1) Answer every Santa-related question with a question, and however your kid answers, go with it:
How do YOU think he gets down the chimney?…Wow! I never even imagined he gets Floo Powder from elves in the the wizarding world! That makes such perfect sense!
2) When that doesn’t work, say you don’t know:
Well, I’ve never actually seen a flying reindeer, so I don’t really know if they talk, to tell you the truth.
3) Question the credentials of all Santa-deniers:
Where’d you hear that? From Jordan? Isn’t she Jewish? Well, then she doesn’t know her Santa stuff—you can’t blame her. And Luke? Isn’t he the one who says his uncle is Batman? Riiiight.
4) Avoid playing the Santa card when you are personally losing it:
SANTA is going to be VERY UNHAPPY to hear that you ate all Mommy’s Ferrero Rochers. VERY VERY UNHAPPY!!!
5) Point out the natural consequences of your child’s decisions:
Think this through, kid. No Santa? No presents.
Peyton Price is the author of Suburban Haiku: Poetic Dispatches From Behind The Picket Fence. Her oldest is filling out college applications and she has never once referred to Santa in the first person. You can find her keeping up the charade at Suburban Haiku.
Photo: Kevin Dooley