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#1 of 34 Old 04-07-2003, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am wondering how people handle the easter bunny, santa, tooth fairy etc. I am really not sure that I want to introduce these ideas to my ds (now 8 mos). It seems like such a strange thing to do.... Build up a fantastic lie, which seems so wonderful and magical, then, a few years down the road, burst the bubble.

On the other hand, I don't remember feeling particulary traumatized when I found out the truth about them as a child, so maybe I'm just reading into it too much?

I'd love to hear what others think about this, or how you are handling (or planning to handle) the whole subject.
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#2 of 34 Old 04-07-2003, 09:09 PM
 
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I LOVED believing in that stuff when I was little (refused to give it up til like 2nd grade). I remember very clearly when I figured it out and I like you wasn't troubled. Afterwards I had great fun helping my Mom create the same fantasy for my younger brother.

IMO, it is the only time they will be able to belive in magic, and I want my kids to have it.

Now, the whole candy thing is another story (my kids will get tofu in thier easter basket
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#3 of 34 Old 04-07-2003, 09:25 PM
 
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I'm not doing Santa. I think Christmas is so much more than him. I want to show my children the real meaning of Christmas. I do like how other cultures treat Santa and the such so I'd like to do Christmas tradiation around the world.

Same for the Easter bunny. I never really liked that one anyway. I couldn't understand why a rabbit would be hidding eggs for me to find or a basket full of candy. Although I did like the candy And again the bunny is taking away from what Easter truly is, imho.

However, I do like the tooth fairy. I see the magic in her. I think she helped me not be so scared of loosing my teeth. And I never could figure out howthe money just magically appeared under my pillow

It may seem odd not to Santa and Easter bunny while doing the toot fairy, but the other two are centering around a religious holiday that I'd like to remain that way for my family.
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#4 of 34 Old 04-09-2003, 02:46 PM
 
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I hope that we can present Santa Claus as just one aspect of Christmas, rather than the main focus. Also, I really want to avoid the "Santa Claus is watching you" threat (my mom used that one on my brother starting every November...it never worked), and the idea that Santa brings toys to "good" children. In reality, "Santa" brings toys to children whose parents can afford to buy them. I don't want Mallory to think she's "good" because she gets, for example, a bicycle, but that her friend down the street is "bad" because he didn't get a bike...when the truth may be that his parents just couldn't afford to buy him a bike that Christmas.
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#5 of 34 Old 04-09-2003, 03:05 PM
 
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Well, we celebrate the holidays in a traditional heathen like manner here. LOL
We do Santa and the Easter bunny so far but its pretty clear that its pretend, magical and traditional. We did not want to tell our children a lie but we wanted top participate in the fun and magical moments of the tradition.
I hope we have found the right balance.
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#6 of 34 Old 04-09-2003, 03:19 PM
 
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We are Christians and don't believe in teaching all that stuff. It really irritates my sister because she teaches it and she's afraid our kids will ruin it for hers (like I would teach my kid to lie just so she's happy). We don't teach Santa or the Easter bunny because they both infringe upon the most important Christian holidays. I'm not sure about the Tooth Fairy, I don't really object to that I guess.

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#7 of 34 Old 04-09-2003, 03:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Heavenly
We are Christians and don't believe in teaching all that stuff. It really irritates my sister because she teaches it and she's afraid our kids will ruin it for hers (like I would teach my kid to lie just so she's happy). We don't teach Santa or the Easter bunny because they both infringe upon the most important Christian holidays. I'm not sure about the Tooth Fairy, I don't really object to that I guess.
In case you were not aware but neither one of those holidays are based in christian beliefs. So if you teach that they are, you are still teaching a lie. Jesus Christ was not born on December 25. However the return of the sun does come about on that day but it wasn't about Jesus' birth . It is rooted in pagan celebration and ritual and stolen by those promoting christianity. The same goes for Easter. Unless you are celebrating Passover and the Orthodox holiday again you are not really celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He didnt rise again on a Sunday anyway. He arose on the Sabbath, which is a Saturday. He didnt die on Good Friday, he died on a Wednesday. Some research into your own religion would do you some good if you are going to be teaching your children about it.
Christians have adopted "traditional" beliefs as truth and in which there is no biblical basis at all. If you want to teach your children according to scripture, than you might want to change your approach and how you celebrate these pagan celebrations with your religion as a tag on.
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#8 of 34 Old 04-09-2003, 03:56 PM
 
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Lets keep this topic on focus. Have we, or do we plan on, introducing our children to the Easter Bunny, Santa Clause or the Tooth Fairy? Please stay away from discussions of religion, especially to question the religion or choices of another.

Thanks,
Beth
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#9 of 34 Old 04-10-2003, 12:52 AM
 
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We kind of plan on making it fun but low-key....

