A mum has admitted she tells her son the truth about Santa and his presents as she thinks Santa is “a strange old man” and “creepy”.
Charlie Hayes, 22, from the UK, decided to confess all to her four-year-old son Jasper when he started having doubts about Santa.
But the mum has been surprised by the aggression she has faced from other parents when she shares her unique take on the Father Christmas debate, with mums and dads calling her “selfish and horrid”.
She shared a video on TikTok explaining why their family “don’t do” Santa, which racked up 83,000 likes and 680,000 views.
Her reasoning included wanting to get credit for the gifts herself, not wanting her son to think Santa is “classist”, and not wanting to deal with the “heartbreak” of him one day discovering the truth.
But her thoughts proved controversial with viewers – with some slamming the choice.
“I’d hate for someone to ruin the magic for my child just cos they chose not to do it," one said.
“How wrong ... supposed to be a magical time for kids," another added.
“The issue is when they ruin it for the children who do believe,” someone else pointed out.
Another commenter wrote: “You should not be allowing him to ruin it for every other child. Selfish horrid behaviour.”
“Agree but you should tell him he can’t tell other people and it’s for them to find out, it’s not fair to upset someone else,” another commented.
“That’s sad,” somebody added.
Charlie, however, insists their family Christmas is every bit as magical as anyone else’s.
“We still have all the regular Christmas traditions, we build the presents under the tree over the month of December,” she told NeedToKnow.online.
“We're up super early on Christmas Day and we open our gifts together and play. The same things just without the Santa stuff.
“Jasper looks forward to presents, I look forward to seeing his joy when opening them and we both look forward to Daddy's roast dinner.
“I think if other parents want to do Santa, that's great for them but I wish people would be more open-minded to the idea that Christmas can be great fun without Santa and that I'm not cruel or spoiling Christmas magic for him."
Mum defends controversial choice
She added she didn't like the idea of breaking his heart with a "silly lie" or having him think children who get better presents are favoured by Santa.
“I won’t tell him it's OK for somebody to come into our home or that Santa watches him all year round and once a year he can sit on some random old man's lap. I think it's a little bit weird when you look at it like that," she said.
“I couldn't even begin to express the pride I have in my son, his intellect, his logic, his emotional intelligence for his age. He's the most clever four-year-old I've ever met and he still has so much fun in a household that nourishes his mind and lets him be a smarty pants.
“If you asked him if Christmas was his favourite, he would respond with the most excited ‘YES!’ Santa or no Santa, he's happy with some new hot wheel sets, hot chocolate and family cuddles.”
The shrewd young lad has always been unsure of the tale of Santa, according to this mum.
“Jasper’s always been a good critical thinker so he never really bought into the Santa thing," she said. “He would always point out how a man dressed as Santa in a shopping centre or at parties were only people in costumes, so arguing against his logical thinking didn't make sense to me.
“He's a really smart kid who I've always been super open, honest and factual with so he wasn't shocked or upset when he came to an age to understand that Santa is just a story.”
Charlie's partner and Jasper's dad, Sam Pritchard, 22, agrees with being honest with their son about Father Christmas and how children really get presents.
"We both agree totally on this. We sing from the same song sheet about Santa being creepy. We prefer to just be straight with Jasper," he said.
Never miss a thing. Sign up to Yahoo Lifestyle’s daily newsletter.
Or if you have a story idea, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.