Post # 32
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
Fantasy is really important for children. It helps them be imaginative and creative. If letting your children believe in Santa is lying to them, so is exposing them to fiction, letting them watch movies and shows with animals that talk, and letting them believe in imaginary friends. I think the important part is to be prepared to handle the transition that will inevitably come when children realize that fantasy is just fantasy. You should be ready to guide them to transitioning their thinking about Santa from the concrete to the abstract, to see him as symbolic of generosity and kindness and an embodiment of ideals insteal of a real, living person.
ETA: Growing up, only our stocking was from Santa. The gifts were from mom and dad. This made it pretty easy for my mom to not have to worry if we woke up in the middle of the night to find her putting presents under the tree.
I also feel like letting your children believe in Santa gives them an opportunity to develop ciritical thinking skills… no one had to tell me Santa wasn’t real. As you get older, you notice that Santa is at both malls in town at the same time… every day… for a month. You start the consider the impossibility of him visiting every home. You start to ask how he gets into your house without a chimney and apst the alarm. This is an opportunity for your child to develope early critical thinking skills.
Post # 33
No he didn’t which surprised the heck out of me. I thought for sure he would cry. Considering he crys usually if he doesn’t know the person. So to me that holds some special place in my heart to know there is magic in believing in Santa.
Post # 34
My daughter is turning 9 next week. She still believes, although I think this will probably be her last Christmas believing in Santa. I was about the same age when I realised. I am so glad for all the magic and the wonderful memories we’ve had with her at Christms. I don’t get the whole ‘it’s lying to your kids.’ I think it’s ridiculous.
Post # 35
We don’t plan on doing the whole Santa thing with our kids. It isn’t even so much because it’s lying – I know that we can’t always tell our kids the whole truth and as parents we need to choose what’s best for them. I just don’t want to watch their little hearts get broken when they find out the truth. Plus, keeping up the ruse can be a lot of work. I didn’t believe in Santa when I was growing up and I still loved Christmas.
Though now that I think of it, my constant pestering about what I wanted for Christmas was probably more annoying for my parents than trying to keep up the Santa ruse. And they definitely still lied to me. They lied about where they were hiding the presents!
Post # 36
Ha. I like this approach. Since DH is Christian and I’m agnostic, I suspect “Daddy believes but I’m skeptical” will be a common theme in our house! :/
I remember at least one year, I insisted on leaving milk and cookies out because that was just what was done. Still didn’t believe, just liked the idea. I was kind of a weird kid.
Post # 37
Santa will be a part of our household traditions. But so will be celebrating the birth of Jesus. Santa is magical and a fun part of Christmas and I can’t imagine not having that as a kid. We received stockings from Santa (and still do) and any other gifts were from our parents and family. We still talk about Santa like he is real, although we are all adults and obviously know. I told my husband what I’d like from Santa and my 23 year old sister still goes and has her picture taken with Santa every year.
I think that when your kids get to the age that they start questioning Santa you just have to be prepared to tell them in an appropriate way. I’m sure it comes earlier these days with all the media and so many kids at school with different religions/cultures.
Post # 38
I’m on the fence about Santa.
On one hand, man, that was fun believing in him!
On the other hand, I felt betrayed when I learned the truth (Read it in “Superfudge.” Did anyone else find out this way?
My problem with it is that it fosters a sense of entitlement. I’m a little afraid that if the kids know Santa gives them gifts for being good, they will always think they deserve some sort of special reward just for doing what they’re supposed to. Um, no: In the adult world, that reward is called “not going to jail.”
Also, it kind of backhandedly fosters classism. Little Bobby was good this year, and Santa brought him a Caddilac Escalade bigwheel, a PS3, a paintball gun, tickets to Disneyworld and a pony. Little Timmy was just as good (or possibly better!) and Santa brought him two knock-off G.I. Joes from Dollar Tree. What kind of message does THAT send?
Also, has anyone ever noticed that Santa Claus is like cargo cults for first-world children? Not trying to be insensitive in any way, but this was something that occurred to me in a sociology class and has kind of stuck with me ever since, especially as I’ve watched a couple classmates who had an attitude of “Stupid natives, lol” now raise their kid to believe in Santa. I just roll my eyes…..
Post # 39
I grew up never believing in Santa (the lack of chimney didn’t help that either) so personally I don’t care if my hypothetical children ever believed in Santa, just because I didn’t.
Post # 40
I believed in Santa and when I grew out it, I don’t remember feeling lied to or betrayed. I was the oldest, and I helped my parents keep Santa alive for my younger siblings – it was fun being part of the secret.
Post # 41
I also still believe in “Santa”!! 🙂 (I’m turning 35 soon.)
After we found out the dude in the red suit was not real, my mom, in her infinite wisdom, told us “Santa” could be anyone – and encouraged us to do nice things for strangers (just like “santa” does….like buying the homeless dude a meal every once in a while or, if someone (esp a kid) is behind you in line at the store, paying for their stuff too). I guess it kinda became a “pay it forward”- type thing for us. I hope, if we ever have kids, I can teach mine to do the same.
Post # 42
Santa is the “spirit” of Christmas- covers all ages;)
Post # 43
I like your point about class differences. When I was a kid, my mom was dirt poor. There would be like two presents under the tree for us – both from Santa. We’d go to my grandma’s in the afternoon and her living room would be literally overflowing with gifts for all the grandkids – all from Santa. My mom actually had to ask them to stop buying so many things because it was making us ask why Santa kept taking all our presents to grandma’s house instead of our own house.
It especially sucked when my sister started going to her dad’s house for Christmas Eve, because he has more money than he knows what to do with. She’d come home that night with tons of gifts, meanwhile I had very few presents. I felt like Santa thought I was a bad kid and I would cry. My poor mom had a tough time trying to explain these kinds of things to us without ruining our belief in Santa.
Eventually I figured it out for myself when I was around 8. But I didn’t tell my mom at first because she seemed to love the magic so much. When I was 10 I finally told her she could stop with the Santa stuff because I had figured it out a long time ago. I think she was actually more sad than I was.
Post # 44
My son knows about Santa & we do all the traditional stuff, but he knows it’s just a fun thing to pretend. I don’t really see how this deprives him of magic, he has a great imagination that he uses day to day & he enjoys the story of Santa as much as the next kid.
Post # 45
this is a question for anybody who grew up believing in santa: was your life really affected negatively once you found out he wasn’t real? were you upset at your parents for ‘lying?’ i mean i was a little sad when i first found out, but personally i got more joy out of believing in him. my christmas memories involve leaving cookies and milk on the table on christmas eve, taking pictures with santa at the mall, writing letters to him about my good behavior, staying up late with my little brother to try and catch him dropping presents off, ect. i wish more parents these days parented like the way or grandparents and parents did. it’s called fun people!
Post # 46
DO NOT RUIN SANTA OR YOUR CHILD.
plus, I found out very young that Santa was not real from a classmate of mine who did not believe. They ruined it for the whole class. Let’s just say, I was devastated. You do not want your child to be the one that ruins Santa for everyone.