i really get confused about this "santa as lie" issue, when it's really "santa is a story" and that children have a time of "magical realism" and then take it into more and more complex understandings over time.
i mean, a lot of people will read "aesop's fables" to a child or curious george, but no one considers them "lies" even though a small child sees the situation as very real. They take it at face value. And, they have active imaginations, too, wherein they use these stories to create their own inner worlds.
so, i don't think it's a problem to talk about the santa story-- or any story--and to tell it as you would tell any story. If santa is important to you--culturally or spiritually--then sharing that is not a problem. if santa is not that important to you, then it is fine to forgo it.
personally, i like traditional stories of santa-- st nicholas, bishop from turkey, who saved girls from slavery by climbing onto roofs, tossing coins down chimneys and into the girl's stockings that were drying by the fire. This money could then be used for a dowry, and the parents could marry off their daughters rather than selling them. it's actually a nice story. there's a number of stories (pre-christian) of santa-like figures who would bring medicinals to families to help prevent disease (oranges--which were GOLD in scandinavia in winter; peppermint; ginger, clove, and cinnamon.) as well as gifts to the children who were good, and a trickster side kick would give gifts to "naughty" children. but everyone received medicinals.
these old stories/legends/myths are magical, and they hold nice lessons, and children can utilize them as they will. but ultimately, i believe, they understand them as stories.
i like myths and legends, personally, so i tell them. and we do enact parts of them, and so on. we are not really doing santa, per se, but we have other stories that we use. :)