how old do you tell your children theres no santa

Kelley - posted on 07/29/2010 ( 95 moms have responded )

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how old do your children need to be to find out there is no santa

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Tiffany - posted on 08/01/2010

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I don't see it as a lie. My kids will be 9, 5, and 2 this year. When the kids are old enough to ask questions, we'll explain that Santa is a state of mind, the spirit of Good Deeds. It is a bit of a story, but Santa is honoring the birth of Christ. Same with the Easter Bunny, well, kind of. We even have a special ornament for the tree of "Santa" bowing with his hat off to Baby Jesus in the manger bed.



And to those who think it's lies, I think you're robbing your children of great memories or are possibly hurt by something from your own childhood. I still believe in Santa, and I'm nearly 30. So does my 32 year old husband. Our Santa is getting to sneak around Christmas Eve putting the presents under the tree, eating cookies (and leaving a little bite and some crumbs), and drinking the milk (and again, leaving just a sip). We even leave notes for each child giving them praise for things well done and encouragment for things not so good. Our Santa is getting to spend time with the kids teaching them good things, like of Christ and giving and receiving gifts gracefully. Santa is not a lie! He simply evolves as we mature!

Angie - posted on 07/29/2010

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Never. I'm 42 and my parents have never told me. In fact, Santa sends me a box every Christmas - to this day. I also get a box from the Easter Bunny. I don't lie to my children about the important things. I suppose we lie by omission because children don't need to know everything. We allow them a degree of innocence and wonder that Santa and the Easter Bunny provide.

Heather - posted on 08/05/2010

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I let my girls lead me. I didn't want to be the one to ruin their innocence, be prepared Christmas is never the same ounce they "know! When asked I reply with " well, do you believe in Santa?" I always kept a uniform answer so that they could believe if they wanted to, even if they knew, they could still hang on. Besides, Santa is "feeling" more then a big jolly elf. Good luck

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Barbara - posted on 12/06/2012

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Never. More than likely they will find out from their peers. I like the magic of Christmas and as children they need all the magic. As adults we have reality and I think children under 10 do not need to know reality. My children understand St. Nicholas and how he gave to the poor. They are Christians and they know it is Jesus birthday and they do pray on Christmas morning and sing happy birthday to Him. We all love Christmas in my home and I love watching them running down the stairs to run to the tree and open up their presents. We all are in our pjs and having breakfast together with the Christmas music on and just loving the morning before the rest of the family comes over for the day. I will love these days of them believing until they know for themselves. We all have various stages in our lives and this one I will cherish until the day I die.

Melanie - posted on 12/04/2012

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Check with your area churches and such...they often "adopt" families for the holidays. Goodwill and Salvation Army often do the same thing. And keep checking at the local dollar store, because they sometimes get nicer stuff in around this time of year for the same price.

Julie - posted on 11/26/2012

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I'm not sure what to do in my scenario. I love the fact that my 8 year old daughter holds this belief so dear to her and I don't want to take it away. Even though she is 8, and we have a near 1yr old and another on the way, I find that this keeps her innocent and still my "baby" for now. LOL



HUGE problem this year....I'm working a low paying job & struggling as it is. While my "husband" makes good money he's got a lot of "personal" debt that he's accumulated and has to deal with. Our little one will be turning one year old on Dec 10 and, as mentioned, we're expecting another in Feb/13. I am hoping like hell my "husband" (common law) will be able to pull through for the kids, otherwise there will be no "gathering" for the little one and NO Christmas for either.



While the baby still doesn't know better (give her a diaper box & a spoon & a Tim Hortons cup and she's in her glory!), how do we explain to big sister, at the very least, why Santa didn't leave/get ANY gifts for her or her sister? I'm not going to rely on family to fill this void as they are on a fixed income.



