A Few Reasons My Kids Believe In Santa

It's shocking anyone believes in Santa with beards like that around!

When I was about six years old, my parents went to Ireland for three weeks. My aunt and uncle stepped up to the plate – they were a lot younger than my parents and a heck of a lot more fun. One night they let us stay up way past bedtime and watch “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”.

When my parents returned, they seemed very different. They brought us presents and allowed us access to unlimited portions of Irish chocolate. The change in them was so peculiar, it was clear in my mind that they had become victims of body snatching while on holiday. You see, my real parents would never shower us with gifts. Alien invasion was the only reasonable conclusion.

It is for similar reasons that my big kids still believe in Santa. Santa brings them stuff they know I would never buy. It is easy to believe in Santa when you are being raised by a mother who is both mean and cheap. The idea that I would actually buy toys and other nonsense is so outrageous to them that logic dictates Santa must be responsible for such kindness.

The part of me that wants to spoil them rotten and see those little faces light up loves that Santa exists. There are many things I won’t buy them because I don’t like the brand, messaging, batteries, etc. Explaining why I don’t like those products is a valuable teaching opportunity. Being Santa allows me to indulge them with something they want without having it come from Mom.

But this year I have a new dilemma. My eleven-year-old son truly believes in Santa. He also believes in the Tooth Fairy. He is not faking it or desperately/sentimentally trying to hold on to the magic. He believes in Santa because he has autism. Some things are taken very literally, and the Santa thing has played out like this:

- Mom says there is a Santa and Tooth Fairy
- Mom does not lie to me
- Therefore, there is a Santa and Tooth Fairy

I’m happy he believes for his younger siblings, but I’m breaking a sweat imagining him standing around with his buddies at recess, defending the existence of the Tooth Fairy to a bunch of Gr. 6 boys.

So, I think this is the year I have to sit him down and tell him that I’ve been lying to him for eleven years. Then ask him to keep the lie alive for his brothers and sisters. Then hope he doesn’t think I’m lying about everything else.

Advice welcomed.

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47 Responses to “A Few Reasons My Kids Believe In Santa”

  1. mamikaze

    We’re dealing with that right now. Our eight year-old can’t write fiction stories but is absorbed in Santa and the like. She’s got something like autism that the doctors can’t put a name to yet so I an struggling with how to break it to her.

    There is the chance that it could shatter her whole world or she could shrug and tell me “I knew that, I was just playing along for your benefit.” That unknown scares me.

    • Julie Cole

      so true! It seems like the times I build things up into something is exactly when the kids are like “that’s cool mom, no biggie”. You just never know!!!

  2. Karon

    Would it be more functional to address the possibility that some people have never seen the real Santa (not his helpers at the mall) or left their teeth out for the Tooth Fairy, and therefore his friends may not know that Santa or TF exist?

    Or perhaps telling him that Santa and TF stop visiting most kids when they turn a certain age, because there’s so many kids being born every year, but that they still visit a few very special kids (i.e., your son)? And that when they stop visiting, the magic wears off and those kids that don’t get visits any more don’t believe?

  3. Shairbearg

    Autism makes everything so much harder! I am struggling to teach my 4 yr old not to tell presents, he doesn’t have autism, but he does have a speech delay. He learns differently to, and for my b-day he kept telling me my present over and over. Luckily his speech delay prevented me from totally understanding what he was saying lol

    Good luck with this whole situation!

    • Julie Cole

      I remember when my guy was four we had to “practice” being excited about presents and opening them. We had a Christmas morning dress rehersal so I could teach him! LOL!

  4. MeltdownfreeDis

    My heart goes out to you. We had the inverse recently when my kinda quirky 5 year old asked, no, announced, that there are people inside of costumes at Disney. He called the fur characters mascots, and was about to explain how in front of his little brother.
    We dished him for later and I bought a Disney video about enigineering and how magical all the work & thought wasthat went into it, so people, even adults, can feel like they are in a play and really pretend while they are there. Talking about the people in the mascots steals their experience, so it is a little rude to do it.
    Can you show your son a video about the history of St. Nick, and explain that parents are keeping that magic alive? Also, appoint him head elf for you?

  5. Dawn

    I teach in a rural school with kids who still have some innocence left and lots of good values. Just last week, as my grade 5/6 parents sat in front of me for parent teacher interviews, their biggest question for me was: “Do you know if my child still believes in Santa Claus?!?” None of them wanted to have that discussion with their kids. I ensured them that it would *not* be me telling their children! It’s not easy at any age! Good luck!!!!

