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Do you feel weird lying to the kids (re:santa)?

post #1 of 152
Thread Starter 
Does anyone feel weird about lying to their children about santa? Does anyone not tell their kids the santa lie? My DS is almost 3, so this will be the first year he really hears any mention of santa. I feel kind of weird about it. I try to teach him that lying is wrong and here I am, lying to him about someone who does not exist. I do understand the fun and excitement behind it but I also do remember finding out my mother was lying to me and feeling a little sad about it when I was 8.

Anyone else feel strange about the whol santa "myth"?
post #2 of 152
My kids know we are their santa. We told them there used to be a man that gave kids gifts etc.... and now we carry on that tradition by being their special santa.
post #3 of 152
Yes I feel weird and thats why I don't lie to her. Why should I lie about something like Santa just for me to tell her the truth in 4ish years?
post #4 of 152
Yes I do feel weird about it. Dh and I haven't decided what we're going to do yet. He is all for Santa but it strikes me the wrong way. I've seen these threads every year on MDC and always ignored them I guess because my children were too young for it to be an issue but I'll be interested to see this discussion this year.

My twins are 3 1/2 and I hate the idea of lying to them at all, much less to tell them that some white man from "the north pole" makes and distributes their Christmas presents based solely on whether or not HE deems that they have been "good." : Grrrrrrrr.

But on the other hand, putting out cookies and milk for Santa and going to bed only to wake up to the miraculous appearance of presents under the tree and a stocking teeming with little treasures is the stuff childhood memories are made of (well, mine anyway).

And then there's the desire I have to take each child out Christmas shopping just me and him/her, both as a fun outing but also to teach thoughtfulness as we talk/think together about what their siblings, aunts, uncles, gramma, papa, etc. would really love and appreciate.

And then there's those damn cookies and milk. I mean, awwwww how cute is that.

But then it shouldn't be all about the presents anyway. Focusing on the Santa myth (lie) makes Christmas the conspicuous consumer holiday that it has become.

Anyway... yeah... I'm conflicted.
post #5 of 152
Nope, not at all. My elder child is 11 and she found out last year, and it was not an issue. She appreciated that we go to all that trouble (and expense) to do this for them.
post #6 of 152
I don't think of it as lying, but instead as encouraging imagination (or maybe that's just my way of justifying it...I don't care! ) I was "lied" to about Santa as a child, and when I got to the age that I started getting sceptical, I didn't resent my parents or get angry about the lie. It makes the holiday even more fun, and gives you a little extra to look forward to. I still love Christmas, and get excited about the season, the traditions, and all that goes with it.

I honestly don't know a single person that was scarred by the Santa lie.

So yes, we allow our kids to beleive in Santa. I'm sure they'll also beleive in faries, angels, talking animals and (dare I say it) God, if they chose to.

I should also add that I have every intention of being honest with my kids when/if they ask if Santa is real. I'm not going to lie to them, if they want to know the truth. I knew that there was no Santa from a very young age, but still participated in all of the "Santa things" (sitting on his lap, getting a stocking, leaving cookies and milk, etc.) just for the fun of it.
post #7 of 152
I felt totally betrayed when I found out Santa wasn't real as a child, and I still have trust issues because of it. It took me until I was an adult to even enjoy Christmas again. DH doesn't care either way, so we choose not to lie about Santa.

We'll tell stories about Santa, but we will never tell our children that he is real. I would rather die than cause my children to feel the way I felt about my parents.
post #8 of 152
We do the tooth fairy but he knows that *we* are the tooth fairy but we still say tooth fairy.
post #9 of 152
Our baby isn't here yet, but we'll be "lying" about Santa. I don't feel bad about telling our nieces and nephews about him. I think it's an imagination thing, not a lie. I remember finding out Santa wasn't real and I was never mad or angry about it. I think most kids kind of have an idea that Santa isn't real a year or two before they stop believing all together. Most of the time it's not an all of a sudden thing. BUT, that's just from the kids I've been around. (We've got 18 kids under 12 in our family) To me, Santa is part of the magic of being a child.
post #10 of 152
If you don't believe in Santa then you don't believe in giving. I believe in Santa, and I tell my kids that I believe in Santa.

But of course you mean the jolly red elf...I tell them what I just said above, but when they get to be about ten (like my DD), then yes, I will tell her that there really isn't such a man that goes house to house to house, but that Santa means giving, and it's ok to still "believe" in him. My oldest (15) still gets excited for Santa to come. After telling them though, I make them promise to not tell the others.

Let kids have an imagination, and let them be kids. They will be teenagers and adults before you know it, and you will be sad because they aren't kids anymore.
post #11 of 152
h'mmmm I don't think we're lying about santa... we say that Santa is a spirit of loving and giving, and that he has many many helpers. I think that gets away from the personification of Santa and yet maintains the idea of giving - our "Santa" sure doesn't have a list, though!

