We don't do Santa, my oldest is almost 8. It has never been an issue, once they get older, I explain that other kids think santa is real, we explain the whole santa story and we don't tell other children about santa. They understand, and it hasn't been an issue. When DD1 gets asked about santa and presents by adults, she just plays along. It never felt right to me to lie to a child just for fun. DD1 last x-mas, thanked me for not doing the whole santa thing. We still do x-mas just in a secular, non-santa way!
Experience NOT doing Santa with kids?? Please help - Page 2
We don't do santa. My kids understood early that he was a story person that some kids have been conned into believing he's real by their parents. Not once did my kids ever spill the beans. They have also come to me with horror stories over the years of kids who are crushed that santa couldn't read their minds... even though they had been "so good". Poor things.
What we do is a Soup and Solstice party for the friends and neighbors. No gifts. Just warmth and fun with whomever happens to be in town on the 21st. This seems to satisfy the kids' need for ritual and tradition without feeling "false" to us.
My kids are age 7-11, we've never done Santa with them. We've always told them that some families think it's fun to pretend there's a Santa, but that we didn't see a reason to lie to them. We're basically agnostic, but celebrate Christmas in a secular way.
1. Instructing child what to say to other children about Santa?
We just told them not to mention Santa, or we talk about it the same way we talk about religion different people believe different things, and it's not polite to tell other people that their beliefs are wrong
2. What to do about other people asking her what she wants from Santa?
This was never a big issue. The few times that adults asked my kids about Santa, my kids either answered about what they wanted for Xmas, or told the adult that they didn't believe in Santa. No big deal.
3. Any surprises that I should anticipate? How did you deal with them?
Not that I can think of. Really, the age for believing in Santa is pretty limited. By age 8 or 9, most kids know that there isn't a Santa.
4. Did you exchange gifts? Any number limitations/ explanations? How do your children answer questions about not getting gifts from Santa?
We do exchange gifts. We don't go overboard, but my kids do end up with a lot of presents from grandparents, aunts and uncles. We do spend Xmas eve and Xmas with our extended families.
5. Did the kids feel "left out" from the Santa experience?
I just asked my kids the question right now, and the answer was a resounding no. They think Santa is silly.
we have always talked about St Nick being a story about giving and selflessness, and that is what we have kept it at. we "did" christmas for years do to that was what everyone else did... but over the years we have made our own traditions and celebrate on the winter solstice with something (for us) a bit more scared. we do exchange gifts, but we also do charity work. the kids seem to really enjoy it.
like anything we talk to the kids about being respectful of what others believe. i mean my 9 year old ds believes in greek gods and fairies, so he doesn't dis what others believe. and honestly it has been that way for all my kids.
now when we hang with family on christmas day it usually involves no gift exchanges, (except grandparents) and everyone eats an hangs out and just enjoys each other. which makes it really nice. everyone sort of does their thing with their families and when we all get together their is no "gift pressure" we might make cookies or something and so does everyone else. we usually donate money to a charity and that is our gift to everyone. i mean no one in either of our families needs anything, so we give to those who do.
We are not religious and do not do santa. As far as i know DD (8yrs) has absolutely no hang-ups about it, although she does wish santa was real. We do have stockings and a few gifts on x-mas morning cause thats fun, but our world does not centre around that one day. For us the holiday season is about decorations, connecting with strangers, smells, food, lots of food, hanging with family, being mindful of all the wonderful things in our lives, song, dancing, snow, crafts, apple cider.
The baking and crafts I think may be her absolute favorite as it is something we set aside time for, just her and I, and our holiday music.
It annoys me when people ask DD wether she has been good or bad, but I feel no hesitation on correcting them on the fact that if DD gets a gift it is because I love her unconditionally, not because some mythical man expects her to be or else she will get coal, and that christmas is not about receiving.
DD also does not feel she needs gifts jsut because it is christmas, she is vocal and positive about it. Her feelings may change in the future.
When adults go on and on about santa to her, we tend to roll our eyes at each other and smile and nod.
As far as other children, she knows that other children may believe and she is not to go up to any child and say that santa is a fake, she is however, allowed to be truthful if asked. I do not expect her to lie to others, or for others. As far as I know, it has not been an issue.
We've never done Santa. We are very happy with our choice for our family. The kids do come home with questions from things other kids say, but they ask about Divali and Eid and Jesus and God, too. Like PPs have said, it''s not really a big deal. They know different families have different traditions. We have read a lot about individuals who gave of themselves and bring food, and warmth and joy and, yes, gifts to the less fortunate. Our interpretation of "from Santa" is that it is something to write on a gift that you do not wish to be thanked for - an anonymous gift. They know seasonal gifts come from us and other friends or relatives.
Our kids think of Santa the same way they think of any character (like characters from books, etc) - he is a fun character that they like to think about... we don't give them any gifts that say "santa" on them, though. DD wanted to go "see santa" when she was almost 3... and she knew he was at the mall and so I took her and let her get her pic taken with him. She loves that pic, still, even now that she's nearly 5, but I don't think she realizes that santa might actually bring stuff to people's houses. I doubt it's occurred to her beyond a fictional kind of way.
I grew up without santa, too, though my sister and I liked to pretend about santa when we got older. We still didn't get gifts that said "santa" on them. :lol
We haven't had too many issues with people asking the kids what they wanted from santa, but we do exchange gifts. The gifts don't show up until christmas morning (which is still super exciting, imo, at least from my experience as a child - coming downstairs and seeing all the gifts under the tree).
My oldest is only 5 but as a child I don't recall feeling left out of the santa thing. We just sorta shrugged. My kids have so far done the same. We still go to things that have santa at them, the same way sometimes things we go to have Elmo or some other character dressed up. The kids just nod and smile. DD is convinced that santa lives at the mall. I dunno, it hasn't really been an issue for us, though the in-laws seem to be completely confused as to why we would chose not to lie to our kids, I guess. Oh and SIL asked if we wanted to take our kids to see santa at some parade and then was like "OH you don't DO santa..." but I don't think she gets that it doesn't mean completely AVOIDING any santa paraphernalia (for us, at least). Beyond that, we have a good time looking at pretty christmas lists, we do an advent calendar (or a count-down calendar, I guess), we dress up the house in christmas-y things, we have a tree... we just don't tell them that there's some old guy with a beard watching them and willing to give them gifts if they're good and coal if they're bad. :lol