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A vent about the IL's and Santa - Page 3

post #41 of 61
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Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post



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yeahthat.gif


 

 Like PPs pointed out, there is plenty of time to exchange gifts or swap out presents. Or, at the very least, find a new present for DD2 so neither of the girls will be getting dolls.

 

It's one thing to not allow the consumerism of the season become out of control in your house, it's another to flaunt giving a coveted gift to one child over another.

 

From your post OP, it seems like you are most upset that your ILs introduced the idea that Santa brings gifts to children. You were okay with Santa as long as you felt your children couldn't "demand" or "expect" gifts from him. But honestly, without an all out Santa ban in your family, at some point your kids were going to pick up on this aspect of Santa's character all on their own. 

 

There are lots, and lots, and lots, and LOTS, of other ways to teach your DD1 about generosity, compassion, giving, and graciousness other than watching her little sister open a present she wanted on Christmas morning.

 

 

 

ETA  - Posted before OP's updated reply


I agree with this, although if she doesn't really want a doll then it's a moot point.

 

I really think that by having her sit on Santa's lap and say what she wanted you, as the mother and the core of her family value system, basically gave the whole "Santa is going to bring me..." thing a pass.  .

Why? I did that as a kid and had NO expectations of gifts from Santa. My parents told me about me being part of a study that showed I was a "true believer" and yet there are no memories or stories of me ever proclaiming that Santa would bring me anything.

 

Heck, by age 6, the age of the OP's kids, I was helping stuff the stockings to be a surprise for my little brother--my idea.

post #42 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post


Why? I did that as a kid and had NO expectations of gifts from Santa. My parents told me about me being part of a study that showed I was a "true believer" and yet there are no memories or stories of me ever proclaiming that Santa would bring me anything.

 

Heck, by age 6, the age of the OP's kids, I was helping stuff the stockings to be a surprise for my little brother--my idea.

 

Well if you were stuffing the stockings then were you a true believer?

 

I don't think it's so surprising that if your parent takes you up to someone who in the cultural ethos is the giver of gifts and has you tell that person what you want, that you might come to believe they have something to do with bringing it. No matter how many times you explain later that it's just pretend.

 

I'm all for people making their own choices but in this case I think it's been made very ambiguous for a young child and I think the OP needs to own her part in it. If she wants to be mad at the IL's of course that's her right.

post #43 of 61
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Originally Posted by churndash View Post

Maybe they do have an expectation that Santa will bring them those things. Why else would he ask? I think you're asking a child to make an incredibly fine distinction here. "Yes, you can go see Santa and he'll ask what you want and you can answer but don't expect to actually get it and by the way we don't actually believe in Santa but I am going to let you visit him anyway, 


 

It can be very hard for little kids to get the difference between a request and an order.  I helped DS, who is just slightly younger than the OP's DD, enter a Lego contest.  I was very clear when I told him it was a contest, and the chance of him actually winning the Legos was slight.  Of course 2 days later he asked me when the Legos were going to arrive, and everytime the door range he thought it was the UPS man with the Legos.  I had to explain over and over the concept of "contest."

post #44 of 61

Sounds like you got a bad Santa. I wouldn't hold it over the IL's heads.

 

We never had Santa visit my house either. My mom explained it as Santa was the spirit of Christmas. That it's more than a man bringing presents but the spirit of it all. It's about love and friendships and caring. The spirit of Santa is in us all. We each have a little Santa inside of us.

 

You could always tell her Santa never tells people what they will actually get as it's a surprise. They are just suggestions/brainstorms/for fun and he always has to run the ideas by mommy first.

 

Of course I didn't understand what my mom was talking about until I was older. I remember feeling really bad Santa (no matter how much it was explained to me) never visited us. I remember "sneaking" into the store and buying my mom presents. Of course she was there as she was my driver so I doubt I got away with it in reality. And then I wrapped them up to her and put from Santa because I didn't want her to feel bad that Santa didn't visit us for whatever reason. I also snuck out into the living room and stuffed her stocking with oranges and tiny presents and broke her lamp stumbling in the dark! She yelled at me what was I doing and I was like nothing nothing don't come check! in tears...

