Before my husband and I even had children, we discussed many of the decisions we would have to make as parents. Even then we knew that, though we LOVE Christmas time and all that comes with it, not being truthful with our children did not sit well with us. (Also: we are selfish and want all the gift-giving credit for ourselves.) So, we looked to the history of Santa Claus to decide how to tell his story to our future children. It wasn't very hard to see that the origins were as simple as a man (saint or god) who was generous and giving. Caring for the poor and children. So, this is the story we tell.
What do we hope to achieve with the alteration of common cultural beliefs? We don't do "Naughty or Nice" in our home, instead choosing to do our best to honor that a child is HAVING a problem, not BEING a problem. We strive to reduce a consumerist "I want, I want!" ideal by including them in taking responsibility for caring for others. No need to look to a stranger to fulfill wants or needs, our family is there for us. All the while keeping with the magic of Santa.
I know everyone does the holidays a little different, how do you or do you even do Santa?