I was raised to believe in Santa. I remember a nasty little boy told me, when I was like 6, that santa wasn’t real, but I didn’t believe him. I eventually figured it out when I was older, but it was a gradual realization and it did not scar me or traumatize me at all. Even when we were dirt poor, my extended family (I later learned) made sure we had presents Christmas morning… I was SURE Santa was real for that fact alone. Eventually when I was 10 or 11, my dad would have me do all the Christmas shopping (long story, it was just me, my dad and little brother), so I pretty well had it figured out by then that there wasn’t a Santa..lol
What I struggled with more was the fact that in Church, I was taught that Christmas was when Jesus was born… when it really wasn’t. That I found more difficult to reconcile, and for a few years in my teenage life, I strayed from my Christian beliefs because of it. I did feel very … betrayed in a sense.
Essentially, Christians stole the holiday of “Yule” (where most of these Christmas traditions stem from to begin with), in order to convert pagans… yeesh. Now THAT is what bothered me for years…not that Santa wasn’t real. lol
Of course, I have gotten over than, and my full understanding of WHY and HOW we celebrate Christmas, gives me a better appreciation of the holiday.
Anyways. I think that kids don’t need to be told by their parents that santa is not real. They eventually find out through peers, and may ask their parents…so then the parents can have that little talk… but breaking that belief before then, just seems so cruel.
I have heard of now grownups refusing to include Santa in their Christmas festivities because of the trauma it put them through to learn that their parents had lied to them about Santa, etc. Seems a little exteme, but to each their own.
I have a now 2 year old, and she will get all the joy and fun of Santa, the tooth fairy AND the easter bunny 🙂 hehe It just adds to the magic of childhood!