 

ok man my life is sad lol... point is.. sometimes it just doesn't matter how well it's explained to you kids will just go ahead and believe whatever they want to. :P

 

post #45 of 61

My kids are too old for any of the shows the OP's daughter watches but do any of them have Christmas episodes with Santa? Santa really is everywhere.  I think that at 5, it's perfectly reasonable to have trouble distinguishing pretend from real. When my youngest was 6, we went to Disney and she thoroughly believed all the characters were real even though I'd tried to prep her beforehand.

post #46 of 61

 

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  The issue I have is that we have clearly explained to the IL's that we will not be doing Santa and they passive-aggressively put the idea in my kids head that Santa would bring them a certain gift, or gifts in general.  We don't do Santa, and it irritates me that they are trying to go around me and essentially force us to do Santa

 

They did the same thing you did, took the kids to Santa.  Now what Santa said to them is not the il's fault.  If the il's agreed with what Santa said then you could be slightly irritated but it still depends on the situation.  How long ago did you tell the il's that you aren't doing Santa?  If it was a year ago & they know you took the kids to Santa they may have thought you changed your minds. If it was right before they left with the kids then they have no excuse for going along with what Santa says.

 

NONE of this has to mean you turn around & get this doll or you start doing Santa.  They can't force you do to anything.  You stick with what you've told your kids already & it will be fine. 

 

Your dd may or may not want a doll.  My youngest wants a Maplelea doll(Canadian version of American Girl).  They're $95.  She is 8 & plays with dolls all the time.  My other 2 kids are 9 & 12.  They both said they wanted one too, but when questioned on whether they'd actually play with them they both said no or "only if I HAVE to".  Neither one of them play with dolls often(mostly in a "have to" situation) Would they be happy getting one for Xmas yeah but I'm not spending $95 on a doll they're not going to play with.  FWIW my youngest is getting one, but she asked for it over 2months ago not 2weeks before Xmas.  I've had it in the house for a month.

 

My kids get some things they want, they don't get other things they want. They see thier siblings receive stuff that they say they would have liked to get themselves.  They may be a litle disappointed but they don't throw fits over it & they are reminded that perhaps next year or for their birthdays.

 

My oldest got a cel phone last year. The other 2 would like them but I'm not about to run out & buy them cel phones just because they say they want them. 

 

A pp said something about why wouldn't a parent return gifts if the child said they wanted something else.  I certainly wouldn't.  My kids make lists, if it isn't on that list then too bad. They don't receive everything on their lists & they know that.  

 

They get what they receive & are gracious about it.  I teach them to be happy with what they get, that nobody HAD to get them anything(Santa included).  I am not going to teach them throw a fit & I'll run out & buy you what you want this moment. 

post #47 of 61

OP: Do you know who told your dd that she was getting a doll? I was assuming it was your in-laws, and other posters have assumed it was the Santa. Do you have any idea which it was? (I wll say that if it was the Santa, I'd go to the mall or whatever and raise hell.)

post #48 of 61

 

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A pp said something about why wouldn't a parent return gifts if the child said they wanted something else.  I certainly wouldn't.  My kids make lists, if it isn't on that list then too bad. They don't receive everything on their lists & they know that.  

 

They get what they receive & are gracious about it.  I teach them to be happy with what they get, that nobody HAD to get them anything(Santa included).  I am not going to teach them throw a fit & I'll run out & buy you what you want this moment.

 

I was one of the people who suggested exchanging a gift.

 

I also would not run out and buy a child whatever they wanted at that moment if they threw a fit. That is not what anyone is discussing here at all. That is not what happened. Two weeks before Christmas a child mentioned something she wanted that she had not mentioned earlier. That is not anything remotely close to the child throwing a fit and me suggesting that mom run out and buy the doll this very second.