After I found out that Santa wasn't real, my mom and I had fun being Santa for each other. (Example: Sneaking treats and gifts into each others' stockings and under the tree during the night.) We both knew Santa wasn't real but it was fun to surprise each other. That's how I want to do it with my kids.

I want to have fun with the magic and suprise elements but without telling them it's *true*. It's just fun to pretend.
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#10 of 34 Old 04-10-2003, 05:54 AM
 
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We haven't really made any concrete decsions about santa, the easter bunny, and the tooth fairy yet. In fact we still haven't really decided how we are going to handle the holidays themselves. I wanted to discuss it while I was pregnant but dh just said he wanted to wait and see what ds ears looked like first (don't ask : ). We are both pagan, allthough we have diffrent spiritual beliefs, so we do know that our children will be raised with pagan holidays. Dh is totally against santa and the easter bunny, he doesn't want to introduce them at all. I don't see a problem with it, I think they can be fun for a child. I like the idea of doing all the fun stuff involved while keeping it clear that it's just make believe.
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#11 of 34 Old 04-10-2003, 10:46 AM
 
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We do it all!! I don't see the harm in it, and I don't consider it lying. If you read stories to your kids or let them watch t.v., that's all make believe too. Dd1 was 7 before she realized that Ariel (the Little Mermaid) wasn't real. I don't think they will be traumatized when they find out, and I think dd1 (who is six years older than dd2) will get just as much fun out of helping be Santa and being involved in stockings, etc., that she won't miss it. As long as she gets stuff too, of course!! :

We are Catholic, and we make sure that the religious aspect of Christmas and Easter are foremost, but I don't think it takes away from it to have some secular stuff too.
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#12 of 34 Old 04-10-2003, 05:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by mamawanabe
I LOVED believing in that stuff when I was little (refused to give it up til like 2nd grade). I remember very clearly when I figured it out and I like you wasn't troubled. Afterwards I had great fun helping my Mom create the same fantasy for my younger brother.

IMO, it is the only time they will be able to belive in magic, and I want my kids to have it.

Now, the whole candy thing is another story (my kids will get tofu in thier easter basket
I totally agree with mamawanabe! It was a very fun part of childhood and when I figured it out I felt smart, not lied to. And then you get to (if you are the oldest) help make it fun/real for the littler kids. And I do very little candy in Easter baskets and Xmas stockings - maybe a piece or two. I think it is more fun (and better for the teeth) to get sparkly pencils and books and fun character toothbrushes and stuff like that.

We do Santa, Easter bunny, tooth fairy and the Halloween fairy! Halloween fairy comes in the night a couple nights after Halloween. She takes all the extra candy and leaves a little gift (which she buys the year before after Halloween on 75% off at Target.... Halloween coloring book or whatever). I think it is all in fun - and doesn't interfere with my religion since I am a secular humanist. Dh is Catholic but not practicing and thinks the way we do it is fine. Now MIL is not as happy but oh well.... She finally did stop buying me orchid corsages trying to bribe me to go to church services on Easter though.

On the not teaching your kids to lie (if you tell them the truth from the beginning or after they figure it out) - I don't think you need to tell them to lie but I do think it is kind to teach them that some people believe and some don't. In respect of other families traditions, I think it is kind to teach your kids not to discuss these issues at school or with other kids in any context - that doing so could ruin something that is fun for them. Maybe focus on how grown up they are to know and the responsibility that comes with that? I think each family can celebrate each holiday in a religious or non-religious manner but why ruin it for someone who celebrates differently than you? I don't go around telling little kids there is no god - even though that is what I believe to be the truth. What would be the point? Not everyone believes the same thing about holidays or religion or any number of a zillion things. Sorry - trying to avoid the religion aspect but it keeps creeping back in....
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#13 of 34 Old 04-10-2003, 07:41 PM
 
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I think it is difficult for some to keep religion out of a Santa/Easter Bunny topic, and I find it interesting to know the reasons why some people don't introduce the characters to their children, even if the reasoning is based in religion.

I think Santa and the Bunny are fine and the tooth fairy is too. I plan on teaching dd that Santa and the Bunny are secular ways to express traditionally Christian holidays (but not in those words
)
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#14 of 34 Old 04-10-2003, 07:57 PM
 
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We didn't have any plans to introduce Santa but he was kinda unavoidable come Christmas time. Dd was 1 month old her first Christmas, and 1 yr 1 month for her second -- not that interested -- but this latest Christmas, at 2 yrs 1 month, she was WAY interested in Santa. We just went with it, and she became very fond of him in the way that she is fond of Elmo or Clifford or Po. (Hmmm, all red...? ) He's just a character, in books (we got Christmas books which she enjoyed) and in costume (she saw him at a local parade). No big deal, definitely no "he's watching you", and presents were from whomever gave them.
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#15 of 34 Old 04-10-2003, 08:06 PM
 
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I like all the holidays and will decorate and what not. But I won't get in to Santa brings the presents or the Easter bunnie brings eggs.

