My wife and I are both atheist but don't want to impose atheism on our two kids (3 and 5) as a dogma. We want to offer them the opportunity, that I personally didn't have, to read about it from a young age and we think that they will be embrace our way of thinking. I was sure about this before they were born and I'm even more sure now that I see them learning and progressing in their intellectual development every day.
I have been questioned by my older daugther a few times about why we don't go to church or why we don't pray in our home. My answer has always been that her mother and I do not believe in the existence of a supreme engineer who created everything around us. That was the time a 5 year old asked "why do we have the christmas lunch then?". I was both impressed and scared by this question.
I realized that in the past years I have lied to my kids about trivial things like the existence of Santa or the tooth fairy but I have been extremely sincere about my opinions on religion.
Maybe it's exactly because I consider a trivial thing telling them that santa brought the presents and a serious thing being an atheist but this adjustment of the truth shows some inconsistence.
I'm sure that even if I had lied to them and told them we believe in god and at christmas we celebrate jesus, at some point very soon they would have realized that the idea was just wrong and they would have agreed with us. But maybe they would have lived their younger years in a santa like ignorant bliss, enjoying more the bank holidays...
I sincerely don't know what the best approach is so am wondering if someone had a similar experience.