12/18/2007 11:34 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

My December Dilemma: Sayonara To Santa?

An uneventful ride to school last week went awry when my 7-year-old son, Owen, busted out the inevitable Santa question.

"Is Santa real, Mom?"

This same conversation years earlier with my girls, who are now nine and 17, had been riddled with complex emotions - disappointment, sadness, anger and betrayal. ("How could you lie to us all these year?s!!!" was a biggie.) With Owen, however, it was cut and dry. I offered up my default, sing-songy response: "Well, he's real if you believe in him. He's really the 'Spirit of Christmas...'"

But he cut me off before I perjured myself any further.

"Well, if he's not real, then make sure you get me that Wii soccer game, OK?"

That was that.

Some other moms don't have it so easy. On my web site, True Mom Confessions, I've noticed that women, especially those who don't have the years in the trenches that I do, are struggling with their own December Dilemmas. Preserve the magic or debunk the myth? With hundreds of confessions pouring in on the subject, it's become really clear that a line has been drawn in the sand (or the snow, rather) with moms falling on one side or the other of the Great Santa Divide.

A sampling of what moms are 'fessing up to:

12.14.07 3:24a
I hate that I spend all this time, money and effort finding the perfect gifts, only to have all the glory stolen by a fat guy in a suit at the last minute!!

12.13.07 12:53a
I almost told my kids there was no Santa Claus because they made me very mad yesterday morning.

12.12.07 4:12p
I know Santa isn't really real, but I think Santa is just a contemporary representation of Christmas and all of the feelings we have at Christmas, such as Hope (for miracles), Generosity (wanting to give to those you love), and Belief (a.k.a. Faith in something "magical"...). To me, belief in Santa isn't that much different than faith in Jesus (have any of you actually met either one??) My kids know EXACTLY what Christmas is about; they understand it's sbout the birth of Jesus Christ - they even sing Happy Birthday to Him! So, if we want to believe in Santa, LEAVE US ALONE & DON"T SPOIL IT!!

12.12.07 7:40a
My 2 year old asked my why Santa came to the house to drop off gifts. It's sad to say that I have no clue why. I told him that it was Jesus's birthday and Santa is nice and likes everyone to get presents. I used to think I was fairly intelligent...not anymore.

12.12.07 6:36a
I will keep the tradition of Santa for my girls until the day I die. Santa isn't just a man in a suit, to me he's a symbol that more people can relate to no matter what their background is. That's pretty special. How can something that can bring such joy be called a lie?

12.11.07 5:12p
Seriously, if finding out about Santa is such a trauma, why start the lie to begin with? My parents never did "Santa" with us, and I'll never do it with my child. She knows the truth :)

12.07.07 7:02p
my son wouldn't go to bed last night so I called Santa (AKA my brother!) and had him talk to my son. Worked like a charm!! :-) I hope I can use it after Christmas too!

12.07.07 4:02p
My son didn't believe us when we told him about Santa. Lol

To leave your own, or read more confessions, go to

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