Dax Shepard ‘will never lie’ to his daughters, told them Santa isn’t real


Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell recently admitted that they refuse to lie to their children and consider perpetuating the myth of Santa to be a lie. Fortunately, knowing he isn’t real hasn’t stopped the girls, Lincoln, five, and Delta, three, from loving all things Big Red and getting on with their lives.

Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell’s daughters won’t be leaving cookies and milk out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. Lincoln, 5, and Delta, 3, don’t believe in Saint Nick.

“This is going to be very controversial,” Shepard told Us Weekly at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles on Monday, December 3. “I have a fundamental rule that I will never lie to them, which is challenging at times. Our 5-year-old started asking questions like, ‘Well, this doesn’t make sense, and that doesn’t make sense.’ I’m like, ‘You know what? This is just a fun thing we pretend while it’s Christmas.’”

While the Bless This Mess actor’s kids understand the man in the red suit won’t be sliding down their chimney on December 24, the little girls re big fans of his. “They love watching movies about Santa, they love talking about Santa,” Shepard, 43, explained to Us. “They don’t think he exists, but they’re super happy and everything’s fine.”

[From Us]

I don’t really feel one way or the other about this. Mainly, I do feel this is an individual’s choice, as long as they don’t go ratting it out to everyone else. Our best friends are Jewish and one year she confessed to me that she gets anxiety every holiday season that her kids will tell my kids Santa isn’t real. It seemed like a big thing to ask of her kids and although they were terrific and never did let it slip to mine, I realized I would be okay if they did. I’ve heard the argument that letting your kids believe in Santa is lying to them. Technicalities aside, I don’t see any harm in believing in him and as a parent it was fun to see my kids hold on to the magic. When they started to catch wise (it’s always the school playground, isn’t it?) I told them that knowing whether or not Santa was real is different than believing in him. My daughter hung on to the one for a while. I think it’s cute the Shepard girls still love Santa even though they’re in on the sitch. *winks*

It should be noted that Dax gave this interview quote while promoting Toys for Tots. Dax is working with Amazon who have a holiday feature in Alexa that allows people to donate toys just by saying “Alexa, donate to Toys for Tots.” This video Dax posted to Instagram explaining how it works. That’s pretty cool. But is it cool enough to get Dax off the Naughty List for outing Santa?



Photo credit: WENN Photos and Instagram

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54 Responses to “Dax Shepard ‘will never lie’ to his daughters, told them Santa isn’t real”

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  1. me says:

    I always knew Santa wasn’t real because he never came to my house !

  2. Marigold says:

    To each their own but I do get annoyed at the holier than thou crowd (Dax excluded) who act like this kind of “lie” is as damaging as others. I’ve yet to meet an adult holding a grudge against their parents for pretending Santa is a real guy.

    • Cay says:

      Don’t exclude Shepard. He and Bell are definitely in the “holier than thou” crowd.

    • Jenns says:

      I LOVED Santa as a kid. It was so much fun.

      I also don’t care what parents do, but from my experience, Santa is still a great memory from my childhood.

    • Ndpants says:

      Oh boy I’ve run into a couple. Like it was a childhood ruining betrayal. I want to be sympathetic, it’s kids after all. But maaaaaaaan, if that’s the worst thing that happened to you as a kid I’d trade lives in a hot second.

    • BchyYogi says:

      Dont’ he and his wife STILL follow the sheister Raj Neesh or whatever name that sociopath used, Oh yeah, OSHO> So santa is a lie but that nitrous charlatan’s teaching are “spiiiirrrriiittttualll”?? Ugh. I can only image the ternminal uniqueness in their household.

    • aneflex says:

      What it does do, however, is help propagate a propensity to believe in supernatural beings, the existence of which has no supporting scientific basis whatsoever.
      It’s not a difficult leap to make from Santa to some other deity. If you’re an atheist, this is all not something you would choose to indoctrinate in your young children, for many of us, any how. The lie isn’t the damage, it’s the seed that’s planted so young that I personally want to avoid.

