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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ms ds will be 2 1/2 ay christmas this year and I am trying to figure out how to approach it, if at all....just wondering how others handle it. I have fond memories of Santa and I hate to deprive him of that, but I'd like to avoid it being such a big deal too. Last christmas it was not really discussed...

maria
 

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DS will be 20 months at Christmas and I'm up in the air as to handle this one as well. I don't want to "stifle" his imagination, or have him miss out on any fun but at the same time I have big issues in encouraging him to believe in something that isn't real. Even akin to lying to him.

I think the way we will probably go is to just present Santa as a fairytale type character and have all the presents (I say "all" but we try not to buy too much, don't want to encourage materialism) come from parents. Might do one "Santa present" per year.

Oh I don't know, it's a tough one!
 

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The way I see it, kids have to grow up so fast nowadays. They are coming into a world that is frightening and menacing and is so serious and depressing. More and more kids and adults are going on antidepressants, psychology is booming, and nothing on the news is ever happy. If I can give my children even a few years of magic and mystery, I'll do it. Christmas isn't about Santa, but it is about caring for each other and appreciating the magic in the world around us, the interconnectedness of everything and everyone. If Santa can help my children to stay innocent and believe in their dreams just a bit longer, and if he can teach them compassion and charity, then I will gladly add his name to a few gifts under the tree.
 

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I agree with busy bee mommy. I have really fond memories of Santa -- of reading books about Santa Claus, watching movies about him, getting excited for Christmas. I remember even thinking I heard sleigh bells on Christmas Eve! (I have a wild imagination!) I remember realizing Santa wasn't real at some point and being a little disappointed but not really that much because by that point you realize there probably isn't really someone that can come down your chimney, and every child's chimney, in ONE night!
About the same time you realize the tooth fairy, the easter bunny, and the boogeyman aren't real... I think in a way it was a part of growing up, and I remember still having fun talking to my younger siblings and cousins about Santa.

My DS is still young, but I think we will probably go with the Santa flow... I feel like he'd be missing out on something if we didn't.
 

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We are going to call him Father Christmas. I know it sounds silly, but I hope to disassociate our version from the over commercialized one in this country and also disassociate from the dressed up guys at the mall that freak my boys out. I don't know, "father Christmas" just sounds more serene and less extravagant...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I guess I should add that I agree with everyone in that the fond memories I have of the delight of Christmas morning, and the anticipation of believing....but my 12 year old niece felt like she was "lied to" when she found out, and I am struggling with if there is anyway to avoid that. Can you somehow keep the magic but not "lie"? I know we will not be doing more than one gift and maybe a small stocking of goodies if we do Santa, so I am not so stressed about the commercialism part, but just the whole idea...how do you even begin to talk about it, explain it.....I never imagined it being so challenging.

maria
 

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It was in agreement that before we had kids we would not teach our children that santa, easter bunny, or tooth fairy are real. We told our son the truth, that the parents are really "santa" ect and that it was just a game. We've been xmas free for 3 years now though, so it's a non issue anymore.
 

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We do Santa here. He fills the stockings and it's not contingent upon how "good" you are. Stockings are filled threat-free. I just think it adds to the fun. Ds loves making cookies every year and decorating special ones to leave out for Santa.
 

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We're doing Santa out the wazoo over here!

I haven't had to work out a specific narrative yet, as the tykes aren't even 2, but I'm planning to invest plenty of time and energy into all the myths and rites of our culture (and anyone else's I feel like co-oping). It's good for them, it's fun, it amuses me, and life is too short not to enjoy every bit of it.

When they're teenagers, they're welcome to tell me it was all "bogus" (or whatever term they'll be using then).

Hopefully I'll live long enough to watch them resurrect the corny stuff for their own kids, and I'll just chuckle. Or drool and wet my pants, depending.
 

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Check out John Matthews' book The Winter Solstice. It gets a little hokey for my taste but has such great info about sort of deepening the holiday. Other great books I've enjoyed and now get to enjoy again (kids 10 years apart) are The Children's Year and All Year Round. These are a bit Waldorfy but they're really just crafts for the seasons. All Year Round also has origins, stories, etc. I found these helpful in making sure the holidays were about more than just Santa/gifts or religious stuff. It's the traditions that mean something to us, and ultimately mean more to the children.
 

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We are totally about Santa but we also teach about & celebrate Saint Nicholas on Dec 6 !!

I never felt lied to, my DD never felt lied to & frankly.... never met an adult that felt "slighted/lied to" about Santa...

I'm in my 40s & still get a Santa present & so do my loved ones


we enjoys the reason in the feast of St. Nicholas !!
 

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I am doing Santa for my kids. I don't know how well my DS will understand this year, but I plan on trying anyway. I think I will do the stockings from Santa and one gift each. my late DH had wanted to eventually even dress up as Santa every year and come for a visit.
 

