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#1 of 35 Old 11-29-2001, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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To me this seems like lying to my DD (she is 16 months), my mom says it is teaching her to believe in magic. DH doesn't say much exept, I believed & i'm ok : What is everyone's take on this? Am I being silly?

Kim
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#2 of 35 Old 11-29-2001, 06:46 PM
 
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Harmless fun, that is my opinion. Most children want to believe in this stuff. I don't go overboard at all, but I find that putting out cookies and making a wish list for Santa is all in good fun. I have always said that Santa is "Magic" and that everyone is a little part of Santa, we all have to be him (and leave little gifts for one another at christmas etc.).

When ds found his gifts in the closet last year, he was surprised, and I just added that all mommies and daddies are secret helpers, and I help the magic along by keeping presents here if Santa runs out of room. He was fine with that...and anyway...

WHO SAYS THERE ISN'T A SANTA???

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#3 of 35 Old 11-29-2001, 07:00 PM
 
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I love the idea of Santa. I just LOVED Santa as a kid. Not just because of the presents, but because he was kind and was nice to his worker elves and reindeer and lived in the snow (I lived in Hawaii) and got to fly across the sky and his wife made cookies and well, so much more. I still get excited and wave whenever I see a Santa. I don't even think about the fact that it's just somebody in a suit.

I don't feel like I'm lying when I talk about Santa. I feel like Santa is kind of a spirit that adopts each of us this season. I'm more than happy to let him occupy a small part of my soul to bring joy to our son.

I know some people don't want to take the focus off of Jesus, and I can respect that. I just really think Santa adds something to the celebration. There's always been something about Santa for me.
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#4 of 35 Old 11-29-2001, 08:11 PM
 
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I think Santa, like the toothfairy and Easter bunny, adds a delicious sense of magic and wonder to childhood (and adulthood, for that matter!). When my oldest son was ready to stop believing in Santa and asked me point blank to tell him the truth, the first thing he said in reply was "Don't worry Mom, I will never tell (his brothers). I don't want them to miss out on a minute of believing". Now, at age 10, he has so much fun going along with all of the Santa stuff such as cookies and milk, helping his brothers write their letters to Santa,etc. I always think it is so sad when children aren't allowed to have this part of childhood. Just my opinion.
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#5 of 35 Old 11-29-2001, 08:16 PM
 
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After a Mothering boards discussion of this exact issue a few years ago, my SO and I sat down and had a long talk.

A little background:
My SO is from a large Catholic family and celebrated the holiday tradition with the aspect of S.C. when growing up. My dad comes from a large Catholic family and my mom comes from a big Jewish family. We celebrated several holiday traditions when I was growing up, and we did have the S.C. tradition mixed into our Christmas celebrations. My SO and I differ in how the S.C. aspect of Christmas manifested itself when we were kids, but we both have that in our history.

My sweetie and I agreed upon the following:

*We both enjoyed the S.C. aspect of Christmas growing up. It was really fun, even after we found out exactly what was going on.

*Even though we have different personalities, neither of us was traumatized at all when we found out the Santa who gave us presents was our parents

*We value imaginative play we can do with our kidos

*We don't want to lie to our children

Here's our agreed upon approach for the future that we came up after talking:

*We do the S.C. thing.

*We don't invent any elaborate stories about S.C., allowing imagination to take over for the kids. We all hang small stockings Christmas Eve, and they are filled over night. In the morning, these treats from Santa are enjoyed before we open presents under the tree from each other.

*Child is old enough to ask=child is old enough to know. If one of our future children happens to ask at a partciularly young age (3? 4?), we will try asking him/her what she thinks without actually answering the question ourselves, etc. However, if questions are persistant, regardless of age, we answer honestly.

*Our explanation (basically): There once was a real man who delivered presents to people, especially children, in celebration of Christmas. When this old man died, people wanted to carry on his tradition. To carry on the spirit of "old man Christmas," people play Santa for each other. It's all about fun and the spirit of giving (and the spirit of giving anonymously). There are traditions like this all around the world (which we can read about together as a family).

*Our older children are free to "play Santa" for eachother, if they want to get up in the night to leave presents in stockings. This is a fun game we can all participate in!

That's our solution. It works, and it's fun.

