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Old 10-06-2012, 07:02 AM   #21
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Re: Question for the Non-Santa Crew

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Originally Posted by KaleidoscopeEyes View Post
we dont celebrate xmas anyway but we did the first 2 years after ds1 was born. x was very passionate about not doing santa or any other mythical gift giving character. he felt very deceived when he found out he had been lied to all those years about santa. he did not want to do that to his kids as well. and i personally dont like the way most parents use santa as a way to get good behavior from their children. ive heard so many say "you need to be good if you want santa to bring you something this year" the whole santa thing never appealed to me. as a child i was very skeptical and knew that something was going on around age 5.
Yes that's what I was saying in my post too. It, honestly, makes me feel sick to hear parents basically tell their kids "well if you don't behave you won't get a bunch of gifts". As if kids want STUFF for their good behavior. I have vivid memories of being very young and having my grandmother tell me those things, and it broke my heart that she couldn't talk to me on a level that didn't involve bribery. And the idea that on Christmas you find out if you were "good enough" all year.

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Old 10-06-2012, 10:44 AM   #22
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Re: Question for the Non-Santa Crew

For me, the "non-Santa" is mostly about teaching them about Christianity and the true meaning of Christmas for us as Christians.

On the "credit" for the gifts things.. it's not really about getting credit for the gifts... more like they realize that I listened and paid attention to what they really wanted, so that they feel like I listen to them, and pay attention to their wants.. and that even though during the rest of year, I usually have to say "no," to getting certain things because we can't afford it.. that I DID pay attention and they got the big "I want this so badly" present after all.

So not about credit as much as them feeling like their wants are important to me. "I want credit for buying presents," is a selfish view, and I don't do it for me. But "I want my child to feel like I listen to him/her and pay attention to their wants, and love them enough to get that big present they've been DYING for..." that's not about ME.. that's about me feeling good that my child is over-the-moon excited.. and my child knows I listen to them. ....I don't know if it's coming out the way I want, so let me know if it's not clear and I'll try again.

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Old 10-06-2012, 11:00 AM   #23
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Re: Question for the Non-Santa Crew

I make a lot of my kids' gifts. So yeah I really don't want them thinking that a bunch of elves at the north pole made all their beautiful gifts. Maybe that's selfish, but I don't care. But that's not the main reason we don't do santa. It's just one of my reasons I feel the whole charade is ridiculous.
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:43 PM   #24
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Re: Question for the Non-Santa Crew

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This is not why we don't do Santa. However, I think from the perspective of wanting "credit" for the presents, it would be because you want your children to understand that you work for the things they get. They don't come from some outside source and they aren't free. Dad and/or mom have to actually work to make money to buy these things. It's about understanding and appreciating the value of where they actually do come from....hard work and sacrifice.

As I said, this isn't why we don't do Santa, but that is what I would think.
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For me it's not so much about getting credit for the presents... it's just that I don't understand telling my kids a big fabricated story about where the presents came from. I'm big on telling my kids the facts, and answering questions as thoroughly and honestly as I know how. Like I said i nthe other thread, I believe that there is enough magic in real life, I don't think we need to go looking for pretend magic to indulge in. Also, with Santa, the magic dies as they grow older. I want my kids to find the magic in life that continues past childhood and never dies.

I DO like pretend, and games, and such. I don't like the "story" or "game" of Santa so much because to me it seems like the Santa thing is more about commercialism than the magic. Why is the promise of STUFF a valid reward for "good" behavior. And how can you say the behavior is GOOD anyway when it's only driven by fear of being left out of the fun on Christmas morning?

While that isn't true for every family, it is for mine. "We'll, if you're acting like that maybe Santa won't come" or "uh oh do I need to make a call to santa?" or "I hope Santa's not watching". This type of manipulation and more I heard while growing up from family members. When my kids hear this I don't want them to feel all the things I felt then. I want them to raise an eyebrow and say...... "are you serious?"
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:26 AM   #25
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Re: Question for the Non-Santa Crew

We don't really celebrate Christmas, as I was raised Jewish and my husband didn't care too much about celebrating it. His parents do send some small Christmas gifts to our children, which is fine with me, but we definitely don't do a tree or decorations or anything. We celebrate a simplified Hanukkah and the children help light the candles and get gifts each night.

For me, knowing where the gifts come from is important because as they are now older, they can understand they we might not be able to get every single thing on their wish list just because they asked for it. I have never quite understood how parents tell kids that there is this magical Santa and then when he doesn't give them the pony they asked for how they explain that to them. We have always been able to have a pretty thorough discussion with the kids about what they want and what is reasonable to add to their wish list.

We also like to keep the surprise factor to some degree, so we usually buy a few gifts that we know that they would like but didn't put on their list. Or sometimes we buy a larger gift for the whole family (such as the time we bought a Wii system and games.)

I would think that the reasons for wanting children to know where the gifts came from might vary, but I think it is important for children to understand that the gifts are not limitless and easily replaceable and they should value what they get and show gratitude. I remember when I was younger I dated a guy for a while and he had much younger half siblings. We went to his dad's house for Christmas and they got the most presents I have ever seen in my life. It looked like a Toys R Us in their living room. And still the kids were saying things like, "I didn't put this on my list. This isn't the one I wanted!" and didn't say thank you or seem very excited about any of it. It made me really sad. And if I was the parent, I think I would have been disappointed and frustrated that my efforts were so unappreciated. I would imagine that if the children knew where the presents came from, they would have been more polite about it. Since Santa wasn't there in the room, they didn't have to worry about offending him, right?
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:37 AM   #26
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Re: Question for the Non-Santa Crew

It's a good and valid question Since I've been on both sides [non-Santa and now Santa], I'll answer from my persepctive.