  6. Sara

    “It is easy to believe in Santa when you are being raised by a mother who is both mean and cheap.” Oh Julie, this just hit home and I’m gonna stick with it:)

    Now back to advice, I am not wise than you, such amazing mama, dealing with your big boy. I told my girls as long as you believe, there’s always Santa and Tooth Fairy in their heart. When it’s my turn to break the news, I’ll probably bring in St. Nicolas and say I had conversation with him and I’m the one to carry on his duty.

    So Mama didn’t lie, Santa did exist. Hope this helps.

  7. EntertainingMom

    Santa Claus is magical. He is the embodiment of all the wonderful wishes granted at Christmastime. Santa might not be a real person, but he is real indeed. He is real is spirit. He is real in hope. He is real in magic. Santa is alive. He is alive in the hearts of millions of young children around the world.

    Autistic or not, I would not rush to tell a child the “truth.” My daughter is 11 as well (and not autistic) and an incredible dreamer. In her heart of hearts she wanted to believe that Santa was real when she asked me last year and begged me to tell her the truth. I saw the tears well up in her eyes. Her best friend is Jewish and told her there was no such thing. She though long and hard about the reality of a Santa Claus. I let her draw her own conclusion. I watched as her eyes welled up with tears. Mine followed suit.

    I told her that different people believe in different things and just because one person believes or doesn’t believe in something, it doesn’t make it any less real.

    I do not see the harm in allowing an 11 year old to continue to believe in Santa and all the wonderful, magical goodness he embodies. I say you have, safely, another two years before you need to break the news.

    Best of luck with your decision, whichever you do choose!

  8. Kim

    Being the youngest of three I was the last to find out about Santa. My older brother and sister hung onto believing in Santa for quite sometime though. In our house you only rec’d presents from Santa if you believed in him. If you didn’t believe in him he would no longer leave presents Christmas Eve. Even at school when we wanted to “fit in” and were unsure of what was really the truth, we went home and believed without a doubt, and we truely did for a long time.. just not in public.

  9. Cherie-Lynn

    Ok so I’m 39 and still believe in Santa Clause. Not the way a child does but that excitement and joy and magic is still there for me. I still hear that bell ring.
    I don’t think there is anything wrong with letting your son beleive. My son believed until he was 12. Yeah there were things said at school but I will admit- I told him ” that those kids must not have behaved if there parents had to do put the presents under tree because ive never put Santa presents under the tree”. This is not a lie either because my husbands puts everything under and I always had friends make up the Santa tags. :)

    *note to Mabels- new product Santa tags to kids ( no recognizing mom & dads hand writing) you’re welcome.

    • Julie Cole

      CL – we do the santa tags! They’re a big hit….I’ll have to send some your way! OK, having said that, we did them last year and I can’t keep track of my kids let alone what holiday products are on the roll this year….I’ll have to confirm that one! :)

  10. Marcia

    This is always a difficult conversation! Thankfully my two children are very young and I have several years before I need to have this conversation! I remember though when I was in grade 6 and my friends told me there was no Santa. I was crushed. I wanted to believe! I talked to my Mom and she shared the following with me. I will share this with my kids when we get to that stage.

    It may not work for your son Julie, but I think the concept is good.

    Eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York’s Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history’s most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps.

    “DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
    “Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
    “Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’
    “Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?


    VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

    Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

    Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

    You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

    No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

  11. AngelicMama

    Julie, I am in the opposite boat. I have a VERY highly gifted…well genius…3.5 year old who announced to her WHOLE daycare/preschool that Santa does NOT exist! Oh man did that blow up and fast! 75 kids being told Santas not real, total disaster. I say, let your son believe! Let him enjoy the magic as long as you can or as he wants to! Let him hold onto it, be happy with it!

    Your right, you dont know how kids are going to react. But let him enjoy it and if kids say something at school and he comes home questioning it, or upset over it, then sit down and talk about his feelings the best way you can! Dont take it away from him till hes ready for it!

    I love the idea of Santa tags, then maybe my little girl might believe in him….but as it is Christmas is going to be pretty much non existent this year because of severe money issues…my husbands been laid off for over 4 years…my daughters never HAD a real Christmas and maybe thats WHY she doesnt believe :S

    Good luck this year and I hope it all works out! Ever child should be able to enjoy that dream and that joy!!

