so who here does Santa, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Great Pumpkin...? - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-22-2004, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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there's a thread on Christmas, and a thread on limited gift-giving, and a thread on white lies all going on right now. Got me thinking about Santa. I guess I had always assumed if you do Christmas you have to do Santa. But several posters in other threads have said they don't. Hmmm.

So, I have heard mamas say they don't do Santa b/c that is lying and they don't believe in lying to their kids, and b/c they want their kids to understand that the gifts actually come from friends and family and to appreciate that (I really like that part, and in any case have always been troubled by the socioeconomics of the North Pole and the power differential b/w the Clauses and the elves, not to mention the metaphysics of Santa being everywhere in one night, and the hegemonic issues of Santa giving or not giving gifts to children who do not live in Christian-dominated countries, and the manipulative, big-brother-esque "You better not pout you better not cry" aspect of Santa... Even at age 5 I found him problematic and announced to my mother that I believed in Mrs. Claus but not Santa.)

ETA: The Tooth Fairy is just wierd. What's happening there, are we buying our kids teeth? I don't get it. My dad, who is from Korea, looked at this practice with bewilderment and horror. My mom paid top dollar for my teeth... what was I supposed to get from that experience? I think I learned that it's really easy to get money out of my mom.

ANYWAY... does your family do Santa, et al? Why/why not? Discuss.
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Old 10-22-2004, 05:06 PM
 
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We do

*The Spirit of Santa Claus meaning we don't get into the whole he visits every child in one night or that he's a real person and can watch kids thru out the year. Also Santa only does the stocking and one gift. Everything else is from mom and dad.

Don't do:

*Great Pumpkin. But we do read the Charles Schultz book and just might rent the video this year. Our son knows this is just a story.
*Easter Bunny. We do have easter egg hunts and my son does get an easter basket but the Bunny as a "real entity"? no

We are debating since our son is only 3:

*The Tooth Fairy. I loved this as a kid and I honestly never really questioned the "why's" about it as a kid. My mom used to sprinkle glitter from the window to the glass where the tooth was under (we didn't do under the pillow). To me it was so magical and the amount of money was really small, maybe a quarter. What I remember most is the idea about fairies, who they were, where the lived and the stories my mom would tell. The money is not really what I remember. I was also really into gnomes at the time too so I was fascinated by any thing "magical".

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Old 10-22-2004, 06:55 PM
 
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My kids sorta got into the Santa Claus thing as really little ones. I never much cared for it, and when my son was about 5 or so he asked for the real scoop on him. "What's the deal mom, really?" About that time my daughter had been to visit a mall santa and after she had told him what she wanted she told me that she was surely going to get it. I told her that she might get it, and she might not. She said, "No mom, I told Santa and he said okay." I was not liking the Santa thing anymore lol. So instead of a harsh squashing of a happy tradition we just told them the real story of how the Santa thing got started. The facts, the evolution of it all.. It hasn't stolen the magic at all and I am much more comfortable with things. My dad still gives them presents that say "From S. Claus"

We celebrate the spring equinox and learned about the Saxon Goddess around whom much of the Easter bunny stuff is centered. We never approached it as though there was literally a bunny leaving eggs. I don't think that hearing the myths, and stories and knowing how they got started is any less magical. Or at least it hasn't been for our family. The kids have always known we were the "Tooth Fairy" and didn't mind it at all. Smiles

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Old 10-22-2004, 07:19 PM
 
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We've got no problem with Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, etc. We also don't make a HUGE deal out of it, kwim? Like we don't/won't hammer dd with stories or having to believe in it. We'll talk to her about it, tell her some stories - and see where it goes from there.

As for the whole "I don't wanna lie to my children" angle.... my mum is the HUGEST AP/NFL parent (like for real, it's almost apalling to me) and we did all of the above imaginative people - and I NEVER felt lied too. I felt like I was included in a wonderful, loving (and now I realize, cultural) tradition. One I'd like to pass along. There are a whole lot worse things to lie to your kids about IMO.

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Old 10-22-2004, 07:24 PM
 
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I didn't think I would be into Santa with our kids, but that has changed. DH introduced "Santa" gifts on Christmas Day for me when we got together, so I want to keep that tradition for DD.

BTW, gifts we exchange on Christmas Eve are from friends and family and a gift appears on Christmas morning from Santa.

I think the real 'benefit' of these traditions is just that. They are traditions. So what did it mean that the tooth fairy took my tooth and left a quarter? (I'm old.) I have no clue, but it's gonna be fun to try to figure out how to get money under a sleeping kid's pillow. But I *gotta* do the glitter from the window. Cool!

