects of child-raising. One place we differ becomes a topic of conversation every year at this time — the holidays — and how that plays into raising our kids.

He doesn’t give the whole “Santa” thing a second thought when it comes to our kids, happy to play along and keep the magic. Me however, I do not want to participate in the whole “Santa” thing with our kids.

I know there are families who don’t play into the Santa traditions for hopes of keeping the focus more on their religious beliefs. I don’t have any religious reasons for my wanting to keep the idea of Santa out of our Christmas traditions. My reasonings are more to do with the idea of this big elaborate ‘lie’ that forces kids to be ‘good’ to get gifts. The whole premise of a ‘naughty and nice’ list and sending spies (like elf on the shelf) to make sure you are being ‘good’ — it feels too much like bribery.

I am not the only parent in this equation though. My husband likes the the ‘magic’ of Santa and doesn’t want to ‘ruin’ the only time kids can/will believe in him. Therein lies the parental dilemma. Both of our opinions on this subject matter and the need to come up with a compromise has become very important over the past 2 years. The kids are now old enough to be influenced at school, to understand this time of year and they ask a million questions.

Avoiding the whole Santa ‘magic’ is pretty near impossible with the kids in school. I don’t want to have my kids at school shouting to the other kids that Santa isn’t real — especially at this age — the parental backlash that I would get from that (though I think it’s silly) would not be worth it.

How do we make it work?

I just don’t play into it — while not bursting the Santa bubble for the kids.

We don’t take our kids to see Santa, we don’t make Santa wish lists or tell them that they have to be ‘good’. There are no elves keeping an eye on them, no presents under the tree from Santa.

Everyone else is freely allowed to talk about Santa bringing presents as long as they don’t use it in a bribing way. The kids then keep the ‘magic’ that is important to my husband.

I just don’t play into it.

If the kids talk about Santa or ask me a question I always answer it the same way — I avoid it and just say:

That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard“.

{and no, I don’t play into in the tooth fairy or the Easter bunny either}

Read more from Devan on Accustomed ChaosUnspoken Grief
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Photo Credit: luigi diamanti /

Article Posted 4 years Ago
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