I am looking to learn from other people in going against mainstream on on this one. ECing, BFing, noTV, etc. ....I didn't have too many questions about as they made sense and are working for us. This Santa and X-mas in general has me a questioning a bit because there are so many ramifications. I looked at some older threads and while a lot of people were not planning to do so, I would like to see how that all turned out.
Our plan thus far as a non-religious/atheist is just to say that Santa is a tradition of sharing/ giving or a story. DD just turned 3 and is pretty astute. I would not feel comfortable lying to her at all to perpetuate a lot of things that I don't even like about the "X-mas season". I am consenting to exchanging 1 gift exchange with DD for DH's. I would chuck X-mas altogether, but that is what we have come to agree upon at this point. He liked the idea of having 3 gifts for each person based upon that is what Jesus had. Well, I don't like that as I don't want to emphasize the religious aspect. However, we would empahasize making gifts, singing a song, writing a poem, etc. We also would like to take a hike and go decorate a tree in the woods, but this year we will be traveling and be with family.
I certainly do not expect that we will spend a lot more X-mas's with family and certainly will never spend it with mine EVER as I was done with their version of X-mas years ago. I don't necessarily have pleasant memories of X-mas. I would get tons of gifts, but never what I wanted. I would have traded tons of gifts for one thing that I actually wanted. I hated getting lots of junk and having to feel grateful for junk. One of the best gifts I ever got was going to get a real tree. Mom had (and still has 40 years later) has the same fake tree. I was a senior in high school and Dad surprised us with a visit to a tree lot (would have been a lot cooler story if we could have gone to an actual farm). I am a tree hugger, so don't get me wrong on this point....it is just an example.
I would like to hear your experience about what you might have done differently or what you did do that really worked if you did NOT do Santa. Many people wish that they hadn't but I get one run at this and I would like to gather info from the community for making my attempt to go through this the best I possibly can. I feel like her age and the season have both crept up on me. I was not even thinking about it and then realized we are spending X-mas with family and will be singing X-mas songs soon with a music program. Hmmm.....
Other questions to consider:
1. Instructing child what to say to other children about Santa?
2. What to do about other people asking her what she wants from Santa?
3. Any surprises that I should anticipate? How did you deal with them?
4. Did you exchange gifts? Any number limitations/ explanations? How do your children answer questions about not getting gifts from Santa?
5. Did the kids feel "left out" from the Santa experience?
Any other advice would be great!