To Santa or not to Santa?

posted 3 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 91
2844 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Mill :  so what about all the kids who don’t believe in Santa for religious reasons?  Jewish kids?  Muslim kids?  Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc, etc.  Are they also not supposed to spoil the lie for your precious little children?

No they should not spoil the ‘lie’. I would hope non of my children would go to a Jewish child or a Muslim child and say ‘ why don’t you eat pork? Don’t you know pigs are just animals we eat etc’ If they did they would get a hiding for sure. It is OK to ask questions like ‘ can you tell me why you don’t eat certain things’ or ‘why do you have Father Christmas, what does he do’ etc. That is healthy learning about other people’s beliefs.

Post # 92
486 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Twizbe :  I agree, asking questions about others beleifs is a healthy learning.  But the examples you use are very religous based (not eating pork).  While Santa is wrapped up in the religious holiday of Christmas, he is not, in fact, a religious belief.  Not all sects of catholicism belief in Santa, he is not in the bible.  He is a character.  A story.  

Santa is certainly a fun tradition in some families but it is not the resposibility of others to not ‘spoil’ it for your kids.  I think a nice explaination of ‘some kids believe, and others dont’ is fair but that’s as far as parents need to go.

Post # 93
368 posts
Helper bee

Twizbe :  I will do my best to teach them to be nice but no, it really is not my problem. If they have to learn the hard way that there are consequences to their actions then so be it. That is not the only way to teach them to be nice, kind and caring. Like “playing santa” for other little boys and girls who will not get amy gifts at xmas.

Post # 94
484 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

My mother and grandmother (her MIL) had the same disagreement! Except that my mother told me Santa existed and my grandma told me he didn’t. Honestly I believed my mom because she was my mom (until 7 or so, when I started to logic my way through it). 

Your Mother-In-Law has boundary issues and she’s behaving really inappropriately. But the good news is that this is likely just a this year problem. I think the way you’re addressing it with your daughter (symbol, not real man delivering presents) is lovely. And by 7 or so your daughter will be able to just chuckle at her grandma who insists on pretending Santa is real. 

Post # 95
1459 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I think that if she can’t go along with the way you and your Darling Husband want to raise your children, she shouldn’t have access to grandkids. Period. There will be no Santa or Easter Bunny in my house and that is non-negotioable. If my in-laws try to force Santa or religion onto my kids, they simply won’t be able to see them. I understand that Santa isn’t “religion” technically, but he is inexplicably tied to Christianity by our culture, so its all the same.

Post # 96
198 posts
Blushing bee

I think kids can be a lot more empathetic than people think. I remember, a while back, seeing a Facebook post about some Jewish kids in a kindergarten class making a pact not to tell the Christian ones about Santa. When I was maybe four, my parents explained to me that while we didn’t believe in Santa, others did, and it wasn’t nice to tell then it was wrong, and I never said anything. Kids are capable of keeping secrets. 

But honestly, I don’t see why people are still debating about Santa on this thread. (And acting like OP is abusing her Dear Daughter or something! It’s not that big of a deal.) Christmas isn’t the problem here. It’s Mother-In-Law, expressly going against her wishes about raising her child, throwing fits when she’s told no, rubbing it in her face and bragging about it, and going as far as threatening OP. 

OP, I would definitely put more boundaries in place. Less visits, supervised when/if they’re together, and I really don’t blame you for not wanting to spend Christmas with her. Dear Daughter is your and your DH’s, first and foremost, and your Mother-In-Law needs to respect how you choose to raise her, grandmother or not. Santa might seem like a minor thing, but boundaries need to be set. And if she won’t listen to you on this, what else will she go behind your back and do?

Post # 97
14 posts
  • Wedding: July 2017

OP, your kid is not going to be an evil little devil on the playground yelling that Santa isn’t real and ruining the fantasy for everyone else’s special snowflakes.  As long as you are teaching her empathy and respect (like every parent should), this is such a non-issue.  My elemantary school had muslim and jewish children (and me – from a super atheist family), but no one “spoiled” Santa for anyone.  I found it was the kids who recently found out that he is not real that go around telling others.  I had to laugh at the PP who said you need to respect her beliefs about Santa while simultaneousty putting your beliefs down and trying to get you to change them.

I like the post from teddybears :  on what to do about Mother-In-Law.  More boundaries and no unsupervised visits.  I agree that if she is putting up this kind of a stink over this, what is her next problem going to be?