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we don't do Santa for economic SOCIAL JUSTICE reasons (and we really are not THAT crunchy)

as a child and as an adult i never understood how to explain that Santa brought the middle-class folks lots of presents and the poor kids like us so little
did he like them more?? what do you tell your kids? and my mom made a lot of sacrifices as a single parent to get as many special things as she could.

this is the first year we could afford gifts in the 50 dollar range per child (oldest will get scooters, babies a wagon but with gift money) but we have always spent 10 dollars or less per child and (with the exception of the last couple years when we were on the angel tree ourselves) something for a less fortunate mom and child. dh and i don't exchange gifts.

my ds1 is problematically telling people santa is a myth and ds2 is starting to also which upsets my friends
 

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Some recommendations

1. Let them tell *you* about Santa after the first few years.
2. Have a planned time and way to tell them that Santa is a myth if they don't figure things out for themselves. (Yes, I do know at least one 15 year old who has never thanked her mother for her Christmas presents since "Santa brought them"
: But her mother's fine with it, so not my business.)
3. Don't have all the gifts come from Santa.
4. Santa should *only* bring gifts. Read a story about a family whose traditions stated that he brought the tree too, talk about a hassle getting a tree on Christmas Eve (after the children were asleep).


My parents never taught me about Santa, in a child psychology study it was found that I was a "true believer".
Oddly enough, it never bothered me that I never got presents from Santa.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mariag
....but my 12 year old niece felt like she was "lied to" when she found out, and I am struggling with if there is anyway to avoid that. Can you somehow keep the magic but not "lie"? I know we will not be doing more than one gift and maybe a small stocking of goodies if we do Santa, so I am not so stressed about the commercialism part, but just the whole idea...how do you even begin to talk about it, explain it.....I never imagined it being so challenging.
maria
I think that whether or not a child feels "lied to" has to do with two things.
Some people have a temperament that doesnt allow for much imagination. Some people are "ultra literal" and take everything extremely seriously. A child like this probably should be handled very carefully when it comes to Santa. And it is probably a good idea to start coming clean withthe child before they start to doubt if they never really grasp the idea of playing pretend.
Also some parents start out on the right foot and share SAnta and I dont think it is a lie. But when kids ask for the truth, and seriously doubt and then parents take steps to try to trick them into continuing to believe, this is lying.
So if you always tell the story of santa, fill a stocking, put out cookies etc. . .it isnt a lie until your child asks "is Santa Real?" and you say "Yes of course he is." Say instead "What do you think?" etc. ..

My dd started suspecting around age 8. She told her dad but didnt mention it to me because she wanted to continue to live as if she didnt know.
At 13 she still pretends to believe in Santa because it is more fun that way.

Joline
 

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I have found myself explaining it in terms of "that's how the story goes" and then leaving it to ds to figure out if it is true or not.

Of course my family has other ideas but I am beginning to think that is the purpose of family.


I like the idea of Santa doing stocking tho and maybe we will do that.
 

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We're going to do the "santa fills the stocking," but I think we'll make it more of a fun pretending thing. I guess Santa will be as real as elmo..... when he's old enough to realize that elmo (or the like) is pretend, Santa will be pretend too..... but pretending can be really fun too
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by polka123
We are totally about Santa but we also teach about & celebrate Saint Nicholas on Dec 6 !!

I never felt lied to, my DD never felt lied to & frankly.... never met an adult that felt "slighted/lied to" about Santa...

I'm in my 40s & still get a Santa present & so do my loved ones


we enjoys the reason in the feast of St. Nicholas !!
I really like this idea! We are planning to do a "Santa" tradition that is a combination of how it was done in each of our homes growing up. We had some presents that my parents put out late on Christmas even that were from "Santa" but also presents from mom, dad & to each other as siblings. My Dh's family tradition was similar, although he is insistent (and has been since we were dating!) that the stockings not be filled till Christmas eve - ours were always filled ahead & we tried to get into them...they were not from "santa" but from mom & dad...don't know why?

Anyway...we have discussed how we will include Santa but not have a heartbreaking betrayal when dd gets older. I love your idea about including the feast of St. Nicholas. That was basically our idea, teaching the real story behind Santa & that it is a tradition that we celebrate rather than a real entity. But the big explanation may wait a few years...dd is only 18 mths & was to young to get any of what was going on last year, just liked the wrapping paper
 

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I really like all ideas about how to Celebrate! I think Santa can be whoever/whatever you want it to be.

But about the "lying" aspect: I do have a sister in law who feels totally lied too (still). but that is part her personality and maybe the way her mom didn't deal with her developing understanding of what was going around her.

Here's the approach my mom used and I think it is really great. She always said that Santa is magic and he is real as long as you believe. Same with easter bunny, tooth fairy etc. We had a lot of magic growing up... I remember one courthouse on the way to visit my grandparents, the road split to go around it but as far as we were concerned, we closed our eyes and mom flew OVER it. I still remember imagining the wings coming out of the van.

I don't know, but I always felt this reasoning had room to grow, so as I got older, I still believed in "santa" but the magic of santa became giving and surprises and acts of love and my idea can still grow. Maybe that is why I still "believe in Santa".

I think it also lends itself more to understanding why others celebrate differently (getting more or doing different things) and can help children think about creating good (or magic) in their own lives.

Now, here's crossing fingers dh the literalist/rationalist won't put up a big fight LOL
 
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