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Saying Goodbye to Santa Claus

Linda enjoys searching for fascinating travel destinations, seeking relaxation and fun, and (of course) eating great food.


Wishing for Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child

An Update:

I wrote this article several years ago. Since then, it seems our Nation and our World have experienced so much disappointment and sadness. Wars, terrorists, mass shootings, natural disasters. So much loss and grief.

And then, there is Christmas. A season of anticipation, and promise, and...lies? Do we need to acknowledge that there really is no Santa Claus, or is there still hope?

The Story

Weeks (or perhaps months ago) wish lists were carefully written and mailed to the North Pole.

Today cookies were baked and decorated.

Tomorrow those same cookies (two, three, or more?) will be lovingly set on a plate, next to a glass of milk and a fat carrot for the reindeer.

And on Christmas Eve Santa Claus will don his red suit, fill his sack with toys, and hitch up the reindeer to his sleigh. Magically, he will circle the globe, visiting the homes of every good little boy and girl; his sack, like the loaves and fishes that fed the five thousand, will never be emptied.

This is the story of Santa Claus.

The Great Santa Debate

Several weeks ago I posed the following question to my fellow Hubbers:

Did any of you choose to not tell your children that there is a Santa, Tooth Fairy, or Easter Bunny? We tell our children that they should be honest--not lie. How do you rectify that with telling them the Christmas/Easter/Tooth lies?

The responses were mixed. One hubber commented, “We never did Santa with my children although my siblings and I grew up believing in Santa. We never saw it as parents lying to us; it was just part of our Christmas tradition until we learned better. My children, however, were not taught the Santa tradition. Once I became an adult and realized how expensive it was to gift for four children, spouse, and extended family members, I REFUSED to give someone else credit for providing the gifts to my children."

Another hubber seemed to question my parenting skills if I would NOT tell my children that there is a Santa “…because kids should get a childhood. It ends soon enough without parents rushing it. I always told my children Santa was the spirit of Christmas. As they grew up, that was something they could put into context. “

And Then There is This Perspective


Brad Pitt, father of six, recently addressed the subject, saying that he refuses to “lie” to his kids and that he’s not “real big on the whole Santa thing.” Pitt says he remembers when he discovered the real deal about the North Pole, and it was a “huge act of betrayal” for him as a little boy. “He told E! News, “when I found out the truth, I was like ‘Why? Why? Why would you lie to me?”

So the famous dad leaves it up to his kids to figure it out. “What I tell them is some people believe in Santa, and some people believe it’s parents, and you get to believe whatever you want.”

Revealing the Truth

Last Christmas was bittersweet for my friend John and his wife Lacey. They recognized that their children, 11 and 12 years of age, were far too old to believe that Santa Claus actually exists.

Over the years John and Lacey had created elaborate scenes to bring old Saint Nicholas to life—one year even covering the soles of boots with fireplace ashes, and then creating sooty footprints from the fireplace to the base of the Christmas tree.

But the words of naysayers and non-believers were prevailing, and last Christmas Eve John wrote this letter which he and Lacey tearfully read to their children:

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­­"You have every reason to not believe in Santa Claus.

Your friends try to convince you. Some, that are not your friends, mock and tease you. They plant the seed of doubt that grows with your freshly-minted rational mind.

You apply your 5th-grade math to the question of whether an old man, bearded, in a red suit, exists—and you deduct that there is no way that he could be in so many homes in such a short period of time. No way he could carry so many gifts in such a small sleigh, pulled by only a few reindeer. It just doesn't add up.


And you are right.

But you need to know that there are two worlds: one of numbers, and things that can break, and sounds that can hurt your ears, and smoke that can cloud your sight—a world where some children go to bed unkissed, where the last words before the silky veil of sleep are not "I love you."

But there is a world where a tiny hand is not grasped when it reaches for only a single finger. In that world there is no Santa Claus. There should be; he is needed there the most.

Then there is the world your Mom and I promised to give you. It's a world where your tears may wet your cheeks, but will never dry untouched. A world where prayers are said, and some are answered, but God is always present. A world where your laughter will forever be the greatest sound your Mom and I will ever know.

In this world, there is a Santa. You will never see him, but as sure as you are loved, he is there.


Tonight I am afraid there are more tears than joy. For tonight, we as a family say farewell to a dear and trusted very old friend. He will not be coming back again for quite some time. But trust me, he will come back. When God blesses you with children, Santa will return. Because once you believe...he will always return.

And as John and Lacey hugged their daughter and encouraged her to get some sleep, the tearful 12-year-old wrapped her arms around her mother and softly sobbed "goodnight Santa."

And Why It Matters

Parents want the very best for their children, perhaps reflecting on their own childhoods and hoping to give something better to their offspring. The story of Santa is so very sweet—Santa is a benevolent person who bestows gifts to boys and girls throughout the world—because he loves them.

Little children believe this. They enjoy this. And it gives them happiness.

