Not to be a total grinch, but is it really OK to lie to our kids about Santa Claus?
Hollywood dad Brad Pitt doesn’t think so.
“I’m not real big on the whole Santa thing,” Pitt shared. “I thought it was a huge act of betrayal when I was a kid. I didn’t like that. When I found out the truth, I was like, ‘Why? Why? Why would you lie to me? Why?’”
Regardless of his feelings, his six children with Angelina Jolie – Maddox, 12, Pax, 9, Zahara, 8, Shiloh, 7, and 5-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne – sent in their letters to Santa last holiday season.
Will they keep up with the tradition this year? And what does he say to their big brood about the Christmas legend?
“What I tell them is some people believe it’s Santa, and some people believe it’s parents, and you get to believe whatever you want,” Pitt said.
Meanwhile, Arrested Development star Will Arnett has no shame in threatening his two sons – Archie, 4, and Abel, 3 – when it comes to Saint Nick.
“[I’m] trying to figure out how long we can keep the Santa Claus myth going” the funnyman told E! News. “We live in the age of information so kids are finding stuff out quick, but what’s really great about Santa is that you can use him.”
“When your kids act up, you’ll be like, ‘Santa sees everything,” he said. “I don’t care what you do, but if you don’t finish your dinner, you’re gonna be out of luck on Christmas.”
Will’s estranged wife Amy Poehler’s in on it too! “If they’re acting badly you can take the call [that says it’s from the North Pole] and do a very elaborate fake call, and you…say, ‘Santa, you’re right, I think the deal’s off,’” she joked.
But experts warn that keeping the Santa Claus myth alive might be damaging to our kids.
David Kyle Johnson, Ph.D., an assistant professor of philosophy, warns that the “Santa Lie should be avoided for three reasons. (1) It’s an unjustified lie, (2) it risks damaging your parental trustworthiness and (3) it encourages credulity and ill-motivated behavior.”
On the other hand, some experts argue that Santa Claus promotes imagination, and imagination is good for kids.
“What Kris Kringle does…is feed the imagination” and a “type of imaginative play that sparks creativity, social understanding and even—strange as it may sound—scientific reasoning,” one pro-Santa expert says.
What do you think? Is it OK to lie to your kids about Santa Claus?