If you don't do Santa, did you tell your dc about it - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-25-2012, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And if you did, at what age did you decide to? 

 

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Old 11-27-2012, 08:47 AM
 
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Santa is so pervasive, at least in the US, that there wasn't anyway to keep ds from being aware of him. Random strangers ask little kids if they've been good and what do they hope Santa will bring them. It's on the PBS kid's shows. Santa gets on a fire truck and drives slowly around our neighborhood while the firefighters give out candy canes. So he knew the story since he was 2. But I don't think I explained to ds that some kids really thought Santa came down the chimney and supplied them with gifts until he was 5. Then he felt like he should tell his friend that kids were being tricked by grown ups, lol. Fortunately, his friend didn't celebrate Christmas...


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Old 11-27-2012, 09:09 AM
 
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Told my son the truth at age one, including that some families like to pretend it's real. Reason for short post is because I injured my hand, yesterday.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:14 AM
 
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Somewhere at two or three. My kids always knew the truth and felt bad their friends were being lied to but never gave up the secret to a believing child. Boy, have we had some discussions over the years with other children's santa drama.greensad.gif
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I did tell dd. I can't rememember how old she was. She seemed to have forgotten about it. At the time she understood - somewhat. I don't know how to do it now since she is older. I am worried about 'spoiling' it. We don't have the tree etc. But her grandparents do. They wanted us to have the tree put up as well but we have never.


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Old 11-27-2012, 01:51 PM
 
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We don't do Santa (we celebrate Xmas with dp's family but *we* don't celebrate). Ds is 5 and I don't think he knows who Santa is. We don't really have many friends that celebrate Christmas or do Santa (that I know of). We don't have a tv and we don't go to malls. So it really hasn't come up yet. We live in a big city and just manage to avoid most of the Christmas stuff. His grandparents have a tree and decorations so he knows that part.

I think this will be the year we have to talk about it because all previous years if he had friends who talked about it he didn't notice. This is the first year he seems to really be aware when other kids are talking about something he doesn't know about (movies, toys etc). He doesn't like movies and will often tell his friends if they want to talk about Star Wars or Harry potter ("don't you know I don't like movies.") I figure that is how he'll roll with Santa too (ie assume its from a movie he doesn't know).
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:06 AM
 
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There wasn't a time that I told DD, specifically, because there was never a time I encouraged her to believe in Santa. I have told her from the beginning that Christmas is the time Christians celebrate the birthday of Jesus, and other cultures also have holidays and traditions during the winter, and that in our culture telling children Santa is real is a way of honoring a man who lived a long time ago who loved children and made presents for them. However, there is so much pressure from other children and our society to believe in Santa that DD probably, at least sometimes, believes Santa really does visit every child in the middle of the night on Christmas eve. I don't argue with her about it, but know that someday she'll remember that I told her from the beginning, so I don't think it will come as a shock to her.

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Old 11-28-2012, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, she was a little confused because her grandparents leave presents under their tree and tell her it's from Santa. We didn't disrupt it for them because that kind of made them happy and certainly made dd happy. One of their grandkids that is 12 still gets a present. So, it looks like even if Santa becomes obsolete the presents don't.


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Old 11-29-2012, 08:45 AM
 
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We've told DD that some families like to play Santa and some kids really believe that Santa is real. We've told her it's not our job to tell them the truth and that it would be rude to interrupt their game. Current;y she dosen't seem to care much whether Santa i real or not, but I worry about the future because she really like to be right and will argue with anyone. I can see her outting Santa to her whole kindergarten class next year. I hope that dosen't happen.

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Old 11-30-2012, 01:49 AM
 
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My kids have known santa isn't "real" since they were born. We told them every single year.


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Old 11-30-2012, 09:03 AM
 
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I have just never lied to my kids. So we talk about Santa and how people believe in him. We talk about why we celebrate Christmas. And what the spirit of the holiday should be, and how it should continue throughout the year, not just on one day. It's just ... conversation. We watch a lot of movies and tv shows, read a lot of books, so there's lots of info out there for them. They KNOW there's no Santa, but they like to believe. :)


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Old 11-30-2012, 09:42 AM
 
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We have never pretended that Santa is real, but thoroughly enjoy Santa anyway! We read Santa books, watched Santa movies, bought Santa decorations! There is no reason for Santa to be excluded if you tell your child(ren) that Santa's not real! Just do what feels right for your family.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:54 AM
 
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We celebrate (religious) Christmas but don't do Santa... DS has always known about him though, it's pervasive around here, impossible to avoid. I told him early on, probably his first or second Christmas, that he was just a guy in a costume -- it was more to make sure he wasn't scared of him, he has a lot of anxiety. Sometimes he picks Santa books at the library or wants to get a candy cane from the Santa at holiday events (which is fine with me, my real concern is about mixing Santa in with Christ's birth, I don't have an issue with St. Nick or presents or pretending he's real but I also see no need to lie to DS & I don't think it would be good for him). I don't know if he has any understanding that some kids believe he brings presents etc., though we did do a St. Nick thing (story, gift, etc.) on his feast day last year. Mostly I just reinforce that everyone has different beliefs and that we have to make sure not to push our beliefs onto others or tell others what to think -- this isn't just about Santa, it's something we discuss often in various contexts, but I do try to ensure he won't spoil the Santa thing for others.

