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nak
my son will be 3.5 at Christmas this year, and I guess he's at the age where he could understand Santa. I'm kind of torn about this. On one hand, we'll be celebrating with our families, who will all be really into the whole Santa thing.
I loved it when I was a kid--I always got so excited about Santa's visit.
And, I realize that children believe in magic, and I believe that they should be allowed to.
OTOH, I feel like I'm lying to him, kwim?
Anyone have any thoughts on this? What do you do in your families?
 

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I am torn on this as well... I did go with the Santa thing, mainly because of remembering my childhood and my beliefs. I remember waking up Christmas morning all excited to see the extra gifts under the tree. But, I am also teaching my children the reason we celebrate Christmas... and they each say a prayer for Jesus before they open any gifts.
 

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We won't be doing santa, because we really feel it is lying. We want to be consistant in our belief that lying isn't ok, no matter what the circumstance or occasion. We have opporrtunity for fun and magic without lying.
 

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Santa is a part of our holiday tradition. In many ways, we have no choice, my dad has been "A Santa" for more than 15 years-- complete with all natural beard and belly, real boots, velvet suit, the works. The Santa story can get so overblown though, and really, could he possibly fit many toys for all the children of the world in his sleigh? What about poor children? Why don't they get lots of presents,etc. To deal with this, Santa only brings one gift, and the stocking gifts to our house. Santa brings Elliott the gift he really wants, but it might not be the main gift, and it's never a large gift (not enough room in the sleigh). In this way, we can keep the tradition of Santa, without buying into the notion that Santa brings everything your heart desires in nicely gift-wrapped packages, which just isn't our notion of the holiday. Santa brings the gift no matter what, we certainly don't think that gifts from Santa should be tied into bizarre notions of behavior modification. This has worked well for us so far.
 

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I agree with Wemberly

I loved Christmas morning and finding a surprise under the tree. I am insisting that our family stays home at Christmas so we can share that family tradition. DD is now 3.5 and is very aware
: of presents (birthdays/christmas) so we are now dealing with a little bit of greed on her part. I hope talking to her about the reason we give presents and spending time with our family as a tradition will lessen the "I wants". I am limiting her "santa presents" to a couple and like the idea of making them smaller gifts. We don't wrap them and the will be waiting for her when she gets up on Christmas morning.

I don't think that Santa is lying to my child, it is part of the fantasy of being a child and having that magic.

Robin
 

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But it is lying. You are telling your child that something is real or true when it isn't. There is just no way around that.

Kailey knows of santa, but she knows of him like she knows of Dora or Bert and Ernie. They are characters in a book, pictures, nothing more.

I can't (for my child) ever feel comfortable with getting her to believe ina nd be excited about something that doesn't exist.
 

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We will be doing Santa with our dd who is now about 17 months and the twins we're expecting in the new year. I don't believe telling about Santa Clause is lying to my child as he is based on a real Saint; Saint Nicholas who did do good things and spread the love of God and the season and spirit of Christmas to those around him. My dd and twins will know that Santa is based on St. Nicolas and that the primary reason for celebrating Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus. I think if all they know is some cartoony character of Santa and not the story and traditions behind it, you could consider it lying. I always loved the tradition of "La Befana" of my Italian culture who would leave gifts in our shoes. She's just another incarnation of St. Nicolas/Santa Clause.

JMO

F.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Fleurette
We will be doing Santa with our dd who is now about 17 months and the twins we're expecting in the new year. I don't believe telling about Santa Clause is lying to my child as he is based on a real Saint; Saint Nicholas who did do good things and spread the love of God and the season and spirit of Christmas to those around him. My dd and twins will know that Santa is based on St. Nicolas and that the primary reason for celebrating Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus. I think if all they know is some cartoony character of Santa and not the story and traditions behind it, you could consider it lying. I always loved the tradition of "La Befana" of my Italian culture who would leave gifts in our shoes. She's just another incarnation of St. Nicolas/Santa Clause.

JMO

F.
Dear F~

Santa Claus as we know of him today is a ficticious character, he never existed.

True if you are telling your children that St. Nicholas DID exist but no longer does, then no that wouldn't be lying. BUT, if you pretend that he is the one leaving the gifts under the tree THAT is a lie. How could you argue with that?
 

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http://www.stnicholascenter.org

This is a nice website with ideas about St Nicholas if you're interested. We have a Coca Cola version of "'Twas The Night..." and we read it once in a while then talk about how "the Spirit of St Nick" comes and puts treats [and coal!!] in stockings etc. It is also a newer tradition in my family that *I* am actually "Sandy-Klaus" hohoho :LOL complete with red hat, so "of course" *I* deliver goodies!!

Happy Holidays!!

PS. We used to get oranges and coal in our laundered socks around the 6th when I was a kid. And celebrate epiphany in Jan. Etc. But "modern day" [hahaha] hectic with both parents working etc narrowed it to tree and church the 24th, socks and presents the 25th, cleanup the 26th, and back to work. Sigh. We are actually trying to add back some of our old family traditions, and Santa *is* one of them.
 

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I'm with you Potty Diva! It is lying, and it's also just a huge marketing ploy.

My husband doesn't exactly agree with me. But, I won't let him take the kids to the mall to make them sit on some scary man's lap just to have their picture taken with "Santa." If you think about it, it's kind of a sick ritual.

I would rather not do the Santa thing at all... but we have compromised and agreed to do Santa as a fun pretend guy... I'm drawing the line at anyone who starts using Santa to make my daughter act "nice instead of naughty." I think that's just underhanded behavioral manipulation, not part of an honest parent child relationship. Ok, I'm ranting, and I'm going to stop now.
 

