Cruel or clever? Why this mum won't be telling her kids it's Christmas Eve this year.


Telling white lies to kids seems inevitable when it comes to parenting (hello, Santa Clause), but when does it cross the line? When is ‘lying’ to your kids just a little bit mean?

Posting to Mumsnet, a mum, who identifies as “Mamahechtick”, asked fellow parents what they thought of her plans to not tell her children, who are five and six, that it’s Christmas Eve this year.

“I have this idea”, the mum began her post, “that for this year we won’t tell DC’s it’s Christmas Eve. We don’t do Christmas Eve boxes and they are usually disinterested in their advent calendars by mid December so don’t really countdown as such.”

She further explained that her kids will be able to sleep for longer without that excited feeling of believing Santa is on his way.

She added that “waking them up early and telling them it’s Christmas morning will be a far bigger and exciting surprise”.

She asked if she was being “unreasonable or mean” for keeping the Christmas Eve excitement from her kids, admitting that some of the friends she had discussed it with seemed a bit “off with it”.

And it seems her friend’s responses foreshadowed the reactions of other mums on the thread, with the post attracting over a 100 replies from other parents with some strong opinions.

Talking of telling fibs to kids, we discuss at what age it’s appropriate to tell the kids Mum and Dad are really Santa, on our podcast for imperfect parents. Post continues after audio. 


Many mums were firstly quick to point out a fundamental flaw in her idea: Won’t the kid’s know what time of year it is?

From school projects, to Christmas decorations in all the shops, surely her kids will have more than a vague idea that the festive period is upon them.

“They will know its Christmas Eve,” one mother wrote. “It will be the last day on their advent calendars and it will surely be mentioned on the TV. My 5 year old will definitely know its Christmas Eve without me having to tell her!”

Other parents also expressed the view that half the fun of Christmas is the the excitement of the actual lead up.

“I wouldn’t! The build up is so exciting for children, don’t take that away from them”, one user responded.

“You can’t do that. When I was a kid I was so excited for Christmas Eve. Trying to stay awake to see Santa, the excitement of the next day, don’t take that away from them just so they get a good night sleep. Kids aren’t kids for long, let them enjoy the build up and don’t suck the fun out of it”, another agreed.

But others thought she could well be on to something.

“I think your idea is both genius and a bit mean in equal measure op,” one mother wrote. “I totally get how not telling them would enable a better nights sleep so they wouldn’t be overtired on Christmas Day, however as other posters have said, the build up of waiting for Santa is part of the fun.”

So, what do you think?  Let us know in the comments section below!