do you let your kids believe in Santa?

Christy - posted on 01/19/2010 ( 18 moms have responded )

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i know the holiday season has just passed but i read a thread on another community about this so i had to bring it up here because i enjoy the POVs in this group.

do you or will you allow your child to believe in Santa Clause?

why or why not?

whether you are for or against belief in Santa, do you believe it will interfere with religious beliefs at the holiday season?

again, whether for or against, do you think it will make children mistrust their parents and feel they have been wrongfully "lied" to?

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Sharon - posted on 03/09/2010

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That's funny Jennifer. Santa is real. He exists. Existed. All I do is help keep him alive by keeping a little bit alive in me. Therefore the magic DOES exist because I believe...



not to be blasphemus or give him godhood, but its like God - he exists because you believe right?

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Jennifer - posted on 03/07/2010

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@Sharon,
I remember watching Rudolf Christmas specials when I was a little kid and kind of secretly believing he existed. I knew Santa didn't fly around giving people presents and letters to Santa never made it to him. I remembering believing that every story I really liked was real somewhere or somehow. I guess I didn't like the Santa story, but I liked the Rudolph story. Doesn't make logical sense, but it was the magical thinking of childhood. lol.

Shayna - posted on 03/07/2010

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Well for starters I'm not a very religious person.
I absolutely let my son believe is Santa Claus & will do so until he finds out on his own. I find it SO much fun. My most fondest memories as a child was the holidays. I don't think down on my parents for "lying" to me about him not being real... I mean after all they were the ones who actually bought me all those gifts, the elves didn't make them:P

Sharon - posted on 03/06/2010

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Seriously?? How many of you were "scarred for life" after finding out santa wasn't real? Geeze, no offense but my oldest took the death of his cat much harder than the "santa lie"?

I asked my 14 yr old and I think I'll ask his friends, how they feel about the santa lie. But my 14 yr old said it was fun while it lasted. Now he has fun with his brother & sister. he hooks them up with NORAD online to watch santas progress around the world.

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Our kids (all grown now) believed in Santa. We're not particularly religious, and we don't like all the over-the-top commercial stuff, but Santa's fun! And kids should have fun! The story was that Santa brought one present each.

I really think calling the whole thing a lie is going too far - it's just playing along with a tradition, it's the idea of getting together and having fun, doing things for each other. It's a great way to get the kids involved in creativity and imagination.

Besides, I loved playing Santa - the magic and the secrecy and the build up.

Lisamarie - posted on 03/05/2010

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I am an athiest, well, sort of..lol. Anyways, We always had Santa when we were growing up and I was certainly not scarred by the reality, in fact all I felt was a little embarressed because my friends seem to know he wasn't real a year or so before me!! But oh well, it was exciting and I actually miss having something to believe in. (although maybe not the same, I believe in spirits/ghosts, but not in a childish way! lol.) My daughter just turned 3 and this was her first christmas that she understood the meaning of Santa; he doesn't give to recieve and cares about everybody. I love the magic of it all. I've never really thought of it as "lying" to my children more stretching their imaginations. Imagination in children is very important, I mean if you're child came up to you and told you of a magical land with fairies and dragons are you going to tell them to stop lying??

I think children just grow out of Santa with their friends as they find out he's not "real" - I put this in quotes because I think Santa is the real spirit of christmas, the giving, the fun, the excitement and caring for others.

The worst thing is probably finding out Santa isn't real before they're ready, for instance, a five year old going to school and being told he's not real, I think age is important here. :)

Irene - posted on 03/04/2010

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I am trying to keep Santa Claus out of Christmas, but its hard when all my daughter's cousins believe in it.

I am simply against starting my child's life off with a major life, then having to break her heart in the future by telling her its not real. How can I teach my child to be truthful when I lie to her on the regular? So, that means no Easter bunny, no tooth fairy. Its hard and my hubby hates that I am that way. I just don't like the lying aspect of it. I am truthful 100% of the time. Ask me a question and you will get an honest answer from me. I know I am the rarity, I just cannot stand lying and liars. So, no Santa here.

