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Do you tell your kids Santa is real? Why/why not?

  1. MediaNaranja

    pomegranate / 3244 posts

    @MrsTiz: @yoursilverlining: I agree. If Santa causes trust issues, IMO, there is probably something larger going on. If all the lies my parents told me growing up caused trust issues I would be a hot mess right now, ha.

    I like the idea of Santa, it's just so magical and fun, and such a warm, wonderful memory for me growing up! In DH's culture they don't really do Santa (they instead celebrate Los Tres Reyes or 3 Kings Day), so I guess the challenge for us will be how to incorporate both of our culture into Christmas celebrations in the future.

    Though I was skeptical of his existence earlier, the Santa magic spell was finally broken for good in 6th grade when I asked my dad to write something for me in "fancy writing" and he used his secret Santa handwriting, haha.

  2. Weagle

    coconut / 8498 posts

    I think we'll just probably follow cues from LO. Not really make a big deal about Santa, but if she brings it up talk about how it's a fun thing at Christmas, St. Nicholas, and mostly emphasize why we as Christians celebrate Christmas.

  3. Grace

    cantaloupe / 6730 posts

    I always opened gifts Christmas Eve, so there really wasn't an oppurtunity to believe in Santa. We would get sent to our room to sing Christmas carols and if we sung loud enough, there would be presents! After I started going to school, we would pretend that it was Santa's feet that we could see under the door when the presents were being brought out, but we knew better. We'll probably do the same with our kids because Hubs also was a Christmas Eve present opener.

  4. daniellemybelle

    cantaloupe / 6669 posts

    We'll definitely do Santa, but if our kids outright ask us, we won't try to convince them. It's playing pretend, but little kids believe in pretend, just like I believed in my imaginary friends! So we won't go out of our way to spoil the magic.

  5. prettylizy

    GOLD / papaya / 10206 posts

    I loved Santa growing up and I didn't feel betrayed by my parents at all when the truth came out. I appreciated the fun and still do. I can't wait for Santa to be a part of our lives again.

  6. ALV91711

    pomelo / 5619 posts

    DH took me to dinner tonight and strangely this topic came up by him. I had just assumed that Santa was the way our house would go, that is how we both grew up. Apparently he is not so into it. He says he doesn't like how he felt when his parents told him Santa isn't real and that he didn't like the lie. I explained to him how I liked the imagination it brought, the fun, excitement and the spirit of giving.

    We did come to the conclusion that we will have Santa. But no matter the age of our kids if they ask us we will tell them the truth.

    It is interesting the things you don't even talk about until there is a LO on the way.

  7. lovehoneybee

    GOLD / wonderful pea / 17697 posts

    I was raised in a very religious household and never believed in Santa; DH did. We probably will. I remember the first Christmas I spent with DH's family our little nephews woke us up before the sun came up screaming with pure joy that Santa had come...there was something sweet and exciting and utterly magical to me about that (having never experienced it myself). And one of the men in our family (usually either DH or FIL) dresses up as Santa every year and visits the house on Christmas Day to deliver some toys he "forgot" to bring the night before, and there's just something so wonderful about how excited the little boys get.

    I pinned this a while ago, and it feels relevant to this. When he eventually challenges us about Santa, we'll have a similar response.

    "Dear Lucy,

    Thank you for your letter. You asked a very good question:
    “Are you Santa?”

    I know you’ve wanted the answer to this question for a long time, and I’ve had to give it careful thought to know just what to say.

    The answer is no. I am not Santa. There is no one Santa.
    I am the person who fills your stockings with presents, though. I also choose and wrap the presents under the tree, the same way my mom did for me, and the same way her mom did for her. (And yes, Daddy helps, too.)

    I imagine you will someday do this for your children, and I know you will love seeing them run down the stairs on Christmas morning. You will love seeing them sit under the tree, their small faces lit with Christmas lights.

    This won’t make you Santa, though.

    Santa is bigger than any person, and his work has gone on longer than any of us have lived. What he does is simple, but it is powerful. He teaches children how to have belief in something they can’t see or touch.

    It’s a big job, and it’s an important one. Throughout your life, you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your friends, in your talents and in your family. You’ll also need to believe in things you can’t measure or even hold in your hand. Here, I am talking about love, that great power that will light your life from the inside out, even during its darkest, coldest moments.

    Santa is a teacher, and I have been his student, and now you know the secret of how he gets down all those chimneys on Christmas Eve: he has help from all the people whose hearts he’s filled with joy.

    With full hearts, people like Daddy and me take our turns helping Santa do a job that would otherwise be impossible.

    So, no. I am not Santa. Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness. I’m on his team, and now you are, too.

    I love you and I always will.

    Mama"

  8. Mrs. Jacks

    blogger / pineapple / 12381 posts

    See my blog post from today for my perspective, but the short of it is that we'll probably casually do Santa, but focus more on the spirit of the season and giving to others.

  9. MsMamaBear

    pear / 1861 posts

    Yes, Santa comes here. I have students in my class who have blabbed Santa wasn't real while others discussed him. NOT a fun thing when that happens.

