I don't encourage the whole Santa thing. It seems weird to go along with a complete lie to your kids. I'd like for them to understand the true meaning of Christmas.
Whatever the kids believe with Santa is fine, but I'm not going to feed into it or use it as a bribe to get them to behave before Christmas.
With that being said, this month I was driving downtown with the kids, and out of the blue, Brooks said, "Santa is just someone's dad dressed up." I'm not for sure where he heard it, but it made me laugh. He is a deep thinker, so I know he put some thought into that one!
After church this month, we stayed for a pot luck dinner and Saint Nicholas came to visit after dinner. This was not Santa, it was a very traditional Saint Nicholas that looks religious, and doesn't have a white beard, wear red, or have a Santa hat. Saint Nicholas was a large, beastly man (that description has been taken from Christmas Vacation) with a gray beard and a Vatican looking hat. All of the other kids ran over to see Saint Nicholas. My kids were content just sitting at the table and chowing down on their ham. They watched from afar. Brooks turned to me and said, "Is that my Uncle?" I was completely lost as to where he was going with this question. I asked for clarification. Brooks responded, "My uncle, the one with one eye." Oh, ok. He was thinking of Cecil. He said it looked just like Cecil, except he knew Cecil didn't have a gray beard. I had to agree with him, it did look like him!
Overall, I've concluded that Brooks knows it is just some guy dressed up to look like someone else!