Parents be warned, keep this away from children's prying eyes.
I've spent the past seven years raising my children to always be honest and tell the truth.
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But I spend each year, especially in December, adding to a consuming web of white lies about what happens around Christmas and Santa Claus. Should we expose the white lies or keep up the family Christmas traditions that I relished as a child? I am torn.
By the time I met my husband my stepsons were 10 and 12. I can't remember exactly what they believed in at that stage but I remember playing along with the Santa facade because I was excited so have children to share it with. I remember saying "if you don't believe, you won't receive" and I'm pretty sure they played along.
We tell our children the Santas you see around town in malls, shops or parades are Santa's Helpers. These are stand-in Santas employed to help the real Santa bring excitement to children because he is too busy preparing for Christmas at the North Pole.
We also tell our boys that we organise with Santa, the present requests from them, giving Santa the hard job of choosing what each boy will receive. But then when they see their presents on Christmas morning, name labels are from a mix of Mum and Dad as well as Santa, so that Santa doesn't get all the credit for our hard work.
Imagine the unfairness of Santa giving one child a big-ticket item such as a bike in one family and then another child in another family getting something much smaller.
I recently bought a fake security camera. It has a wide view of the living areas and the most amazing ability to pick up sounds of fighting, arguing and not following instructions.
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The first five minutes my boys were exceptional and I thought I had hit the jackpot, telling them that an app on my phone is linked directly to the North Pole and I get daily messages through to inform me about behaviour.
It worked well at first and now it really only provides the North Pole with front row seats to watch the tackling and wrestling, rambunctious lives of my two sons.
Santa's elves are in charge of our advent calendar – which in our house is a hand-made wooden tree with 24 nails on which to hang up tiny pockets. Each night I try my hardest to remember to pop something small into the next day's pocket with a little note to each child from the elves.
This year I've decided that the boys will have alternate days in the countdown to Christmas Day, hopefully teaching patience and sharing along the way. If I forget, I tell the boys the elves weren't happy with their behaviour the day before and if it improves it might magically appear later in the day. I haven't been caught out yet.
We put our tree up on December 1, another tradition. We used to love helping my mum decorate the tree and house with as many lights and decorations she could sneak up before my dad would get home from work.
This year, my whānau is moving house two weeks before Christmas and I spent November trying to work out whether to even put up our big tree.
I went with a smaller tree with only a few decorations instead, explaining to the boys that because we were moving it was too hard to do the big tree. They took it all in their stride as boys often do, not at all worried like I thought they would be. Perhaps they won't need counselling in the future as I anticipated.
I joyously asked them if they wanted to help with decorating the mini-tree, a job that would take five minutes max. They both replied no and watched me do it, in between eating afternoon tea and watching Paw Patrol. After putting a mini-Santa dressed in an All Blacks outfit complete with a rugby ball and a tiny wooden star atop the tree, both boys were happy with the stand-in mini-tree.
We also celebrate Christmas with its religious meaning, with stories around Christmas Day, celebrations at school and church Mass, the Nativity Story and songs. As a family, we donate gifts to Christmas appeals, food drives and children who are not as fortunate as my own.
I know that my 7-year-old will start questioning Christmas soon and I equal parts dread this happening but also long for the day the white lies will stop.
Regardless of believing in Santa, I feel that believing in the magic of Christmas as a special, memory-filled and family-focused time of the year should continue for the rest of our lives.
There will hopefully be grandchildren to come in our future when we will dust off the stories we put to rest with our own children, as they continue to tell Christmas stories to their future offspring.
Until that time, I will relish in the way my boys' eyes light up as they believe in Santa. The surprise and excitement on Christmas Eve, when the elves sneakily ring the doorbell to drop off Christmas Eve pyjamas to help them prepare for the long night of anticipation ahead. For me, Christmas is magical. I love the build-up and hype of the month of December.
I remember the magical feeling my parents created for us growing up and I only hope one day even when the truth is exposed that my boys will associate their childhood memories with feelings of magic and excitement.
Remember whatever your Christmas traditions, wherever you go there might just be a child who believes – and why shouldn't they!?
Providing our children with a magical experience is one of the delights of parenting.
Let's enjoy it as long as we can.