Call me a grinch, but I don't want my son to believe in Santa. It is a waste of time, and feels like a terrible, drawn out practical joke. One day, he will find out that it was all a lie and what good does the whole believing in Santa thing do anyway.
A few weeks ago I saw the Mission Impossible meets Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer film Arthur Christmas with my almost 4 year-old. It is an awesome little movie about how Santa and his elves get gifts under children's trees on Christmas Eve. That is how my son learned about Santa. A few days before Christmas, he asked me if Santa was going to bring his gifts through our fireplace while he was sleeping. Our conversation went something like this:
Him: Mom, will Santa bring my presents and put them under the tree while I'm sleeping on Christmas Eve so when I wake up I will see them and be happy?
Me: Well. Actually, mom and dad buy your gifts, wrap them up and put them under the tree. Santa is just pretend. You know, like Batman and Little Bill? Just pretend. So, he can't bring your presents because he's not real.
Him: But mo'om! I LOVE Santa! I want Santa to bring my presents!
Me: But he's just pretend, remember?
Him: No, mom, I WANT SANTA!
Me: Mmmkaaaaay? Ok.
Him: *pumps fist* Yes!
I tried. I guess I could have continued to try to convince him, but he was so insistent and I am not a monster. So I gave up, and let him have his not-pretend Santa. Unbeknownst to me at the time, not-pretend Santa would come in handy during the days leading up to Christmas.