My friend does not do Santa with her daughter for religious and moral reasons. I weighed the pros and cons when my son was little, and in the end decided to "do" Santa. I am comfortable with both of our decisions (not that my thoughts have any bearing on her decision, but I completely support her decision as I considered the same route). Both of our children are 4.5 years old. Last year, there wasn't much discussion surrounding Santa because we didn't really see each other during the month of December. We exchanged gifts in January, so by that time, "where" the presents that were received for Christmas came from wasn't a recent memory. This year, I expect us to see each other more (we actually have a playdate to make gingerbread houses together this weekend), plus I think memories are less easily forgotten at this year. My goal in the end is that my son and his friend both maintain their current beliefs. Is there any way that I can steer any potential conversation so that this is the case? Or, am I deluding myself? I want to be prepared as I feel this will evenually come up. Do you think, "Some people believe, and some people don't" could fly?
I would love to hear ideas on how to co-exist, but I am not necessarily interested in hearing whether believing or not believing is a good or a bad idea.
I am probably not who you expect to hear from but I was raised without Santa- I knew it was just a story and it wasn't real. Occasionally when annoyed (around December and things like having to write Santa letters) I would say this to other children. Who usually decided that I was stupid and never believed me. I am also a student-teacher and have observed this in schools - its the non-believing kids who are never believed by their peers.
I wouldn't worry about your friend's daughter changing your son's beliefs- that is very unlikely.
I am not sure how you could go about steering the conversation but I do know that as long as you say Santa's real at this age your son will believe you.
"Some people believe and some don't" might work depending on the situation. But could raise the question "how can't she believe in Santa" or the like. I would just not bring up Santa at all.
Queer Not-A-Mama-Yet, here to read and lurk until it is time to have the babies...
Do you think your friend may have already talked to your child about it? I always told my son that there are two things you have to let other people have their beliefs about and you shouldn't bring them up, god and santa. And I'm pretty sure he never said anything to his friends after that.
Jayne, sewing up a storm mama to ds1 9/03, ds2 2/09, and 2 sweet furbabies.
My DD is five and she doesn't believe in Santa. She's very adamant about saying that Santa is just a story, so I had to have a sit-down with her to discuss ways to talk about this around other kids who do believe. A little sensitivity can be a good thing, I tried to explain. I think it is very hard for a five year old to understand sensitivity when it comes to others' beliefs, because I believe at that age kids really see things in black and white. She does understand that "some people believe, and other don't", but what she has a hard time grasping is a way to talk about it when the subject comes up so that it isn't condescending. Sometimes kids say things that come off as cruel even though that is not the intent. Our neighbor kids were over the other day and the subject came up but DD didn't respond to it. I don't know if it was because she was trying to be sensitive or if she just didn't know how to react appropriately, given I was there. I think it will probably get easier as children this age get a little older, but 4.5 - 5 is a tough age, in my opinion, to work through these issues.
Kids are smarter and more educated nowadays, I found out the truth about Santa when I was 8, but kept it to myself to get more presents because Santa always got me the best gifts. We have some friends that don't do Santa either because their 4 year old knows its just a story, and even though this is our third Christmas with our daughter, she doesn't like strangers AT ALL, so Santa just scares her. If anything I may do Saint Nicolas Day next year, which was Dec 6th this year, and celebrate advent by opening one gift.
On another note my close friend does do Santa gifts and I kinda poke fun at her because her daughter doesn't like strangers also and Santa scares her.
In the end, I always knew I wouldn't do Santa because I want my daughter to understand where her gifts come from and that people work hard to give her something special. Making her believe otherwise just makes all the other gifts just as phony as a gift from a fictitious character and avoids the conflict later on because it is extremely devestating for some kids to comprehend when that time comes.
i think for many children like mine they enjoy the myth of santa. i know dd has always known the reality but refuses to admit it. she is hte highly imaginative child who enjoys all sorts of stories.
some kids have tried telling dd about santa and the easter bunny. and she has told them in no uncertain terms just because you cant see them does not mean they dont exist.
it all depends on your child.
i dont do the magic of santa. she does it at her dads. and she knows santa does not visit our house and no one gives anyone presents. it doesnt mean santa doesnt exist.
if my dd comes to me with a question - i tell her honestly what matters is what she thinks - not me. i also tell her i have no idea. i also got gifts from santa and i believed in him but i never met him. does that mean he does not exist?
I say all that because I'm sure your friend has thought of those things too! Hopefully, at least. So I wouldn't worry about it too much, if something comes up you could just explain how different people have different beliefs, i.e. people celebrate Christmas differently, and lots of people celebrate totally different holidays in Dec. like Hannukah or Kwanza or the solstice etc. So it's not about believing or not believing in Santa, but about everyone having different traditions.