I remember bring 6 and agruing with the adult neighbor about there not being a santa that it was all fake.
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#16 of 34 Old 04-10-2003, 08:29 PM
 
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We're not planning on doing any of that, simply because we don't feel right lying to our ds. We'll get stockings and secretly fill them for each other, and explain that some people like to think that someone called St. Nicholas fills their stockings with gifts. When he's actually old enough to realize what's going on, I figure our family tradition will grow itself.

Of course, my aversion to Santa might have something to do with getting switches in my stocking when I was 3. The entire year following that, my dad kept threatening that if I got them again, he'd use them
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#17 of 34 Old 04-10-2003, 09:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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wow- I definitely didn't mean to start a religious debate. That is not my quandry at all. I guess I am struggling with this right now especially b/c I have a 10 y.o. foster son who still believes, but is starting to hint that maybe he doesn't anymore... I'm trying to figure out how/when to admit the truth to him, and that makes me wonder, why ever begin it with the baby?

Thanks for all the input and view points
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#18 of 34 Old 04-10-2003, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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edited to remove double post
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#19 of 34 Old 04-10-2003, 10:42 PM
 
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Regardless of what these days were started as Christians DO celebrate the birth of Christ on December 25 and the death and resurrection of Christ on Easter. It is not possible to know exactly what days these occurred because they did not use a calendar like we use today. Nonetheless these are the days that these things are traditionally celebrated on, and for Christians (or at least THIS Christian) that is the important thing. Why do you feel the need to attack or be threatened by my religious beliefs?

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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#20 of 34 Old 04-10-2003, 10:53 PM
 
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We do not do santa, easter bunny, etc. We did feel that it would be like lying to our kid(s). However, our family does all of these and doesn't know we don't. We also both grew up as Christians and are now Athiests so we celebrate the holidays - only not in a religious way. (Our families also don't know we're athiests either.)

Sarah : , mama to Lucas (8) , Ryan (5) : , Andrew (1yr) , and someone new : due early Dec.
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#21 of 34 Old 04-10-2003, 11:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Heavenly
Regardless of what these days were started as Christians DO celebrate the birth of Christ on December 25 and the death and resurrection of Christ on Easter. It is not possible to know exactly what days these occurred because they did not use a calendar like we use today. Nonetheless these are the days that these things are traditionally celebrated on, and for Christians (or at least THIS Christian) that is the important thing. Why do you feel the need to attack or be threatened by my religious beliefs?
Im in no way threatened, its just not truthful. Its these very things that lead some adults in questioning the faith in which they were raised when they see they were taught tradition instead of biblical truth. Why celebrate those days as something they are not? I wasnt attacking, though I can see where you think that. To me if you are going to be christians and live by the word of God, than do it, dont add to it, dont just go with the flow because someone before you did it, live your faith with inegrity and honesty, and celebrating pagan holidays in the guise of christian ones is not authenic IMO.
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#22 of 34 Old 04-11-2003, 12:06 AM
 
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I totally love the idea of Santa and the easter bunny etc....... I think its so exciting for a child, and I love my child to have a little bit of fantasy in his life, to grow his imagination, teach him to see things differently ........ I'll add fairies and what-nots too!!!
Its like acting out a story in real life, like we do with other stories, like curious george, and that kind of thing.

Chelly
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#23 of 34 Old 04-11-2003, 12:45 AM
 
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Chelly, I agree. I'm a little confused about how many times "lying" has been used, here. I do fantasy/ imagination play with my daughter all the time -- is that lying? We eat imaginary food, we talk to imaginary people, our backyard is an imaginary forest, filled with imaginary animals. We role play very often -- dd is LaLa, I'm Tinky-Winky. Dd is Little Bear, I'm Mother Bear. Dd is Mama, I'm dd. When my mother came to visit, dd said "you're Papa!" and my mother said, "No, I'm grandma." "You're Papa!" /"No I'm grandma." I think that's silly -- Dd clearly knew that grandma was grandma, had been saying that, and was just trying to play.

I see talking about Santa and Rudolph and Frosty and the Easter Bunny and and all of those characters as the same thing.
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#24 of 34 Old 04-11-2003, 12:54 AM
 
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:LOL - we also swap roles often, I am often "daddy" and daddy is Mommy etc.........
The favorite game of the moment is pretending to drive to the store and go grocery shopping......... (when DS is driving he even changes gears :LOL)

I love it..... and its really fun, I don't think its lying at all, its like reading a story book or watching a movie, its all pretend.