  3. Erinn says:

    I think it all depends on the situation. My husbands uncle told his grandkids that santa wasn’t real. But they were super little, and we’re pretty sure the man’s a doomsday prepper, and it just seems like a hateful, bitter thing to do, done by someone who didn’t want to do anything related to the ‘fun’ bits of christmas.

    If your kids ask you about santa and want an honest answer it’s a completely different thing. My cousin had asked about Santa and my uncle answered honestly, then while distraught my cousin stormed off, then came back down the stairs “And I guess you’re going to say the easter bunny isn’t real either” it was a rough day haha.

    • Chaine says:

      I hope no one brought the tooth fairy into it as well!

      • Erinn says:

        If I remember correctly, there were a few characters that fell that day haha. I think at one point he just stopped asking and walked away. It’s still one of my favorite stories.

    • elimaeby says:

      I will never forget when my devoutly Christian mother spilled the beans about Santa. I was around eight or nine years old. I immediately went through the list. “Wait, so the Easter bunny? Leprechauns? The Tooth Fairy? GOD??!!”

      She teased me about it for the rest of her life, but I am 99% sure that was the day I became an agnostic.

      • Some chick says:

        Hahaha, that’s awesome. I think the function of Santa (etc) is that it teaches kids that you can’t always believe everything adults say. Which is an important lesson to learn!

        I’m older than my sibs by quite a bit, so I always helped with gift wrapping etc because by the time they came along I was already in on it. I decided that if they ever asked me, I’d be honest with them. None of them ever did, tho. I think they kinda knew better.

    • BchyYogi says:

      My borderline ex told my son, “your mom’s a liar, she wants you to believe in Santa Claus, she’s damaging you”. Ha! He told the courts this same creepy thing during custody hearing. Who has 100% custody now SuckAH. Let kids be kids unless your an ass or mentally ill. Case closed.

  4. Chaine says:

    I’m totally ok with this. I’m ok with kids telling other kids he’s not real, too. It can still be a fun aspect of the holiday even if you don’t believe in it. I don’t believe in God or Jesus but I still say Awwwwwwwe when I see little kids dressed up like Mary and Joseph and the sheep doing one of those live nativity scenes.

  5. Notanotherpostcard says:

    I think the whole idea of Santa is silly, so I never talked about him with my kids and assumed they didn’t believe in him. One day Santa was at the library and I said “look, there is a fake Santa, want to sit on his lap?” They looked at me and said “he isn’t real?”. I was shocked and felt a little guilty, but the cat was out of the bag already so I said something and they were fine about it.

    I think the whole idea is scary! Some fat guy spying on your kids, sneaking around your house when you are asleep, and even wanting your kids to sit on his lap and tell him what gifts they want. I jest, but it is a bit odd, right?

    • Kitten says:

      I too was someone who accidentally “outed” Santa as fake when I was a child. My parents never pretended that Santa was real. My own mother was told as a child by HER mother that babies came from cabbages so imagine her utter horror when she came home from school to see her mom making cabbage soup.

      It’s a personal choice and I don’t begrudge any parent for pushing the Santa illusion, but I’m happy my parents were always honest with my brother and me. *shrugs*

    • BchyYogi says:

      Magic is never creepy. Does anyone here remember being a child? Ugh. Some of these comments are so cold.

      • Melanie says:

        Agreed BchyYogi. I figured out Santa wasn’t real because I always peeked at my presents hidden in the basement. When I got a doll I’d already spied on Christmas that was from Santa, the jig was up. But I was angry at myself, not my parents. I ruined my own magic. I don’t have kids but if I did, I would pretend there was a Santa. It was a fun bit of pretend. Believing in fairies and Santa and elves made my difficult childhood a much happier place.

  6. Tiffany says:

    I have not horse in this race as I am child free. I think that little white lies happen with children. Sometimes to spare their feelings or for them to just leave you alone ( I have seen some with my high school and college friends with their children).

