Santa Claus and the big revelation - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-08-2011, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I disguised the title somewhat just in case there are some kids looking over your shoulder!

 

I'm wondering at what age your kids - those in families celebrating Christmas and promoting Santa - figured it out.  My oldest DD is 9 and has not said anything, but I can tell she is struggling a bit, because, I imagine, her peers are talking about it in school.  She wrote her letter to Santa in great secret the other day - if I walked past she would cover the letter with one arm - then sealed it up in an envelope.  Since she has said absolutely nothing about what she would like from Santa I was a bit panicked.  When she left the room and the envelope was still moist from being recently sealed, I opened the letter and quickly read it, then resealed it. She came into the room later and I saw her pick up the letter and check the seal (you could never have told that it had been opened) and seemingly satisfied, put it down.  It was pretty clear to me that she still believes, and wants to believe, but has some doubts.  I'm guessing kids at school are telling her "it's your parents" and that this was her was of testing that theory - like, if we didn't see the letter but Santa got the gift correct, then she would be vindicated. 

 

I'm fairly certain at 9.5 that this Christmas will be her last one to believe in Santa Claus.  She has a much younger sister and it is my hope that rather than be devastated, she will join me in creating the magic.  She is a very unsophisticated kid who has been sheltered thus far from most pop cultural influences and still believes in fairies, etc.  I am feeling pretty sad and nostalgic about the whole thing.  I know I will savor her belief this Christmas.

 

I'm curious about when your kids put two and two together?  Were they devastated?

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Old 12-09-2011, 05:12 AM
 
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I'm in the same boat here. My son is 9 and acting similar and doubting perhaps. Kind of reminds me of the boy in Polar Express. I am just trying to make this Christmas as special and magical as any other.


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Old 12-09-2011, 05:26 AM
 
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My god daughter was 10 (about to turn 11) last Christmas when she figured it out.  And, yes, she was devastated.  But, she was also able to understand the why of Santa (and was glad to have participated in Santa--I just want to clarify on that point).  Her paren't response was to have her take on the role of Santa for a younger family member (our infant son).  She picked out a special gift (nothing big, a stainless steel water bottle that she thought he'd like drinking from), wrapped and addressed it to our son from Santa.  

 

It was a wonderful way of passing down a tradition and became a lovely coming of age for her in some ways.  And, we were so delighted that she chose our son to be Santa for...it really reflects her love of him.  


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Old 12-09-2011, 05:37 AM
 
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I don't even remember when my two stopped believing, that's how little of a drama/devastation it was. I handled it as an embodiment of the spirit of the season. I *still*U get Santa gifts from my parents, and my kids still get them from me. Santa brings something greatly desired, but not easily rationalized. The frivolous item. The heart's desire.

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Old 12-09-2011, 04:20 PM
 
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My kids both figured it out at age 7. Ds figured it out because his best friend is Jewish and Santa doesn't come to his house. Dd figured it out by reading books where Santa was played by other people.

 

It wasn't traumatic or devastating to either one. They both asked for 6-12 months if Santa/the Tooth Fairy was real. I asked them "What do you think?" and that satisfied them for a bit. When they got to the point where they responded "I think you're Santa. Are you really Santa?" I told them the truth. Ds is 3 years older than his sister and was able to keep the secret just fine. His only question was "Why do you do this?" I think I responded something like "It's fun to pretend there's magic." Dd was actually relieved about finding out because the whole "home invasion" aspect of Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny scared her. She was excited to find out that it was us, and she was tickled to realize that I was the one who'd gotten her all the neat things. For reasons I can't explain, it made her more thankful.  I admit that my kids are a bit odd -- no one else's kids that I know of worried about home invasion and Santa, and yet both of my kids did.

 

Despite the fact that they both know the truth now, they still insist that I play Santa this year. I asked them if we could dispense with Santa now that they both knew the truth and their firm answer was "NO!". So, even when they know the truth, they like the magic.


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Old 12-09-2011, 07:08 PM
 
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I so hope we have a gradual transition. Neither dh nor I ever "confronted" or "admitted" to our parents when we figured it out, and simply kept the magic going/never acknowledged it.  This is how I hope it is with ds (almost 8.5) and his sisters.  I think when peers start talking about it you either are really curious, or ignore it.  I like the Polar Express for this reason, although I didn't like it when kids were way smaller and kernel of doubt hadn't been planted yet.


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Old 12-10-2011, 08:37 AM
 
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My dd figured it out at 7. When she asked seriously, i told her the truth. She was okay with it, not angry or upset, but, i could tell she was disappointed. She, at 8, now enjoys keeping the magic alive for her little brother, &, enjoys playing along. She still wrote a Christmas wish list, addressed to Santa!
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Old 12-10-2011, 09:12 AM
 
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I was 8 and I was somewhat devastated. Now that I have my own 3 yr old we plan to celebrate st Nicolas day, which was dec 6 this year and give one gift to celebrate the day. We aren't doing Santa because at the end of the day it's pointless, all this creates is questions.  I like knowing that my daughter will be able to understand where her gifts come from and have gratitude for the thought. We recently moved to the south and every one I've met does not do Santa, kids are just smarter now and I don't like to lie to my children or family.