Actually, Santa has a special place in our family. Last year, DH and I were thinking of separating when we took our DD to see Santa. While the film was being changed in the camera, Santa took DH aside and told him he had a beautiful family. That was the thing that made us try again. I really hope it's the same Santa this year.
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Old 10-22-2004, 09:21 PM
 
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DD is only 14 mos, so it actually hasn't come up yet, but I think we will do low-key versions of some.

We won't do gifts from Santa, but will probably do stockings from santa, as a kid I always loved stockings, and my mom would always pick out neat non-expensive stuff to go in them. I loved unwrapping each little thing. And I knew pretty early on that it was from my mom, but I never felt lied to, I mostly felt in on the secret.

We won't do Easter Bunny, but egg hunts are always fun

We probably will do Tooth Fairy, my mom always used to leave notes for us from the tooth fairy, not money, and she would do them in caligraphy on special parchment. We also knew that our Mom was behind this, we recognized the caligraphy colors and parchment, but didn't care, it was just a fun game.

We won't do Great Pumpkin.


T CindyC, I have seriously thought about naming my next dd Rachel Julia and was shocked to see your sig. My grandma's name was Rachel, and my sister's is Julia. I the name!
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Old 10-22-2004, 10:23 PM
 
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Oh yeah, we lie through our teeth and do the whole bit. My oldest two don't believe anymore, but my daughter does. DH and I stay up until the wee hours of the morning assembling things and setting stuff out just so. We make the kids wake us up before going into the living room so we can get in there first and see their faces light up when they round the corner. It's not just the gifts, its the letter writing and the cookies and milk that magically get eaten, etc. We spend Christmas Eve at my mom's, and my step-dad had found a website that "tracks" Santa as he makes his way around the globe. They check it for updates all night. Every year, one kid or another would swear they saw or heard something in the night, and tell that story all year long. Now that we have a baby coming, they are doubly excited about Christmas. I had to explain that it will be a couple of Christmases yet before the baby will get the "Santa" thing!

Same with the tooth fairy. My daughter swallowed her last tooth, so she wrote the tooth fairy a letter instead. I have it in her scrapbook.
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Old 10-22-2004, 10:36 PM
 
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Yep Santa comes here! The gifts are simple, educational, for the most part and usually there is one BIG gift...

The reason... I remember Christmas as the best time of the year ever...we had music and mummers and mummering and dances and Santa and the snow and it was sooooooo much fun...we were so happy....why wouldn't I want to give my children something so wonderful...

I grew up in a traditional Newfoundland fishing community and we still do all those traditions...Santa gets fruitcake, cheese and strawberry syrup here....not milk and cookies
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Old 10-22-2004, 10:42 PM
 
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we dont' do the great pumpkin, but we do santa, the tooth fairy,the easter bunny....

my 15 year old tells me she still believes
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Old 10-22-2004, 10:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK everyone, thank you for showing me what a stupid grinchy cynic I am! Ya got me, I'm sold, at least on Santa and the Tooth Fairy.

I love the glitter idea! And now that I think about it, I remember the TF always left these wonderful letters, where she would run down all my accomplishments since her last visit. I hope my mom kept those. It's sad that I only remembered the $$. I had also forgot that her name was Maxine.

allgirls, what are mummers?
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Old 10-22-2004, 11:19 PM
 
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I don't see a problem with doing things like that. I grew up with The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy, And Santa. But I will not do Santa or the easter bunny because I am not Christian and do not celebrate the holidays associated. I might do something like Father Winter for Winter Solstice. I'm not sure. I have a little while to think about it because I'm only a month along into my first pregnancy.
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Old 10-22-2004, 11:55 PM
 
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Yep. All of the above, I will do with my son. I think a lot of the wonder of childhood can be prolonged and helped along by these wonderful fantasies. I don't consider it lying at all. And besides, I think it's fun and I loved that stuff growing up, so I wouldn't want my son to miss out on it!
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Old 10-22-2004, 11:59 PM
 
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We're doing it all too (except no great pumpkin I suspect). I think it's about supporting a little one's belief in the magical & I think that they stop believing in those things at about the same time their lose that wide-eyed, innocent sense of wonder, magic and wild imagination where anything is possible - like Santa really can fly around the world and a tiny fairy really can life up your big pillow and leave big money and a rabbit that can deliver eggs & candy-no problem when you've got a big imagination!
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Old 10-23-2004, 12:01 AM
 
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We'll do Santa. But at our house Santa only fills the stockings and brings a small token gift. I'm not sure about the rest of it. Maybe DH and I will talk about it tonight.
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Old 10-23-2004, 02:08 AM
 
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Not Christian, so definitely don't do Santa or Easter Bunny..
Won't do tooth fairy.

