When you can hear Christmas jingles blasting in department stores and all around the neighborhood, it’s inevitable that talks about the jolly bearded man will start. But if your kids start asking you if there really is a Santa Claus, you might hesitate whether to tell them the truth or not.

According to child psychology experts, there is no perfect timing on when to reveal the truth about Santa. What you can do though is to observe your kids to determine whether they are ready for the truth or need more time to enjoy the fantasy of getting gifts from a man who knows if they are naughty or not and who roams the world on his sleigh led by flying reindeer.

Many experts agree that parents should look to their kids for clues on whether they are prepared to give up on believing in Santa. Some kids start questioning the logic of Santa’s story or hear some versions of the truth from their peers. Once they start asking questions, that’s your opening to break the truth about Santa gently to them.

There are several methods that you can use in telling the kids about Santa’s story, such as the following:

1. Tell them directly.

Just tell Santa’s truth right out. Well, this might cause your kids to start crying, throwing tantrums or shouting, but they might also be fine with it. This is likely recommended for older kids. Once you’ve revealed the truth, assure them that they will still be getting gifts and that everything that Santa supposedly did for them will still continue in the next Christmas seasons to come. Kids have a short attention span, so they might get over the revelation quickly.

2. Let their siblings do it.

[INPOSTLB]

If you keep on hesitating about breaking your kids’ fantasies about Santa, the older siblings might break it for them for you. Just be there for the crying and whining, dishing out assurances that Christmas will continue even if Santa isn’t real.

3. Let Santa tell the truth.

Yes, why not let Santa do it? You can write a letter from Santa and experiment with your handwriting a bit. You may write about how Santa has gotten too old to deliver gifts and will now be asking the help of their parents to send those presents. And P.S., it should be kept a secret. That way, you won’t have to deal with the parents of other kids who “accidentally” knew about Santa from your kids.

One sweet mother wrote a ‘letter from Santa’ saying how there is no one Santa and how everyone who loves her daughter are actually the ones preparing and delivering the presents. She also said that someday, her daughter will also serve as Santa for her kids.

4. Distract the kids.

If you’re not the confrontational type, then you might think it’s a good idea to tell your kids about Santa while giving them cookies, cake or ice cream. At least they won’t have much time to dwell on the sad part about a Santa-less Christmas.

Pick the method that you think suits your kids’ personality the most. But if your kids are not ready just yet, let the Santa magic continue and shelve the truth about Santa until the next holiday season.