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Old 12-10-2011, 05:50 PM
 
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cassandraz, can you tell me more about st. Nicolas Day?  How does it work and what do you do to celebrate it?  I am interested as there are times when I hate the whole santa thing but also hate the idea of giving it up altogether, but I like the idea of replacing it with something else that I feel is better.

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Old 12-10-2011, 06:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunflower.mama View Post

I so hope we have a gradual transition. Neither dh nor I ever "confronted" or "admitted" to our parents when we figured it out, and simply kept the magic going/never acknowledged it.  This is how I hope it is with ds (almost 8.5) and his sisters.  I think when peers start talking about it you either are really curious, or ignore it.  I like the Polar Express for this reason, although I didn't like it when kids were way smaller and kernel of doubt hadn't been planted yet.


My son is 8 and this is what I think he's doing. I think he knows but chooses to play along. If you ask him if he believes in Santa he will tell you that he does, I'm pretty sure just to enjoy the fun of it and to make sure the Santa gifts don't stop.


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Old 12-11-2011, 05:48 AM
 
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this is the first year that my 7 almost 8 year old knows for sure Santa is not real . He was in no way devistated. Last year he was beginning to doubt he would ask and I'd say "what do you thinl?" and he would say he is real. this fall he asked about the toothfairya nd when I asked what do you think he told me he thought it was me and I told him it was. The conversation of course went to all the other "characters" He had been telling me for awhile that he knows Sanata is real but he couldn't fugure out how reindeer fly as they can't really fly, and how he could get alll around in one night and all the magic stuff he really was doubting. He kept saying "it doesn't make any sense" so I knew it was time. He is really excited that he get to be Sanata now. I told him that it was a special thing we do because it is fun for children to believe in Sanata and fun for older kids and adults to pretend too. He wants to be the one who gets to stay up later and eat the cookies for Santa and help fill stockings.He is very excited about it. My 5 year old on the other hand, it all make sense, of course reindeer fly, of course we put out carrots for reindeer. He is a true 100% believer. I love how excited he is! It is all very fun. I had questioned for awhile whenmy first was little is we should do Santa or if it was wrong to make it all up but in the end I can remember how I belived in Sanata andhow exciting it was and I didn't want my children to miss that experience. I am so glad we do Santa.

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Old 10-03-2012, 01:05 PM
 
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I am looking for an article I read in a previous subscription ... about the true magic of it all ... a girl finding out "it's not true" and the mother explaining it ... I wish I could remember more.... not sure if it was about santa or fairies ...
 

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Old 10-04-2012, 09:26 PM
 
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My son is 8 and this is what I think he's doing. I think he knows but chooses to play along. If you ask him if he believes in Santa he will tell you that he does, I'm pretty sure just to enjoy the fun of it and to make sure the Santa gifts don't stop.

this is us too. dd just turned 10 and still plays the santa game. she loves the magic. but she has let out too many hints for me to realise she knows better but would still like to believe. 

 

dd has i think always known, because when she was little she'd ask me questions like if santa is real why are there toy collection boxes at stores. the next year she stopped asking, but she'd let a comment drop by here or there. she is my extremely imaginative dd who loves magic and fantasy. 

 

dd has been right in the middle of pop culture but that has not phased her belief in fairies, goblins, etc. but she has known since first grade. however like she always says (about fairies) just coz we havent seen one does that mean they dont exist?!!!!


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Old 10-05-2012, 08:45 AM
 
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As my children got to be around 7yrs old they would begin to question if Santa was real or not, I would tell them that every house has a Santa, an Easter Bunny and a Tooth Fairy. I am Santa for our house. My 15yr old is the Tooth Fairy and yes, it is her job to go put money under pillows and my 9yr old is the Easter Bunny. She arranges and hides the baskets for the little kids (I still do hers so it's a surprise). No big drama ever occurred over any of it for me.

 

I will tell you about a friend though who when she told her daughter at the age of 12 (yes, the girl still believed at 12) that Santa wasn't real, the girl then wanted to know if God was real. It turned into a 'people lied about Santa so maybe they are lying about God'. The girl hasn't believed in God since, much to her mother's dismay. 
 


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Old 10-05-2012, 11:50 PM
 
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I am looking for an article I read in a previous subscription ... about the true magic of it all ... a girl finding out "it's not true" and the mother explaining it ... I wish I could remember more.... not sure if it was about santa or fairies ...
 

 

Thank you for your letter. You asked a very good question: “Are you Santa?”
I know you’ve wanted the answer to this question for a long time, and I’ve had to give it careful thought to know just what to say.
The answer is no. I am not Santa. There is no one Santa.