Jennifer - posted on 03/01/2010

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We're not planning on doing Santa. While it is a fun and magical idea, it's just not important to us. It's also lying to our children. It's just a little white lie that causes no harm, but it's just not necessary. IMO, there's plenty of fun to be had in the surprise without Santa, and our children will probably believe in Rudolph, fairies, unicorns, etc without us helping. In keeping with our families traditions, we'll probably open presents on Christmas Eve because no one can seem to stand the suspense. If our children seem to want to believe in Santa and wonder why they don't get presents like everyone else from Santa, we'll probably put a present under the tree on Christmas morning where the "from" is unmarked.

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I put a lot of thought into this, because when my son was born, I was Atheist, but now we are Catholic (odd, I know). Anyway, obviously, before the conversion to Christianity we did Santa and just kind of ignored the Christ part of Christmas. Like Carol, there is a lot to celebrate at Christmastime that is not based on Christian beliefs.
I know several Christians who do not let their kids believe in Santa, and I worried about that when we converted because Santa brought so much joy to my son & I didn't want to give that up. So I did some research and wove the two together. St. Nicholas is a Saint noted for dropping bags of gold through a window to give a poor man a dowry for each of his 3 daughters. His Feast day is Dec. 6th so I'm not too clear how he and the tradition of giving gifts got mixed up with Christmas, which is Dec. 26th (approximately 9 months after the Immaculate Conception of Mary), but it happened. So we tell our son that St. Nicholas or Santa (but we prefer St. Nicholas) is the Spirit of St. Nicholas. When he realizes that Santa is not an actual, living person we will explain how our actions celebrate his life and keep his spirit alive.

It is not perfectly thought out, and I'm sure my kid will poke some holes in the story, but it is based on facts and faith, and I've got a little while to perfect it.

Besides that, I remember finding out that my parents lied to me about Santa, and I didn't care. It didn't hurt my relationship with them, or even upset me. Everyone I knew found out at some point, and they are all fine too....

Patricia - posted on 03/01/2010

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Oh hell yeah...I look at it this way...when they are young, it's a game and until they figure it out, you as a parent win! And than once they figure it out, that's when you use the line..."IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE, YOU DON'T RECEIVE." Even though my children no longer believe, I still use that line and every year, there is 1 gift under the tree from Santa...Christmas is about family and giving..it should be a happy/fun time. My parents have had a Santa come to their house for over 25 years now...and EVERY child still sits on his lap...TRADITION! But if you believe in God, he should come before Santa..there use to be a book, called SANTA'S FAVORITE CHRISTMAS STORY, If you can find it, get it...it brings both Santa and Jesus together...

Jessica - posted on 01/26/2010

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Come the time for my munchkin to experiance Christmas I think I will most definatly go along with the Santa tradition. Not for any religious beliefs as I believe in the Pagan origins of holidays, but because it is fun, and a time for love and laughter and for a jolly fat man in red :) Granted with the way things are going these days, it may be another non-celebrated in schools type holiday to..

Michelle - posted on 01/19/2010

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I've been seeing this one a lot.
We are doing Santa because I think it teaches kids how to believe in things, and it's part of the magic of Christmas. Santa also teaches children that you give to others, not just get presents. Part of our Christmas was always giving to other people, or mom and dad would take Santa's presents and keep them until we did give to other people.
I agree with Carol-- I have NEVER heard of anyone being so devastated that they were traumatized when they found out that Santa wasn't real. I was just thrilled to have out-smarted my parents and to be in on the big secret. I also strongly agree with Alison-- Santa is not completely fictional, he is based on real people who did real and good things. Giving to others selflessly is a wonderful thing and I think that that's what Santa is truly about. I don't see why Santa and Jesus have to be 100% separated. Jesus wants us to give to others, Jesus wants us to give to our kids, and Jesus wants us to teach our kids to believe in Him. Santa is a good stepping stone to religion, I think. I don't think children have the abstract thinking ability to connect "Oh Santa's not real, I wonder if my parents lied about Jesus too." I didn't. I also didn't distrust my parents, I accepted that Santa wasn't real and I was just proud that I'd outsmarted their foolish (lol) attempts to keep me a little kid. I think that when you find out about Santa it's almost a feeling of being a "big kid now."

