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When Did You Tell the Truth About Santa?

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Out of the blue, my 5-year-old daughter Chloe recently asked me, “Is the Tooth Fairy really your parents?” She’s had a mere two visits from the tooth fairy, and she’s already calling BS on the concept. Panicking—and cringing at the thought of other kids in her class discovering the truth about the Tooth Fairy before they’ve even lost their first incisor—I flat-out lied. Of course the Tooth Fairy was real. I had never seen her, but someone had to have left that crinkled dollar. I’m not sure Chloe’s ready to stop believing in magic. I know I’m not ready for her to.

Now I’m bracing myself for similar questions about Santa Claus. At Thanksgiving, she went with her cousins to a Santa sing-along. Her aunts and I got our stories straight beforehand: the Santas in malls aren’t the actual Santa, they’re helpers who show up when the big guy can’t make it. But the Santa we were seeing in the show was the real deal for sure. All the kids sat on Santa’s lap, gift requests were made, and we got through the whole thing without any suspicious questions from little people. But I remain on high alert.

At what age did you let the cat out of the bag? How did you deal with questions in the mean time?

Plus: when I am ready to have the Santa talk, I plan to take blogger Kathryn Thomson of Daring Young Mom’s wise approach. And—love this—blogger Denene Millner of MyBrownBaby says, “Any kid who comes to my house talking about ‘there is no Santa Claus’ will not be invited back until June, when nobody’s thinking about Christmas.”

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