The question pops up in some families with young children. Here’s a summary of my favorite approach to answering many questions asked by children:

  • Some people think X
  • Some people think Y
  • Some people think Z
  • [optional] I think Z because___
  • What do you think?

Here is how this approach plays out with Santa Claus.

There are many opinions on this subject. Below are quotes from children about whether Santa is real, courtesy of,  and in general they can be broken down into three categories.

679182_18890559 Santa at homeThe first group of children says that Santa Claus is real

He wears a red suit, and he lives at the North Pole, making presents for kids and delivering them all over the world on Christmas Eve in his sleigh.

 Yes, Santa Claus WAS a real man. He lived in Turkey.

Santa is real and everyone knows it! He is so real because  he has brought me presents every year and he will do the same every year. I love him too!

Happy woman and Christmas PresentThe second group of children says that Santa Claus doesn’t exist

….and those things are impossible.

Totally not, it is just a silly rumor to get children to do what they are told.

No, sorry. He was derived from a person named to be St. Nicholas. He gave toys to children, and wore red bishop’s clothing. He also is believed to have dropped things down chimneys at night, to avoid being seen. But this was a long time ago and he died.

No there is no Santa Claus as we know him, but there are nice people out there who are like mini-Santas. So yes your mom or dad were buying the presents, and there’s no point writing letters. I actually cried when my mom first told me.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThe third group admits that he doesn’t have a tangible presence but is nonetheless real

… in the hearts and minds of parents and children and in the spirit of Christmas. We as a society make him real.

Well, Santa Clause is sort of real and sort of not because St Nicholas is Santa Claus and he lived a long time ago and gave to the poor and the wealthy making gifts out of wood.

Santa Claus is real to some people but not to others. He is real to all those who believe. Keep believing!

Tweetable: Here’s an idea of what to say when children ask if Santa is real. Click to Tweet