    • Julie Cole

      wow – that’s a long time for hubs to be out of work…so hard with little ones. Sounds like you’ve got a real character on your hands too! lOL!! I can just imagine how happy all the daycare parents were when she made her ‘announcement’!! It’s like when my kids wanted to go to school and tell everyone and anyone how babies were made. GAH!

  12. danielle

    Interesting dilemma. I hate to admit it, but in my household, even my 6 yr old is questioning if Santa isn’t just me and dad putting gifts under the tree. Call me a cynic, but I kinda look forward to being out with it… No more threats that Santa won’t give gifts to badly behaved boys (and then always doing so, even though their behaviour warrants a few pieces of coal!) My 10 yr old has pretty much figured it out (Thank you, SuperFudge – the book by Judy Blume), but to protect the younger brothers from him bursting what tiny bit of air is in their wishful balloon of fantastical characters, I just say: If you don’t believe in Santa, he doesn’t bring you presents. The closer Christmas gets, the more all my kids believe!
    However, I agree it’s time to share the truth with your 11yr old son. I find kids deal with truth a lot better than we think they will. And, it always helps my boys feel more responsible about themselves and their place in this world when we invite them into the fold of adulthood – ever so slightly. Good luck.

  13. Heather

    My 10 year old daughter still believes, too. She asked me last year, and I just said, what do you think? Like the mom above, I’m the parent of a highly intelligent dreamer, and I watched those two wrestle inside her until she decided she still believed.

    My struggle is that we are practicing Christians, and I sometimes worry that there is a connection between not believing in Santa & the Tooth Fairy and not believing in God. I mean, if mom lied about Santa, what about God? I’m hoping that the sight of 150 adults in church each Sunday might make the distinction clear for her, but then how many adults participate in the Santa fiction every Christmas because it’s so wonderful and magical?

  14. Tamara @ bynature.ca

    I agree with EntertainingMom. We believed in Santa in our house as kids for a very long time. My dad used to tell us (as teenagers) that if we didn’t believe in Santa, we wouldn’t get any gifts. ;)

    My daughter is 5.5 and she’s already asked me this year if Santa is real or pretend. She’s very sensitive, so we have to have the pretend talk often with movies that scare her (the witch from The Little Mermaid is pretend, for example). So when she asked about Santa I told her Santa is person that likes to spread joy and magic during the holidays. We talked about the spirit of Christmas, and the surprise of Christmas morning. This seemed to be enough to convince her Santa was ‘real’.

    Eventually I’ll tell her Santa is a symbol for so much more than just the toys she gets on Christmas morning, but for now, we’re still at the believing age. And I’ll likely continue the tradition my dad passed onto us. As the girls get older, my hope is they will continue to ‘believe’ in all that Santa stands for.

  15. Meghan

    Julie, I completely understand…and will be watching this blog closely for advice too. I’m not looking forward to the day when my DS and DD’s beliefs in Santa no longer coincide because of the “Autism delay”.

  16. Jenny


    This morning my 8 year old said “I am so happy in my heart because Santa exists”…it made my Monday morning. She continues to believe in him even though she knows “the truth”.

    Four years ago (at 4) she sat me down and said “How is it possible that all of the poor kids are on Santa’s bad list? Just because you are poor doesn’t mean you are not good. What if they were not lucky. Why are there kids who can’t have toys when I see so many at Costco and Walmart?”

    Every answer in my head would no doubt be followed by a new question so I just said “he’s not a real man – he is magic”. His magic gets sprinkled into people and they do funny things: – put money in the Salvation Army kettles, buy toys for kids we don’t know, send out pictures to friends and we get to hang out for fun, games, presents and on and on

    Ever since she has talked about Santa as a magical “person”. She still thinks that she should go and sit on Santa’s knee at the mall “tell him what I really want – for good luck!”. She never passes a kettle without putting money in it. She makes a list of little boy and girl toys we can buy to help Santa with his deliveries…

    Last month she came home and said some kids at school told her that Santa wasn’t real and she said “I know but I still like his magic”.

    I am glad I told her the “truth” and I am happier that she keeps on believing.

  17. Jodi

    I totally get why you’d want to share the truth at this point Julie. I think our Jack is seen as a neuro-typical to his peers as well(or maybe the boy that gets into trouble a lot LOL!)and it would be important to me that he not be made fun of by his friends.