 

My kids make lists too but they are not carved in stone. If my children mentioned something they wanted two weeks before Christmas I wouldn't tell them too bad, you should have thought about that earlier.  I think there is room for a happy medium between "I'll run out and get you whatever you want" and "you'll get what I give you and be happy about it because I didn't have to get you anything"

post #49 of 61

 

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I was one of the people who suggested exchanging a gift.

 

I also would not run out and buy a child whatever they wanted at that moment if they threw a fit. That is not what anyone is discussing here at all. That is not what happened. Two weeks before Christmas a child mentioned something she wanted that she had not mentioned earlier. That is not anything remotely close to the child throwing a fit and me suggesting that mom run out and buy the doll this very second.

 

My kids make lists too but they are not carved in stone. If my children mentioned something they wanted two weeks before Christmas I wouldn't tell them too bad, you should have thought about that earlier.  I think there is room for a happy medium between "I'll run out and get you whatever you want" and "you'll get what I give you and be happy about it because I didn't have to get you anything"

 

Which is fine for you.  However my kids gifts are purchased or planned out.  I am NOT returning anything just to get something my child said on a whim. 

 

IMO the kids lists ARE that line between getting them everything they want & them getting what you decide to give them. 

 

If a child really really really wants something that they'll just die if they don't get it, they'll let you know long before 2 weeks before xmas. THey'd have talked about it, asked for it, played with similar items, looked at them in stores, etc.

 

What if that child asked for something that you couldn't find because it wasn't in stock or available there?

post #50 of 61

 

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What if that child asked for something that you couldn't find because it wasn't in stock or available there?

 

I'd tell them I was sorry I couldn't find it. This happened one year with the zhu zhu pets. I told my daughter I tried to get them but they were all sold out.  I wouldn't tell them "Tough #$^$ kiddo, you should have thought of that sooner because I planned my gifts out a long time ago and I am NOT making an extra effort just to make you happy."

 

 

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If a child really really really wants something that they'll just die if they don't get it, they'll let you know long before 2 weeks before xmas.

 

Which is fine for you if your kids do that. Mine don't. Which is why I don't do my shopping and wrapping so far ahead of time that there is absolutely no room for a change of heart.

 

Maybe the OP's daughter doesn't really want a doll and as the mom she knows that. So everything works out in this particular situation. But I don't appreciate the implication that I am suggesting parents run out and  immediately buy anything their children ask for on a whim when all I am suggesting is that small children might occasionally change their mind about what they would like and personally I think it's kind of mean to tell them too bad, so sad, you should have thought of that sooner.

 

 

post #51 of 61

I understand your frustration with your ILs, but TBH I can not imagine not just buying a darn doll.confused.gif Your giving one to her sister! How much would that feel as a kid? Even a cheap tiny doll in the stocking with "from MOM and DAD" written clearly on the tag would probably do.

post #52 of 61
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Princess ConsuelaB View Post

I understand your frustration with your ILs, but TBH I can not imagine not just buying a darn doll.confused.gif Your giving one to her sister! How much would that feel as a kid? Even a cheap tiny doll in the stocking with "from MOM and DAD" written clearly on the tag would probably do.


What's so hard to understand about not buying a toy your child doesn't want?  Did you not read my 2nd post?  She just received a doll for her 5th birthday and she's played with it exactly once. Her sister OTOH plays with dolls all.day.long,  I'm 99% sure she only said a doll because the idea was planted in her head, or she had to come up with something and it's the first thing she thought of.  She'll also be receiving Christmas money.  If it's a doll that she really wants, she can buy one.

 

Her sister is getting a Baby Alive doll, she's been asking for one for quite some time.  Dd1's comparable gift* is an easy bake oven.  While not really the same thing, they both will have food to prepare and it pertains to their individual interests.  So I'm supposed to give dd1 a cheapo dollar store doll and her sister a Baby Alive?  Um, yeah that would just make it worse.