That said, I understand the reasoning behind not doing Santa. What I don't understand is the moratorium on all things Santa. What is wrong with keeping Santa, but introducing him to your children as a fictional character? You let them watch cartoons and Elmo and Mickey Mouse, etc. without panicking that they will be traumatized by finding out that those characters aren't real. Unless you're planning on not letting them take pictures with the actors at Disney World (which I accept as your right as parent) then why not take a picture with Santa? If you completely exclude Santa from your Christmas festivities, your child will actually miss out on a lot of fun things-- movies, parties, and the general excitement of the season.

Johnny - posted on 01/19/2010

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Being non-Christians who celebrate Christmas, we choose to somewhat take the Christ out of Christmas, for ourselves. When our daughter grows up, we will tell her the story of Jesus, as well as the pagan traditions for celebrating during the dark season. We believe that modern Christmas is a blend of all of these traditions, not specifically a Christian holiday.We wish to provide lessons about all sorts of different faiths along with learning about her parent's family traditions and beliefs.

Santa Claus is a fun part of the holiday, and I think he can be used as a valuable lesson to children about giving to others, not just expecting things for yourself. The reindeer, the sleigh, etc. go along with Frosty the Snowman and the Grinch as just more fun stories that can teach children important lessons.

Believing in Santa is about believing in magic, and although I've heard a few moms here on COM say that they were devastated when they found out it was a lie, I had never heard that before from a single other person. I find that most kids I know take a secret delight in "figuring out " that the stories they are told about Santa aren't entirely true. It's like a bit of an entry or rite of passage into the world of adults. This Christmas my friend's son had figured it out and was soooo excited to be in on the secret with us big folks and keep it from his younger sisters.

[deleted account]

Santa is fun. I always enjoyed Santa presents (and I still do!). But Santa is not to be and never will be the central focus of the Christmas season. My family celebrates the birth of Jesus. My daughter is still small, but we did set out a nativity and talk about each of the characters with her. Secondly, we celebrate family...too much family sometimes! Thirdly, we give. We give to charity and I let my daughter help pick out presents and "help wrap" them for underprivelaged children. Fourthly, we celebrate the fun...the decorations, the food, and Santa. I never felt lied to. As I grew up, I eventually figured it out, but the rule was that if you didn't believe in Santa you didn't get gifts. So my sister and I still "believe"!

[deleted account]

I don't see it as a lie because Santa Clause is based on real people and I have told my son the stories. The sleigh and raindeers is just a bit of fun and I'll never lie to my son when he asks for the truth.

One of the Santa stories is based on a saint who dropped money down chimneys so that people wouldn't know he was giving. Obviously someone caught him on a roof or we wouldn't know about it today.

It doesn't interfere with my religous beliefs because because the Christian faith promotes secret giving without reward.

Christy - posted on 01/19/2010

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i personally am all for Alexia believing in Santa. i think it's something fun that shows the magic of Christmas. i am not religious but i was raised in a Baptist home and do not in any way believe that my belief in Santa hinder my knowledge of the story of Jesus' birth. i sang both sets of Christmas carols, ones with Santa and ones with Jesus. i also never felt like i was specifically lied to in any way. when i found out that Santa wasn't real, i understood that my parents were just making the season a little bit more fun and exciting for me.



i want my daughter to see Christmastime as a holiday to enjoy giving just as much if not more than receiving gifts and will teach her this first and foremost. i just think that Santa Claus and the sleigh and reindeer help to get young children into the holiday spirit.

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