  10. allison

    pear / 1895 posts

    We won't be doing Santa, and we both feel pretty strongly about it. I just feel like it instills an attitude of "me me me, what are you going to give ME" and that goes against our goals & philosophy for ourselves and our family. I grew up with Santa, in a very religious household, and I loved it, but that's pretty much all I remember about Christmas -- waking up really early and being impatient while waiting to open all my gifts. I think we can make the holiday season fun and exciting without it being about gifts and pretend fat men.

    As far as "blabbing" to other kids, I really don't care, to be honest. It's not my kids or my responsibility to keep secrets for other parents that don't make the same decisions I do. Especially when it comes to facts like "Santa doesn't exist" (as opposed to religious beliefs).

    Also, Santa is creepy.

  11. Torchwood

    pomelo / 5607 posts

    Bumping this as it's old and there are lots of new bees now, and the originals have older lo's.

    I'm really torn on this. I was told Santa was real, and my mom says I was REALLY upset when I found out the truth. My dad and stepmom didn't tell my brother and sister he was real because they were concerned that if the kids found out Santa wasn't real when they had told them he was, they might question whether Jesus is real, like they told them he was. I've read that some atheist parents use it as an opportunity to reach critical thinking- leaving it up to the kid to figure out he's not real based on logic. Some very different perspectives there.

    I generally don't believe in lying to LO, and I don't agree with those who say it's not really lying if you say he's real. But I like the critical thinking aspect. The catch is that the presents will appear, and LO will ask who brought them. Am I okay with saying Santa? I almost wish someone else would tell her and I could let her assume it was Santa, then do the "what do you think" when she asks.

    Anyway, anyone have thoughts on this?

  12. looch

    wonderful pear / 26210 posts

    My son is 5, and interestingly, I never mentioned Santa to him before. We've never taken him to those take your photo with Santa things because I know he'd have a meltdown, it's his personality, so imagine my surprise this year when my son asked to write a letter to Santa for his request.

    We just kind of went along with it, I wasn't asked yet if he was real or not, I just kind of handled it matter of factly that we can try to write a letter to Santa, but it doesn't mean that you will get everything that you ask for. My son seems to understand this, so for now, I am just following his lead.

  13. littleblessings

    pear / 1739 posts

    I didn't want to do the Santa thing. I'm all about honesty. My kids know the real names of all body parts. I didn't want to do Santa but SO is all about Santa and Easter Bunny and all that stuff. The rest of my family is too so even if I try not to do it my family will force it on my kids. /:

  14. Mrsk

    apricot / 287 posts

    We plan on doing Santa. I grew up an atheist and DH was Catholic. We are not both non-religious now. We will do Santa for sure. My parents up into my adult life did stockings and presents from Santa. I'm one of those kids who thought critically and figured out that Santa wasn't real, not sure at what age, but never spoke about it, I loved the magic of Santa as a kid and wanted to prolong it, even tho I knew it wasn't real. I want that magic for my kids. I was never mad at my parents for 'lying' to me, on the flip side, I appreciated them creating such a magical time for me and appreciated the gifts that 'Santa' left.

  15. Oxana

    cherry / 133 posts

    @littleblessings: My DH is in total agreement with me about not doing Santa, etc. but his family is not. What we plan on telling our kids (when they're old enough to have more of a real idea of what's going on) is that Santa or whoever is not real, just like fairies and Greek gods and book characters are not real, but some people (grandparents) like to play a game where they pretend it's real, just for fun.

  16. Mrs. D

    pear / 1852 posts

    We've been doing Santa for 3 years now. She knows that Santa will do his best to bring her what she asks for, but he won't bring her everything she asks for. We're trying to make it more about the things we give other people and the holiday events we do. Her First Sunday School Concert, and the Christmas Eve pageant where she gets to be an angel this year!

  17. Applesandbananas

    pomegranate / 3845 posts

    We did Santa and I will continue with my LO. To me, it's one of those magical childhood things and I think the idea that it'll give my kid trust issues is silly. We were told, when we questioned his existence/authenticity, that he's real to those who believe in him and the magic of Christmas. My brother and I still wake up to a small present or two from Santa. It's all in good fun and I hope my LO embraces the spirit and magic, there's way too much time to be an adult later. Childhood is for magic!

  18. Mrs Hedgehog

    pear / 1812 posts

    I am Christian and DH is Jewish but we celebrate both holidays with the full religious meaning. Our kids will understand why we celebrate Christmas and the meaning of everything we do. But we also will incorporate Santa. I just believe it is just such a fun and magical thing for kids and I believed in him growing up but still understood that Christmas was celebrating the birth of Jesus and always thought Santa believed that too and he was being generous by giving everyone gifts. Infact, my parents used that idea. Santa doesn't personally know me but he knows of me and wants to give to me anyway and we should do the same for others. Which is why adopting and angel was a big part of our traditions. Infact, Santa still comes to our/my parents house even for all the grown ups! (So long as they still "believe") Santa also doesn't bring ALL the gifts. There are Santa gifts which are small and usually not things we specifically asked for but would like and the bigger more " real" gifts are from my parents or whoever actually bought them. Santa even has his own wrapping paper and To/From stickers.