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#6 of 35 Old 11-29-2001, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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After reading all your posts, it reminded me of how much fun it was to believe in santa, to come downstairs christmas morning & see all those presents under the tree, thinking he came to MY house!! The putting out cookies & milk.... gosh how could I have forgotten?Thank you ladies for the reminder, I am glad I posted this thread

Kim
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#7 of 35 Old 11-29-2001, 10:23 PM
 
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We are definately NOT teaching Santa. I won't go into all my reasons but basically I do not think my children need Santa to get the magic of Christmas. The meaning of Christmas is and will be Jesus in our family. We will focus on giving and helping the needy. We will give gifts because we love each other not because they expect them. We will also not be teaching the Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy or what not. I DO think it's lying. To each their own but it is definately not for my family.

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#8 of 35 Old 11-29-2001, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Heavenly,
I find your choice interesting, it is different than the thoughts I was having but the end is the same - no santa.
One question, do your kids have a hard time with all the other kids believing & talking about santa? Do they tell them he's not real?
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#9 of 35 Old 11-30-2001, 12:50 AM
 
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My ds is 5 years old and is so excited about Christmas! I too, have such fond memories of santa, tooth fairy & the easter bunny. I never felt let down when I "found out". But, we also bring the religious aspects into the holidays as well. Lighting the advent calendar during this time of year. We also have "resurection eggs" that countdown to easter and tell the passion story. Last night we wrote a letter to Santa. My ds has done this for the past two years. He never asks for anything, instead, he just tells Santa what has gone on in his life during the past year and this year, he asked for a Birthday Cake for me (my b-day is 12/14). That was the only thing he asked for. He has the meaning of christmas in his heart.

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#10 of 35 Old 11-30-2001, 01:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by lisamarie
But, we also bring the religious aspects into the holidays as well.
Right, we celebrate the holiday with the religious stuff, and anything we do in addition is also such a celebration. Like I said in my posts, our explanation is that the original man in the story of Santa Claus is a man who did what he did in celebration of Christmas, which as you pointed out, is about the birth of Jesus. I'm not sure how the meaning would be lost with another layer of celebrational tradition. Additionally, we've always been very into the idea of not giving out of obligation but out of a desire to share, and most of our holiday traditions (as well as day to day life) focuses on helping others. But that's just me. I think everyone does what works best for their own families, and that's kind of cool too. I'm enjoying reading about all these different approaches.

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#11 of 35 Old 11-30-2001, 01:10 PM
 
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We do the Santa thing...I even do silly stuff Christmas eve like putting ash around the fireplace so it looks like Sants did it. My dd is sort of old to believe in Santa still but she is certain he is real. Kids tell her all the time that he's not and she just says she knows he is. The other kids sometimes change their minds!

Plus-Santa is fun for ME!! I get to do stuff that, as "mom", I wouldn't do! I love the magic involved, the planning, the enjoyment I get out of it! Ditto for the Tooth Fairy, Easter Hare, fairy rings, etc.

-This year I am putting reinedeer footprints around the yard (hopefully in snow) and sleigh marks!!!


I understand the problems people have with the idea that this is lying but to me it is just pretending and is so magical for dd. We all need a little magic now and then!

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#12 of 35 Old 11-30-2001, 01:45 PM
 
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We don't do Santa. he doesn't bring presents, he doesn't come here and we don't leave cookies. We don't ban him either. He is a fun little part of Christmas, a character in a story. We tell her about St. Nick she get to sit on santas lap and tell him what she wants , we do stockings but she knows who really fills them. So, she doesn't believe but we do have fun with him. One of the reasons is because of how devistated I was when I found out he wasn't real. It really sucked, I felt so lied to. I don't htink it is right to lie to kids. Also we want tpo focus only at Jesus on the holidays and just glance at a few of the other things. We don't even do that much for presents.

We don't do easter bunny at all because of it's ties to idols. We have May baskets and whhile the kids get baskets with a few fun things but mostly focus on gving sweet things to others.

Tooth fairy on the other hand . . . Since she isn't barging in on God's spotlight we might let her stick around but do the crap about "if you don't believe she won't come. If we get busted oh well, kids still get money in the morning.

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#13 of 35 Old 11-30-2001, 05:51 PM
 
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I am still on the fence about the Santa issue. I do not want to lie to my ds. But, I did enjoy the mysterious bearded man whose belly shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly, when I was a child.

I think what we will do is tell the story of Santa as a character in a story. And, not embellish. When my ds asks of the validity, we will turn the question around to him. And, when he finally requires the out right truth - we'll give it to him. I do not think we will right letters to Santa...Or, imply that the presents under the tree are necessarily from Santa.

