Why Santa Doesn’t Come To Our House

Posted on Posted in Children, Holidays

It happened again yesterday.  A perfect stranger saw my daughter with me and asked, “Have you been a good girl this year?”

She was very confused, but after looking at me a second, looked at the stranger and said, “I think so.”

He smiled and said, “Well then, I’m sure Santa will be coming to your house this year.”

She looked very confused and concerned.  “Mommy,” my little girl started, “Is Santa a girl?”

I smiled and tried to reassure the stranger that “Santa doesn’t come to our house.  We’ve never met him” as kindly as I could.

I then tried walking away with her and informed her that the Santa that man was referring to probably wasn’t a girl.  No, we don’t know him.  And hey–Let’s go look for Daddy.

That’s when it started.  He followed us.  “You don’t know who Santa is?”  I’m sure he was trying to be friendly, but really it was just getting creepy.  He continued to follow us telling my daughter who “Santa” is.

And I think it scared my daughter a bit.  I kept smiling at this man, and finally said, “I appreciate your kind words, but that’s not a game that we play at our house.  We really must go now.”

It was as if I’d just took away his birthday.  If you’re this guy–please stop–you creep out our children.


When people find out we don’t do Santa at our house, they usually assume that it’s because we are really Christian.  But that’s only part of it…

Reason #1:  I refuse to lie to my children–no matter how hard that is.

Yes I know my opinion is not popular.  I totally get that it’s not the “fun” answer.  I’ve even been told that it’s “not fair” to my children.

But…that’s the truth.  Santa is not real.  Acting like he is and encouraging my child to get excited about him is not only lying, but leading my child farther from the truth.  And telling my child “if they are good” they will get presents, but “if they are bad” they will get a stocking of coal is bribing and threatening.

There, I said the ugly.  Now before you throw darts at me, let me tell you a story:

My parents did the Santa thing with us.  I was the 5th child.  My older siblings knew they would continue to receive extra gifts from Santa every year if all the little kids still believed in Santa.  So they all did their best to persuade us that he did indeed exist.

I had heard rumors at school, so I asked my mother year after year–I figured she would always tell me the truth no matter what.  She always said yes, he was real.  I believed in Santa until I was 10 years old–much longer than any of the other kids.

Did other kids think I was gullible?  stupid?  easily persuaded?  I have no idea.  Because I was so busy judging them.  I really thought they were all idiots and stupid–because my mother told me the truth.  I couldn’t understand how they were all so…well…dumb.

When one of my older sisters started to get teased because of me, she told me there was no Santa.  I went to my mother…again…  This time I told my mother it was my sister who told me.  And two days before Christmas, my mother shot my sister a dirty look and then told me with a gentle voice, “I’m sorry honey.  He’s not real.”

I cannot tell you how crushed I was.  By 10 years old I had already learned not to trust anyone except my parents.  I knew that at some point, given the right opportunity everyone would betray you or lie to you–except my parents.  And now that was gone.

That distrust left a hole in my heart.  I’m not sure I ever trusted anyone again until I was in college, when I started to trust my mother again.

And–I hated myself because I was so judgmental toward all the other kids.  All of them.  I had judged them unfairly in believing that they were all stupid.  And I was ashamed of myself.  And I hate to admit it…but I disliked my mother for encouraging me to be judgmental.

I have heard other stories from other peers about their negative experiences in finding out their parents lied to them.  I am not alone.  Many children have had holes created.  Why?  Was it all in the name of “fairness”?  “fun”?


Reason #2:  It’s not about Santa.  Or you.  Or me.  Or even “the children” really.  It’s about Jesus.

When I found out Santa wasn’t real, Christmas changed for me.  It lost it’s magic.  But I soon realized that Christmas was still about the lights, the food, and the presents.

I don’t want this season to change for my children.  I don’t want the celebration my children have in their hearts about the birth of their Savior to “loose it’s magic” ever.  And I don’t want to entertain the thought that they’ll get over it by promising that there are “still lights, food, and presents.”