My daughter knows very well that Christmas is all about family and friends and all the good spiritual stuff.....but come on....she's 8 years old - and already wrote & mailed her letter to Santa last month!! (Monster High PLEASE!!) Any advice?? I cry constantly about this because I feel SO bad!!



She almost doubted the spirit of Santa because my older nieces try to ruin this for her & their little sister EVERY year. I've had to tell them that parents can buy presents for the kids along with Santa's gifts too, but this doesn't mean they get more. This was a spur of the moment explanation when my older niece went snooping in my room, found gifts in our closet & showed our daughter. GRRRRR!!! Some teenagers!!!



Though my daughter has questioned why the same wrapping paper hidden under our bed was the same as the wrapping on "Santa's" gifts. I told her that Santa is into the 3 R's, too. When he's done with the wrapping paper he gives it to Moms & Dads to re-use...and it keeps the wrap all the same so it matches. I have to keep a good imagination running with Miss 20 Questions. LOL

Jenny - posted on 01/01/2012

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You don't... You let them figure it out!! Why say something when they may still believe in the magic of Christmas!

Nicole - posted on 01/01/2012

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This past christmas was my kids first time asking about Santa and believing in hime but i told them that he is just a character from TV and that he is not real. that the true meaning of Christmas is to celebrate Jesus Birthday

Casey - posted on 01/01/2012

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I have two boys, 14 and 6. I haven't told them anything about Santa. My 14 year nows that Santa isnt alive any more but he still hopes for Christmas Morning and Santa's Gifts to him. What I'm saying is we all believe in Santa, and all things Christmas in this house.

Kaye - posted on 12/30/2011

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I believe a child should believe in fairytale as long as they can, because eventually they eventually will figure it out on their own. Having the imagination of something they truly believes in doesnt mean they lose their spirit or the meaning. Im sure as they grow and become a parent themselves they will or will not instill the excitement or the truth about Santa. I'd say savior the moment as long as you can, in time they will figure it out. Its like having that imaginary friend.

Cynthia - posted on 12/30/2011

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I told my children this year (they are 10,9, and 7 y/o) - There may not be a fat man with a red suit. But there are very kind people out there who give to those in need. We did some volunteering this year to teach them about giving back also.

Shannon - posted on 12/30/2011

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Santa was totally real! He was a 12th century Catholic saint. At a certain age kids start to doubt all the extra's and at that point if they were questioning I would explain the real truth and explain what the season and santa are meant to represent.
My kids are still young enough that it has not come up, but they already know the meaning/history of Christmas and the way the holiday and similar holiday's are celebrated by other cultures and in other parts of the world.

Melissa - posted on 12/29/2011

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We decided to let our daughter know from the very start that Santa is NOT real, but he is a charater the represents chrismas, the same with easter and the toothy fairy.... We were told time and time again that we would ruin xmas for her, but we have had the best xmas' and we are glad we told her the truth from the start, coz you teach your children not to lie, but how many parent lie from the start.......

Beth - posted on 12/29/2011

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Children all find out at different ages. I was 11 or 12 when I found out. My DD is 9.5 yo and still believes. Despite her friends trying really hard to convince her otherwise. She's wondered on a few occassions we just telling her about the very real man who was St. Nick that lived a long time ago.

Shannintipton - posted on 12/25/2011

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As longs as he still wants presents he will believe. LOL He almost nine. He has an idea but plays along for his sisters sake.

[deleted account]

We don't do Santa. My kids do know the story of St. Nick though.

My 3.75 year old son has said in front of other little kids (don't think the kid noticed) that there is no Santa. I have repeatedly tried explaining to him NOT to say that and it may be finally sinking in, but... He's 3. Anyone who thinks they can control everything that does and does not come out of a 3 year olds mouth... has never had a 3 year old. I really hope he never 'ruins' some other kids Christmas, but if it happens it happens and I'm sorry, but other than duct taping his mouth shut there's really not a whole lot I can about it.

