(Closed) Parents who did not tell their kids Santa is real

posted 2 months ago in Parenting
Post # 2
Member
8007 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

We approached it from a more middle-ground–that Santa wasn’t just one individual, we were all Santa and we all had a responsibility to help others have a happy Christmas. We adopted a family for Christmas each year and they helped shop for and wrap the gifts, we contributed to giving trees, they put the money in the Salvation Army buckets and toys in the Toys-for-Tots bins, etc. While they made their lists and enjoyed opening presents Christmas morning the entire season was focused more upon giving than receiving. 

Post # 3
Member
6161 posts
Bee Keeper

We did this. I’m not keen on encouraging imagination by lying to my kids; there are other ways. My sister went along with the Santa thing and we had words when she wanted the presents we’d bought for her kids to be from Santa. Um, no.

Post # 4
Member
1425 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

There is no way to control this.  Parents who lie to their children about the existence of santa have to realize and accept that the day is going to come when they learn the truth and there isn’t a damn thing they can do about it. 

Making a big deal out of getting everyone who comes in contact with their child on board with the lie is OTT in my opinion.   Honestly, isn’t parenting hard enough without adding something so trivial to stress over? 

If they are so committed to keeping their kid in the dark then they need to figure out how to keep up the charade rather than expect everyone else to fall in line, especially another child that is only 6 months older. 

Post # 5
Member
3697 posts
Sugar bee

This is not something I honestly ever gave a lot of thought to, until our 3 year old came home from school recently talking about Santa. I guess she learned about him there. She’s all excited about Santa and we don’t wanna burst her bubble so I guess we are going along with it lol.

About spilling the beans, I dont think theres a ton you can do about that tbh. You just cant really control what your child may or may not say to other kids, esp when it comes to toddlers. I distinctly remember a neighborhood girl spilling the beans about Santa not being real to me when I was 5 or 6 years old. It wasn’t traumatic or anything and I remember deciding on my own to continue “believing” for a few years after that. 

The reality is anyone who believes in Santa is going to have that “magic” ruined for them eventually, and this is something parents who encourage belief in Santa need to be prepared for.

Post # 6
Member
4812 posts
Honey bee

I wouldn’t say that my immediate family raised me to not believe in Santa, we just weren’t big on the whole childhood myths thing (no tooth fairy, easter bunny, etc – we did all the things surrounding them like money under the pillow and easter baskets but no pretense that it was anyone other than my family) and I just figured the Santa thing out on my own at a ridiculously young age before I ever remember actually “believing” or even really being introduced to the concept.  And I “spoiled” it for my cousins who were also present when I figured this out (basically, I immediately recognized “Santa” and the illusion was lost).  We all managed to grow up to be happy, healthy productive members of society despite my “ruining” the myth of Santa for them. 

I’m not exactly sure you need to fret about this all that much.  Kids talk.  They grow and learn.  It’s not up to anyone’s child to preserve the myth for all other children.  Just teach them to be kind people who understand that some people choose to believe in XYZ thing.

Post # 7
Member
1625 posts
Bumble bee

My twins also won’t be brought up with the belief that Santa really exists. They are almost four and know he’s just “pretend”. I might tell them when they’re a little older that some children believe he is real and to respect that (same as I would for God, or any other religious entity), but I won’t be worrying too much about it. It’s not my job, or their job, to uphold others’ misbeliefs – and I can’t stand parents who think it is. 

Post # 8
Member
107 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

I’m definitely doing Santa, so I don’t have the same perspective. But I think there could be a way you can frame it to the kids that don’t believe in Santa, letting them know the spirit of Santa. The spirit of Santa still exist in all of us, and the spirit of Christmas still exists in all of us. I think all kids will eventually find out from other kids, it’s not like it’s a big secret that’s going to last forever. All of us parents that do Santa know it’s a short-lived idea. But that doesn’t mean we need people intentionally spoiling the magic on purpose to be mean. You can just teach your kids that everyone has different beliefs and that’s okay for them and no one belief is wrong, and this is true with religion and lifestyle as well. Teach them good manners and respect, and to respect the different beliefs of others and you should be okay. 

