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I don't want my kids to believe in Santa for many reasons. Mainly b/c
1. I don't really see the point of believing in a imaginary person and what type of accomplishment it gives the child anyways
2. I want my kids to know that they got their presents from their mom and dad, grandparents, whoever
3. the disappointment when they find out there is no santa and how they just realized that their parents lied to them the entire time, I would think this would hurt a trusting relationship
4. I don't think I could play along with it for very long and would slip up and therefore ruin it for my kids

These are just a few of the reasons. My dh on other hand thinks I am crazy that I don't want my kids to believe in santa. I really don't see the point as to why this is important for a child? I was taught to believe in santa although I stopped when I was 4 b/c I thought it was crazy that an invisible man climbed down my chimney and delivered presents?? I'm not really wanting to teach them to believe in anything as far easter bunny, etc. I just really don't see the point?? Am I alone here? Anyone else have conflicting opinions on this, and if so, how did you deal?
 

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I don't do santa for all the reasons you listed. DH was resisted at first but that;s what everyone else does, but when we really discussed it, he also has not so fond memories of finding out who santa really was. Our oldest is almost 6 and is fine with not doing santa, she is also a very literal child, she doesn't get imagining or pretending that well so I''m glad that we never did it with her. I can see that if we did, that the discovery of truth would not go well with her knowing her personality.
 

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We're just saying that Santa is a game. She seemed really scared at the thought of a man dressed up in red coming into our house and delivering presents...even a pretend or cartoon man.
she said "Well, mommy, I don't think we're going to have a santa here"
"Why not?"
eyes wide... "Because I think it will be too scary"!
That answers that!
For me, it's mostly the lying and deceiving thing.
 

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Same boat here. My IL's don't know yet that I don't want to do Santa, but DH and I have been butting heads over it the last few days. It is so frustrating....I just don't understand how he doesn't get the simplicity of: "I don't want to lie to my children." That's the bottom line, really. But he thinks that I am like a scrooge or something, trying to steal the magic right out of our children's lives.


And what really doesn't help is all those Santa commercials that are coming on, like the one with the little kid scolding his dad for eating the Santa cookies. "DAD! Those are for Santa!" So the dad has the son help him bake more, and of course my dh is like: "See? See how great that is? Leaving cookies and milk for Santa and then there can be a bite taken out of a couple when ds wakes up in the morning." Yadda yadda. I just really don't see myself carrying it out that far, and like you OP, I know I will probably slip up and let the truth be known....

Ugh. I'm trying to find a way to meet him in the middle, but it's proving to be quite difficult.
 

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I am with you 100%! How did the tradition of lying to your kids (so that you can laugh at them behind their backs and hang it over their heads/threaten them with it, in some cases) and let their hearts get broken start in the first place?? But DH went ahead with it anyway. I wonder if maybe I can somehow talk to DD about it being a fun tradition to pretend (she does understand pretending) and explain that DH likes to pretend with her??

ETA: My parents never did it with me, and I really respect them for that. I do wonder if my dad never really wanted to go that route though; he still makes some presents for us "from Santa" all these years later!
 

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doing santa doesn't directly translate into lying to your kids and your kids having broken hearts. i think forcing the santa belief can do that.. but the idea of santa alone doesn't. we believed in santa.. but most of our presents were still from my parents.. and all of the presents from other relatives were from whoever gave them to me... how does a picture with santa, leaving cookies on the table, and reading the night before christmas add but to lying and broken hearts?
 

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Telling them Santa is going to fly with reindeer to your house and slide down the chimney to leave presents isn't lying to them? They don't get their hearts broken when they find out this was all a sham and their parents lied to them?


She thinks Santa is going to get her letter, isn't that cute? (snicker) Do that and Santa won't come, Do that and Santa won't leave presents. Yeah, pretty common.

I said, "in some cases". I was asking how the tradition got started, anyway. Not saying everyone tortures their kids with it.
 

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I've been trying to decide which route to go with the santa thing too for your same reasons. My biggest question for those who don't play santa for their kids is what do they tell other kids who do believe? I wouldn't want ds to ruin it for others, but I have no idea how to explain the whole deal to him. How do I explain that it's all a bunch of nonsense, but prevent him from spilling the beans to his friends? Luckily he's only 6 1/2 mos old and I have plenty of time to figure it all out...
 