Barbara, mama to 6 and 3.5 yo wonderful boys
post #12 of 152
We tell our kids the truth about Santa, but I swear it's more complicated than just following the party line. My 3 and 5 year old keep asking me why Santa is dead and are having the hardest time keeping the news from friends.
post #13 of 152
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jordmoder
h'mmmm I don't think we're lying about santa... we say that Santa is a spirit of loving and giving, and that he has many many helpers. I think that gets away from the personification of Santa and yet maintains the idea of giving - our "Santa" sure doesn't have a list, though!
That is a great idea! I'm really conflicted about what I tell my DS about Santa. I don't want to completely lie to him but I also don't want him to be left out of the fun and excitement, so this sounds like a happy medium. I'm also concerned about him being the one to ruin it for all his friends later in life, since he'll be one of the few that know the truth. I'm sure a lot of parents would be upset with me :

I like the idea of telling him the story of santa and his "many helpers" and then when he gets older he can see that I am one of the "many helpers". Thanks for the idea mama!
post #14 of 152
My oldest son is 29 years old now and I told him when he was 2 (and just barely 2 since his bday is mid November) that we like to pretend play that an elf named Santa brings gifts while we are sleeping on December 24th.
I have carried on with the same tradition with my younger babies. Delany will go with me to help pick out the little gifts for her brother and Daddy's stockings. We get to leave out the carrot, cookie and tea for Santa and we collect Black Santas to use as decorations during the season, so it feels like the right compromise for us

We are also not Christian, so perhaps it is less conflicting for us...

ETA: I also made it clear that some kids don't know it's a pretend play, so anyone who tells another kid before their parents are ready for them to know stops getting Santa gifts
post #15 of 152
I did not like the Santa lie at all. I never felt comfortable with it and never really told it to my kids, but the rest of the world got to them with it. Fortunately when they were still pretty young we were able to clear it all up and we have happily read many stories of the Santa myth and how they came to be. I do not care for the lie personally.
post #16 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by jordmoder
h'mmmm I don't think we're lying about santa... we say that Santa is a spirit of loving and giving, and that he has many many helpers. I think that gets away from the personification of Santa and yet maintains the idea of giving - our "Santa" sure doesn't have a list, though!
I like that.

I don't see it as a lie, but I guess it's in the presentation. I grew up with a lot of storytelling, a lot of myth-telling. When I was little, I saw the Santa story as very concrete and real, and that was developmentally appropriate for where I was. As I grew older, I gradually came to understand the symbolic aspects of the story, and made my "peace" with Santa and my parents just fine, no trauma or hard feelings. He became a spirit of giving with many helpers, as mentioned above. My parents asked me, for a few years, to let my little sister come to her own understanding of Santa, and she arrived at the same conclusion as I had several years later. I suspect there was some subtle help from my parents, but I don't specifically remember anything overt. They told us stories, we had certain rituals we performed on Christmas Eve (cookies and hot cocoa, carrots and apples for the reindeer), and it was fun. And my parents STILL put a special present from Santa for us under the tree every year.
post #17 of 152
A Myth is not a lie. It is a myth. Same with stories and all things pretend.
Whenever I tell my children stories and play pretend with them I do not feel I am "lying" to them. SO why should I feel it is lying when the myth is Santa.
I encourage make believe in our home.
So while we fully believe in Santa in our home. I in no way consider it a lie.
Joline
post #18 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie
My oldest son is 29 years old now and I told him when he was 2 (and just barely 2 since his bday is mid November) that we like to pretend play that an elf named Santa brings gifts while we are sleeping on December 24th.
We'll do something like that- encourage the imagination part of it, but never tell him that Santa is real.
I honestly don't see how telling children that Santa is a real person, who comes to your house every Christmas and brings gifts, is not a lie It's not true. Even dp, who wanted to do Santa, says it's lying (but not a bad lie lol) Now, just going along with it, and not saying one way or the other, and answering any questions honestly is a little different, but I personally wouldn't be comfortable doing that, either.
So, ds will be told flat out that Santa is not a real person, but we'll probably do all the Santa stuff too. Like make-believe play, that we all get to do.

But then, I should say, that I HATE presents, and how its become almost the whole meaning of Christmas. And I'm not Christian.

eta- my family STILL has gifts "from Santa" and I think that's fun
post #19 of 152
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by earthmama369
I don't see it as a lie, but I guess it's in the presentation.
I guess it is the presentation. My parents liked to use Santa to threaten me to behave. They would say things like "Santa is watching and he's not going to bring you any toys if you keep being bad like that" etc. They used this all year round. I guess that is why I was kind of upset when I found out they were lying about santa.
post #20 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by milk4two
... My 3 and 5 year old keep asking me why Santa is dead and are having the hardest time keeping the news from friends.
Which is why I hope all dd2's friends believe. She would be devestated to find out at that age (5). I know I was, mainly because of the source and the age.
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