My oldest son is now 2 and a half. This is the first Christmas where he has had some idea of what is going on. He understands what presents are, he can enjoy some of the food, and he loves having rarely seen family members travel out to see us. Watching him experience this stuff is great, probably my best Christmas ever.
It's also the first Christmas he had watched any Christmas movies. I haven't paid any attention to Christmas movies in years, but all of the ones we watched had a theme of one character doubting and being encouraged to just believe.
When he's older I like the idea of using Santa as a critical thinking exercise, but for now I wish he wouldn't be exposed to this way of thinking. Why even bring up the idea of someone not believing?
It got me thinking about how this would look from a Christian perspective though. Repeatedly send the message that their kids should believe in Santa, portray that as a virtue, and yet ultimately they will stop believing in Santa some day. They will eventually see the belief they were encouraged so hard to believe is false. You would think they would be afraid that their religious beliefs would be next in line for questioning.
I know for myself growing up, questioning my religious beliefs even a little was not tolerated, why was stuff like this allowed? My best guess is that since Santa isn't real it was seem by my parents as completely different from Jesus, but I definitely find the whole thing curious.