Actor Will Arnett is hoping to keep the spirit of Santa Claus alive for as long as possible so his two young sons will be on their best behaviour throughout the holidays.

The Arrested Development star is father to five-year-old Archibald and three-year-old Abel with his ex-wife, comedienne Amy Poehler, and their kids have only just bought into the idea of Santa bringing them presents at Christmas, so Arnett is pushing to keep the ruse going for as long as possible.

He tells E! News, "I'm trying to figure out how long we can keep the Santa Claus myth going. We live in the age of information so kids are finding stuff out quick. But it's really sweet explaining it to them.

"But what's really great about Santa is that you can use him. When your kids act up, you'll be like, 'Santa sees everything. I don't care what you do, but if you don't finish your dinner, you're gonna be out of luck on Christmas.'"