Momto3 - posted on 12/22/2011

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Your child will find out on his/her own, you do not need to say anything about it. Probably find out from kids at school, as my oldest did. When he was about 9, he said, Mom, I know you are Santa!! I winked, smiled, and said, REALLY? I AM? Hmmm.... and that's the last it was mentioned. He's 13, and I still ask him what he's asking Santa for each year (same wink and smile).
If you were traumatized because of a "Santa lie", there's probably something not right with you upstairs to begin with. Seriously, who is truly traumatized that it follows them into adulthood?!
Hey, Santa is very much alive and well in many of our hearts. I couldn't agree more with most of the comments here. For the group who feel we are lying to our kids...you are only fooling yourself if you think your kids aren't missing out on a very magical time in their childhood. It's harmless, it's sweet, and it's something I still cherish as a grown woman. Perhaps when your children have chidren of their own, they will share Santa with their children in an attempt to recapture what they lost? I do wonder how many of these parents withholding Santa enjoyed the tradition as children themselves? I also wonder if these same parents who are so uptight about "lying" to kids about Santa would lie about something else if it suited them? I'm sure. Santa is a wonderful, magical experience that I will cherish forever. Make no mistake, we are religious, and celebrate Christ's birth. It does NOT have to be one or the other, people. How sad for y'all that are so uptight you deprive your kids of one of the most magical times in their childhood. Sad, sad, sad.
Jesus is the Reason for the Season AND Santa Clause IS comin to town! Merry Christmas All!

Shannon - posted on 12/18/2011

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My son is 9 and has started wondering. All we tell him is if he believes, then he comes. If he doesn't, he'll quit coming. My son knows the true meaning of Christmas is the birth of Jesus and that is what really matters. I'm sure he will eventually figure it out but we will have fun with it til he does:)

Shannon - posted on 12/18/2011

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My son is 9 and has started wondering. All we tell him is if he believes, then he comes. If he doesn't, he'll quit coming. My son knows the true meaning of Christmas is the birth of Jesus and that is what really matters. I'm sure he will eventually figure it out but we will have fun with it til he does:)

Sanaa - posted on 12/17/2011

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I never told my children santa was real or existed in the first place. I taught them all their blessings are initially from God and God places me, their dad, nan's etc in positions to buy they gifts and to thank God they have family who can treat them on occasions. I wonder never give santa recognition when truly he doesn't exist and has done nothing for my family. It is all a lie.

Polly - posted on 12/12/2011

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Let them believe as long as they want. They grow up too fast as it is and when the illusion is gone, it's just sad.
I don't do anything to discourage their innocence. Even when my husband says I should tell them.... they will find out soon enough.

Amy - posted on 11/11/2011

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When they start asking. My oldest son is 7 and at age 5 he started asking questions. We answered him honestly. Told him about Saint Nicholas and talked about how fun it is to get present from Santa or to give presents to someone without them knowing. He was good with all that and likes to pretend for his little brother and sister.

Judy - posted on 11/09/2011

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You don't need to tell them, they work it out on their own, but if they ask, don't lie, it means they are ready to know and lying hwen they obviously have it worked out doesn't achieve anything. My son was nearly ten when he said "Santa's not real is he?". I said "No, but, now that you're old enough to know it means your also old enough to share the responsibility of never spoiling another kids Christmas. I explained that all kids should be allowed to enjoy the Santa experience, just like he had up to now etc." He understood and felt like a "big kid" as he now had a responsibility. We still buy him presents that he now knows are from us.

Aniesha - posted on 11/06/2011

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I completely agree with you Sarah! If other people choose not to teach their children about Santa, that's their choice, but don't ruin it for our children! I absolutely LOVE playing Santa, I even did it when my son was 1 yr old, just because it's FUN! I can't wait for Christmas this year:D

Michelle - posted on 11/05/2011

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I'm not ever going to tell any of my children there is no such thing as Santa as, technically, there is - in spirit at least - Saint Nicholas!!!. They know the real reason for Christmas is Jesus. But, at the same time, they believe it's Santa who delivers their presents on Christmas Eve, providing they've been good. They even track where he is on Norad until bedtime! When the time comes and they say to me they no longer believe in Santa I will tell them the story of Saint Nicholas. Thinking about it, I don't actually think my 9 year old does believe in Santa anymore but I think she doesn't say anything as she believes I would be happier thinking she still does.