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I have always said that there are gifts in the "Spirit of Santa Claus" - stockings and one or two special gifts. I have always wrapped them in the same paper as the rest of our gifts and they have my handwriting on the tags. The kids have heard me talk about stocking stuffers and sometimes seen me buying them or storing them. They know that people dress up and play Santa. They still choose to believe. It is a very magical part of the season for them. I'm sure that they would have a perfectly wonderful holiday even if we didn't 'do Santa', but everyone enjoys it. I think it is much more a big game of pretend with everyone playing than it is lie.

Besides, someonehas got to eat those cookies.
 

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Summer~

I completely agree with your choice of doing santa in the way you choose to do santa.

What I adhamently disagree with is saying to your children that Santa has brought them gifts, when in fact it was not Santa that brough the gifts at all.

Doing something in the spirit of something is a super idea
 

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Growing up we never had Santa, tooth fairy, Easter bunny, or any other make believe character. I never felt excluded or gyped. I still loved those holidays and appreciated my parents, not some imaginary guy, for what I recieved. My dh had them all. In our current family we have numerous books with Santa, Josef has had a personal visit from Santa every year, but he knows it's just our next door neighbor in a costume (he's an annual Santa at a charity dinner). But he hasn't recieved any gifts from Santa, because I want credit for the things I pick out for him. He still will have the excitement Christmas morning at finding gifts from us. There's no less magic or anticipation. We don't ban Santa, he's just a man in a costume and a good story to read about. We don't have any decorations with Santa or greeting cards with Santa, because if we celebrate Jesus's birth (Christmas) I want it to be clear that's what we're celebrating. I have a problem with nonchristians celebrating Christmas and swapping out Baby Jesus for Santa, instead of just creating their own be nice and exchange gifts Day. Although the whole elves working like that makes me think of slave labor.... But those are other issues...
 

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We don't do Santa because we also feel it is lying to our children. We will have stories about a make-believe Santa if they wish (like any other fictional character) but we will never claim that he is real. In our house gifts are made or bought to show gratitude to/for the people we love.
Laurie
 

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A couple of years ago my son brought home reindeer food from a school activity. You sprinkle it in your yard and the glitter helps Santa find your house and th reindeer have some oatmeal and field corn to snack on while Santa's inside. So, of course he had to put this out in the yard. We live in a very rural area and there are plenty of deer who took advantage of the food, so in the morning there was plenty of evidence that Santa had indeed visited - dozens of deer prints in the snow. He still insists that those prints were obviously different from the other prints we see all the time.
 

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I LOVED Santa and the Easter Bunny etc growing up, and I hung onto it as long as I could (as in I belived through first grade despite glaring evidences to the contrary). I belived (really belived) in fairy gardens too, in all kinds of magical things. I loved it all. I was still trying to move things with my eyes in 4th grade (if I just practiced enough . . .).

While I think it is ligitimate to decide that Santa Clause is "lying" and not do it with your kids, it is also legitimate to decide it isn't "lying." Lying just is not quite as black and white as we can make it seem; nothing ever is.

My dh says he never believed in Santa Clause and that his parents never really played it. He got presents and stockings from Santa, but he wasn't into it and so neither were they. He is naturally less imaginative and interior oriented than I am

I don't think most children are deprived w/o a SC, but I likewise don't think most will be harmed or confused about "truth telling" by SC. I will follow my kids clues. If they take after me they will LOVE Santa and we will play it quite a bit (especially the flying raindeer, I LOVED the flying raindeer). But if they take after my DH, Santa won't be a big deal in our house.

Also, we aren't religious, so SC fits well with our idea of what chirstmas is about - a celebration of love and generousity in the midst of barren winter.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by mamawanabe
BTW, and this may be OT so feel free to ignore, I am always surprised at how defensive and militant Santa thread get (on both sides of the SC aisle). Why, I wonder.
Because we always talk about being truthful with our children, and it seems when santa is involved that truth telling goes right out the window.

We also do not lie and tell Kailey something is gone or finished when it isn't.

Take for example: We had grapes the other night and after we had our share we started to put them back in the fridge. Kailey got upset and wanted more. It would have been easier for me to say, "They're all gone. " But instead we say, "that's enough for right now, we need to save some for later." Now, she may be upset about this, but she'll get over it. And we'll have grapes for later.

THIS is how important it is for us to be truthful with our child.

I have heard people say it's ok to lie to save peoples feelings, but I disagree. In fact IRL, if this comes up I don't comment on the subject, rather than being PC and LIE.
 

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I do lie to my kids on occasion, sometimes my dd will ask me if her hair looks pretty after she "does it" herself, and I say "you bet" I do think "lying" to spare feelings is ok, to an extent. I also do not lie about the cookies being gone, or about Santa Claus.

I refuse to tell my children that Santa "is coming" or that he brought them this or that. However, my dd (3.5 y.o.) has decided that Santa exists, when she talks about him coming, I just say, "You think so?" or something like that. I read them books about St. Nick, and I won't lie, however dh thinks we should go full speed ahead with Santa, so we have compromised on not lying, and not forcing the truth, YK? If my dd asks me who a gift is from, I will tell her the thruth (but I think she will assume Santa and not ask). If she wants to leave out cookies, I will eat them- but that has a lot more to do with my love of cookies


I think there is more room for Jesus when Santa is not so pronounced, but I do not judge what other people chose to tell their children.
 

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I'm learning as this thread progresses. I like it when that happens


Jess,
I really like your response to your daughter saying santa is coming, "you think so?" It gives the child a chancee to *think* about it and decide for herself.

This might be something we decide if the santa questions arise.

Thanks
 
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