Post # 98
1471 posts
Bumble bee

You shouldn’t compare your situation to one with children from countries and religions that don’t teach Santa (who are none the wiser).  The difference is, your Mother-In-Law loves this tradition and has already started talking about Santa – so someone IS around your daughter talking about the fantasy.  And believe me, as soon as she’s in daycare or pre-school or elementary her friends will be talking about it, too.

I just think it’s really too bad.  Bah Humbug indeed… your reasoning does not stand (about your daughter assuming Santa will visit the homeless – come on).  So if your reasoning doesn’t stand, as many of us have pointed out, then what’s the point in being stubborn?  It’s a better quality to admit you were wrong and go with your Mother-In-Law on this one.  My niece is 2.5 and my sister hasn’t even talked about what Santa does – but she already calls him “Ho ho ho” and loves to sit in his lap once a year at Christmas.  It’s sweet and gives HOPE and you’re making your daughter miss out for no reason.

Post # 99
4258 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2009

Westwood :  thank you, yes!  There is always one kid in every class trying to spoil it for the others that still believe.


OP, you are right to be upset about your Mother-In-Law overstepping…  But not allowing your Dear Daughter to spend with Christmas with her grandparents is taking it a bit far imo.  There are plenty of things my parents and inlaws do with y kids that make me cringe, but their relationships are their own, and as a parent, I want to do all I can to foster those relationships.  And that cannot always be on my terms.  If you don’t want Santa in your house, that is fine, but he is allowed to go to other people’s houses and you are going to need to let that be I think.  Saying she must have the same rules/beliefs/traditions in her house as you do in yours doesn’t make much sense to me.  Your Dear Daughter is going to be exposed to a lot you don’t agree with, so teach what you teach, but you can’t control every environment.

Post # 100
6626 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

Are you guys out of your minds?  did you stop reading as soon as you saw that Santa wasn’t going to be in this woman’s house?  Allow me to recap for everyone who is insanely defending this Mother-In-Law and imagining a horrific future where this child hates her mom and ruins everyone else’s Christmas to boot:

1. Family decides they won’t have Santa (for their own reasons, not for us to decide if said reasons are valid or not).  They tell Mother-In-Law so before she even gives birth.  MIL has granddaughter hold up a sign saying “In this house we believe in Santa” and starts pouring stories about him into her ears.

2.  MIL is staring at DIL as though defying her to say anything whenever she tells these stories in front of her.  It appears from other things she’s written that Mother-In-Law knows mom won’t fight back in front of her daughter, so she can’t stop her.  Husband says something, Mother-In-Law actually says ‘he can’t make her stop.’

3.  Mom tries to explain what Santa actually is.  Daughter gets so upset, thanks to Mother-In-Law, that she calls her own mother a liar and bursts into tears.

4. Mom talks to Mother-In-Law and is told “you don’t get to tell me how to celebrate and you don’t get to ruin my grand baby with your crazy beliefs.”

5. Mom decides enough is enough and they won’t attend Xmas at the (disrespectful, overstepping) in-laws.  MIL says she’ll make her regret it

And you ladies are telling her that she’s destroying her daughter’s sense of fantasy, making her daughter turn into an evil witch who tells everyone else Santa isn’t real, and should just get over it all and let Mother-In-Law have her way in this case.  If you truly, honestly believe all that, you are just as bad as her Mother-In-Law is!  This woman is a disgusting excuse for a grandmother.  She is unkind, hateful, spiteful and vindictive and should not be permitted to be her granddaughter’s role model in any way, shape or form until she pulls her head out of her ass, apologizes and stops overstepping her boundaries.  There is absolutely nothing to argue about here, the consensus should be 100% on mom’s side.

Post # 102
1039 posts
Bumble bee

skunktastic :  I’m with you. The issue has sailed over a lot of people’s heads here because people can’t seem to tell the difference between a vindictive Mother-In-Law who basically told her son and daughter-in-law to fuck off with their parenting wishes and their own childhood memories of the Christmas season.

Post # 103
610 posts
Busy bee

But OP, your post title is ‘to santa or not to santa’.

People have answered that Q. 

Change the thread title as it’s obviously not the question you want considered.

Post # 105
757 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

eagleandimgone :  ahaha, I love the alternative titles.

Seriously, in-laws are sometimes just the worst, and if you don’t set up boundaries early on they will try to meddle with everything else later on! 

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