View Poll Results: Santa - what do you do?
Go with the flow (red suit, North Pole, presents...) 69 60.00%
Tell them there's not such thing as Santa from the start 25 21.74%
Tip-toe around the subject as much as possible 10 8.70%
Something else? 11 9.57%
Voters: 115. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-19-2008, 08:54 PM   #41
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Re: Santa - what do you do?

This is the first year my ds is really aware of the whole Santa thing. Last year he was 2.5 and he saw Santa and talked to him but it was a non event really- like when can I get back to playing? This year he is way more tuned into the whole thing. We read Twas the Night Before Christmas and he asked lots of questions about Santa. He told me that when Santa came he was going to go down and pet the reindeer. LOL. So cute, yet it left me feeling a little guilty that we had "snowed" him. I feel very torn about it all. Wanting to let him have fun and really enjoy all of the fantasy, but also not wanting to lie to him.

So I have decided that I will read him the books and let him watch the videos and answer his questions honestly. To me that means if he asks me when Santa is coming I tell him December 24th. What do reindeer eat? Carrots. How does Santa get in? Chimney or the door. If he asks is Santa real? I will tell him he is real in our imaginations. We make him real by believing in him. I will tell him that people like to pretend they are Santa and give surprise gifts to others. I don't think he will ask this year. He did want to play a pretend game tonight where he was Santa and he put presents under the tree and when I turned to look he scurried away fast so I wouldn't see him. Then I got to be Santa. He's a smart kid- he may have some idea that it's all a fun story.

I always loved Christmas and all of the traditions surrounding it. Santa was part of that. I guess the part that bothered me was when I suspected that Santa was not "real" and questioned my parents I was told that when you stop believing in Santa you stop receiving gifts from him. End of "discussion." So basically shut up and pretend. No opportunity for questions or conversation- very disrespectful IMO- but I am fairly certain they hadn't thought through what to say and were desperately trying to keep it going for my younger brothers. I will not do that to my son. When he asks I will talk to him about it- include him in the fun of pretending from the other side- trying to make Christmas magical for other kids.

I will tell him the stories of Saint Nick and all of the cultures with their different versions of the story of a generous and loving man who shared gifts with those in need. I think the ideals of generosity and kindness and caring for others are all present in his example. I want to share that with my son. And it will help him understand why we like to pretend about Santa. I would actually be fine with telling him about the pretending now- but I know he would ruin the fantasy for other kids- he is too young to have the self control and to remember not to say what he knows.

He already knows that when he sees a guy in a Santa suit- it's not really Santa- it's just a guy pretending to be Santa.


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Old 12-19-2008, 10:57 PM   #42
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Re: Santa - what do you do?

We do the full Santa thing. Not to the extent some people do (My SIL uses Santa as a threat on her kids this time of year), but the boys have been watching The Santa Clause lately and they are excited. Kearnan finally realy got what Santa is this year and Tharen just does whatever his brother does. I don't feel bad about it, I loved Santa when I was a kid. Some day I intend to explain to my kids that Santa is a state of mind. The warm feelings of generosity and magic that prevail this time of year. And that we should all work to feel these feelings all year round. Santa isn't a lie, he is a state of mind.
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:10 PM   #43
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Re: Santa - what do you do?

Originally Posted by shanree View Post
We make sure to make Christ the center of Christmas in our home. Our children have known from the start that there is no real santa. Each of them get 3 gifts (plus some small stocking stuffers). The 3 gifts represent 3 gifts that the wise men brought to Jesus. We read the Christmas story from the Bible each year before opening gifts and we also discuss how Jesus was God's gift to us and that giving gifts is a symbol of that. They understand that getting gifts is a privilage not a right and that Christmas is not ever going to be a big materialistic thing in our home. We also let them pick out gifts to give to angel tree children and we take gifts to the nursing home.
My kids do obviously know about the idea of santa since it is plastered EVERYWHERE... but they know from the start it is only make-believe and we encoursge them not to focus on it as it takes the attention away from the real reason for the season
I totally agree! My kids all know the story of St. Nicholas and love telling people that Santa is St. Nicholas!
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:40 PM   #44
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Re: Santa - what do you do?

Dh wanted no Santa (he hated being lied to) but I convinced him it's fine to tell as a story, just like any other story we read/watch. We are not telling her it's real though--just a funny story for Christmastime, and we teach her about Jesus and family and how we are all giving to each other out of love as the real Christmas story.
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Old 12-20-2008, 08:59 AM   #45
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Re: Santa - what do you do?

We tell our kids that St. Nick was truly a man, and we play Santa in the morning of Christmas (i.e. their gifts are set out in the night). That was so exciting to me as a child. HOWEVER, they have known from day one that Santa is not real and that we don't believe in him, but it is a fun game to play! We get our pictures taken with Santa every year, just as tradition, but honestly, for us, Christmas is about Jesus' birth and our newborn King. That is what I want my children to grow up remembering..
Hi! I'm Dawn. Wife and no label mama to my men ages 20, 12, 8 and 4 years old.Catholic God seeker. Homeschooling mama. Part time STAT and PICC RN. College Student (again). Volunteer with the MORELove Project and Union Gospel Mission.
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:35 AM   #46
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Re: Santa - what do you do?

We love Santa and I can't wait for my kids to be old enough to really get into waiting up for him and all that fun stuff. I loved it as a kid, and when I was really little I totally believed that he was real, but it never traumatized me or diminished my faith in God or Jesus when I slowly realized that Santa Claus was a fairy tale. Maybe it was just how my parents presented it, I don't know, but I hope I do as good of a job!

If you aren't wanting to do Santa then I think what some PP's have said is a great idea, still having the fun of Santa but explaining why and how you give gifts and how it's an expression of giving and that the gifts are from you all to each other as a way to show that you are thinking about those you love during the season.
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:50 AM   #47
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Re: Santa - what do you do?

We believe in Santa

I never felt lied to when finding out Santa wasn't real nor have I ever met someone that felt they had been lied to because of it. Believing in Santa never made me resent my mom.
I feel the same about the whole Jesus is the reason thing. I have a hard time telling my kids to believe in the fictitious man however I do not tell them he isn't real I just tell them that each person believes different things and it is up to them to make the decision.
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Old 12-20-2008, 10:20 AM   #48
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Re: Santa - what do you do?

I love santa and everything he embodies. Giving, magic, belief without having to see it. I love being able to give gifts WITHOUT the recognition. Growing up we still sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus every Christmas morning, we even made cookies for Jesus! Santa didn't take away from that for me. If anything, he added to it - a selfless person who made toys for every boy and girl even if they were having a hard time. For me it wasn't a lie, it was imagination. I still look at my roof every Christmas and think about a fat jolly man landing on it with 8 reindeer!
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:08 PM   #49
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Re: Santa - what do you do?

Gracie loves to pretend about santa, but when people (random people at the store) ask her if shes ready for santa to come and bring her presents she either tells them that santa is not real or that santa does not bring presents. to us we celebrate christmas by giving each other presents to celebrate Jesus' birthday. she knows that that is what Christmas is really about, but she also likes to pretend that shes santa with a huge bag of her toys giving them to all the children (read: one toy on each of the couch cusions all over the floor and in the corners and dishwasher and anywhere else that she things a toy needs to be)
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