    But you know what gives me joy during the holidays…..knowing that the parents they are telling their kids that Santa is real and then taking them to get their picture taken with a virtual stranger dressed in a costume. The tear stain faces, the awkwardness or just the flat out tears. HA !!!!! Gotta love it.

  7. Cay says:

    Interesting that you ran articles on the same day about Kimmel having his kids believe on Elf on a Shelf and Shepard telling his kids there is no Santa Claus.

    It seems incredibly strange to me that “actors” won’t lie to their children. The job of an actor is to lie. All the time. Literally, their job is to pretend to be someone else.

    • Kitten says:

      Wait, what? Your logic is based on the idea that because actors pretend to be someone else for their day job, that gives them license to lie in their personal lives? Uh NO that’s not how any of this works.

      • Cay says:

        Yes, that and the fact that most actors seem to be narcissists who have to be in the spotlight all the time. Yes, their profession is to create/tell stories and to be the center of attention. Actors are continually covered in PR. It’s all spin so we see them as “the girl next door” or “couple goals” or “just like us” or “that uppity bit*h.” I hate to break it to you, but Hollywood is a facade filled with people who are pretending to be something they are not.

        And if you don’t believe me, why do gossip sites like this exist? Because we like a story. We like the “gossip” of people’s stories/lives. Some people think Angelina is lying, but some think Brad is lying. Some think Julia Roberts is “fake” to promote her movie. Some think she’s a really nice person. Some people think John Travolta is gay. Some think he’s a happily married heterosexual. Some people think Justin Theroux is “arty,” but some think he’s a punk. We love it. We love stories. We love to be “lied to” by actors. That’s why we go to movies or watch TV or read gossip sites. We pick and choose the “truth” or “lies” we want to believe because we feel some kind of a connection to certain people.

    • SunshineShay says:

      Getting paid to pretend to be someone is not the same as lying. Everyone watching actors on screen knows that person is pretending to be someone (except maybe children who do not yet understand the concept of acting.)

      So by your understanding, actors have a free pass to lie to everyone they know in real life because their job is to pretend to be someone else?

    • BabyJane says:

      What’s more ridiculous to me is that a parent would claim they “never lie” or a child would claim their parents were “always honest.” So, when the parent effed up and didn’t pay the water bill and that’s why it was shut off for 3 days, they told the truth? When the weird aunt was caught hoarding balls of cat fur and that’s why she wasn’t at Christmas, they told the truth? Come on. It’s not a grave sin to lie to a kid, context dependent.

      • Kit says:

        @Babyjane exactly. “Lying to your kids” and letting them enjoy Santa etc are not the same. Kids think tv, movies and stories are all real too. They get the rest of their lives to be critically thinking cynics, a few short years of magic is a gift.

  8. Gabrielle says:

    My two year old is horrified of Santa. We met Santa, he cried hysterically, cried the whole way home and he came home pointing at our fireplace and crying “No, Santa, bad!” It is almost enough to make me tell him it’s fake. My five year old is past the scared stage and I think getting close to the skeptical stage. The whole thing is creepy if you think about it too hard.

  9. BANANIE says:

    I just feel like pretending Santa is real is a big lie to keep up, because it’s so likely the kids will hear the truth from someone else. I was a little aggravated Bc I only had a few years of believing in Santa before my mom enlisted my help in “being Santa” to convince my little sister who had doubts. IE stomping around the fireplace in goloshes and tracking sooty foot prints all over. The whole 9 yards!

    • Veronica S. says:

      Yeah, that’s kind of weird. Santa is a fairytale, and it’s natural to grow out of fairytales as you get older. I always figured Santa was an easier way of giving kids a concrete idea of giving that was easier to explain than the more abstract adult understanding of the religious and personal value of generosity.

  10. lucy2 says:

    I don’t have kids, but I think I’d enjoy the magic of believing for a while. But if the kid is starting to question it, then it certainly seems to be the time to tell them the truth.
    From the headline it sounded like right off the bat they were like “no, not real!” but this sounds perfectly normal.