Tina - posted on 11/03/2011

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My son is 10 and says he believes. He has a lot going on in his life right now as I am getting remarried and having a baby in Jan. He is gained 3 teenaged step-sibs as well. I am not about to ruin the magic for him this year. And I agree with others that it is more about the spirit anyway.
I also think that parents who let their children who let their child spoil it for others is mean. It should be up to each family to decide on their own.

Sarah - posted on 12/24/2010

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I have just noticed this thread and have joined purposely to post on it.
I think all you mothers that have never told your child there is a Santa are missing out, I done an online message off Santa for my son and to see his face light up and him waving at the tv made it all worth while.
As for Kari who stated, I just think its a bit ridiculous to have to buy two gifts for Christmas for the sake of a lie. She's the party pooper that breaks the news to her friends at day care but oh well. I am telling you now if your daughter said anything like that to my child, you as her mother would have a few choice words from myself at the school gates thats for sure, and as for buying two gifts what a pile of cr*p there is no need to do two gifts. I tell my children Santa send them one gift each usually the main thing they have asked for and me and the family have purchased the rest, sent them to him and he brings them on xmas eve with the things that he has got.
I think its quite cruel not to tell your children about Santa, they are losing a fantastic part of their childhood memories.
Well thats my 2 cents :0)

Susanne - posted on 08/06/2010

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My son is 10, and I am letting him enjoy this, he loves the idea of getting to bed early for santa, and baking cookies and leaving milk out for him. We also mix up reindeer food also, its something that the two of us enjoy together. Until then, he can believe in what ever he wants as in Santa and the Easter Bunny as well..

Keisha - posted on 08/06/2010

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Just let them figure it out. Trust me if they're school age it wont take long anyway.

Rachel - posted on 08/06/2010

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I have never bsaidanything to my childrenon therenot being a santa. Let themfigure it out themselves. Just when they do explain it and explain that they cannot ruin it for their siblings.

Karen - posted on 08/05/2010

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I think kids figure those kinds of things out on their own. There is no magical age, they decide what and how they want to believe / handle things. If it just occurs as part of the normal course of life then it's no big deal. To me, "Santa" is not just a guy in a red suit, he's the spirit of the season, so I guess you never truly stop believing.

And for the Mom who said "my kid is the party pooper at day care, oh well", that is not a wink and a grin comment, it's actually cruel on the part of you and your child to cavalierly stomp on someone's fun / beliefs like that. A child believing in Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, or space aliens is not harming anyone and not hurting you. Why is it OK and even funny to hurt them? I have taught my child to respect others even if you don't agree with them. So despite her beliefs in legends or religion, I would be furious if she was disrepectful to another person in that manner. So, I respect those people's positions that they don't lie to their children, I would hope that those people would respect me and mine enough not to deliberately ruin harmless fun.

Heather - posted on 08/05/2010

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My dh and I don't see Santa etc. as a lie. We recognize that "Jesus is the reason for the season." We celebrate an American Christmas, complete with church and presents -- some "from Santa" -- on Christmas morning. However, we never wanted our kids to feel betrayed and like we lied to them, just b/c we chose to give gifts "from Santa."

