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Why doesn't santa bring gifts to all kids?

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
We were purchasing and wrapping gifts for our hoilday "adopted" family and I was explaining that some kids are less fortunate and there is no money for extras like gifts and 4 yr old ds says "but santa will just bring them gifts". um... i wasn't sure what to say- anyone have this conundrum come up? how did you handle it?
post #2 of 62
That's why we don't lie about Santa.

It's a fun game that we play. We put out stockings the night before Christmas and those get a few small things in them. But "Santa" doesn't bring presents or anything like that. Those are given by real people. But we given them in the spirit of Christmas.
post #3 of 62
and this is why we don't do Santa.

as a child it broke my heart that Santa brought the naughty kids who already had so much, hundreds of gifts and brought me nothing even though I had been good all year.
post #4 of 62
"Because as much as Santa wants to and as hard as he tries he just can't get gifts to every child in time. He really appreciates his helpers that are scattered around the world that pitch in and helps with the children that might have been forgotten."

Or something along those lines, depends on how deep into the Santa story your family goes.
post #5 of 62
I was wondering this when we watched The Polar Express the other night. In the movie, there's a kid from a poor family who says that Christmas "just doesn't work out" for him, hinting at the fact that he hasn't received Christmas gifts in the past, and is surprised and excited when he receives a gift from Santa late in the movie. And I was sitting there thinking, "But if Santa is real in the movie, why wasn't that kid getting a gift all along? Why this year? Was the kid 'naughty' in all the previous years?" It didn't make sense.

That said, we do Santa in our house, so I'm interested to see an answer to this question from someone who does Santa. As much fun as I have doing all the Santa stuff, we don't do the whole naughty/nice part of it, and I certainly wouldn't want my kid thinking that all poor kids are "bad."
post #6 of 62
I honestly think there is no way around this, and it's the main reason that we don't pretend Santa is real and brings gifts. And we absolutely never EVER reinforce the "good boys/girls get gifts, and naughty boys/girls get nothing." That's just total yuck nonsense, and I let that be known loud and clear.

We are honest that Santa is a fun Christmas character, but that gifts are bought by real people with real money, and sometimes people don't have enough money to buy what they want or need, so we help out where we can.
post #7 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeanine123 View Post
"Because as much as Santa wants to and as hard as he tries he just can't get gifts to every child in time. He really appreciates his helpers that are scattered around the world that pitch in and helps with the children that might have been forgotten."

Or something along those lines, depends on how deep into the Santa story your family goes.
But why is it the same kids year after year who don't get the gifts? And why does he repeatedly bring so much to certain kids? It just doesn't work out, and sets up kids for some really awful feelings.
post #8 of 62
santa brings a few gifts, but mommies and daddies get gifts for kids too and we need to help the mommies and daddies.
post #9 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dabble View Post
But why is it the same kids year after year who don't get the gifts? And why does he repeatedly bring so much to certain kids? It just doesn't work out, and sets up kids for some really awful feelings.
How does her child or mine know it's the same child(ren) year after year? Unless they adopt the same family each year it would be hard to figure that out, at least that's what it seems to me. We donate toys to CHiPs for kids or similar organizations, my kids know they go to kids who don't have as much but that's about it.

It doesn't sound like the OP's child asked why the same kids don't get presents year after year and I don't think it does the children much good to over complicate a situation such as this.

Why can't a simple question regarding Santa be asked without it quickly devolving into a "We don't do Santa for XXX and this is why you shouldn't either" discussion.
post #10 of 62
I'm fine with people doing Santa. I don't consider it lying and I fully understand the magic of it all.

But honestly, when a kid has the sensitivity and intellect to ask a question like this, I think it's time to gently tell him the truth. That Santa is the name some people use for the good feeling that makes them want to give presents at this time of year. And that this is what you and your kid are doing.
post #11 of 62
We talked about people who don't celebrate Christmas and my dd asked if Santa came to their house. We said, "No, of course not."