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Old 11-30-2012, 10:47 AM
 
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We have never pretended that Santa is real, but thoroughly enjoy Santa anyway! We read Santa books, watched Santa movies, bought Santa decorations! There is no reason for Santa to be excluded if you tell your child(ren) that Santa's not real! Just do what feels right for your family.

This has been pretty much our approach.  We don't celebrate Christmas but we're surrounded by a lot of people who do.  Santa is just another fairy tale figure in a large cast of figures.  DD loves all the Santa shows that come on television in September and she thoroughly enjoyed "Rise of the Guardians."  She loves the songs and decorations and going to Macy's to see Santa sitting in the chair.  The only difficulty has been her coming to terms with why other children believe in Santa.  A lot of DD's contemporaries really, really believe in Santa.  DD has a hard time reconciling this.  Why, Mom, why do they believe?


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Old 11-30-2012, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How can I tell her gently without making her all upset? I think she has a notion, I think. I think, her cousin one time told her too. A couple of months ago her classmate told her tooth faries don't exist and she wouldn't believe him.


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Old 11-30-2012, 05:38 PM
 
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You have a believer? Let her figure it out herself. If she asks, tell the truth. Tell her you thought it would be fun to pretend he's real, and you can all pretend as long as you like.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:58 AM
 
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Neera - I do a lot of the "I don't know. What do you think?" "Is that what X said? What do you think about that?" "Well, I've never seen Santa come down a chimney, so I don't know." "I've never seen the tooth fairy, I don't know what she looks like, does with all the teeth, why she wants them." "Maybe it's just like the Thomas trains on TV and it's all just make believe." And, I let the child guide me on what they want to think. If they want the truth, they'll get the truth. If they want to believe, they can believe.

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Old 12-04-2012, 11:07 AM
 
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We've always told DS (4) that Santa isnt real, but people like to pretend he is. We told him the history of Saint Nick and where the Santa story comes from.

 

We still give him presents from "Santa" ad if he wants to pretend theres a Santa, thats fine with  us.


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Old 12-04-2012, 01:05 PM
 
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We told DD (4 now) all about the Santa story and how parents like to pretend there is a Santa for their kids and have their kids believe.  We also explained how St. Nicholas has evolved into the Santa we have today.  We also told her the reasons why we chose not to make her believe that there is such thing as a magic man that can fly around the world in 24 hours and deliver toys to everyone, because we didn't want her to feel like she had to be left out of "fun" because of us.  Our first conversation with her about it was when she was 2 and we have renewed the conversation every season, adjusting our explanation to how well she is able to grasp/understand certain aspects to it, with each new year.  The first conversation was after a trip to the mall and passing by the Santa setup.  It looked fun for DD, so we needed to explain why she didn't get to participate because she is quite sensitive to be being left out of things.

 

We still do the Christmas tree and presents and a stocking, but all of the presents come from mommy and daddy and not some strange man who people like to make you think is watching while you sleep.  We don't purchase any Santa decorations.  Christmas is very much a magical time for her.  She sings her favorite Christmas song year round and she plays a Christmas song book year round.  I don't feel she is missing out anything.  That was the most critical part in all of our explanations and how we celebrate the Season, that she didn't resent us and she didn't feel like she missed out.


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Old 12-04-2012, 07:41 PM
 
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We have always explained to our boys, 4 and 7, that Santa is just a game some grownups like to play.  This year, my children seem to be enjoying practicing their critical thinking skills by pointing out why Santa can't be real.  A couple days ago, driving home from school, one of my boys pointed out that, even if the reindeer could fly, santa would fall to the ground because the *reins* couldn't fly, so what would be holding up the sleigh?  In our home we believe all kinds of things other people don't and visa versa, so I don't think that part bothers them much.  We also have a lot of Jewish friends which helps.  I do explain to them that its rude to tell other children who believe that he's not real, just like its rude to tell our Religious friends there is no god.  I will say though, that my extroverted 3yo really got a kick out of running up to kids last year and telling them Santa wasn't real.  At the end of the day I guess I feel like the burden is on the believers to get their kids to believe, not on me to protect other peoples children from a silly lie.  

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Old 12-04-2012, 10:26 PM
 
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the thought of santa scares my 3yr old DD, she's actually mentioned that she is happy to not have a chimney... Santa is just a fictitious character to us, he exists wherever we see him :P


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Old 12-04-2012, 10:56 PM
 
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To my nearly 3-year-old, Santa is a costume that sometimes comes with candy. He knows two things about Santa: 1. we take pictures with Santa, 2. Sanda gives candy. He doesn't (yet) associate Santa with anything else that I know of.

 

He understands that it's a costume because we all dressed up as Santa with a bunch of other people for a local charity event. So he knows there can be Santa-dogs and Santa-babies and other Santas, some who are old white dudes with beards and some who aren't.