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telling them santa is going to fly down the chimney and leave them presents is not harmful in and of itself and isn't really any different then reading the night before christmas and when they ask if its true saying 'anything is possible"... if you push it like crazy and go out of your way to convince them that it is true then its weird and creepy. and using santa as blackmail is creepy too.

i think it is possible for santa to be a completely harmless and fun part of a holiday... the creepy pushing, excessive lying, and blackmail doesn't have to be a part of it.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Graeme's Ma View Post
I've been trying to decide which route to go with the santa thing too for your same reasons. My biggest question for those who don't play santa for their kids is what do they tell other kids who do believe? I wouldn't want ds to ruin it for others, but I have no idea how to explain the whole deal to him. How do I explain that it's all a bunch of nonsense, but prevent him from spilling the beans to his friends? Luckily he's only 6 1/2 mos old and I have plenty of time to figure it all out...
why explain unless he asks? i think by 8 or 9 i knew i santa wasn't real.. and the only time i remember asking my mom asked me what i thought. lol i plan on being non committal one way or the other.. but mine is 10 mos old so i have time too lol
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by 1littlebit View Post
doing santa doesn't directly translate into lying to your kids and your kids having broken hearts. i think forcing the santa belief can do that.. but the idea of santa alone doesn't. we believed in santa.. but most of our presents were still from my parents.. and all of the presents from other relatives were from whoever gave them to me... how does a picture with santa, leaving cookies on the table, and reading the night before christmas add but to lying and broken hearts?
I often see examples in our society of how people use the concept of Santa to coerce their kids into "being good." I want no part of that, but I've already heard those words come out of my dh's mouth, and ds is only 2.
:

Of course there's no harm in reading the night before Christmas, you have a point there. But I still see labeling presents from Santa and making cookies for him as a lie. Even in a very mild form, that's what it is. It just doesn't sit well with me.

Quote:

Originally Posted by leila1213 View Post
I wonder if maybe I can somehow talk to DD about it being a fun tradition to pretend (she does understand pretending) and explain that DH likes to pretend with her??

Hmm. I like this idea.
But it would have to be when he's older. Maybe I can somehow manage to keep my mouth shut til then...

Not sure what to make of this really - it does bother me, but at the same time, it doesn't seem worthy of being a hill to die on. Trust me, there are plenty of other things that dh and I disagree on in terms of parenting, so I might try to play along for this. But if and when ds asks me outright, you'd better believe I'm telling him the truth.
 

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the other thing is that forcing the santa thing can lead to a lot of lying if you let it... i mean kids aren't stupid the odds of the same old guy in a red suit being at every mall in the country, in commercials, in movies, and ringing a bell on the sidewalk ... not to mention being several different races and having very different beards and heights... are pretty much nil... and this isn't something that is just sprung on them ya know?

telling you kids every tom dick and harry in a red suit is jolly and wants to give them presents is lying and dangerous... we were never told that... and i think knowing that people dress up as santa is on of the steps to understanding that santa isn't a real person... lying to kids about things like this can certainly be damaging and heartbreaking.
 

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We never did Santa, mostly bc I didn't want to lie to the kids. My parents refused to lie to me about Santa, and as someone above stated...I respect them for that.

We do, however, do Santa as a spirit of the season thing. We give gifts from Santa, now that the girls are old enough to understand that is just a fun thing to do and the gifts are really from me or grandma, etc.

I don't think they have missed out on anything by not believing, and I think they appreciate that I haven't lied to them.
 