  11. Veronica S. says:

    Not sure how I feel about it from an economic perspective – poor kids would certainly have a different idea of the fairness of supernatural beings when they’re rich friends are getting far more. But it doesn’t strike me as terrible. I always tell my friend’s kids that what Santa really is the spirit of giving what you can and making people happy.

    • Anna says:

      This is why I don’t like the idea of lying to kids about Santa. Families with lower income will obviously not be able to buy the newest PlayStation or whatever, and it’s not okay to teach these kids that they’re somehow “bad” and don’t deserve an expensive gift. I’m not advocating for going against a parents wishes (if they want to tell their kids there’s a Santa, that’s their choice) but I will not tell my kids he’s real.

  12. Usedtobe says:

    My close friend’s husband grew up a Jehovah witness and this is apparently what he was told all of his life, that Christians and Catholics and wordly people are liars because they lie to their children about Santa, the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy etc. When she and he decided to have children, even though the husband was no longer a practicing JW he had an incredibly hard time with the Santa thing the first couple of years. Finally, by the time their son was old enough to know Santa he realized that Christmas was so much more than a religious experience for a lot of people and he enjoyed the joy that Santa brought. So much that he even dressed as Santa for a work Christmas party.

    • me says:

      I’m wondering about how many JW’s there are out there now a days. All summer long we had them knocking on our door. I’m always so polite to them but it’s like ok you guys have been here like 5 times now. I’m not interested.


      Speaking for someone who grew up a JW and recently left, I wasn’t taught that people were liars for pretending that Santa or the Easter Bunny were real, just that we didn’t celebrate it and the reasons behind it. But now that I am an adult and getting close to starting to have a child of my own I don’t plan on telling them that Santa is real. Just that Christmas is where we get together with our family and give and get presents. I don’t want any religious connotations going with it. I want my kid to get to open presents!

    • Adrien says:

      I went to an elementary school run by Christians. It is not exactly a Christian school but we do have prayers and religious stuff. Nothing mandatory, you can choose not to participate if you like. They hired a JW teacher who told the other kids the truth about Santa and Valentines, even Chinese astrology come CNY day. She made a lot of kids cry. I don’t remember parents protesting but I do recall the same teacher ate alone during lunch.

  13. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I tell my kids everything lol. So it was hard when they were little because we did do Santa, right down to footprints he left when visiting. As they grew, they loved it so so much, I couldn’t stop. I mean, each boy grew to around nine frakking years old, and their friends at school would tell them he wasn’t real. We even had conversations about what was said, and I’d ask if they believed their friends. “It’s okay to doubt or not believe honey. I’ve never seen him.” It wasn’t until they’d approach me, eventually, with that ‘knowing glance’ and ask me if Dad and I were Santa. Two are grown and my third is 13, and I continue to fill stockings I made when each was in uterero ha ha. It’s special for them. They love it. So I continue to be the silly mom.

  14. Annika says:

    But isn’t Christmas religious?
    Like, Jesus being born, giving gifts in honor of him, etc. I guess I didn’t know people celebrated it for reasons other than it being religious.
    But my family is Jewish (and atheist) so we didn’t do Christmas.
    Genuine question: do nonreligious people celebrate Christmas?

    • Annabel says:

      Yes! My family and I are all atheists and always have been, but since our ancestors were Christian, we just see the holiday as a really lovely family tradition and a time to gather with loved ones. We have a beautiful Christmas tree, exchange gifts, and do a lot of baking. I was probably about twelve or thirteen before it dawned on me that for some people there’s a religious component.

    • Lori says:

      We’re not religious and we celebrate Christmas. Most all of the traditions (decorating, feasts, gifts from mythical beings, caroling, and giving gifts to friends) originated with pagan and roman rituals dating centuries BC. Most evidence suggests Jesus was born in the Spring, but the date and time of year aren’t ever definitively stated. But Christian expansion to pagan territories caused an appropriation/adaptation of their existing traditions and festivals into what snowballed (ba dum pish) into modern Christmas. Many Christian sects were incredibly against Christmas being celebrated in the name of Christ because it was so pagan in roots and themes (puritans particularly).

