The Frozen 2 star recently opened up in the upcoming December/January issue of Woman’s Day about how she spends the holidays with her family, and she revealed when and why she told her little girl about the shared cultural fantasy of St. Nick.
"I pictured her in a more adult situation where she had a sinking feeling in her gut and wanted to ask [a] question," Bell explained. "Was I going to pat her on the head and go, ‘Stop thinking about that, I already told you, it’s fine, believe me,' or would I want to produce the kind of person who goes, 'I’m sorry, I really do need more information on this?'"
For Bell, being honest with her kids -- and raising them to be inquisitive and ponder the world around them -- is paramount to her values as a parent. However, she didn't want to just kill off her daughter's sense of fun and wonder.
According to Bell, she eased Lincoln into the truth, and added a new, different sense of joyful levity to the situation. Bell told her that the fantasy of Santa Claus is really "an imaginary game we play because it’s really, really fun."
As for her and husband Dax Shepard's 4-year-old daughter, Delta, the actress said that she still believes in the magic of Santa Claus, but she has no doubt she'll be as upfront and honest with Delta when the time comes.
"When she says to me, 'Is this person a real human being?' I will have the same conversation with her as I did with Lincoln," the Good Place star explained.
While Santa might just be a fun game for the family, they still celebrate the Christmas holiday together, and have developed some adorable family traditions, especially when it comes to gift giving (and opening).
"Dax introduced the idea of opening gifts on Christmas morning from youngest to oldest, which I really like," Bell shared. "I’m able to talk my daughters through who gave them each gift. I try to reiterate that these presents don’t just fall from the sky; they came from a thoughtful individual whom we need to thank."
She also tries to express the importance of not getting "stressed out about the holidays."
"It’s tempting to think that everything has to be perfect. But if we decide at 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve to order takeout instead of cook, I will have a smile on my face," she added.
"Just before Halloween, [I] start thinking about Christmas," the actress told ET at The Grove’s annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Los Angeles. "It just makes you feel so good. My family was always really into Christmas and my husband and I decorate like crazy."
Check out the video below for more from the Frozen 2 star on her love for the holidays.
Bell's issue of Woman's Day hits newsstands November 26.