So we sat each of our boys down in the fall of their 2nd grade year and told them about Santa. We figured at this age they'd start to hear it on the playground and we wanted to be the ones they found out about it from. Each boy made the leap from Santa to the Tooth Fairy, etc., and they would continue to turn it over in their minds for a few weeks after that. We were also delighted to see their continued excitement for Christmas despite the fact that "they knew." :) I don't think their feelings were hurt, nor did they feel betrayed, nor did they feel silly on the playground. We did, of course, counsel them to keep this info to themselves, especially in the case of the older child to the younger one. ;)

Melanie - posted on 08/05/2010

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Santa isn't real?

See here is the thing, Saint Nicholas aka Santa aka Santa Clause was and is a real person. He may no longer be alive, but his spirit is. He existed so how am I lying to my kids if I tell them that Santa is real? I still believe in Santa and I am 26. He may not make stuff or buy stuff for kids and he certainly doesn't work with elves but in our house he lives on through our willingness to pass his gifts along by giving gifts in his name (you see this is how gifts from St. Nick really started people passed on the gifts that were given to them by St. Nick and then people started to give gifts in his name that they hadn't recieved from him.)

So as the article says, "Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Clause." You never have to tell them because it is real.

[deleted account]

We teach the story of the Catholic Saint, St. Nicholas. He was a wealthy man who came to know a peasant man who could not afford the dowry to marry off his 3 daughters, but was ill and would be dieing soon, and thus, unable to care for them. The wealthy man road by the peasant's home one night and tossed a bag of gold pieces into the window. The peasant used the gold to marry his oldest daughter. The same happened for the younger two daughters.The peasant wrote of the Saint, who was never identified, before his death and he was canonized in the Catholic Church. His Feast Day is Dec. 6. Over time, it has been combined with Christmas celebrations.



We tell our son that St. Nicholas is in heaven with the other saints and his spirit gives gifts. Even when we are choosing gifts for others, or donating to a charity, it is St. Nicholas' spirit that gives us the joy we get from giving.

St. Nicholas inspires us to give to other, so we do so at Christmas to celebrate the gift God gave to us in the giving of His Son.

We also give a single gift on Dec. 6 in honor of St. Nicholas.

I tell my son that Santa Clause is just a nickname or different pronunciation of Saint Nicholas.

Mandy - posted on 08/05/2010

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Sadly, sometimes we have to lie to our chidren and keep awful things from them, I believe it is our duty to protect them from certain things, I thank the lady who shared her awful secret on here and how she is protecting her children from him. I too hold a secret which my children will never find out, it is in their best interest that they do not, and as their mummy/guardian/carer/protector it is my right to choose. Just like it is everyone elses, but this does not give anyone else the right to spoil what I teach my children. I think, whatever your beliefs we need to help our children learn to respect other people's views and beliefs, just as we try and teach them tolerance of others. At the end of the day, so long as the child is not being hurt emotionally and/or is being protected then it really is no-one elses business.
But please try and teach them respect and tolerance for others beliefs.

[deleted account]

I THINK KIDS SHOULD BE ABLE TO BELIEVE IN SANTA AS LONG AS THEY WANT. IN LIFE THEY ARE EXPOSED TO THINGS SO FAST WE FORGET THEY ARE KIDS. WHAT IS WRONG WITH LETTING THEM BELIEVE IN SANTA AND THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS. MY GIRLS ARE 6 AND 7 AND THEY BELIEVE NOT REALLY IN THE MAN OF SANTA BUT IN THE BELIEF OF HE IS THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS TO GIVE AND LOVE EACH OTHER.

Wendy - posted on 08/04/2010

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neverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr im 27 and i still get excited about christmas i have not told my kids that santa does or does not exsist if they ask you tell them about the meaning of santa and the meaning of christmas let them find out on their own because then you will not be the one that ruins santa instead you can b the one that gives them the affection when they realise its not true

Isabel - posted on 08/04/2010

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my son is six, and he has recently asked me the "is Santa real?" question. I simply told him, " If you beleive in him, he is" and his repsonse was, " yes mommy, i do beleive in him, but why doesnt he bring me all the presents on my list" i told him because there are so many other children in the world, he cant get everything and be greedy. he was happy. i will leave it up to him when he stops beleiving in Santa even though other children have already tried to tell him other wise.

