Lots of holiday questions today! Once again, I’m not losing sleep over this, just interested in some discussion!
A month or so ago, a child at recess told my very “young for her age” second grader that “there is no Santa, it’s the parents” when he overheard her talking about her sister’s birthday presents. She came home pretty distraught, and clearly wanted me to tell her he was a moron. So...I did. I told her that maybe his family didn’t celebrate Christmas the same way we did, so maybe his family didn’t “do” Santa - but that in our family, we do, and I believed our Christmas would include gifts from Santa as long as we believed it would. She was satisfied, and I was relieved we wouldn’t be giving up the magic (we also have a five year old and a three year old, who “gets” it for the first time this year).
We were okay until at dinner last night she casually informed me that she thought I was the tooth fairy, and took her teeth, hid them, and put glitter on the dollar with glue. Oops. Since her sisters were there, I just shut it down with “Hmm...I think that if you hope for money from the tooth fairy, you need to believe in her.”
So - have you given thought to this matter? When/how you’ll transition from receiving from Santa to Enjoying other magic, like “being” a Santa? What will you do to preserve younger siblings’ beliefs?
Because my oldest is pretty immature, I figured she would want to believe longer, and have hopped the two oldest girls will “become Santas” around the same time. I hadn’t really thought much about the littlest, TBH. She’s a tough cookie and I’m not so worried, actually.
Our Adopt—a-Family has caused some questions this year (“why can’t Santa just do it?”) I explained that (a) parents also like to give their kids gifts and this mom can’t afford to and (b) maybe they don’t have a permanent home for him to bring gifts. I hope that continues to suffice! Don’t want to outright lie, but I’d like a few more years of simple magic!
eggplant / 11716 posts
My 6 year old's best friend this year is Jewish. There have been a lot of discussions of Santa and the Tooth Fairy because her friend has told her it's the parent. I actually have no interest in doubling down on the Santa/tooth fairy lies (I didn't grow up with either of them, even though I grew up Christian in the US--I think my parents thought Santa took away from the "real" reason for christmas, AKA Jesus....anyway), so I just say things like, "well, what do you think?" and I listen.
But I am really uncomfortable with the tack some parents take by saying maybe other kids aren't good and that's why Santa doesn't come to them, or Santa only comes to those who believe, so you better believe or you won't get any presents. It just seems...unnecessarily mean?
So far this year, my 6 year old seems suspicious but when I ask what she thinks she says she thinks Santa comes if you believe in Santa, but Jewish people don't believe in Santa. But then she followed up that she wants to buy her friend a present, so she can enjoy christmas. So I do think she's catching on to the idea that Christmas is about giving to people you love, and it's not from Santa, it's from ourselves....which is, in a way, a lot more special really. So I think it's a really nice transition.
cantaloupe / 6085 posts
I am following all your posts today! My oldest is also in 2nd and I’m definitely worried about it. She still wants to believe I think but I know kids talk about it. She asked me if the Easter bunny was real and I said no but we haven’t broached Santa yet.
I think my 4yo already doesn’t really believe so they’re probably both about to cross over. We have a fairy house outside I decorate for holidays and there’s a little treat box we put inside that I put candy in when I do. For a long time my oldest loved it but this year she hasn’t even looked at it - I think she knows it’s me and is disappointed about it. My 4yo loved it but asked me “who did this? Was it you?” and I was kind of caught out so just said “what do you think?”. I’m so unsure about how to time it all!!
I’m thinking when the oldest flat out tells me she doesn’t think Santa is real I’ll pull her aside. I think she will love the idea of being a Santa too for the little one. The middle can’t keep a secret to save his life though so it will probably all be out there!
But generally hugs because this year it is breaking my heart to see my 7yo be too old for some of the Christmas magic. I know it has to happen but it’s sad. That said as a younger child I’m not sure I ever believed in Santa and I still absolutely loved Christmas - the whole season.
pear / 1565 posts
I def go the route of "what do you think" haha. Deflect, deflect
But seriously, we don't play up Santa/Tooth Fairy/Easter Bunny. To me they're all fictional/make belief characters that just make childhood fun without having to works so hard to lead children into believing they're real real.
My 5 year old talks about Santa all the time, I don't really refute anything she's saying but just always reinforce what I think is important (celebrating Jesus, spirit of giving, family, etc). She also recently lost her 1st tooth, she knows all about the tooth fairy and put the tooth under her pillow but nothing happened and I don't think she even remembered lol.
nectarine / 2461 posts
The minute my kids question it, I'll tell them the truth, with the disclaimer to ask them to try not to ruin it for other kids. I figured out santa was my mom from handwriting on the gift tags when I was like 4 or 5 years old and I still remember being annoyed at the deception (but relieved when they confirmed I was still going to get the same amount of loot, haha).
grapefruit / 4278 posts
My oldest is in 2nd too. This is such a Santa transition year! His teacher sent out an email to the class to ask parents to have a discussion with their kids to not spill the beans if they knew the truth. I think E still really wants to believe but is starting to question it. I'm pretty sure this is our last year for him. I got an elf on the shelf and scheduled some really special Christmas/Santa experiences this year just to get the most out of the magic one more time. If he specifically asks, I think I'm just taking the "what do you think" route this year.
pomegranate / 3230 posts
I'm Jewish so I did not grow up with Santa.
My husband's family celebrates Christmas, so we do the tree thing. My son learned about Santa in preschool so I let it turn into a thing. He also learned about the Tooth Fairy either from school or from a TVshow.
My plan is to follow his lead and let him believe as long as he does. He's a child. I don't need to burst his bubble. Let him enjoy his childhood. My attitude is that in our family, Santa and the Tooth Fairy visit whoever believes in them. When someone stops believing, then they get to be in on the secret and mom and dad will still supplement with some surprises.
My son has twin sisters who are four years younger, so I will ask him to help us keep the secret when he figures it out. He can be Santa along with Mom and Dad when the time comes.
I think that ultimately it is a good message that we supported his belief even though we did not believe it ourselves. I have never hidden my beliefs from him; he has just never asked what I think.
cherry / 174 posts
I used to think the same as lctbqe, that I would take the first opportunity to fess up. Santa wasn't a big part of the magic of Christmas for me, and I see little value in the charade.
However, I recently listened to a podcast about this issue, and I now feel differently. I guess for kids that type of imagining is natural, and we should take their lead about telling them the truth. So they might question Santa, but that doesnt mean they're ready to know the truth. I'm still conflicted though because it feels so silly to talk about santa and making up lies to answer their questions about him
clementine / 854 posts
I'm 30 and still get presents from santa at my parents house. Always did. We never had a conversation. I told my mom when I disnt believe anymore and she told me not to tell my brothers. That was it.
Believing in Santa is one of my most favourite memories as a kid. I wish I could get that back!
apricot / 286 posts
My daughter is 6 and fully believes in Santa, tooth fairy, etc. But at Disney World last year she told me “I know Mickey Mouse is just a person inside, I can feel his arms when I hug him”. She was looking for me to confirm and I wasn’t sure how to respond. So I just said “it’s fun to believe, isn’t it?”. It didn’t really confirm or deny her suspicions but it gave her permission to keep believing. Since then she’s repeated “it’s fun to believe” a few times (including when some kids at school broke the news that the Disney princesses weren’t real either, lol).
I never told my parents I didn’t believe, and Santa still comes even today.