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How do you keep Santa secrets from young children while being with them all day?

Posted by on Nov. 28, 2013 at 9:38 AM
  • 44 Replies

My parents were sneaky Santa Clauses. I tried to stay up until 2 or 4 AM, but I never caught them. When I woke up, beautifully wrapped presents magically appeared by my pillow every year. I'm embarrassed a little, but I believed in Santa until almost 12 years old. Then my thoughtful neighbor girl, 10, told me one day, "Please don't tell my youngest sister about Santa. She still believes in him. But I don't understand why anyone wouldn't notice that he is our parents." Within a split second, all the wonders made sense and I managed to reply, "Yeah, neither do I." 

Even after I told my mom what I had learned that day, my parents continued the tradition until I was out of the house. When I visit them during Christmas, they still do it.

Now I want to do the same to my children, but being a homeschooling mom, I'm finding this task a little more difficult than I anticipated. I remembered what my children said they wanted from the stores we went; took my husband there on a date night and asked for his opinions; and we are still discussing what we should get. My husband didn't complain, but this was more of a chore than what he wanted to do on a date night: Watch a movie and relax.

I sometimes feel like giving in by telling my children so that I could buy what they want in front of them, wrap them in our wrapping paper to save money, and give them out without secrets. But I cannot undo the effect, so we're still hanging on. I thought of buying things online, but then my children will see the UPS coming and wonder why Mommy doesn't open packages with them only in December. I could do this during summer, but then their Christmas presents may not be what they want at the time. I thought of sending them to my relatives, but they don't like keeping extra stuff in their houses.

Wrapping presents in secret is another hard task. I have been doing it every year, but I may start asking my husband to just measure the presents and go buy bags. Last year, I wrapped them in our wrapping paper and our oldest daughter asked why Santa and we had the same papers. Epic fail. I told her that Santa wanted to borrow our wrapping paper. Horrible, I know. I'm not a good lier. But she wants to believe in Santa, so she is still believing. So I need to be extra careful this year. I don't want them to hear the sound of bags either, so my husband will have to bag them in his car. But then they may stay up and see my husband bringing in presents to the house. I could ask him to put them in a black plastic bag, but that looks suspicious too.

How do you guys do it? Did you already tell them who Santa was? If so, how old were they? I have 4 children and the oldest is 8 years old.

by on Nov. 28, 2013 at 9:38 AM
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Replies (1-10):
usmom3
by BJ on Nov. 28, 2013 at 12:22 PM
My children all know that Santa is not real now. But back when they still believed him to be real we would buy the Santa gift (there was always just one a piece) when we shopped for all the other things (the children are not with us when we Christmas shop, plus I shop online a lot). We never wrapped Santa gifts they where always under the tree unwrapped & ready to be played with along with their stockings filled by Santa.
jen2150
by Silver Member on Nov. 28, 2013 at 12:40 PM
1 mom liked this

My kids have always known the truth.  My parents were horrible about wrapping.  They always hid them under the bed.  We always knew what they were.  We don't keep christmas anymore but I would just do the best you can and realize as long as you are together it will be the best christmas ever.    How old are your kids?  Maybe send out for a date night with Daddy!  Sometimes I order things online and they give you an option of gift wrap.  No matter what you do I am sure it will be great!

Leissaintexas
by Bronze Member on Nov. 28, 2013 at 12:47 PM
1 mom liked this

Wow, that stressed me out just reading it! I think you're overthinking it. My kids were apparently either very cynical or very logical, because they were over the Santa thing very young. Probably about 3 or 4. We didn't see the point in keeping up the charade once they started trying to figure it out. It doesn't have to be THAT much work. It should be fun! Taking Santa out of the equation doesn't have to ruin the magic. Just be honest with them, then let the mystery of "what's under the tree" be the fun part.

AutymsMommy
by Silver Member on Nov. 28, 2013 at 7:54 PM
1 mom liked this

My eldest believed until grade 3, when her teacher let the cat out of the bag (we weren't happy) - she asked us, straight up, and we told her. She is now 12 and LOVES helping us play Santa for her younger brothers!

I buy gifts both online and in store. When I go in store, my husband stays home with the children (I'm planning on going out tomorrow or Saturday to do some of it).

I wrap after they are in bed. I want to do the same this year as last... last year my best friend came over, we had a few "grown up drinks" and wrapped our children's gifts together (DD12 joined us). It was fun :)

Honestly, I've never had any problem sneaking around them, lol.

ETA: I'll help my children continue to believe for as long as I can. I never once felt betrayed or lied to by my parents, just because they helped us believe in Santa. I still believe :)

I am a Home Schooling, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Stay at Home Mom. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities and nosy, involved parents. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it anywhere near my children. Now for the controversial stuff:  we're Catholic, we're conservative, and we own guns (now there's no need to ask, lol).             Aimee















TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Nov. 28, 2013 at 9:01 PM
My oldest (11.5) knows, he asked last year and I was honest...but I think it was too soon and wish I had given him an extra year. My younger one (10.5) is iffy, but she wants to believe so we are doing our best to keep it alive for her. DS wants to help be Santa this year, and I figure I owe him that so we will see what we can do to still make it special for him.