When we celebrate the birth of our Savior, it isn’t about any of us.  It’s not about me.  It’s not about the needy.  It’s not about family.  It’s not about the children.  It’s about Jesus.  It’s His birthday.

How would He feel about His birthday being turned into a celebration where a made up person brings stuff to children once a year to make them happy?  How would He feel if we used a made up man to encourage our children to “be good”?

My children know that all good things come from God.  He is the source of our happiness everyday.  He is why we choose obedience out of love and not rewards.


Do I think all Christians should stop the Santa charade?

I think we shouldn’t lie to our children–ever.  And I think we shouldn’t use anything other than God’s Word to encourage our childrens’ behaviors.

And I think if you choose to celebrate the birth of your Savior, it should be about just that.

I have a friend who chooses to celebrate Christs’ birth during the “Holiday season.”  And then her family has “Christmas in July” with all 200+ members of her family.  And yes, they do the Santa thing–only everyone knows it’s just a game.  It’s a fun family event for them.  But they all are very aware that Santa and Jesus have nothing to do with each other.

Santa doesn't come to our house--and we wouldn't dream of having it any other way. Here's why...

My prayer for you would be that you give thanks to your Savior this season (and every season).  I pray that you do celebrate the birth of your King–weather it’s in December or not.  And I pray that whenever you do celebrate and worship, that it be all about Him and nothing else.


17 thoughts on “Why Santa Doesn’t Come To Our House

  1. The creepy man sounds like a Santa missionary – you don’t believe? well, let me tell you about him… I was crushed when my brother told me that Santa wasn’t real. Thankfully, I was still quite young when I found out. I also decided never to let my kids think he’s real (that includes the tooth fairy). I read something once that helped me make that decision. If you teach your kids that Jesus/God is real and that Santa is real and then one day they find out that Santa isn’t real, then they might question that Jesus/God is real. It’s like you said, you don’t want to lie to your kids. We have told our kids the history behind Santa with St. Nicholas.
    God bless!

  2. Oh Deb, it happens every year–you should hear them scream “Stranger Danger!!!” whenever a “Santa” tries to approach him with his loud “Ho! Ho! Ho!”
    It’s so comforting that more and more parents are telling their children the truth. You’re a Titus 2 woman for leading the way. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Yay a fellow person who doesn’t do the whole SANTA thing!!

    We’ve never done Santa for our girls – your reasons are the exact same as ours. I was devastated when I found out there was no Santa and had a huge mistrust for what my parents said and as a child, it even confused me with faith. If Santa wasn’t real, then why should I believe God is real?

    Christ is the reason for the season and I want that to be our focal point.

    The funny thing is, my 6-year-old, this year, started believing in Santa! On her own! She’s certain he’s coming this year. So I’m praying that she’s not too disappointed.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Oh, poor thing–but maybe it will be a HUGE learning opportunity for her. BIG PICTURE: the world lied to me = I can trust mom and Jesus, not the world.
      Sounds like you’re on the right track to an honest, trusting relationship!

  4. We were shopping last week when our 3 yr old again asked about Santa so we continued shopping while explaining he is a nice, silly story but true Christmas is celebrating Jesus’ birthday. But some people don’t know, they only know the Santa story. Luckily the other parents in the aisle smiled at us as they heard our conversation.

  5. This brings up a good point. It is something to evaluate. I have told my kids about Santa, but you do have me thinking. Thank you for sharing your story with honesty and thank you for your heart to put Christ above all. I am cheering you and contemplating your words.

  6. I’m so glad you did this.
    You did it with such grace. You should see the one I was about to post on the matter-let’s just say it was a healthy rant that softened the blow by saying “the decision up to you, but this is what we do!”
    Eh-maybe next year when I have grown a little more in grace, and after God tames that spit-fire-thing I have going sometimes!
    Liking what I am seeing so far! Keep sharing truth! (Even when “it’s hard”, like you said)
    I have a few of those over on my site maybe we’d be like-minded! 🙂

  7. Thank you for sharing this. These are exactly the same reasons we don’t DO Santa either. It does upset me though that people don’t respect our stand. I also get people saying the same thing to our children and they don’t know how to answer them either. Children shouldn’t be lied to and Jesus is the reason. Blessings to you and your family this Christmas as we remember the REAL reason.