    • Julie Cole

      and that’s just it…I don’t want him to be ‘that’ kid who doesn’t know if everyone else does. But all the comments are making me think that maybe i’ve got a bit of time still???

  18. Kathleen

    I remember as clear as it was yesterday the day I found out Santa didn’t exist. I was in grade 5 (so I’m sure your Son isn’t the only one in his class who still believes) and on the school bus the “big kids” started talking about how he isn’t real.

    I spent that whole Christmas questioning Santa’s existence, and I finally put the pieces together that the kids were right. For some reason I really didn’t want my family (especially my parents) to know I figured it out. As the oldest of 4 I worked extra hard to ensure that the truth about Santa remained a secret.

    Now that I have my own Son, I’m excited about living the magic of Christmas and believing in Santa again. I have such great memories of Christmas as a kid, and I hope my kids believe for just as long :)

    • Julie Cole

      the believing is so magical. I’m just so torn because I worry about the social implications for my guy. I WANT to keep feeding the believing, but I worry about it too. So hard!!

      • Kathleen

        I can’t remember who wrote the comment… but I think it was a teacher who said the parents wanted to know if their child still believed in Santa. I think that’s a great idea – talk with your Son’s teacher and see where his peers at with regards to Santa. It may help you decide on whether to talk about it with your Son this year or not. Good luck!

  19. Beth

    I think kids starting doubting Santa exists when they are ready. Why rush it? You can have the discussion that ‘Charlie’ doesn’t believe in Santa and ask Mack what he thinks about that. Let it be his choice to believe or not. Start moving the conversations to Santa existing in the heart, rather than the hard line that a man in a red suit comes down the chimney. So when he finally cares enough to say Santa absolutely doesn’t exist as a person, you still have the heart of Christmas giving existing. Matthew tells me he doesn’t believe in the Tooth Fairy, but he still believes in Santa and the Easter Bunny.

    • Julie Cole

      the tooth fairy thing is actually a bigger worry for me. I think Santa and the bunny make a little more sense (not sure why!?!) but it was when he lost a tooth this week and started talking about the fairy that i got thinking about santa some more…..I worry about the trust in what I say thing. it’s the not knowing how he will interpret it…the nuances sometimes get lost and I worry that in his mind, I may no longer be someone he can trust with correct info.

  20. Am

    Julie, I agree this is a tough one but so important to begin thinking about… I encourage this dialogue for so many reasons and am always quoted as saying that “no one model/rule fits all children”. With our kids with ASD it’s so important to look at their functioning level as well as their cognitive and developmental levels overall. With your 11 year old its important to note that at this point in time he is pretty much indistinguishable from his peers and is involved in everyday activities with them willingly… therefore peers will assume that he’s up to speed with what they know…and most 11 year old’s know that Santa does not truly exist by grade 6. Many have been taught the beauty of the season and the gift of giving from the heart and realize that Santa is a concept believed by younger children. When we look at social relationships and “fitting in” it may be in his best interest to have this discussion with him now and begin to discuss how the concept of Santa came to be, in order to avoid any socially damaging experiences. By Grade 6 students are becoming much more knowledgeable about the world around them from their perspective. Our kids (who’s Autism is camouflaged by their functioning level) often experience social challenges exactly like this one if not talked through. I have worked with many children who we have had to teach the “real-deal” to but in the long run it actually really helped. Further, your 11yr old already shows an “investment” in fitting in with peers which is one of the hardest concepts to teach our kids with ASD so at time we may need to make a difficult choice such as this one in order to protect their “investment level”.

    • Julie Cole

      Am – there are so many gems in what you say here. I understand the notion of ‘keeping the magic alive’ and ‘if you don’t believe, you don’t receive’, but those are things that apply to the NT population. I suppose that having Mack has shown me that all of those notions come second to what is truly important – him having a social understanding that is comparable to his peers. I would love to keep living the ‘magic’ FOREVER, but that would not be in his best interests…..as much as parents may think they’re 11-yr-olds still believe, the fact is, they are questioning it. They are clever enough to keep it quiet because they understand that it is their best interest….they LIKE getting presents from the guy in red! Plus, they WANT to believe. With our guys, it’s a completely different situation.

