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Old 12-05-2008, 01:35 AM   #41
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Re: Santa Claus -- Do you allow your children to believe in him?

Of course! My son is getting ready to celebrate his first Christmas and I can't WAIT until he's old enough to "believe" in Santa. I figured out that Santa wasn't real at a pretty young age but my parents and I still kept on pretending.

I wasn't crushed and most kids aren't. My mom explained it really well, she said Santa Claus was a story to teach us about giving and love. It was sweet.

It's also a little different in my family because my husband and I are both secular humanists, for us Christmas is a cultural holiday, not a religious one. We try to use Christmas to remind us to love others and to take care of those who are less fortunate... we're following in my parents footsteps, we do lots of charity work for Christmas (and the rest of the year). My parents taught me that "playing Santa" was a far, far greater joy than "receiving" things from Santa. We're going to donate money in our son's name to various childrens charities. When he gets old enough we'll do what my parents did... my son will choose a charity and earn money or goods for it... and my husband and I will match whatever he is able to raise for the charity. I always did Toys for Tots as a kid, I would raise money with bake sales, picking up pine cones etc. and my parents would match it. Then my father and mother would take me to the store to buy toys for the charity. That was my favorite part of Christmas, even more than getting presents.

And as far as "lying" to my kid, I don't want to insult/offend anyone, but lets be honest, Christmas is based on layers and layers of cultural adaptations and absorptions. Most historians agree that the person Jesus Christ was NOT born in December, but rather in the spring. Early Christians adapted pagan winter solstice holidays into a Christian holiday. The majority of our Christmas symbols are actually pagan in origin (Christmas tree, wreaths, yule logs etc). So Christmas can be different things to different people. Does the fact that Christians adapted a pagan holiday make Christmas any less special or meaningful to Christians? No. So the point is everyone finds their own meanings/values etc. in the holiday.

Each family celebrates in the way that is right and meaningful for them and I think it's insulting to imply that parents are "lying" to their kids, the connotation is very negative for a reality that is really quite sweet and magical.

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Old 12-05-2008, 04:41 AM   #42
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Re: Santa Claus -- Do you allow your children to believe in him?

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And as far as "lying" to my kid, I don't want to insult/offend anyone, but lets be honest, Christmas is based on layers and layers of cultural adaptations and absorptions. Most historians agree that the person Jesus Christ was NOT born in December, but rather in the spring. Early Christians adapted pagan winter solstice holidays into a Christian holiday. The majority of our Christmas symbols are actually pagan in origin (Christmas tree, wreaths, yule logs etc).
I actually agree with this. That's why it's not being celebrated in our house
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Old 12-05-2008, 05:38 AM   #43
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Re: Santa Claus -- Do you allow your children to believe in him?

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I actually agree with this. That's why it's not being celebrated in our house
Wow! I'm glad the first response to that wasn't yelling and mad, because I truly had no intention of offending anyone.

I don't know... I guess it's all just opinions. I'm a big fan of "the world of make believe" and I hope my son will be too. Sure, we eventually find out that these things aren't "real" in a literal sense, but they're always real in the sense that we learn and grow from them. I don't find legends, fairy tales and books to be lying... but that's just me.
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Old 12-05-2008, 06:30 AM   #44
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Re: Santa Claus -- Do you allow your children to believe in him?

We don't do santa. It's not real, and we tell dd that. We focus on the nativity for Christmas, but even if we weren't Christians, we wouldn't do it. We are very honest with our kids, and teaching them that someone is real when we know he isn't goes against how we parent.
As for the other traditions regarding christmas, we don't focus on those either. We decorate as if decorating for a birthday, so we don't only have the traditional tree, but we have banners and whatever else my 3 year old decides is a good party decoration.

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Old 12-05-2008, 08:00 AM   #45
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Re: Santa Claus -- Do you allow your children to believe in him?

My boys do believe in Santa Claus but it is St. Nickolaus. St. Nickolaus was a real man who gave money/food to the poor. Why would I NOT want them to believe in that?!
We are Christian and the most important part of Christmas for us is the Nativity. We only give three presents to everyone because Jesus received three presents . We also put more importance on giving than receiving gifts and we allow them to pick out what they want to give to family members.
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:56 AM   #46
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Re: Santa Claus -- Do you allow your children to believe in him?

I believed in santa for a long time. For a few years my dad didn't know that I knew he wasn't real and got me some presents from santa haha. It was funny to shock him that I knew he wasn't real and was ok with it. But we will let our LO's believe in santa as long as they want!!! It's a happy memory watching the kids faces light up at the thought of him and the site of the presents from him. There is nothing wrong in believing or not believing I guess. All that really matters is you are with family and happy. To be politically correct here... "Happy Holidays everyone"!!!!!
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Old 12-05-2008, 09:13 AM   #47
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Re: Santa Claus -- Do you allow your children to believe in him?

We don't do the Santa thing. My husband was SO disappointed and hurt as a child to find out Santa wasn't real, that he did not want to do that to our children. Also, we spend a lot of time talking about Jesus on Christmas, and we want the holiday to be focused on that, rather than everything else. We do read books about Santa, etc, and the kids are even going to sit on Santa's lap with the grandparents today at the mall. But the kids understand it is a story. They still like it -- it is just more like Pooh or Curious George -- characters and stories they like but understand are not real.
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Old 12-05-2008, 09:17 AM   #48
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Re: Santa Claus -- Do you allow your children to believe in him?

We were raised as strict Catholics, and we did the Santa thing. First and foremost we were taught about the religious holiday, and then the fun stuff.

I remember the feeling of knowing santa was coming, and all that jazz, such a warm fuzzy feeling. I want my kids to as well,. Also have the memories I had.

I have nothing against parents who choose NOT to teach their kids about Santa, but I do think they should have the respect to other parents/children, and not let their child go blab everywhere that Santa is fake and what not.
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Old 12-05-2008, 09:47 AM   #49
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Re: Santa Claus -- Do you allow your children to believe in him?

Christmas is about fun in our house, we have no "Christmas rules"...it's magical to the kids, much more than "here baby, Dad and I got you a po-go stick"...when my kids want to come to terms with him being fake, they'll still see the magic in Christmas.
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