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i also agree that people use santa as coercion... but people do a lot of things.. that doesn't mean you have to do it.

and like i said you don't have to push it or even make it a focus. we got gifts from santa.. and i collected tea sets so i got a tea set from mrs. clause every year... but my parents didn't get gifts from santa.. and we got gifts from my parents and for my parents.. and my brother and i got gifts for each other. we did gift exchanges at school and at girl scouts.. we adopted a family every year.. and things in our stockings were sometimes obviously from my parents..

i mean how would you adopt a family and push the santa thing? tell them santa doesn't like poor people? oo.. and we didn't have a chimney lol... so that part didn't really apply to us... but i wasn't terribly concerned about it yk?

i think it is possible to do santa in a fun non psychologically damaging way... that doesn't involve sneaking and lying.. the most sneaking my parents ever did was put presents out after we went to bed.. which we knew b/c we could hear them lol
 

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We're also avoiding the Santa fable at our house, for several reasons.

First, we want the focus of Christmas to be what it's really all about-- celebrating the birth of Christ. The whole "be good and you'll get lots of presents" tack leaves much to be desired, IMHO.

Second, I want my kids to know about St. Nicholas instead, and from the get-go (he's the real-life basis for Santa Claus-- see www.stnicholascenter.org for more info, if you're interested). This was the first year my kids were old enough to celebrate St. Nicholas Day, and they loved it!

Third, I was raised to believe in Santa, and I felt tremendously hurt and betrayed when the truth was revealed to me. I realize some kids find out and bounce back, no problem, but I, personally, was crushed; and I have no desire to blindly hope that my kids will be of the temperament that tolerates it just fine.

Now, of course, the Santa image is everywhere, and my kids already 'know' him by name (The Polar Express is a favorite video here)! That's fine-- Santa's not a bad word in this house. But the approach I take (largely gleaned from a great letter to the editor I once read in Mothering) is that Santa is a fun pretend game that adults like to play, too-- just like any other game or fantasy one might have about a character. And in this way, we can have all the fun of pretending he's real (if that's what they want to do), but it'll never be claimed that yes, he's the genuine article and exists the way we do.

Hope all that blathering makes sense... it's way late here, and I gotta go to bed...
 

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i think it makes total sense! you can enjoy santa and have fun pretending he is real without signing a blood oath to that effect. and we always did st. nick too.. i like the shoes thing.
we learned that was where the idea of santa came from.
 

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Hey, my kids have never had Santa or any other magical folks visit the house... and they are turning out fine. Naturally, my parents and siblings all thought I was some sort of huge spoilsport. Too bad, that just convinced me to do our best traveling as a family at that "holiday" time of year. I can tell you that San Francisco, Memphis,New Orleans, Tuscon, Charleston, Huntsville, Ft.Lauderdale and many other American cities are awesome with their their twinkly lights on.

Living a good life that is up to your standards is the best way to go. Don't worry so much about others.
 

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We do Santa for the following reasons:

1. A lot of kids LIKE magical beliefs in their lives. When they're 4-6, they invent their own magical ideas anyway. I don't see believing in Santa any worse than believing in fairies or elves or other magical creatures not associated with Christmas.

My kids are very into fantasy play and magic. Heck, ds is 7 and pretending that the angel with the wand in our nativity set can do magic, why not Santa?

And honestly, flying airplanes and flying reindeer are equally plausible to a 3 year old mind, I think.

2. It's possible to do Santa without the 'if you're good, you'll get presents, if you're bad you won't'. I just never introduced that concept. It wasn't even deliberate on my part, it just didn't occur to me. Once I thought about it, I kept it up because I didn't want to introduce that element. My kids get presents from Santa. Period. I don't add the stress of having to be good.

3. It's possible to do a low-key Santa. Santa is pretty low key in our house. They know that they also get presents from relatives. They're grateful for what they get. We go to church. We celebrate the religious holiday as much as the secular.

4. I was never traumatized by learning the "truth" about Santa. Ds wasn't traumatized by learning the truth this summer. He asked me if I was Santa. I asked him what he thought. He told me he thought I was Santa. I said he was right. Then he asked why I did it, and I replied that it was fun to pretend.

After I learned the truth, I still insisted that "Santa" come because I LIKED waking up to the excitement of presents on Christmas morning. I knew the gifts were from my parents. My parents knew I knew, and we continued the tradition by mutual agreement. (And because "Santa" didn't wrap presents, but mom and dad did, so Mom didn't want to wrap all those gifts!)

5. I wonder if being traumatized by learning the truth is more about larger family relationships than about "lying" to your child.
 
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