I think we still have a few years to sort this out though...
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#14 of 35 Old 11-30-2001, 06:28 PM
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We don't do Santa per se, but we do talk about St Nicholas and how he gave presents to the good poor children and how the tradition still lives on.

So we give a gift to the poor picked out by our dd - she loves it

As for the guys at the malls etc. She thinks it is just a big dress-up game for them - she laughs and thinks it is nice game


We exchange stockings but everyone knows it is not from Santa

When i was little I could not understand why Santa could afford to give really cool things to some kids, but not much to the poor kids - seemed reverse to me.
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#15 of 35 Old 11-30-2001, 07:23 PM
 
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I felt truly betrayed when I discovered that my parents were lying to me about Santa. When I was little I did not understand that my parents did it so I could experience the joy and spirit of Santa, I just felt alot of anger over having been taken for a ride. Ever since then I wondered whether I would perpetuate the Santa myth. Having my son believe in Santa would go against every instinct I have, so my husband and I decided we would be honest with him. There is enough beauty and magic in the story of Christ's birth. Overemphasis on consumerism and getting presents spoils the season. We also teach our son to respect the fact that other kids love to think about Santa coming to their house.

Peace,
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#16 of 35 Old 11-30-2001, 08:04 PM
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Hi There - I find this all very interesting and enlightening, especially since I and my DD are Jewish, but DH was raised Catholic, and we are struggling with what to do here with Santa (and the tree, and Jesus, etc).

But can someone please help me get my brain around the idea that the Tooth Fairy can be problematic? I am honestly baffled, and would love to hear the rationale behind not allowing it.

Thanks~
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#17 of 35 Old 11-30-2001, 08:37 PM
 
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We'd planned not to play the Santa game. But I think the kids pick it up by osmosis.

Then ds (3 1/2) asked if santa was real (he had heard that song grandma got run over by a reaindeer) and I said no. He said "he has to be real SOMEONE has to come down the chimmny"

We sort of left it at that then latter he asked and I compared it to Harry Potter. that Santa was made up just like harry pooter but it was fun to pretend they we're real.

That's where we are now, so we'll see how it goes.
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#18 of 35 Old 11-30-2001, 08:51 PM
 
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We don't do Santa, because I felt betrayed when I found out my parents had lied to me. I don't want to do that to my kids.
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#19 of 35 Old 11-30-2001, 09:08 PM
 
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Pom, it sounds like you and I have a little in common, in mixing Catholic and Jewish traditions. P.M. me sometime if you feel like it.

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#20 of 35 Old 11-30-2001, 09:12 PM
 
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Wow. I had no idea so many people felt betrayed by finding out there's no one true physical being named Santa Claus. In our family, once we figured it out, we were somehow taught that Santa is a feeling and a magical part of childhood, and parents help spread the feeling and share the wonder. I never felt betrayed, just honored that I was in on the secret and able to help Santa stay alive in the eyes of younger kids.
This is interesting!
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#21 of 35 Old 12-02-2001, 03:47 AM
 
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Iam still a little bit confused about how to celebrate the whole December Holiday Situation as a whole~~
My Dh and I were both brought up with Santa and Jesus. In fact I remember at some point thinking they were related??? however, after embarking on this spiritual journey were all sharing, we choose a very different spiritual path then we had grown up with, we feel most connected with Winter Solstice and choose to celebrate that with all of our closest friends (fellow tribies) and their children. We do a huge winter (Vegetarian) feast and decorate the altar each family adds things and all the kids get presents from everyone mostly crafty handmade simple things.and their all from the winter fairy. which is what it is no real hype goes into it just a way to be anymous
SO the problem is the rest of the family celebrates Santa along with the birth of christ and since Solstice falls before Christmas we usually go share the holidays with the Grandma's -who want to share CHRISTmas with her. I do share a connection with Jesus and plan on sharing that with her,but not in this way, I dont want her to think what she sees (X-mas=over consumtion, materialism) is what its about I remember as a child the kid who lived across the street from me who was a complete bully and overall mean kid come out Christmas morning sporting more toys then anyone on the block- and i remember trying to understand why! We do have to remember that is is not the most black and white issue in the world. Part of the whole christmas thing for children is showing off what you "got" to other kids, and i wish we were a big mothering dot commune in real life but unfortunatley we all have to live with the rest of society who doesnt always teach that its all about LOVE and that Givin IS Livin! ( * So I feel to a point I owe it to Lily to put things in perspective!
at this point i feel thankful shes only 2 and I plan on not dealing with it more heavily until next year!!
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#22 of 35 Old 12-07-2001, 01:09 PM
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Hey Sierra - I've tried to PM ou a couple times but your mailbox is full ;-)
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#23 of 35 Old 12-07-2001, 05:34 PM
 