However, there is also the real world--a world full of disbelief, sadness, and...reality. Our children yearn to grow up, to soar, to become move away from "us" and to become "them."

They reach for the next star.

Our children rejoice in looking forward, to growing, and expanding, and BEING. But as parents, although we want our children to grow, we also cling to the joy of having these precious little innocent people in our lives.

Every step they take, every milestone reached, every real or imaginary mountain climbed is one step further away from us. Our children yearn to be adults. And we as their parents yearn to hold them close, just one day longer.

© 2015 Linda Lum


Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on December 27, 2018:

Thank you, Shauna. My children are the source of my greatest joy. I have loved them at every stage of their lives and they have undeniably grown up to be amazing young women, but I must admit that there are times I wish that I could turn back the clock and be able to enjoy them as little children for just a little while.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on December 26, 2018:

Linda, this is beautiful. It puts a whole new perspective on the legend of Santa Claus. And why we adults want to perpetuate it.

Very moving piece, my friend.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on March 15, 2017:

Flourish, the letter was not of my writing. It is something that a friend and his wife wrote and read to their two children. Those kids are sassy teenagers now.

By the way, I don't think I want to submit this to Holidappy (although I have two other articles posted there). To conform to vertical site specifications (i.e. e-readers) they would probably ask me to reformat, drop the photos, etc. and I really don't want to do that. I think it would destroy the piece. But thank you for the encouragement. You are so skillful in the crafting of your hubs. Your words of praise mean a great deal to me.

FlourishAnyway from USA on March 15, 2017:

This was so good. That heartfelt letter was so beautiful. You should submit this to Holidappy. I wish I had opted for this approach. Instead, my very logical and analytical daughter cross-examined me and demanded the truth. I relented and she's reminded me of how disappointed she was in me for telling her ever since.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on January 12, 2016:


We also tend to focus on Jesus and the real 'reason for the season' but the Asbergers has allowed/forced us to look at why some things came about, and some of them are pretty neat.


Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on January 12, 2016:

Lawrence - I had not considered how children with Asbergers would have difficulty with the Santa concept. Although I have many friends who spin the St. Nick story for their children, we chose to not focus on Santa because, as Christians, we wanted to focus on the real reason for the celebration.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on January 12, 2016:


I had mixed feelings reading this hub. Not negative but kind of sadness at not being able to do some of the stuff.

When our girl was about four they had a party at the kindy where she was and Santa was due for an appearance, knowing she didn't deal with surprises all that well my wife took her 'behind the scenes' to see Santa getting ready.

All went well until the beard went on, then came a huge meltdown!! So much so that they had to come home!

Our local supermarket has a little mechanical Santa they put out every year, we also used to get meltdowns when she came shopping with us. We used to wonder what was going on but two years ago (she's 15) she was diagnosed with Asbergers and one of the classic traits is they can't cope with 'falsehood' which to them the dressing up as Santa is exactly as they see things.

Being a bit of a history buff who loves to tell stories one thing I used to do is tell the story of how things came about, sometimes the true story is actually stranger than the fiction.


Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on January 09, 2016:

Flourish - Don't you think John and Lacey got it right? Santa isn't a person--he's what is in our hearts.

FlourishAnyway from USA on January 09, 2016:

I like the big farce. It's a rite of passage. Santa is in our hearts.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on January 01, 2016:

Jodah - Thank you so much. I will definitely take a look at your hub. Happy New Year to you.

John Hansen from Australia (Gondwana Land) on January 01, 2016:

This is a delightful hub Carb Diva. I was always brought up with Santa Claus and did the same with my kids. It was fun making sooty footprints and taking bites out of cookies etc. they always just decided when the time was right that they were too big to believe in Santa anymore. No big deal. It will always be an ongoing debate though as to if it is lying or not. You may like to read my hub "Please Tell Me the Truth: Is There Really a Santa Claus". Hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and have a great New Year.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on December 24, 2015:

Eric - I hoped I would hear from you today--I know that you have a little person in your house. May he be filled with the wonder of Christmas and may all of you be blessed with happiness and joy.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on December 24, 2015:

What softness and gentleness in your words. I had never heard of a child being mad about being told of Santa until the figured it out. How sad. I would not trade it for all the truth in the world. We have a world of harsh reality out there that will surely smack us right in the face. Why not give a little joy.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on December 24, 2015:

Thank you Bill. You are absolutely right. At times parenting is the saddest pleasure anyone could have. The most difficult thing is seeing your child in pain--I don't mean skinned knees or a sore throat. I'm talking the deep wounds that cut like a knife--relationships, disappointments and heartache. Patching a knee is easy--tell me how to mend a broken heart.

Merry Christmas to you as well dear friend.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 24, 2015:

Sigh! I love your words at the end. Parenting is not an easy gig. I think if most of us knew the truth beforehand, we would seriously debate the wisdom in being a parent...and then we'd go ahead and be one anyway. LOL

Merry Christmas, Linda!

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