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#25 of 34 Old 04-11-2003, 07:57 AM
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When we play pretend games ds knows we are pretending. If I tell him Santa exists he won't know we are pretending for years - that's a very different thing. Also I feel like I am lying so I am lying, in my books. If you don't feel that way then you're not, right?

Neither dh's or my parents ever did Santa or the Easter Bunny when we were growing up so that's probably why we don't feel comfortable doing it either. This past Christmas ds was 2.5 so he tuned into the whole Santa thing. I told him he was a story that people told at Christmas and we got "The Night Before Christmas" out of the library. The thing that bugged me was how everybody would say to him "Is/did Santa bring you lots of presents?" Hello? We are trying to make this about more than presents and you're not helping!
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#26 of 34 Old 04-11-2003, 09:50 AM
 
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Liz, it must be darn near imposible with all the outside people - you can't even walk into a mall without Santa showing up.

Last Christmas, my son walked into the living room, and I was in the kitchen, I could hear him but not see him. ALl I heard was him SUCK in a HUGE lungful of air and in almost a whisper "Santa's here" - It was ALL out gifts that we'd put out, but that was a priceless moment and totally worth it. I'm hoping it gets better and better each year.

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#27 of 34 Old 04-11-2003, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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sorry about the double post last night. I had to jump up from the computer to get a crying baby, and dh came along after me and hit post again :

I am thinking, as I read all these responses, that maybe I should start a different thread, asking how kids found out the truth about santa etc and at what age. That is important for me to know right now.

Unfortunately for me, the different view expressed here only serve to illuminate my own inner debate about what to do!:
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#28 of 34 Old 04-11-2003, 02:12 PM
 
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Regarding how kids find out -
My dd1 (now 6 1/2 and in 1st grade) has been in the process of figuring it out for a year or two now. When she was 5, she asked a lot of the "HOW does Santa fit down the chimney? How can he get all over the world in one night?" etc. I gave her some answers that satisfied her - magic chimney-fitting dust, fast reindeer, etc. She was ok with that and didn't push any further. It is like they wonder but want to believe so they do - for a time. When she was 6, she asked a lot more about "is he REALLY real?" type stuff. I went to more of the "what do you think?" It is obvious to me that she is figuring it out but doesn't want to quite give it up yet. I think this Xmas she will really know - and to me that is a fine age.

Kids hear a lot from other kids and wonder about how it all works and ask questions. From my experience with my own (and my friends' experiences with their kids) you can usually tell how much info they want. One friend's dd1 asked one Xmas all the how and why questions. Friend kept up the Santa image. The next year the girl said "Mom, I want you to tell me the real truth - is there a Santa??" Now at that point, friend confirmed the truth. I would have too. Now her dd1 is the helper to keep the magic alive for her little brother.

I don't consider it lying though I can see where some do think of it that way. It was a fun part of childhood for me and I never felt lied to - I felt smart when I figured it out.
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#29 of 34 Old 04-12-2003, 11:46 AM
 
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I don't remember the exact age that I learned Santa and the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy weren't real and I certainly don't remember feeling as though my parents had lied to me or tried to put one over on me (so to speak).
Yes it can be sad for a little one who finds out too early that they aren't real, but I doubt it causes a life full of trauma. children are expected to grow up too fast and I think a little pretend and fantasy helps keep them young.
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#30 of 34 Old 04-12-2003, 02:50 PM
 
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This is a subject that I have always had the same feelings on, although my perspective has changed over the years.

When ds was a baby, we had no religion, and our non-religious parents all celebrated Christamas, Easter, etc. Ds's great grandpa even has a real beard and plays Santa at parties, etc. But dh and I thought that so much of what AP is, is repspecting ds as a whole person and not belitteling him just because he is a kid. How could we respect him if we were lying to him about something so silly as bunnys/tooth faries, etc? So we decided not to do it. Obviously, he would know who they were, but we would never perpetuate the lie and we would always tell him the real truth.

Then, we bacame Christians who celebrated the Christmas/Easter holidays. We decided even stronger no Santa/bunny beacuse it drew away from the real meaning of our holiday, had pagan roots (bunny and eggs are pagan symbols, etc), and was breaking a commandment by lying to our children, and the Bible says to hate magic.

Now, we are all-out Christains, who have stopped celebrating the man-made, pagan-turned-Christian holidays for many Biblical reasons and are now reading about how to go back to celebrating the God-ordained days He gave His people in the OT, so Santa/bunny are entirely out of the question.

I know, I just keep getting weirder and weirder, but I am on a quest for the truth, I guess. I totally understand where everyone is coming from, cuz at different times in my life I have felt the same way. I remember finding out that Santa was fake as a child, and I just thought "well, that was stupid!" I don't think I ever got anything out of it.
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