 

We're not going to tell him anything untrue but we're not going out of our way to tell him "Santa isn't real". We're just going to answer questions honestly.

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Old 12-05-2012, 10:17 AM
 
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We've always told our kids "Santa is a story that some kids believe."  That leaves room for his friends to believe it - he's not telling them "it's not real."  Same for the tooth fairy!
 

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Old 12-05-2012, 11:33 AM
 
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My children believe in Saint Nicholas, who really did walk this earth, and when they see gifts in their shoes on Saint Nicholas' feast day morning (tomorrow, December 6) they'll probably know it's me. We don't own or watch TV so seeing programming with Santa isn't a problem.


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Old 12-05-2012, 03:46 PM
 
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I tell my kids about Santa, and probably won't ever say there ISN'T a Santa, but I'm sure they'll figure it out. Even at 21 my dad signs all my gifts From: Santa haha.

I have friends who don't have their children believe in Santa, and they usually say something along the lines of other kids DO believe in Santa and to not ruin the surprise. Usually the kids are really respectful of the fact other children do believe in him, and play along for their friends sake :)


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Old 12-05-2012, 07:48 PM
 
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We tell DD that some families believe in Santa Claus, and we should respect their beliefs. When a random stranger asks DD what she asked Santa for, I respond, "We are Jewish, and do not celebrate Christmas." DD has now actually started responding that way, herself, when asked by someone. I was raised Lutheran, so we have also had the discussion (numerous times!) about why Christmas is important to my parents, since it celebrates the birth of Jesus, an important person in their religion.


 

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Old 12-06-2012, 06:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We tell DD that some families believe in Santa Claus, and we should respect their beliefs. When a random stranger asks DD what she asked Santa for, I respond, "We are Jewish, and do not celebrate Christmas." DD has now actually started responding that way, herself, when asked by someone. I was raised Lutheran, so we have also had the discussion (numerous times!) about why Christmas is important to my parents, since it celebrates the birth of Jesus, an important person in their religion.

I think that might come across as rude because I am actually not Christian. 


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Old 12-06-2012, 12:37 PM
 
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I think that might come across as rude because I am actually not Christian. 

I'm not sure how that comes across as rude.  The PP appears to not identify with Christianity anymore (I am guessing that she married a Jewish person but was raised as a Lutheran but is now identifying as a Jewish family?).  I think it would perhaps be perceived as rude if she was just randomly claiming to be Jewish to avoid the Santa issue. 


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Old 12-06-2012, 09:37 PM
 
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We have never pretended that Santa is real, but thoroughly enjoy Santa anyway! We read Santa books, watched Santa movies, bought Santa decorations! There is no reason for Santa to be excluded if you tell your child(ren) that Santa's not real! Just do what feels right for your family.


Yay this!  It's what's best for your family.  If you're comfortable, your kids will be too.  There's no need for anyone to imply that people who choose to allow their children to believe in Santa for a period of time are liars.  Regardless of what you believe and tell your children, the season is for giving and hope and love and all that stuff!!


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Old 12-12-2012, 05:27 AM
 
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I think that might come across as rude because I am actually not Christian. 

 

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I'm not sure how that comes across as rude.  The PP appears to not identify with Christianity anymore (I am guessing that she married a Jewish person but was raised as a Lutheran but is now identifying as a Jewish family?).  I think it would perhaps be perceived as rude if she was just randomly claiming to be Jewish to avoid the Santa issue. 

 

 

Yes, that's exactly it. I married into a Jewish family, and that is how we are raising our daughter. We *are* a Jewish family, despite the fact that I have never officially converted (and DH is reform, not orthodox or conservative, so the whole matrilineal thing isn't as big a deal, we've just found a synagogue that is open to inter-faith families). Just because I was raised Christian, does not mean I am now. And how would a stranger even know that? I don't go into my religious beliefs with my own parents, let alone a stranger at the mall!! orngbiggrin.gif

 

I'm not sure what part of my comment you considered rude, do you mind enlightening me? Obviously, if you're not Jewish, yes, it would be rude to pretend that you are. But I do feel that families who do 'believe' in Santa Claus should have their traditions respected. We teach our DD about the meaning behind many religious holidays: Christmas, Ramadan, Diwali, Passover, etc. It's a diverse world, and I want her to learn from the very beginning about other religions, and how to respect beliefs that are different from our own. She knows the Christmas story (hard not to, when neighbors on all sides have nativity scenes set up, got to tell her something!), but she knows it as a story, not 'fact' in a way that someone who is Christian would tell the story.

 

We also don't completely exclude Santa...that's impossible! (At least here in the South it is). But DD views Santa as a character, much like Tinker Bell or Little Red Riding Hood. We don't do the whole asking Santa for gifts thing, but she does go up and say hi to him if we happen to come across Santa (this is happened at a neighborhood event this past weekend). 

 

Our DD's best friend believes in Santa, and this is the first year DD really feels the urge to tell someone Santa's not real, so this is all very much a work-in-progress!


 

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