It’s all pretty cute—but Johnson believes such tactics promote credulous thinking. “When we say, despite the evidence, they should believe anyway, that’s a very dangerous precedent to set,” Johnson says. Instead, he advocates for sharing the story of Santa as just that—a story. “We still go to see Santa Claus at the mall,” he says. “Last year, my kid was 4 years old, and I told him, ‘We’re going to see Santa Claus, he’s just a guy in a costume, but it’s just a fun game we’re going to play.’” According to Johnson, they had a great time, no deceit required.