2. Bar Santa from the house.
Yep, here's the unpopular one. And of course if you have children between 3 and 10-ish who have always had Santa, this is not a route you will be able to take. But you know those families I mentioned in idea #1? Yeah, they do this, too.
Seriously, I get so annoyed at people who lament a) the condition our country is in, b) how sad it is that we don't acknowledge Jesus at Christmas any longer, and/or c) how materialistic the U.S. has become, then follow it all up by showing me pics of their kids with Santa. I smile and nod, but inside I'm screaming, "You can't have it both ways!!!" And I really believe that you can't.
And this one does have some personal experience attached: I was so devastated when I found out about Santa. I held on to believing for a long time-- much longer than kids normally do-- because I didn't think my parents would tell me something that wasn't true. I was really upset when I found out that Oh, yes, they would. I just don't see how I can expect my children to accept that Santa is a story but Jesus is real, when I spend the first few years of their life presenting both as the truth. It works for some people, apparently, but I'm not one of them.