  19. ChiCalGoBee

    nectarine / 2028 posts

    @Torchwood: if you feel like getting your daughter to believe in Santa is lying to your child, then I'd say just tell her the gifts are from you/ your husband/family members, etc. Others have mentioned presenting this in the aspect of fairies, princesses, super heroes, etc. E.g. someone from a story we read about but not a real person. I was personally raised Jewish and knew Santa wasn't real by age 2 or 3, so my only other thought is to make sure to encourage your daughter not to spill the beans to friends if you go that route!

  20. Oxana

    cherry / 133 posts

    @ChiCalGoBee: I don't think there's any reason non-Santa families should feel obligated to teach their children to actively protect the illusion of Santa for other kids. If you told your child that a baby comes out of the mother's belly, would you then strongly emphasize to your kids that if one of their friends says that babies are delivered by a stork, they should pretend that's true just to keep the stork story going? I mean, of course we should teach our kids to be polite and not be know-it-alls, but sometimes I think families that do Santa put too much of an expectation on others to be complicit.

  21. Greentea

    pomelo / 5678 posts

    I think it is different if your kid knows you are playing pretend, that is different than saying, "This superhero is real and lives next state over in this city," or whatever. Or, "This fairy is real and lives in this woods." When kids play pretend everyone is aware/ in on it, you know and they know you are playing make believe/ pretend. So to me that's not the same.

  22. mrsjazz

    coconut / 8234 posts

    We weren't going to do Santa. We've never told LO about Santa but she started preschool this year and kids told her about Santa. She told me Santa was bringing her presents on Christmas Eve. And I was like, "Damn, we gotta be Santa now!" My husband doesn't want to participate in the balderdash--his words.

    She wrote a list and one of her gifts was the dollhouse we got her already. Santa is not getting credit for that. We will get a small item for her from Santa.

  23. Tanjowen

    nectarine / 2521 posts

    DH and I agreed to compromise. I never grew up believing in Santa, and he grew up believing in Santa. Mine was because of a Christian upbringing and my parents didn't want to lie to us (which is weird because they did the Tooth Fairy thing...).

    We agreed LO will get one small present from Santa on Christmas morning - that's it. And I don't intend to push the idea hard either. I think the problem for me is going to great lengths to promote this idea of Santa Clause to my child. If/when we get to the age he asks me if Santa is real, I'll tell him the truth and explain the background of St. Nicholas.

    Then again, my kid is only 2 this year and I know I'll have to really think more on this next Christmas when he starts to get the idea of Christmas.

  24. daniellemybelle

    cantaloupe / 6669 posts

    I am super Team Santa. I was Team Santa Lite before LO - more of the philosophy that we will do Santa, but won't go overboard trying to convince her he is totally real. Now, I definitely want her to think he's real and to enjoy that magic with her. It's just too fun to pass up. I think she will forgive me for lying to her.

    @Torchwood: My mom did the whole, "What do you think?" with me when I was 3 and I said, "I think Santa is mommies & daddies." And that was it. I have no memories of really believing in Santa and that makes me a little sad. If LO asks me if Santa is real or anything along those lines, I will tell her yes until we feel she's old enough to be in on the big kid secret.

    It's interesting to me that those of you who do Santa have Santa bring one small gift. Santa is bringing the big shiny gifts this year and smaller gifts will be labeled from me & DH (like Mr. Potato Head and books). I think it is so magical to see an big amazing gift from Santa under the tree!

  25. Umbreon

    clementine / 854 posts

    Some of my best memories are waking up Christmas morning to see what Santa brought. I will absolutely be teaching the kids about Santa and telling them he's real.

    I do get a little nervous because BIL said once that he would not be teaching his kids about Santa because he doesn't believe in lying to them. I don't know how our family Christmas will go if MIL wants to have Santa gifts, but only our kids get them... or how our kids will explain to each other why Santa comes to one house and not the other... aaah I hope it will be a non issue and DH and I will have our kids well before!

  26. gingerbebe

    cantaloupe / 6131 posts

    DH and I haven't actually discussed the technicalities of how we will handle Santa since DS is only about 15 months. We are Christian and feel strongly about keeping the religious aspect the central thing. DH's mom is insane about everything Christmas - it's her Super Bowl and she goes bananas so I'm already creeped out by the super consumerist Christmas DS will be exposed to and she STILL gives gifts to all of us from Santa in addition to from Mom and Dad or whatever. So I guess we should figure out a plan and let MIL know before we go for Christmas next year and ask how my BIL are going to handle it for their son who is 2 months older than DS. My thought is I'd rather tell DS that I think the story of St. Nick is accurate but say some people/kids believe he's actually this guy who lives in the North Pole with elves and gives presents to everyone off a flying reindeer sleigh. I'd rather give him stories to choose from because there are so many ancillary things related to Santa you have to explain like Elf on a Shelf or Tres Reyes or whatever else people do around the world for Christmas. I also don't want to get caught up in cookies and reindeer food and explaining how Santa will know which house we will be at for Christmas that year or whatever.

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