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DH and I both love the Santa tradition and want to continue it with our children, but the deceptive aspect of it bothers me a lot. I don't want to ever lie to our children for any reason, so I'm not comfortable telling them Santa is real. BUT if we tell them that Santa is just make-believe from the very beginning, doesn't that take the magic out of it? And I don't want my kids to be the ones in the neighborhood ruining the Santa Deception™ for everyone else.<br><br>
How can we handle this gracefully while still letting our little ones enjoy the Santa story?<br><br>
Bonus question: For those of you who do the Santa thing, what are some cute ways to make it look like Santa has been in the house? A half-eaten cookie or two on the plate, boot tracks, etc. Any ideas are welcome!
 

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<p>I'm still trying to figure out what we're going to do in our family about Santa. though I don't think we really need to worry about it until next year, when DD will be 2.5. </p>
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<p>and for your second question, we always left a carrot for the reindeer with the milk and cookies, and there would be just a little chunk left in front of the house in the morning. </p>
 

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<p>I'm somewhere between telling them it's not real and pretending it is real. Basically, I just play santa really really poorly and my kids figure it out pretty quickly.</p>
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<p>I view it kinda like any fiction. Just because I know fairies aren't real doesn't make it any less fun to pretend they are.</p>
 

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<p>Subbing, because I'm curious to hear thoughts on this, too. </p>
 

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<p>An important part of childhood is the ability to pretend so hard, you can <span style="text-decoration:underline;"><em>almost</em></span> believe something is real. I am approaching Santa the same way. He is pretend just like other beloved characters of childhood that children pretend to be or to talk to.</p>
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<p>We will check out books at the library like the Night Before Christmas.  We will NOT meet Santa at the mall because I think that totally ruins the pretend aspect of it. Not too mention going to the mall at Christmas time is simply an affirmation of everything I dislike about our commercialized society.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>peainthepod</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279751/playing-santa-without-the-deception-how-do-we-do-this#post_16049826"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br>
DH and I both love the Santa tradition and want to continue it with our children, but the deceptive aspect of it bothers me a lot. I don't want to ever lie to our children for any reason, so I'm not comfortable telling them Santa is real. BUT if we tell them that Santa is just make-believe from the very beginning, doesn't that take the magic out of it? And I don't want my kids to be the ones in the neighborhood ruining the Santa Deception™ for everyone else.<br><br>
How can we handle this gracefully while still letting our little ones enjoy the Santa story?<br><br>
Bonus question: For those of you who do the Santa thing, what are some cute ways to make it look like Santa has been in the house? A half-eaten cookie or two on the plate, boot tracks, etc. Any ideas are welcome!</div>
</div>
<p><br>
I can't really answer your first question, since we were full on with the Santa traditions here. Trip to the mall for the photo, letter sent in the mail, tracking him by radar on Christmas eve, stocking and presents under the tree.... </p>
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<p>For your second question, the kids always wrote a brief note on Christmas Eve, with a thank you for Santa. It was left beside the plate of cookies and carrots. My very creative DH answered using Christmas-themed stationery and a red pen. He would give a little update on happenings at the North Pole over the past year or maybe a funny story about his trip around the world that night.</p>
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<p>  </p>
 

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<p>Last year (when 3.5) dd was asking a lot whether santa was real or not.  </p>
<p>Because I like to play santa, I refused to say yes or no and would always ask her what she thought.  I'd also always say that Santa gets a lot of help with what he does, and that what he does is a really fun game because isn't it fun getting presents for people like we pick out presents for our family.  </p>
<p>My big stance is that 'the santa game' makes the holidays a lot of fun because it sure is fun to give surprise gifts to people, whether santa is a real person or not.  Generosity is important to me when it comes to the holidays, and that's what santa is about for us.  Then again I'm not ever planning to outright say 'santa is a real person, dd' or threaten about not getting gifts if she's bad, or any of that stuff.</p>
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<p>As an aside, on xmas day last year one of our neighbors happened to be dressed up like santa and was sneaking around their yard (right out our front living room window) while we were opening gifts.  It was great - we all took pictures of 'santa'.  Trying to get someone to do that (which we hadn't, they just happened to be doing it anyway) would be an awesome occurance.   </p>
 

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<p>We treated and explained Santa always as the spirit of xmas.  We also get a visit from the elves on the shortest night of the year too.  We leave the half eaten cookie and milk and if there was snow, there would be footprints outside the door. We often lived in apartments when dd was little so we had a santa key that was hung on the door to let him in. that key would be on the tray with the crumbs the next morning.</p>
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<p>DS is only 19 months, so I probably won't even mention Santa this year.  I feel just like you do - I like the Santa tradition, but do not want to lie or have DS be devastated when he learns that Santa isn't real.  My sister sobbed for a week when she found out.  I will read stories about the real St. Nick and stress that Santa is a magical make believe game.  That he can be real if we make believe he is real.  I will also say things like "Let's go be Santa's and shop for/give presents to our Angel tree family or Grandma or something like that.  That way, we all participate in the make believe Santa game as givers and receivers, but there won't be any out and out lying.  Plus, this way our tradition of Santa make believe can continue long after DS would have found out the truth.  I learned at age 6 because I caught my Mom walking out of the bedroom with a bag of toys to put under the tree.  She thought I was asleep and lied when I say her, "Oh, these are just some things I forgot to put under the tree for Grandma."  The next day, it was clear that Grandma didn't have as many presents as were in that bag, so the cat was out of the bag so to speak.  End of tradition for me.</p>
 

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<p>The xmas right before DS turned 3, he started to notice all the santa stuff.  I explained who santa was and that around xmas we pretend he delivers toys to all the kids, but really it's family and friends giving each other gifts.  He was obsessed with the polar express movie for a long time and would act out parts in the movie.  Last year, we were sponsored by hospice/palliative care and received a TON of gifts.  I wrote "from santa" on all of them and explained to DS who exactly sent them and that they were "playing santa with us".  He seems to get it.  He's a very imaginative kid and I don't worry about the "magic" aspect of it at all.  We are low-income enough that sometimes all we've had were homemade gifts....it was obvious that they all came from me.  There's no point in lying to him about santa bringing stuff because there was nothing extra for "santa" to bring!  That's one reason I don't agree with the whole santa thing is that kids are very perceptive and realize some of their friends get a lot more for xmas.  I don't want him thinking he's been bad and that's why he didn't get much.</p>
 

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<p>You could try something like this!</p>
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<p><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbh45srDylc" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbh45srDylc</a></p>
 

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<p>Think things like secret Santa and fairy tales, it does not take the magic completely out of it. It is still fun. Even my teens have fun with it and I like seeing what Santa brought and watching shows with Santa and everything. I love saying the noises on Christmas eve might be santa on the roof and watching the Santa Tracker. Ohhh....I just LOOOOVVVEEEE Christmas!!!!</p>
 
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