My kids were in ps until this year, and this was one of my concerns. But I never had an issue hiding it from them before, I wrapped in my bedroom at night after they went to bed. And DH and I snuck the gifts down on Christmas Eve when they were sleeping (I wrap a little each night the week before usually so it's not all that night!). This year it's harder to shop since we always did it together one day when they were in school or Black Friday we would have mil watch them. Tonight DH is working, but we may meet in the morning. And Saturday I am hoping dd will go to her cousins for a sleepover and DS with be at his biodads for the night, so I hope we can do most of the shopping then, and then some online.

I say if you do it online, and they question why you don't open packages, you say there are some gifts in there...at our house Santa brings gifts, but so do we, so my kids wouldn't question it. I have always used different wrapping paper for us/Santa, and even different tags and I disguise my handwriting. Last year or the year before we typed personalized notes from Santa for each kid...they have them laminated and hanging in their bedrooms, lol.
TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Nov. 28, 2013 at 9:03 PM
Also, when my kids do figure it out and ask, I give them the answer my mom gave me which I think is awesome....that I believe there is a Santa out there, but he helps kids and families that really need it. Since we can afford presents, we buy them. But this is also why we buy for a family even though we don't have a lot ourselves..we are Santa to them. There really is the magic of Santa out there, even if he's not just one man with a sleigh and a bunch of elves!
lovelylady83
by Member on Nov. 29, 2013 at 12:22 AM
1 mom liked this

We don't do Santa.  My kids know my husband works and gets paid for the time he spends away from us in the military... its only fair they know who buys the toys ... especially when dad's not here to spend time with them... not to mention that some kids don't get anything and its not cause they were bad ... its cause parents don't all have money... So we celebrate eachother and people and happy times... we give each other gifts that are thoughtfully picked for each member and the others know it.... Honesty and Reality is the best policy.... we teach are kids to stay away from strangers... then send them off to sit in strange mens laps and take there pictures.... while telling them the deepest hopes for the holidays... in hopes some magical being will break in on christmas eve and leave it under the tree..... that is the magic of christmas!

chotovec82
by Bronze Member on Nov. 29, 2013 at 1:20 AM
1 mom liked this
I agree. We have never perpetuated the Santa myth. I'm glad to because reading this post stressed me out. Also my son would have never believed in him. When he was three we went to a veterans day parade that my husband was in. There was a man in a shark costume for the Marine Squadran marching in the parade. My son says to me, "Mommy Mommy that's so silly." I said, "what's so silly?" He says, "the shark; they don't live on land they live in water. That's just a man in a shark outfit!"


Quoting lovelylady83:

We don't do Santa.  My kids know my husband works and gets paid for the time he spends away from us in the military... its only fair they know who buys the toys ... especially when dad's not here to spend time with them... not to mention that some kids don't get anything and its not cause they were bad ... its cause parents don't all have money... So we celebrate eachother and people and happy times... we give each other gifts that are thoughtfully picked for each member and the others know it.... Honesty and Reality is the best policy.... we teach are kids to stay away from strangers... then send them off to sit in strange mens laps and take there pictures.... while telling them the deepest hopes for the holidays... in hopes some magical being will break in on christmas eve and leave it under the tree..... that is the magic of christmas!


debramommyof4
by Silver Member on Nov. 29, 2013 at 2:00 AM
My oldest turns 8 two days after Christmas. We usually wrap Christmas Eve. The kids go shopping with us and we get stuff for all our "friends kids". Thank goodness they are about the same age.

Santa brings our Christmas tree and he has since my oldest was two. We were not going to have a tree that year because we did not have money for presents and she asked for a tree so we told her Santa might bring it. He did along with a ton of toys that showed up that year on our door step already wrapped. The girls had an amazing Christmas that year. Even though I saw who dropped it of, my embarrassing secret is I still believe in Santa and I am 29.

Every year no matter how broke we are the spirit of Christmas has been there and seen us through. If they ever decide Santa is not real that is fine. And I expect they will figure out Santa is not one man that goes around the world in a single night. But I hope that does not cause them to loose the magic and spirit of giving that created that man.
2chillins4me
by Member on Nov. 29, 2013 at 9:43 AM

My children are 12, 6, 3, and 1.  They all know Santa doesn't bring gifts.  We tell them the truth and go from there.  We enjoy the togetherness of the season.  We don't focus on the gifts at all.  They get 4 a piece and no one complains.  It makes for a very relaxing season, instead of over stressing.

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