 

*I shop in pairs.  When I buy a child one thing, I but the other something comparable so that it all evens out in the end.  I buy the same thing, but a different color or model, or in the case where only one child expresses an interest in an item I find something else comparable for the other.

post #53 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

OP: Do you know who told your dd that she was getting a doll? I was assuming it was your in-laws, and other posters have assumed it was the Santa. Do you have any idea which it was? (I wll say that if it was the Santa, I'd go to the mall or whatever and raise hell.)



I'm fairly certain it was the IL's.  What I think happened is that they took her to get her picture taken and told her that Santa would bring her a toy.  At least that's the way she made it sound.  If it comes up again, I'll ask her more specific questions, but at this rate I think she has probably forgotten about it and I don't want to risk dragging it back up again.

post #54 of 61
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Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post


 

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Originally Posted by terra-pip View Post

I don't get why people don't do Santa. We don't go and visit Santa's and my kids know the ones they may see are people dressed up as and pretending. They know Santa isn't real REAL...but we have made it so that Santa is real inside us. We write letters and there's no presents under the tree until Christmas morning and we put out cookies and listen for sleigh bells (and no Daddy does not shake bells at night) It's a magical time...we also talk about a load of other seasonal things besides this part of it.

 

 

It's a feeling... a very special feeling that I feel bad that any kid should miss out on. I think making Santa something we "don't do" is giving it more importance and thought than just letting it be what it is. Kids are going to pay more attention to the forbiddens.

Don't feel bad!  Many kids find Santa down right creepy!  Pretending some guy was going to sneak into the house and leave presents would have freaked my ds out.  Besides, he has a logical mind and the story simply didn't make sense to him.  I'm just ROFL at the idea of someone feeling bad for him:-D  He feels bad for the other kids!  And we have lovely Christmas' full of special feelings regardless;-)

 

We didn't "do" Santa growing up so it would have taken a tremendous amount of effort for me to pretend he is real.  My dh's family, on the other hand, went over the top pretending he was real.  My dh felt betrayed and tricked when he found out.  To compound the hurt, he had to keep up a front and and continue to pretend for the sake of his younger sisters.  He still feels bitter about that.

 

 


 

 

This is why we don't "do" Santa. We don't want to betray DD's trust by lying to her. She thinks sitting on a stranger's lap to ask for a toy is creepy anyway. We tell her it's a made up story and some families really get into it at Christmas, we have our own traditions that we get into, mostly foodie fun.....

 

I understand you're feeling upset, I would too. I would just address it casually, draw a boundry and move on. 

post #55 of 61

Okay. Sorry. I didn't actually.

 

Wow.

post #56 of 61
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Originally Posted by Lisa85 View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

OP: Do you know who told your dd that she was getting a doll? I was assuming it was your in-laws, and other posters have assumed it was the Santa. Do you have any idea which it was? (I wll say that if it was the Santa, I'd go to the mall or whatever and raise hell.)



I'm fairly certain it was the IL's.  What I think happened is that they took her to get her picture taken and told her that Santa would bring her a toy.  At least that's the way she made it sound.  If it comes up again, I'll ask her more specific questions, but at this rate I think she has probably forgotten about it and I don't want to risk dragging it back up again.

 

Color me crazy, but couldn't all this speculation be put to rest by you asking your IL's exactly what took place? Relying on information from a 5 year old and guessing about what happened and making judgments towards the IL's and a random Santa seems kinda silly, when you could just say "Hey IL's, DD mentioned something about Santa bringing her a doll for Christmas. I was wondering who told her this and whether she asked for a doll or it was suggested to her? Are you giving her a doll for Christmas? I'd hate for her to be expecting a doll and be sad on Christmas morning if she doesn't get one, so if you could shed some light on the matter I would really appreciate it. Thanks!"

 


 

post #57 of 61

I have a just-turned 6 year old DD. We have never done Santa. We have always told DD- kindly, but bluntly and firmly- that Santa is not real and does not exist. We explained that he is a character, just like Strawberry Shortcake or Pooh, and exists only in books and stories. She knows that the "Santas" that we see out and about are just men in costume, like some people dress up as characters for Halloween. She has never had any trouble with this reality. She does not get confused by any of it, though she does get somewhat mystified by people's reactions to her telling them that she "knows about Santa." We just told her that a lot of people play a kind of game with their children where they pretend that Santa is real, only the children don't know that it's a game. We explained that a lot of people get upset because they don't want their game spoiled and they wish that everyone else would go along with it.

