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9 Things I Told My Crying Son When He Asked If Santa’s Real

flickr / mingusmutter

The following was syndicated from Babble for The Fatherly Forum, a community of parents and influencers with insights about work, family, and life. If you’d like to join the Forum, drop us a line at

Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus … here comes kids at school telling your only child Santa isn’t real.


I knew this was coming. I mean, Jack is 9. I was surprised how into Santa he was last year — diligently writing out his list and slapping a festive stamp on the envelope.

Every morning he’d rush from bed, looking for his Elf on the Shelf, Giacomo, who would be in the freezer with a popsicle or taking a marshmallow bubble bath in the bathroom sink.

My sweet child still has that Christmas sparkle in his eyes. He still wants to watch the old-school Rudolph or Frosty the Snowman movies with me, all snuggled up on the couch with popcorn and hot chocolate. He even put reindeer ears on our golden retriever and a jingle bell around her neck.

His face? Pure innocence, wanting me to tell him that Timmy was full of baloney.

As a single mom, with a child, edging into the tween and teen years, I really cherish these little moments. We still make reindeer food: oatmeal, cinnamon, glitter, and shredded carrots.

Santa’s cookies are home-baked (never store-bought), and Jack likes to give him milk on the rocks (ice cubes) to keep it cold. We both wear Christmas jammies to bed … and Jack still wakes up before the sun to see if Santa came, shouting, “Mommmmmmmy, he came!”

However, a few days ago, Jack came home from school and told me Timmy* said Santa is totally fake. My child searched my face for an answer. His face? Pure innocence, wanting me to tell him that Timmy was full of baloney.

So I did. “He’s full of baloney, Jack.”

I knew this was coming.

And here are other things to say when your little believer comes home confused and sad … and wondering about the validity of Santa Claus …

  1. “Of course he’s real! Do you think I could seriously afford and wrap all the presents you get!?”
  2. “Seeing isn’t believing. Believing is seeing.” (This alone will confuse your child and basically end the conversation.)
  3. “If he wasn’t real then who is eating the cookies and reindeer food? Not me! Not you!”
  4. “Did Santa ever send back your Christmas list with a “RETURN TO SENDER” stamp on it? No.”
  5. “And so I guess the tooth fairy is a sham too, huh? But every time you lose a tooth you get money and a tooth brush!”
  6. “If Santa isn’t real then poor Mrs. Claus is all alone raising a gazillion elves by herself. Santa would never, ever ditch her. She’s too jolly.”
  7. “Dude, every year since I can remember, we’ve tracked Santa at Don’t you remember when he was in Peru and then Hawaii and then making his way to New York City? EVERYTHING ON THE INTERNET IS REAL.”
  8. “That kid needs a Santa intervention. Let’s invite him over for cookies and caroling stat.”
  9. “LIES.”

*Names changed for anonymity.

Christine Coppa is a 30-something single mom. She shot to internet fame in 2007 when hired her to pen the daily blog, Storked! Read more from Babble: