Why I'll Never Tell My Children There's a Father Christmas

12/11/2015 14:41 GMT | Updated 12/11/2016 10:12 GMT

Parents often say they long to give their children everything they never had when they were growing up. Perhaps that's why I, like so many of my school friends, never wanted for anything when Christmas Day came around.

But when I have children, I'm going to do things differently. I'm never going to tell them there's a Father Christmas.

The above statement has been mostly met with horror from friends, family and co-workers. "But that's awful", "What if they tell all the other kids at school?" they say. And then comes the classic dismissal: "You'll feel differently when you actually become a mother."

They may have a point, what parent doesn't want to give their child the happiest possible upbringing - but this isn't about denying my potential future offspring a fun festive season, it's about showing them what's really important.

santa hanger

We all know that spoiling a child senseless does nothing but help shape them into an ungrateful, entitled adult, yet so many parents have a complete disregard for the consequences. I've heard of countless kids ripping open a whole room full of presents, without even a pause or a thank you. It's disgraceful.

In a time when so many are living in poverty, how can you raise a child to just expect a whole hoard of anonymous gifts from some mysterious man in the sky? I love giving presents, but I want my children to know where those things came from, and that they are lucky to have them, as some people have nothing.

In regards to the 'magic' they are missing out on, there's plenty of that around. Anyone who's ever volunteered at Christmas will tell you that - the look on people's faces when you show them a rare kindness is a better feeling than opening any present. That's the side of Christmas giving I would like them to grow up around.

For those who say I'll ruin their childhood - I'm proof that's not true. At three-years-old, I asked my mother if she was Santa. Rather than carry on the charade, she told me the truth - that it's just a nice story parents tell children to get them to behave. In that respect, it's a great tactic. But has anyone actually ever stuck to their word and given their kids nothing but a lump of coal? I doubt it...

Not only are you essentially lying to your little ones, you're showing them you (or Father Christmas) doesn't keep their word either. So when you tell me I'm going to be a 'terrible' parent, please just keep that in mind.

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