      I say all of that mostly to point out that people have always loved the traditions of Christmas time and choose to do them for their own reasons and with whatever meaning they wish to apply. It can be about the birth of Christ? But it can also just be about renewal, love, and finding cozy decor and activities in an otherwise cold and bleak time of year (for the northern hemisphere anyway).

      • Lane's Mom says:

        We do the same, Lori–it’s about the beautiful lights and lots of food for us (plus we’re big on lovely gift wraps). I’ve heard more than one Christian huff about “other people [not Christians] should create their own holiday,” which always cracks me up considering their appropriation. For my family it’s a cultural celebration; to each his, her or their own!

    • Ange says:

      My family is as non religious as it gets and we always have a big Christmas. It’s a time to get together and eat and drink and be merry, not so much about all the other stuff.

  15. Lori says:

    We told our kids from a young age that one of the funnest stories and traditions from Christmas is Santa and it’s a fun game we all play and hype up. They always knew it wasn’t real and it never detracted from the joy and magic of it all; we still leave out cookies (I still eat them) and they jump up and down christmas morning with all the gusto that other kids do. They’re still young, 6, 8, 10 and I have no regrets. All of the fun with none of the shenanigans or eventual let down.

  16. Steff says:

    I would be exhausted if I was their child.

  17. SK says:

    I 100% support the way Dax decided to present Santa to his children.
    I think it’s still completely enjoyable for children to partake in rituals around Santa without literally thinking a man is coming into every house on Christmas Eve.
    My sister and myself grew up like this, we celebrated Christmas and had Santa sacks hung up but it was a fun tradition/play activity.
    I’ve always been really logical (imaginative too though) and didn’t understand how kids could think it was real… I also didn’t like the idea of parents “tricking” kids.

  18. Lizzie says:

    The only thing less believable than Santa is that Dax Shepard has never, ever, not even once told his kids even the slightest fib. Is he constantly getting into semantic arguments in literal terms with his extremely young children as to never tell them a falsehood? That is silly and not healthy. My BIL is like this with his daughter and now she has a nervous tick and if you say something in the very slightest that is not “correct” she has a complete anxiety attack. She’s six.

    • Anna says:

      I mean, they’re still young, so it’s possible he’s always managed to be honest in an age-appropriate way. But I do wonder if that’s something he’s going to be able to keep up as they get older…

  19. Cay says:

    Aren’t these the same people who said they lie to their children about birthdays. If their kid’s birthday is on a Wednesday, they tell the kid it’s on Saturday so they can have the party on Saturday. And aren’t these the parents who said their kids don’t sleep so when the kids wake up early they tell them it’s earlier than it really is so they have to go back to sleep? And aren’t they the parents who told their children they were taking a nap when the kids walked in on them having sex?

  20. Gary Burnaska says:

    For all the people who whine about Santa and the magic of Christmas and shit. You magical tradition basically started in the 1880s as a promotional and marketing stunt by the new toy industry and large retailers to indoctrinate kids into wanting mass produced corporate crap, instead of homemade and shopping at local toy shops.

    Honest assessment I give Santa 25 more years, once we have 5 year olds getting all their physical toys from the home 3D printer that even they know how to use and play mostly woth software on some device, Those same 5 year olds can also know how to search anything on google Santa will make his last flight and the elves will get their termination notices.

    Once we have kindergarteners figuring this shit out, its done parents are not even going to put the energy into this shit anymore.

    Inmagine if Amazon tried some shit like that to get people to online shop.

  21. Meg says:

    The header picture is an example of sexism IMO that he can wear dirty sneakers on a red carpet while his wife sat through hours of hair and makeup and wore what a stylist was paid to put together for her while he picked his outfit himself for free-