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you have to do what you think is best

santa is one of my fondest memories.

i love love love christmas and santa and rudolph....nestor...etc


i love it.


but, it is really something for everyone to decide.

i dont feel there is a right or wrong answer
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#24 of 35 Old 12-10-2001, 06:00 AM
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hey sleepies, did you come back or is this an old post?
Anyway, I thought my parents so nice to go through all that trouble to stay up late and put together toys and then give all the credit to some imaginary elves! However, it was, I guess, a lie and I can see being hurt by that. I still plan to do Santa, etc. but when ds asks will give him Santa is real in your heart like parents gave to me. And like someone else said, he will not be used as a threat and will not be given godlike superpowers!
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#25 of 35 Old 12-10-2001, 06:58 AM
 
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My almost-4-year old does NOT like Santa, never has. Well, once she did. It was a big 20 foot tall Santa in front of a tall office building waiving at her from across the street. She thought it was so nice.

We tell her the truth, that some people believe that Santa Clause brings gifts to children all over the world. We don't tell her that we grew up poor and sometimes Santa missed our house COMPLETELY!

I had a male employee once who told, "I don't tell my children that some white man is giving them gifts once a year. I am black and I want them to know that I worked HARD all year to buy them special things." I couldn't have said it better.
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#26 of 35 Old 12-10-2001, 12:36 PM
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Ruth, that is exactly why I come here. Not that I won't srill do Santa, but I will remember your post for the rest of my life. Thank you for the reality check.
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#27 of 35 Old 12-10-2001, 09:27 PM
 
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Ruth, thank you for sharing that. It made me think "why on earth should parents buy a really cool present and give all the credit to Santa Claus?"

I want the credit for the present that will give my daughter the biggest smile. So maybe I'll have Santa bring socks! Heeheehee

So yeah, we'll be doing the whole Santa Clause thing. Shoot, that's why I had a child to begin with! Just so I could do all the neato kiddie stuff.
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#28 of 35 Old 12-10-2001, 09:58 PM
 
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LOL Holistic Momma. I love those 4 stages of life!

We do Santa for better or worse.

peggy
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#29 of 35 Old 12-10-2001, 11:13 PM
 
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I lost a lot of trust in my parents (didn't have much to begin with) when I found out santa claus wasn't a real person.
So when I demanded to know if Santa was real, my mom told me the truth and then went on about how the spirit of Christmas is giving, and how Santa is a symbol for that, and yada yada yada.
For me it did absolutely no good to hear that. Maybe because up until that moment, Christmas was about GETTING PRESENTS.

That's all. We didn't celebrate Jesus or any of that. We were brought up without any faith. So christmas was just a time of the year when we got presents. I felt like I had been putting all this focus on an imaginary person for no reason. When I found out Christmas was about giving, I was angry. Not only because I didn't get to have the belief in Santa any longer, but also because I suddenly was more aware of how much deeper other families were, and how much I had missed out because our family was unable to talk about what Christmas really meant. My parents instead just focused on the man in the red suit. The whole jesus in the manger thing was a mystery to me. I still dont really have any sense of connection to that story.

My instinct is to tell my daughter the truth when the time comes. That there is no person named santa claus flying around the world in a sled on Christmas eve. I want to talk about giving and being thankful as a tradition, but I dont have any interest in mr. claus. We wont focus on Jesus cos we're not Christian, but we will recognise the time of year as Christmas time and try to make it special some how. It's gonna be different though, since I also don't like christmas trees because of the sacrifice the trees must make to become a decoration in millions of homes. we're gonna just have to reinvent the whole shabang somehow. Good thing she's only 4 months old.
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#30 of 35 Old 12-10-2001, 11:22 PM
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If, when she's bigger, she does want a tree, you can either make one that hangs on the wall or buy a potted, living one and then plant it somewhere after Christmas. Or not! i am so not pushing Christmas, it is just a thought.
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