****WARNING: Stop scrolling now if you want to avoid the truth about Father Christmas***

IT'S a question many parents face at this time of year. 

How does a man dressed in red with a belly that shakes like a bowl full of jelly manage to deliver presents for children around the world on one night?

Luckily a viral Facebook post is helping mum, dads, grandmas, granddads and many other carers answer any tricky questions this year.

The anonymous post has been cut and paste into hundreds of groups to help members and received thousands of likes, shares and comments praising the heartwarming answer.

The post reads:

Son: "Dad, I think I'm old enough now. Is there a Santa Claus?"

Dad: "Okay, I agree that you're old enough. But before I tell you, I have a question for you.

"You see, the “truth” is a dangerous gift. Once you know something, you can't un-know it.

"Once you know the truth about Santa Claus, you'll never again understand and relate to him as you do now. So my question is: Are you sure you want to know?"

*Brief pause*

Son: "Yes, I want to know."

Dad: "Okay, then I'll tell you. Yes, there is a Santa Claus."

Son: "Really?"

Dad: "Yes, really, but he's not an old man with a beard in a red suit. That's just what we tell kids.

"You see, kids are too young to understand the true nature of Santa Claus, so we explain it to them in a way that they can understand.

"The truth about Santa Claus is that he's not a person at all; he's an idea.

"Think of all those presents Santa gave you over the years. We bought those for you. We watched you open them. And did it bother us that you didn't know? Of course not!

"In fact it gave us great pleasure. You see, Santa Claus is THE IDEA OF GIVING FOR THE SAKE OF GIVING, without thought of thanks or acknowledgement.

"So now that you know, you're a part of it too.

"You have to be Santa Claus now. That means you can never tell a young kid the secret, you have to help us select Santa presents for them, and most importantly, you have to look for opportunities to help other people. Got it?"

The post ends with a note to 'always be kind' with a number of parents sharing their stories of how they have encouraged their child to be a 'secret santa' in the comments.

Lancashire Telegraph:

One mum added: "When they are 6 or 7, whenever you see that dawning suspicion that Santa may not be a material being, that means the child is ready. 

"I tell them that they have grown up so much in the past year but also their heart has grown.

"In fact, your heart has grown so much that I think you are ready to become a Santa Claus.

"You probably have noticed that most of the Santas you see are people dressed up like him.

"Some of your friends might have even told you that there is no Santa. A lot of children think that, because they aren't ready to BE a Santa yet, but YOU ARE ...

"We then have the child choose someone they know — a neighbour, usually. The child's mission is to secretly find out something that the person needs, and then provide it, wrap it, deliver it — and never reveal to the target where it came from.

"Being a Santa isn't about getting credit, you see. It's unselfish giving."

Many of the comments also pointed out this follows the story of Saint Nicholas who was known for his 'secret gift-giving' and gave rise to Santa Claus or 'Saint Nick'. 

What's your advice for parents at this time of year? Let us know in the comments below.