This article originally appeared in the War on Christmas Issue.


Wait until your children are old enough to handle it.

Acclimate them to the idea with a few test runs at the local mall. Try sitting on the fake Santa’s lap and shouting “This isn’t the real deal!” to see how they react.

Remind them that one upside of the news is you can make sure they’re never on the naughty list again. After all, being a good parent is all about positive reinforcement. And if anyone’s going to be on Santa’s naughty list this year, it’s you.

Leave Steve out of it. He’s taking the divorce pretty hard and the last thing the kids need is to hear him trash-talking their new father.

Remember that the elves are kind of your kids too, now, and they’re going to need to be let down easy about Mrs. Claus’s unfortunate “accident.”

Make sure to bring your kiddos back with you after your family trip to the North Pole. Daddy has visiting rights and refuses to exercise them above the 83rd North Latitude. Santa may be real, but so are Steve’s divorce attorneys.

—G. Wynter