  21. Vikki Richardson Boesch

    Love, love, love Mabel’s Labels!!! wanted to share with you a site I have found really helpful for my speech kids ( I am a mom and home daycare provider of 17 years!) The site is Speechtails.com. We love it! If you have time check it out. I love the section on it that is called Amy’s Corner where I can get advice and specific questions answered plus there are tons of great word building activity suggestions and exercises. Good Luck, Vikki B, Indiana

  22. Karen

    My eldest was 10 when he finally started to waver on his firm belief in Santa after a few of his buddies mocked him. I told him the honest truth, that I believe in the magic of Christmas and the magic of Santa and that’s where we left it. He knows that Mom and Dad are Santa, but, like me, he embraces the magic of Santa nonetheless.

  23. Kat

    Julie, I sat down and discussed it with my daughter last year (she was 9 and in grade 4). A lot of her peers at school were telling her that Santa is just the mom and dad, and this was at least the second year she’d had these questions. It really peeved me, because I felt like 9 was too young to tell her the truth – the year before (at 8) I had said, “do you honestly think I, el cheapo, the original mean mom, would buy you all that cool stuff, go to the trouble of hiding it (I am also lazy) and not take credit?” (I am vain, too) and it worked. But last year she kept asking in front of her then 5-yo sister, so I took her aside and said “honey, you’re right: but please don’t give it away for your sister!” She felt very privileged to be “in” on the secret and has asked to be an elf and help with stocking stuffers. So it went over well. But your situation is different.

    On another note…I wish that people who don’t do Santa would at least coach their kids not to give it away to other people’s children. In our community, there are lots of Christian families who don’t do Santa, I *think* on the grounds of putting the Christ back in Christmas, and Santa (an omniscient, magical being) is not Christian enough? Not sure. But in any event, it is THESE people’s children who are giving the truth away to the others…not the Jewish, Muslim or Hindu kids, but the uber-Christian ones!

    I tend to agree with Am, though. Autism aside, by the age of 11, fitting in with peers is a very age-appropriate priority. I think the loss of Santa is less damaging than the risk of being ridiculed by more worldly peers. Just my .02 and admittedly not a very expert .02, either!

  24. Janice (5 Minutes for Mom)

    I was really bothered about the Santa/Tooth Fairy thing – I did not want to have to lie to my children. But I didn’t have a choice since my in-laws would have completely disowned me.

    SO, my almost nine year old still believes (as does his 12 yr old cousin who tells her friends of course there is a Santa my mom would NEVER buy me that much stuff!) But Jackson has doubts and so when he asks me I don’t lie. I just ask him what he thinks. And he tries to work it out. And he usually comes to the conclusion that I would never buy him that many toys! LOL

    I think if you stress that it is a tradition that parents tell young children about Santa and give them presents rather than “you lied” it might be a bit easier.HUGS

  25. Jessica

    There is such a range of incredible, and sage, advice here. I have 4 children who go to a very loving, and family orientated, as in the parents and little sibs are ALWAYS at the school, catholic school. I was raised catholic, but my parents didn’t really emphasize the traditions of the church. One of the wonderful gifts that the school has given me is the feast of St. Nicholas. An older parishoner dresses up and goes around to the younger classrooms(k-3) and passes out candy canes that have a poem attached to them with the meaning of the candy cane and how it relates to Jesus. His costume has been passed down for years and even though the cape is an old, red table cloth that was jazzed up, it is beautiful and it works. His granddaughters didn’t even recognize him one year until he spoke!

    I used this when my older two boys were in about 4th grade to let them know that Santa, St. Nic and Jesus were in cahoots with us. That kind of love is so special that people want to keep giving it and they especially want to keep giving it to those who are most special to them, their children. Mom’s and Dad’s have limits though and by St. Nic helping us with bringing out our Santa he lets us bring out the most joy we have, the joy of giving fully. Not the kind where we have to hold back because it might not be the best choice or it is something we may not enjoy listening too!

    I also brought them in on keeping this secret for the two younger kids and remembering that if they don’t participate, in everything, Santa pics and all, it is taking away from my joy of having them all together in our house. That will not last as long as I want it to, although that is still up for debate with a now teenager in the house!

