NBA star Dwayne Wade is the proud parent of 3 boys and a baby girl, who he shares with wife, actress Gabrielle Union. They are also guardians of Wade’s 18-year-old nephew.
Currently, his children range in ages from 10 months to 17 years. However, as Union revealed while interviewing former Today Show correspondent Tamron Hall for O, The Oprah Magazine, her husband doesn’t allow his children to believe in Santa Claus.
Union said it’s mostly because he didn’t believe in jolly old St. Nicholas when he was a kid:
“I’ll say to my husband, ‘Let’s tell the kids their Christmas gifts are from Santa.’ And my husband is like, ‘There’s no way in hell I’m letting these kids think that [an] old white man is sneaking into our house and doing anything for them. Because he didn’t grow up believing in Santa Claus.”
According to the actress, she and Wade are constantly having conversations about raising their family and “where to draw the line between fantasy and ‘Hey, that’s not how life works.'”
And new mom, Tamron Hall, agrees with Union and Wade. She says that it’s also an important conversation to have publicly because “some families might not even realize this is a thing”:
“A hundred percent. Modern parenting is especially difficult for parents of color—we have to talk about not only ‘Are we gonna say Santa exists,’ but also ‘Is Santa Black?’ Again, this is exactly the conversation that we want to have on the show, because some families might not even realize this is a thing. So we want all perspectives. Something as simple as Santa Claus could cause a big debate, so why not have a conversation with real parents of all backgrounds talking about how they approach Santa Claus, and what race he is? It might sound small, but these are the everyday things we’re thinking about.”
Last year, actors Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard admitted that they also told their children Santa Claus isn’t real because they try not to “lie” to their two little girls.
Shepard said he eventually explained that St. Nick was is “just a fun thing we pretend while it’s Christmas,” after their daughter Delta started saying the old wives tale just “doesn’t make sense.”
However, while it’s unclear if Union and Wade allow their children to still indulge in the classic Christmas movies, Shepard told Us Magazine that his girls still “love watching movies about Santa, they love talking about Santa. They don’t think he exists, but they’re super happy and everything’s fine.”
Where do you stand in this debate? Should children think Santa is real or should they know he’s just a pretend character right off the bat?