At first I wanted to credit because I wanted my boys to understand how hard we work and to be grateful. After my son said that he believed and I began re-evaluating I realized that for me personally, I like to give gifts with no strings attached and I kind of felt like it was attaching strings when I would go out of my way to let them know they were from us and we worked hard. Then I realized I could still teach gratefulness and value [both monetarily and other ways] with out having to say 'those are from me'.]
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:37 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Geckmumto3
<---- starting with that guy because this is not judging anyone. I am genuinely curious, so if both Santa and Non-Santa people can be nice, it would be appreciated.

I am always interested in the Santa threads, because, like anything else in this parenthood gig, it is really interesting for me to try to understand the perspective of others. I love to people watch, so I guess reading the "hot button" topics on parenting forums is a version of people watching.

The one thing that always intrigues me is the comment that people want their kids to know that the presents come from their parents versus coming from Santa. I don't understand this and I want to try. I don't want to get into it too much. I worry that anything I type here might be taken wrong, and I mean no disrespect, in any way. I am honestly trying to understand. Do Santa or don't do Santa, own it, but please, appease my curiosity.

Why is it important to you, as a parent, to get the credit for the presents?

This is not the reason we don't do Santa. It is because we dont like lying to our children. I know most people do just fine with the transition from believing to knowing the truth, but I didn't. I was older - 10 or 11 - and I wanted to still believe, so I did. But when it finally dawned on me that it couldn't possibly be true, I was embarrassed that my parents had let me believe for so long. I was angry that the magic wasn't real. Yeah...it sounds so silly now but I truly cried over it. And I don't want my kids to go trough that. When a friend of mine from church told her oldest son the truth, he asked if Jesus was also fake. Eek! So that just cemented our choice.

My dh always knew the truth even though his parents thought he believed. But he says it was always exciting to get presents, no matter who he thought they were from. So for those reasons, we don't do Santa.

Plus, as Christians, It helps us to focus on the real reason for the season.
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:35 PM   #28
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Re: Question for the Non-Santa Crew

We don't 'do' Santa for many reasons. Getting credit for presents is not really one of them but I wanted to provide an anecdote.
When my parents divorced, it got nasty. I already knew Santa wasn't real but my sister was 4 and believed in him wholeheartedly. When Christmas came and Santa gave a few presents instead of the hundreds my sister was used to, she knew she had some how been 'bad'. It was really traumatizing to her. When my youngest sister was born, my mom gave a few small Santa presents but the big ones were from her, so my sister never experienced that in case my mom couldn't provide more at a later time.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:13 PM   #29
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Re: Question for the Non-Santa Crew

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Originally Posted by Lousli View Post
I would think that the reasons for wanting children to know where the gifts came from might vary, but I think it is important for children to understand that the gifts are not limitless and easily replaceable and they should value what they get and show gratitude. I remember when I was younger I dated a guy for a while and he had much younger half siblings. We went to his dad's house for Christmas and they got the most presents I have ever seen in my life. It looked like a Toys R Us in their living room. And still the kids were saying things like, "I didn't put this on my list. This isn't the one I wanted!" and didn't say thank you or seem very excited about any of it. It made me really sad. And if I was the parent, I think I would have been disappointed and frustrated that my efforts were so unappreciated. I would imagine that if the children knew where the presents came from, they would have been more polite about it. Since Santa wasn't there in the room, they didn't have to worry about offending him, right?
I disagree. I think ungrateful kids will be ungrateful no matter what, regardless of Santa. I have seen some kids be incredibly rude and ungrateful about gifts when the giver is sitting right next to them.

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We don't 'do' Santa for many reasons. Getting credit for presents is not really one of them but I wanted to provide an anecdote.
When my parents divorced, it got nasty. I already knew Santa wasn't real but my sister was 4 and believed in him wholeheartedly. When Christmas came and Santa gave a few presents instead of the hundreds my sister was used to, she knew she had some how been 'bad'. It was really traumatizing to her. When my youngest sister was born, my mom gave a few small Santa presents but the big ones were from her, so my sister never experienced that in case my mom couldn't provide more at a later time.
Your poor sister.
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:05 PM   #30
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Re: Question for the Non-Santa Crew

We don't do Santa gifts. Has nothing to do with credit. We don't do Santa gifts because that is not what Christmas is about to us and my kids know he isn't real. My kids have always looked at Santa as a figure of Christmas, not as a magical person who drops down chimneys (which my ds1 had noticed not everyone had) and give you gifts. I also don't believe in the whole "you'll have to be good or Santa wont' bring you gifts" which I hear a lot of starting, now.

For our family Christmas is about being with your extended family, making food together (we're Italian) and just enjoying one another. We do exchange gifts, but not a whole heaping pile, just 1-2 per person (my parents go over board for the boys though as they're the only grandchildren). The gifts are well thought out and really have meaning. The boys also make gifts for their grandparents and anuts/uncles (usually some sort of ornament). Ornament giving is really big on DH's side of the family, each person gets one that represent them.

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