You’ve only got to stitch together the explanations until they’re, at the oldest, 8. Then they’ll ask you The Question and you can come clean and induct them into the bittersweet secret society of people who know that Santa is just an excuse for the people who love you to get you gifts.
I think it would be a great excuse to get them to go to bed. Tell them he won’t come unless he knows everyone is shut away in their rooms so he won’t accidentally come within 2m of someone.
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