looking for some advice and perspective....
my son (aged 5) has started talking about santa bringing him presents. since i'm jewish, i know nothing about santa, and have never encouraged a belief in him, nor has my husband, or anyone in our extended family. my dh is christian, but in a very non-religious way, so we celebrate jewish holidays, along with christmas - which is a pretty mellow affair (we have a tree and do a special breakfast on xmas morning). my children receive gifts for both hannukah and christmas.
i know i'm probably a buzz kill for all the santa lovers ;), but i don't really like the whole santa thing - plus, it's really culturally foreign to me. i don't want my kid to think his reward for being "good" is presents - i want him to raise him with a desire to be a good person because it's the right thing to do.
also, when i mentioned this to friends of ours, they told me i'd have to "quarantine" him for the holiday season so my ds doesn't "ruin christmas for everyone else." when i told them that i told my ds that presents come from his family and not santa, they were really shocked. they said, "don't you have a christmas tree? it's the same thing!" personally, i just don't feel that way.
i'm wondering if this is a common way for santa-believing parents to react to us santa-non-believers. i grew up among kids of all religions, and i don't recall it ever being an issue amongst us kids. it doesn't sit well for me that people would expect me to instill a belief in my child that i don't believe in, just because it's pervasive, convenient ("you can use santa as leverage for months!"), or other kids are doing it.
so i guess my question is two-fold:
how do you handle your child's belief in santa when it's not something that you believe or encourage?
and how do you handle your peers who want you to encourage a belief in santa?