 

I guess my point is that Santa is not inevitable and the concept is not too confusing for even very young children. There are thousands of children in our Santa-saturated culture who grow up never even considering that Santa might be real. We are a mixed-faith family and I can say, with experience, that Jewish children (just for example) do not secretly believe in Santa and get confused by seeing one at the mall. They do not feel deprived. I don't get this huge cultural implication that Santa-free families are oppressing their children and destroying the magic of childhood.

 

All that said, in respect to the OP's inlaws, I think it might be wise to investigate deeper into the circumstances where the doll came into play. I have very heavy-handed inlaws who lack any sort of boundaries. (For this reason, we stopped all contact with them nearly two years ago.) The OP's situation sounds very familiar. I wonder if something wasn't said, along the lines of "Well, maybe your mama won't allow Santa to come to your house, but he always comes to ours and I just know that he'll be bringing you a lovely doll!" They may plan to have a doll for the OP's DD "From Santa" as a way of undermining her. It might be a good idea to ask who mentioned the doll in the first place.

post #58 of 61
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Originally Posted by MamieCole View Post



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Originally Posted by Lisa85 View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

OP: Do you know who told your dd that she was getting a doll? I was assuming it was your in-laws, and other posters have assumed it was the Santa. Do you have any idea which it was? (I wll say that if it was the Santa, I'd go to the mall or whatever and raise hell.)



I'm fairly certain it was the IL's.  What I think happened is that they took her to get her picture taken and told her that Santa would bring her a toy.  At least that's the way she made it sound.  If it comes up again, I'll ask her more specific questions, but at this rate I think she has probably forgotten about it and I don't want to risk dragging it back up again.

 

Color me crazy, but couldn't all this speculation be put to rest by you asking your IL's exactly what took place? Relying on information from a 5 year old and guessing about what happened and making judgments towards the IL's and a random Santa seems kinda silly, when you could just say "Hey IL's, DD mentioned something about Santa bringing her a doll for Christmas. I was wondering who told her this and whether she asked for a doll or it was suggested to her? Are you giving her a doll for Christmas? I'd hate for her to be expecting a doll and be sad on Christmas morning if she doesn't get one, so if you could shed some light on the matter I would really appreciate it. Thanks!"


 


It doesn't sound as though the OP feels that she could count on their honesty, even if she did ask.

post #59 of 61

I don't think that doing santa obligates you to getting your kids any certain gifts.  My family did not do santa, my Dh's family did all the way down to sleigh bells outside at night.  Neither one of us was messed up by either approach.  Humor your in-laws on this one, it's not a big deal.  Feel free to tell your kids that santa is not real, it's just pretend fun.  

 

post #60 of 61

The OP's title clearly says, "A vent about the IL's and Santa". Why are people jumping all over her--it's a vent.

 

Anyway, I feel for you. We don't do Santa either. Last Christmas I repeatedly explained Santa wasn't real and he got in trouble at school for telling some of the other kids. greensad.gif As if a 3 yo understands keeping a secret for other children. This year I've been more or less avoiding the issue and DS, who is 4 now, gets the idea that Santa is real from, well, everyone else. He now thinks that all the mall Santa, etc. are not real, but that there is a REAL Santa, somewhere.

 

I'm glad that the issue is basically resolved for you since your DD hasn't brought it up again. I can't believe the accusations from other posts where people seem to think you got your DD any old thing while what she REALLY wants is a doll and you won't give it to her. Sheesh, as if you don't know your own child. If my MIL was that passive-aggressive, I would be tempted to call her up and say, "DD said Santa is getting her a doll, but we didn't get another package from you. Were you guys planning on getting her a doll from Santa?" But, I letting sleeping dogs lie is probably a better idea.

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