I just personally think the natural world and my child's own imagination are wonderful and magical enough.
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Old 10-23-2004, 02:50 AM
 
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Okay, i know this will sound unpopular here but we don't do Santa or any other characters in our household. Here's a few reasons why we don't do Santa:
1. The current version of Santa (jolly, red old man) was invented by Coca Cola
2. It's a lie
3. We are not Christians but want our ds to believe in God. So it seems kind of contradictory to say there is this guy who no one has ever seen who knows if you are good or bad blah blah and then to have to find out he doesn't exist, but then there is GOD.....(how do you expect ds to believe us now?)
4. Santa is a white, male. (Again it's believing in this almighty powerful guy that watches and keeps tabs on you who happens to be white male. Why not an African American or Chinese female?
5. I strongly believe in encouraging a child's imagination and sense of wonder, but there are sooo many natural ways that can be done. IMHO my ds isn't missing out on much. Just like TV. I don't think my ds is missing out on anything by not watching television.

That said, When Christmas season comes, we do enjoy looking at the lights and decorations people put out as more of entertainment/novalty and are not a bunch or grinches and scrooges who sit at home and not have fun. We open gifts from family, friends, eat a large wonderful homecooked dinner, talk and enjoy each other's company.
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Old 10-23-2004, 08:28 AM
 
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We do santa and easter bunny.
Ok, the babys are still to young this year and Eliza and Raine don't believe in Santa anymore but we plan on doing.
I think it's not really lieing to your child, it's more like... giving him a special part to it's childhood.
I remember Santa and Eatser Bunny well. They were an important part of my childhood and when I discovered they weren't existing and it was mum and dad I was so proud because I felt more grown up and I remember telling my mum "But I'm still getting gifts, right?".
I think it's one of those little things who are more important then we think they are.
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Old 10-23-2004, 09:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeE
I think it's not really lieing to your child, it's more like... giving him a special part to it's childhood.
I agree. For me, it's sort of the same as me going along with ds' "pretend friend." (I know - or at least I think I do :LOL - that there's no REAL "pretend friend," but it's a magical imagination game for him and he gets lots of enjoyment out of it).

Imagination games are great, and Santa is just another one.

We'll see how it develops this year (he just told me last night at a Halloween celebration that he knew the big SpongeBob wasn't really SpongeBob - that it was just a person in a costume). Right now, it's fun and magical for him. I think we'll continue to talk about Santa like we always do - as a great tradition and as a role model for one of the many ways we can give to other people.

My mother *really* played up Santa when I was a kid. I don't remember any tremendous disappointment when I found out he wasn't real (though I still think he's "real" in the sense that the spirit of Santa Claus is a real force in some people). I still remember the magic of Santa carrying on after I knew he was just a product of imagination. I think believing in Santa gave me a good base for recognizing the "magic" of giving.
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Old 10-23-2004, 03:48 PM
 
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We do them, after some consideration. My SIL is one of those people that was truly traumatized by the realization that there was no Santa. At first I laughed at her, but then I got to know my inlaws and it became clear why it was such a big deal to her. It was just another betrayal to her. It's pretty sad.


Sants brings ds his "big" present and a few little ones. The rest of his stuff comes from mommy and daddy. Dh works hard, why should someone else get the credit? We put out "reindeer food", carrots and oatmeal with glitter in it to make it sparkle. The Easter bunny comes, but on a much smaller scale. The tooth fairy will leave gold dollars or silver dollars, not $20 like some people I know On Saint Patrick's day, leprechauns turn our milk green and put our shoe laces in upside down. They cause mischief. Cupid turns the milk pink and sprinkles hearts everywhere. St. Nick leaves a treat in your shoes, if you put them outside at night.

I think it's all in good fun as long as it's not used to bribe kids into doing certain things. "Santa won't come if you don't do your homework," would never fly here.
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Old 10-23-2004, 06:28 PM
 
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We're not Xtian, so won't do the Easter thing, and where I grew up in the Caribbean, there was no Halloween so the Great Pumpkin is not an issue (OT but I still don't get the fascination with dressing up and celebrating gore - I understand the significance of, for example, the Mexican Day of the Dead, but the pagan meaning of Halloween doesn't really get 'celebrated' - just bloody violence and sugar...I dunno..)

We did grow up with Santa and the Tooth Fairy - had many debates as a child as to how Santa got into our house without a chimney LOL I'm all for celebrating the magical and encouraging imagination. My parents *did* also 'celebrate' other mythical figures in my culture (Indian) - various gods, goddesses, rites of passage, etc. so Santa and the TF were just a part of that. Will impart the MEANING behind Santa (and Ms. Claus, for that matter) in the spirit of selfless giving - we'll do an angel present for poor families. As for the Tooth Fairy..well, sometimes not EVERYTHING has to be saturated in meaning..it can just be fun

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