My kid was terrified of Santa. The thought of a strange man coming into his home in the middle of the night while everyone was sleeping was just too much; it didn’t matter that he was bringing gifts, my son, though he was creepy. Same with the Easter bunny. And we had to leave the tooth in the kitchen for the tooth fairy because he thought she was going to steal his toys. I lived with my parents for a few years and they were the ones that kept pushing the idea of Santa, etc. on him to ‘keep the magic of Christmas’. I think he was 7 when I finally told him none of it existed and that the gifts were actually from me and my parents. He was so relieved. But then we had to have the whole ‘other kids think he’s real, so just play along at school’ talk.
It’s because we love the lie. Not saying this is bad; the stories are ingrained with us from youth, and we may have magical memories connected with them as we grow up. When we’re adults we see the stories reflected in society and culture. Then when we’re around kids, it’s easy to perpetuate the myths. We have learned to love the lie. Of course, we teach our kids to be “grateful” for every present they receive…but what if they don’t like the present Santa gave them? And the kids voice their displeasure? The kid thinks “Santa has unlimited resources unlike mom and dad, so the ‘being grateful’ rule does not count for gifts from Santa!’