I am the person who fills your stockings with presents, though. I also choose and wrap the presents under the tree, the same way my mom did for me, and the same way her mom did for her. (And yes, Daddy helps, too.)
I imagine you will someday do this for your children, and I know you will love seeing them run down the stairs on Christmas morning. You will love seeing them sit under the tree, their small faces lit with Christmas lights.
This won’t make you Santa, though.
Santa is bigger than any person, and his work has gone on longer than any of us have lived. What he does is simple, but it is powerful. He teaches children how to have belief in something they can’t see or touch.
It’s a big job, and it’s an important one. Throughout your life, you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your friends, in your talents and in your family. You’ll also need to believe in things you can’t measure or even hold in your hand. Here, I am talking about love, that great power that will light your life from the inside out, even during its darkest, coldest moments.
Santa is a teacher, and I have been his student, and now you know the secret of how he gets down all those chimneys on Christmas Eve: he has help from all the people whose hearts he’s filled with joy.
With full hearts, people like Daddy and me take our turns helping Santa do a job that would otherwise be impossible.
So, no. I am not Santa. Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness. I’m on his team, and now you are, too.
I love you and I always will.

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Old 10-08-2012, 02:31 PM
 
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My son asked at three if Santa was real, and I was caught off guard and hedged a bit... at four, he was very insistent that I tell him the truth and so I did. He wasn't upset at all. Just said, "Yeah, that's what I figured. I never thought he was real." We always read lots of books with magic of all kinds, but he didn't ever believe in the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy either-- in pre-school he used to get into arguments with kids who believed in fairies ;-)


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Old 10-13-2012, 02:29 PM
 
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Thank you for your letter. You asked a very good question: “Are you Santa?”
I know you’ve wanted the answer to this question for a long time, and I’ve had to give it careful thought to know just what to say.
The answer is no. I am not Santa. There is no one Santa.

I am the person who fills your stockings with presents, though. I also choose and wrap the presents under the tree, the same way my mom did for me, and the same way her mom did for her. (And yes, Daddy helps, too.)
I imagine you will someday do this for your children, and I know you will love seeing them run down the stairs on Christmas morning. You will love seeing them sit under the tree, their small faces lit with Christmas lights.
This won’t make you Santa, though.
Santa is bigger than any person, and his work has gone on longer than any of us have lived. What he does is simple, but it is powerful. He teaches children how to have belief in something they can’t see or touch.
It’s a big job, and it’s an important one. Throughout your life, you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your friends, in your talents and in your family. You’ll also need to believe in things you can’t measure or even hold in your hand. Here, I am talking about love, that great power that will light your life from the inside out, even during its darkest, coldest moments.
Santa is a teacher, and I have been his student, and now you know the secret of how he gets down all those chimneys on Christmas Eve: he has help from all the people whose hearts he’s filled with joy.
With full hearts, people like Daddy and me take our turns helping Santa do a job that would otherwise be impossible.
So, no. I am not Santa. Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness. I’m on his team, and now you are, too.
I love you and I always will.

Wow, that brought tears to my eyes!  My kids haven't really asked about it--their dad does the Santa thing in a big way at his house and I've been very noncommittal either way.  I love that letter, though and I think I will use that when they ask!  My DD is turning 9 this week and I'm sure she's going to ask about it soon.


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Old 10-13-2012, 03:14 PM
 
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I love that Santa letter. We think we may be needing it very soon with our 11 year old. We generally run an "everything's possible" household, to keep the wonder alive, in all regards. Recently she's been asking if she can sleep downstairs on Christmas Eve, and "why not?" 

 

It's funny, although I was raised Jewish, and not believing in Santa, I believed in the Tooth Fairy (as I was still losing teeth even at 11 or 12) for quite a while! I guess everyone wants a little magic in their life. I know I do, even now:)


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Old 10-13-2012, 10:15 PM
 
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Dsd came out and asked last year at age 10-1/2, but I am fairly certain she had been unsure/playing along for the past year or two before that.  It was totally fine and nontraumatic :)

 

I did not have any traumatic experience finding out that Santa was not real either..in fact, I don't even remember it!

 

Dd is 5 and just asked me the other day if Santa was real or if it was us. I was so surprised and definitely not expecting that, it was totally out of the blue.  I asked what she thought, and she at first responded that she thought it was us (mom and dad), I said okay and did the whole magic of Santa/Christmas spiel, if you believe it is real, etc.,  and then she promptly launched into a whole story about how actually there are lots of Santas so that they can get toys to all the kids, how Santa brings presents to kids who don't get any otherwise, etc. etc.  I just went along with it and she didn't really mention it again.

 

I am personally fine with the kids knowing that Santa is a fun game we play, but dp feels pretty strongly that I not give away the secret any time soon, so I am kind of intentionally vague about the whole deal.  I don't personally know if anyone who was traumatized by finding out that Santa was not real-it seems to be more of a gradual realization in most cases so some of the sting wears off as kids come to terms with it.  We also continue to give a gift and stocking "from" Santa even after the kid doesn't believe any more, so maybe that helps ;)


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