Honestly, I wouldn't tell my kids that there are kids who don't get Christmas gifts. I've known some very, very poor people and they still got gifts. I was a CASA for a mom who had 5 kids and lived on her SSI payment of ~$500/month, and they still had Christmas gifts. Most of them came from charity, but there were presents. I think that when you adopt a family you help them have a nicer Christmas, but I think if you have the means to apply for Toys for Tots or something, you probably have the means to come up with something for your kids.
post #12 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeanine123 View Post
Why can't a simple question regarding Santa be asked without it quickly devolving into a "We don't do Santa for XXX and this is why you shouldn't either" discussion.
Agreed. My ds asked me about that when he was 3-4 yrs old and at 7 yrs old is no where near ready to give up on Santa. I just explained that not all families follow a religion that celebrates Christmas and Santa knows which ones don't, so he doesn't want to violate the parents beliefs by bringing gifts to the children. However, some people still like to give gifts at this time of year without celebrating Christmas, and sometimes need help getting the gifts for the children.
post #13 of 62
In our house Santa only brings one gift, so I would use the pp's response - we are helping the mommies and daddies.
post #14 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeanine123 View Post
How does her child or mine know it's the same child(ren) year after year? Unless they adopt the same family each year it would be hard to figure that out, at least that's what it seems to me.
Because this time the kid asked about an "adopted" family, but may also ask about neighbors, friends, relatives who either get a lot or much less/nothing.
post #15 of 62
Slightly different angle...but when our financial situation went south, I was really glad for our earlier decision to teach our kids "Santa as a game." This made conversations about what to expect, especially with my ds who has always had a *stellar* memory, much easier.
post #16 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy5386 View Post
santa brings a few gifts, but mommies and daddies get gifts for kids too and we need to help the mommies and daddies.
That's what I'd say...
post #17 of 62
My dd asked me this a few years ago. In our house, Santa only brings one gift - all the others come from family and friends. My response was that some parents can't afford to buy their children even the basics because maybe they lost a job, etc., and so Santa would bring those kids something they truly needed. And b/c we believe in Santa and want to help spread his magic, we are like helper elves and we buy a toy to help that child out and make sure the child gets something fun, too, besides just the needed item that Santa brought.

I have the feeling this is our last year for Santa.......she's turning 10 soon, and she's at the "maybe he's real and maybe he's not but just in case...." stage.
post #18 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by southernmama View Post
We were purchasing and wrapping gifts for our hoilday "adopted" family and I was explaining that some kids are less fortunate and there is no money for extras like gifts and 4 yr old ds says "but santa will just bring them gifts". um... i wasn't sure what to say- anyone have this conundrum come up? how did you handle it?
That is a hard question. And I think its great what you're doing. Is there a way to re-frame your holiday giving as "sharing with" and "surprising" other children? Maybe take the focus off of the less fortunate/no presents aspect and emphasize the good feelings it brings to be giving to the other members of your community.

Also, maybe say something along the lines of, "People say Santa brings surprises to every child for Christmas, these are just some extra goodies that we want them to have." or maybe, "This way we get to have fun being Santa's helpers since he has such a big job to do."

Just a couple of ideas! We "do" Santa too BTW so that is the spirit in which I'm offering my advice. HTH
post #19 of 62
Parents have to sign-up for Santa, and some parents either don't sign up or they forget to or the kids need things that Santa can't make at his village.....this is why we also sign up to be a Santa helper and Santa sends the list to us and we go and get the stuff for our "adopted" family. This explanation always worked at least for a couple of years to keep the winter fun going. I think kids might actually have more fun as Santa's helper than they do with their own gifts if we do it right. And that seems to be what the holiday spirit is all about. Our adopted family actually gets more from us than we have among us at home as far as presents go.....but we approach the winter holidays a bit differently than most anyway.
post #20 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy5386 View Post
santa brings a few gifts, but mommies and daddies get gifts for kids too and we need to help the mommies and daddies.
This is an explanation I think that most kids will accept until they are ready to stop believing in Santa.

But in our house, there's only one or two presents that "come" from Santa. (This year, a Bruder bulldozer and a dvd.)
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