    One last thing. The boys, with all of their crazy moodiness right now and difficulties in other areas, are wonderful about not breaking the news. There is, however, no sixth grader that I know that doesn’t know about the Tooth Fairy or Santa and frankly, it would be weird to see these boys, who put on pads and go out and tackle kids in football and my son, who is as tall as me and has way bigger feet(size 12 mens) still thinking that they were true. My fifth grader and his friends don’t either, his friends were telling him in about 3rd grade, and were don’t have bus service, I am the bus, but there is always lunch and recess. Now my second grader is questioning the Tooth Fairy because he just thinks a fairy that takes teeth is weird. I guess that is what I get for a smart kid who thinks too much, and yes, he has asked about Santa before too. I can keep convincing him, at least for another year or two, I think!

    Merry Christmas. May you all be blessed by the prayers of St. Nicolas for your family.

  26. marija

    We are Catholic and introduced the concept of St. Nicholas to our children at an early age as well. When the boys were old enough, they intuitively understood that we are all St. Nicholas/Santa. My children do not have learning disabilities, so I can’t help you there. But it has been fun watching the older children enjoy their siblings joy. They want to keep Santa alive for their brothers and sisters! Suddenly there is a new dimension to Christmas!

  27. George

    Hi Julie,
    Even though I’m an 18 year old guy now, I still remember the Christmas I was seven years old when I caught my parents walking down the stairs with big bags under their arms. Luckily I had just woken up to go to the bathroom, was still feeling groggy, and at 7 years old, didn’t fully understand the concept of what was going on. I woke up the next morning believing those were Santa’s gifts, but that night was the last Christmas I fully believed…that next year I told my mom that I was pretty sure I knew by then that santa wasn’t real. My mom told me that no, I was right, the santa I knew didn’t exist, but that santa clause lived in all of us, with the idea that we love to be good to our friends and family for christmas because we love each other, and we still speak and live through christmas with the spirit of santa because it makes us feel good to believe in things like santa clause, even into our adulthood. I remember I felt proud about growing up a little to a new stage in my life, and knowing I would be a good big brother to my little sister making sure I wouldn’t spoil it for her. Just explain to him that santa clause lives on through you and the rest of the world, because we all feel that urge to be good to each other, especially in that time of year, and someday he will spread on christmas cheer through santa’s spirit to his family as he gets older. Hope this helps!

  28. Angela

    My son is in grade 6 and still believes. My friend’s daughter in grade 7 does too. No special needs either. Just we are damn good Santa Claus’ and very convincing. I wouldn’t rush this one this year. Just enjoy it. Kids today believe a little longer then we did.

  29. Marion

    Keep it positive, make it special that he’s finally old enough to know the secret!! And now he gets to help you carry out the secret/magic for his siblings. You haven’t lied to him for the past eleven years, he’s just finally old enough to know the real magic of Christmas and be a part of spreading it.

  30. Danielle S

    Autism is an interesting thing. At our house we don’t do Santa. Thank you public school for convincing my autistic daughter that there is a magical guy that brings present on a holiday we don’t celebrate. No amount of discussion was going to convince my then 5 year old, or now 7 year old that what her teacher told her wasn’t “true”.
    We celebrate Yule/Solstice…and as of a couple years ago Christmas was thrown into the mix, she gets a single gift on that holiday add on day.
    Kids can be pretty insightful, even autistic ones. She asked directly a couple months ago about her Dad and I being the Tooth Fairy.
    Modern childhood is often too brief… Fairies and Elves often take care of themselves in due time.

  31. Karen

    I found this on a website some where and will be leaving it for my highly functioning 10 year old autistic daughter this year. I am a single mom who is not Christian so I modified it, so modify it for your family and beliefs.

    Dear Dakota,

    You asked a really good question, “Are you really Santa?.” I know that you want to know the answer, and I had to give it careful thought to know just what to say.

    The answer is No. I am not Santa. There is not one, single Santa.

    I am the person who fills your stocking, chooses and wraps the presents under the tree- just as my parents did for me, and you will do for your kids someday.

    This could never make any of us Santa, though. Santa is lots and lots of people who keep the spirit alive. He lives in our hearts – not at the North Pole. Santa is the magic and love and spirit of giving to others. What he does teach children to believe in something they can’t see or touch. Throughout your life you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your family, and in your friends. You’ll need to be able to believe in things you can’t measure or hold in your hands.

    Now you know the secret on how he gets down all of those chimneys on Christmas Eve: He has help from all of the people whose hearts he has filled with joy.

    With full hearts, people like ne take our turns helping Santa do a job that otherwise would be impossible. So no, I am not Santa. Santa is love, magic, hope and happiness. I am on his team, and now you are too.

    I love you, and I always will.

    Love Mom


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