Post # 9
Member
171 posts
Blushing bee

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@annabananabee:  [quote] I’m not exactly sure you need to fret about this all that much.  Kids talk.  They grow and learn.  It’s not up to anyone’s child to preserve the myth for all other children.  Just teach them to be kind people who understand that some people choose to believe in XYZ thing. [/quote]

I think this sums it up nicely. It’s not unreasonable to explain to your child that others have different beliefs and ask them to be kind and respectful of that. However, at the end of the day, kids are kids and you can’t control what your LO will say. Anyone that grew up believing in Santa eventually found out that he wasn’t real and we all lived to tell the tale. I wouldn’t fret about it. 🙂

Post # 10
Member
2771 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

I don’t think you need to have like, 2 hour long family chat sessions where you drill into them not to ruin the magic, but it’s also possible to say from day one “some kids believe in Santa so don’t go around saying he’s not real to your friends.” I don’t think you need to stay up at night worrying about them “ruining” it for others if you’ve done your best, but I also think it’s common courtesy to at least make an attempt at it. 

We’re planning to do Santa (well, Santa-lite, all big gifts will be from us), because it was something that was really enjoyable to me as a small kid, and while I don’t expect our kid’s classmates to “perpetuate a lie” for us, I’d at least hope their parents make a half-hearted attempt to say “hey, some families do X so if someone believes in Santa, let them.” Kids will talk, especially young kids, so it’s not the end of the world if a chatty 4-5 year old says something about Santa not being real. 

Not to be offensive by comparing Santa to religion, but I really do think it’s the same as any other belief vs. non-belief situation. We’re atheists, and we have no interest in teaching our kids about religion from the perspective that “all beliefs are equally true and valid” (because while most of our family is religious and we don’t care what others choose to believe, we don’t believe that, so we’re not going to pretend to for our kids). Part of that will include teaching our kids to not walk up to another kid and say “Jesus wasn’t real”. I mean, he might at some point, because kids don’t have the best filters, but our hope is that by framing it from a young age that “even though we don’t do/believe X or Y, some families do, so we make sure to be respectful of that even if it’s different from us” that we can avoid the issue as much as possible. 

Post # 11
Member
7990 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

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@littlebuzz:  Ha! You make an excellent point. In the community where I live, plenty of people would have a bird over their kids being told the God myth isn’t real, but have no issue actively and intentionally ruining the Santa myth for kids who aren’t their own. In neither case is it the responsibility of those who don’t accept the myth to perpetuate it.

Post # 12
Member
1625 posts
Bumble bee

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@annabe11a:  “But that doesn’t mean we need people intentionally spoiling the magic on purpose to be mean. You can just teach your kids that everyone has different beliefs and that’s okay for them and no one belief is wrong”

This is all a great place to start from and very good in theory. It’s what I do with my kids, but “intentionally spoiling the magic on purpose to be mean” is at the extreme end of the spectrum. Most younger kids would just inadvertently say it, they chat about random stuff constantly. It’s a while before they really understand the concept of saying something just to be cruel, and it also takes a long time before kids understand the concept of multiple “truths” and not just one. In my experience at least, a lot of parents would be furious at an inadvertent slip alone, as Santa obsessed as they are. I’ve had a friend tell me if my kids dare ever let slip that Santa isn’t real she’d be calling me up to tell me off. I’ve even had some random woman on another forum tell me she thinks it’s a form of mistreatment to not do Santa. 

Some Santa-Moms are nuts, lol. 

Post # 13
Member
3926 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

I think it would be pretty easy to just tell your kid, “Some kids think Santa is a real man who visits their house and brings presents, so be sure not to tell anyone that Santa isn’t real, because it would make them sad.” 

Post # 14
Member
107 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

View original reply
@littlebuzz:  oh yeah I totally agree with that!! I understand kids are kids and things will happen, and we’ll hold on the the magic with our kids as long as we can but I won’t “lie” if/when they figure it out either. I didn’t necessarily mean that kids will be spoiling it just to be mean, but I can certainly see some moms out there that would do that. There are plenty of moms that are just as equally against Santa and passionate as those that are for Santa, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if there were parents out there not caring and/or telling their child to spoil it lol. To modify your phrase a little bit, some moms are nuts in general (both pro and against Santa) hahaha. 

Post # 15
Member
1769 posts
Buzzing bee

I always let my daughter know that Santa is part of Christmas, just like the Easter bunny is part of Easter and ghouls and goblins are part of Halloween.  Santa has always been a character she recognized as associated with the Christmas holiday, but not as a real person.  She’s older now too and always says she knows Santa is not real.  I didn’t want her to grow up thinking certain “people” or characters were real in life, but kids eventually figure it out anyways.

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