Tajunanne - posted on 08/04/2010

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Well i believe in santa until my father died 8 yrs ago i think whats wrong with this world and children is that people kills there child hood to early then complain when they growup to fast they only babies 12 months.toddlers 2 yrs, children 9 yrs,and teenagers 8 yrs than your grown forever so let your child stay a child as long as you can and be bless for it

Bee - posted on 08/04/2010

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Let them work it out for themselves. I figured it out when I was about 10. The world is such a big scary place, full of worries & stress. Let them hold on to that innocence for as long as they can.

Nicole - posted on 08/04/2010

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Oh I think my kids already know there isn't a Santa and they are 5 & 7.. but whenever they say they don't believe in Santa, I just say then Santa won't bring you anything. That's what my parents did for me when I was little and realized Santa and my parents had the same handwriting.

Daena - posted on 08/03/2010

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Well I told my daughter that there was a Saint Nick he lived long time ago, I dont remember the name of the story but it had something to do with God, Saint Nick was put in jail for believing in God and was not let out until he was an old man with a long beard, somehow someone gave him a red alfgan and a caine umong other things, When he got out he walked the streets and gave a homeless man was cold and Saint Nic gave the alfgan away, and keeped walking giveing what little he had to the less fortunate, I watched this long time ago and I wish I could find it to show my kids how Sants Clause started, I think it was one of the Bible shows, but this way they can make their own mind, I hope this helps

Clare - posted on 08/03/2010

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I will encourage my children to believe in santa for as long as possible, "santa" represents alot in our house around christmas especially the spirit of giving and helping others so i do not consider it to be a lie, my younger two have not yet questioned it but my 13yr old obviously is aware the gifts are from her family and is happy to encourage the lil ones along with us. Basicaly down to personal beliefs on if and when you tell your children . :)

Eileen - posted on 08/03/2010

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That's what I was going to say, too. What God did trumps what man makes up. Christmas is a combination of legends, with Odin featured prominently in the decorated tree, the yule log, and the presents. I don't worship Odin.

When I am stressed with adult concerns, I tell the children I am stressed, but I don't have to tell them why!

I was also abused as a child, so I made sure that my children knew who and what to stay away from, but I did not go into detail until they were teens!

I should not have entered this conversation, but it pains me that so many people have this religious attachment to Santa Claus that not all of us share! It is NOT a rite of passage! If I were Muslim, you Santa lovers would not force it on me! I am CHRISTIAN and I want my children to know what God did, and not these fables.

If you have a week or two, I can show you were those stories really come from, and they are not altruistic.

Kristin - posted on 08/03/2010

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Telling a child that the stain on their jeans is no big deal is a little different than telling them that a fat man sneaks in the house and gives them free stuff once a year if they have been good. If you want to foster love and teach children about "seeing" what is not readily apparent, the true story of Christmas is perfect. And not make believe.

Kristin - posted on 08/03/2010

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We never really embraced the idea of Santa. My reasoning was that we tell our children all their lives not to tell lies, it seems very hypocritical to foster one from their very first Christmas.

Irene - posted on 08/03/2010

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The purpose of stories is not to hide the truth but to show greater truths that are not always readily evident. Think of the Parables in the Bible, or the Greek myths. They teach us about cultures. They help us to see human nature and to think of possibilities beyond those that are obvious to us in the here and now. As parents, our job is to help our children "see" those things that are not readily evident, like the 'spirit' of Santa Claus that is in each of us when we give gifts. That truth takes many years to impart to our children. Don't let that truth die because you deny the existence of Santa. Use the question "Does Santa really exist?" to show little ones that Santa is more than just one person. Just like 'Mommy" is more than one person - and a different person to each of us.

So yes, I believe there is a Santa and I would not deny his existence to my offspring!

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