    1. There are definitely people who don’t understand (or respect) the stand. Last year we had a relative that thought it was so “unfair” that he got my kids tons of toys marked “from Santa.” My Farmer and I relabeled all of them with his name and he couldn’t understand.
      You are right–we are the only parents our children have and we are held responsible to teach them truths. Thank you for sharing Terri. You aren’t alone!

  8. Another great article! My daughter knows who Saint Nicholas is, but we do not do Santa. We do stockings, but she knows I am the one who puts everything in there, she knows I have so much fun finding little stuff to go in her stocking. My parents did the whole Santa thing, but when I was maybe 8, it was Christmas time and I was singing “Santa Claus is coming to town” while in the bathtub. Well, my parents had taught me that no one should see me without my clothes on unless my mother was helping me get dressed or whatever and God was my creator, so that was OK since He sees all, well, when I sang “he sees you when you’re sleeping and knows when you’re awake”, I screamed and started crying because I thought this creepy man in a red suit could see me taking a bath. I was never fond of him, but that sealed the deal, I was done with that creep. My husband said I passed the anti Santa gene to our daughter because she is petrified of him (and I’m OK with that). I was convicted about the Elf on the Shelf, I didn’t tell her that the elf flew to Santa or anything, but our elf would be found reading the Bible to her toys or wearing my jewelry, funny stuff. Then I realized, why am I “pretending” the elf moves itself when I don’t want to lie to her about Santa? She now knows the elf is not real and has no magical powers and mommy moves it to be funny to be like a game of hide and seek.

    1. Traumatizing story about Santa–goodness! Children are smart, and yours is a perfect example of how their minds put things together and change their worlds when they start piecing lies together without knowing the truth first.
      I have seen pictures about the Elf On The Shelf, but didn’t know what it was. Thank you for informing me (I think I know what he is now).

  9. I realize this is an old post, but I’m hoping it’s still monitored because I would like input on how you have handled friends who do believe in Santa. We teach our 4 year old that Santa is a game that some families like to play. She goes to school where her friends believe in Santa, so she tells me she wishes Santa could come to our house. I have tried reassuring her that she will still get gifts, just like all of her friends, but that mommy & daddy want her to know we will always tell her the truth about everything. I’m concerned about her very black-and-white little mind spoiling Santa for her friends at school – making them upset and making their parents angry – and our daughter being ostracized. So, I have told her that some parents don’t tell their children that Santa is a game, so it would make her friends sad if she were to tell them, and we don’t want to make her friends sad. It is a lot for her little mind to understand 1) why we don’t have Santa, 2) why some parents would not tell the truth, and 3) why, in this situation, we would keep the truth to ourselves. It feels so complicated. Do you have a good way to help littles with this? Thanks!

    1. Rhea, we tell our children the same thing–“That’s just not a game we play at our house.” Fortunately for us, several of the families in our circle feel the same way so they are familiar that many other families don’t lie to their children either (I hate to say that, but you are correct, that’s exactly what it is.)
      While we also have had great fear that our children would tell other children in the past, we’ve moved on to being open with our children–those parents have chosen to play this game with their children, and honestly, we don’t understand why they do it either. We reassure our children that each parent is held accountable for their decisions in their parenting, and we all make different decisions–but for our home, we will not lie to our children. We encourage our children to respect what other parents are doing with their children, even if it’s wrong–just like parents who don’t believe in Jesus. We know it’s wrong, but at some point, we have to realize it’s their responsibility, not ours–no matter how hard that is.
      The biggest thing I can encourage you with, is that I agree with what you have said here that you are doing–but if your child does slip and share the truth, 1–don’t shame her in any way 2–it’s not your daughter who hurt the feelings of the other children–it’s their parent’s lies that led to the situation 3–remember that in the end, you respected the other parent’s decision to play the game, and you taught your daughter to respect them too.

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