I know there are parents out there who do not tell their kids about the big man in red flying around the world on Christmas eve in a sleigh pulled by reindeer and delivering Christmas presents to all the children on the nice list.  There are parents who don’t buy into the lies we tell our children.  I’m not one of them.

I lie to my kids.

lies we tell

I love my kids to believe in Father Christmas, I love to see their excitement and the beautiful innocence of believing in something.  It’s all part of childhood, and I couldn’t not give my children that wonderful experience of Christmas magic.


It gets harder every year.  These kids keep getting cleverer and questioning the world around them and leave me tripping over my tangled web of lies.

So to add to my Christmas stress of shopping, wrapping, more shopping, worrying about money, more wrapping, finding more hiding places, and trying to see everyone we know and their dog over two days, I’m stressing about keeping the secret.  keeping Christmas magical.

I now have to think about….

  • What wrapping paper I use.  No more reusing the left over paper from last year, because the big one remembers.

“Mummy this wrapping paper you and daddy used is the same one Father Christmas had last year”

  • The labels on the gifts.

“Mummy Father Christmas’ writing is the same as yours!”

  • Presents from Mummy and Daddy too.  There was once a very unhappy four year old who despite having lots of wonderful gifts under the Christmas tree, broke her heart because her Mummy and Daddy didn’t get her a present.  Yes That four year old was me.  Sorry Mum and Dad.
  • The fact that the big one can now read.

“Mummy, these pencils are from Wilko’s”,

“Yes darling, Father Christmas must shop there too”

Nothing gets past them.  Last year the big one told me what shop he had seen the wrapping paper I used.

And then there’s the questions.  Oh my god the questions.

  • How does Father Christmas get round the whole world in just one night?
  • We haven’t got a chimney how will Father Christmas get in?
  • How does he know if I am being naughty?
  • Does Father Christmas know I’m sleeping at Nana’s house?
  • How does my letter get to the North Pole?
  • How does he fit all the presents on his sleigh?
  • Can all reindeer fly?

And trying to teach them the value of money at Christmas time?

“Darling that is a very expensive toy.  It’s too much money to ask for”

“Ok Mummy, I’ll just put it in my letter to Father Christmas then, because he can just get the elves to make it and it won’t cost and money”


And then of course there’s the thinking on our feet lies that come from last minute surprises on Christmas Eve like…

“I’ve changed my mind.  I don’t want Father Christmas to bring me that any more.  I want…”

Yet despite the questions and the stress and the little details we need to think about, we still go to great lengths to conceal our web of lies, to keep the magic of Christmas alive and stretch out their childhood for as long as possible.

Inevitably a kid in the playground is going to blab.  And I will dislike that kid forever more. But until then I will deflect the questions, seek wrapping paper from far afield, and tiptoe round the house like a ninja on Christmas eve to keep the magic alive.

More festive posts…

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parents have to tell a lot of lies at Christmas to keep the magic alive.  Here are some things you may have to think about this festive period, and questions your child may ask about Father Christmas

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Claire Kirby

3 Comments on The Lies We Tell At Christmas

  1. My dad did not speak much of his childhood which was a difficult one but he did tell us of when he was told the truth about Father Christmas at the age of 5. He was 5 in 1922 when most kids got little more than an apple, an orange, some sweets and maybe a very small toy in their stockings but due to family circumstances his mum could not afford this. I suppose my point is that he was devastated by this early revelation and it is something he carried with him through life, so I would say to parents embrace the magic, go to all the effort necessary (as you do!) lies and all and give children the best Christmas that is feasible because they grow up all too quickly and these years are very special to parents and children alike!

  2. I’m already noticing that Tigs is way more switched on to stuff this year – and she’s only four! Having to hide presents way better than last year when I could take her shopping with me and she was oblivious!

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