Santa Claus??

[deleted account] ( 121 moms have responded )

I'm wondering what other moms views on Santa Claus are. My twins are almost 3. We haven't even mentioned the whole "Santa Claus" concept to them. Personally, I feel it's wrong to pretend there is a Santa Claus and lie to my kids about his existence. I remember how destroyed I was as a kid when I found out my parents' and family members had lied about the existence of Santa Claus and don't see the point of perpetuating a lie for a few years of wonder for them.

My friends are huge pro-Santa parents with their kids and have been asking my kids about Santa, wanting to go take them to see Santa, etc. Some of my friends are advocating we start telling them about Santa as a discipline tool (e.g., be good or no gifts from Santa).

Am I just a complete Scrooge? What is the value of Santa, really? Can't we enjoy a major holiday without lying to our kids about it?

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[deleted account]

I will tell Gabby that other people believe in him and to just pretend so they don't get offended. That way no ones dreams are crushed. Me and the bf already talked about that one.

[deleted account]

When i found out "santa" wasn't real it didn't affect me in anyway because "santa" will always be real in the parents who choose to use "santa".
In other wprds when i found out it didn't matter but it made me realise how much my parents did for us without wanting the recognition. I want that with my children. Yes in the long run we still do get the recognition but at least while they are young they get to believe!

Stifler's - posted on 12/12/2010

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I'm still going to do the presents and tree thing, just write that the presents are from me and leave Santa out of it.

Jaime - posted on 12/12/2010

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After seeing a few threads about this subject I'm not really sure what I will say to Gray. I don't think it's bad at all for kids to have an imagination about Santa Claus. But I also don't think it's bad for Gray to know that Santa Claus is make believe and not a living person that brings him presents. I think the altruistic nature of Santa is what I appreciate most about the holidays and that is what I more so want to convey to my son.

I don't decorate because I just don't want to freakin' clean it up! lol

Nikki - posted on 12/12/2010

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PS, JL I am sending you a BIG Christmas card with Santa on the front ;p ♥ you.

Nikki - posted on 12/12/2010

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Aww I LOVE Santa, I am not scarred by the lie, in fact I am thankfully I got to experience those wonderful and magical years of believing. I respect every mother's right to decide what is in the best interest of their child, but for the sake of all the children that do believe please encourage them not to ruin it by blabbing that he is not real! :)

Jaime - posted on 12/12/2010

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I see no problem with associating Santa with the "spirit of Christmas". Some people think it's a bunch of turtle nuts, but that's the nature of diversity. I embrace diversity so I respect everyone's individual holiday traditions. As for the commercialization of Christmas...that's the stuff of capitalism folks!

[deleted account]

Actually the origin of christmas was a pagan holiday to celebrate the winter solstice, the darkest day of the year.They would celebrate this so the sun wouldn't vanish forever by offering gifts to the sun and having a feast to symbolize abundance when the sun returns. They would also decorate trees(evergreens) as a symbol of new life in the upcoming spring. The Christians took the holiday as a way to convert pagans. It transformed to a commercial holiday in recent years.

Stifler's - posted on 12/12/2010

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I hate Santa too. I can't be bothered with the "spirit of Christmas" nonsense. I'm over Christmas this year and all the big deal about it that people make? And for what? It's a commercial holiday to me now that I've learned that it's apparently not about Jesus.

Jaime - posted on 12/12/2010

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Fair enough...I'm with you on the "Santa is a real person and flies in a sled with reindeer" bit is crap...but I still say my friend.

[deleted account]

Any kind of lie a parent tells a child has the ability to scar them for life. My mother telling me santa was real had adverse effects on me, I didn't trust her and became an Atheist . At 6 years old. Just because it doesn't happen to every child who believes in Santa, doesnt mean it wont happen. lots of other ways are much to grow their imagination and stimulate their creative side. Like teaching them to create stories, color and drawing, molding with clay and playing make believe. The story of Santa is a cool one and if my daughter asks about it i will tell her the myth behind this man, but not the whole he has a sleigh and flys around the world on it coming down the chimney delivering toys...its bogus.

Jaime - posted on 12/12/2010

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I don't think this is a situation to get all up in arms about. If you read about the history of Santa and how it all started, it's a pretty awesome story. There are plenty of Santas that exist today, but there are some people that choose to bulk them into one 'man' to represent the 'spirit of giving'. I don't see anything wrong with that. I have absolutely no problem with my son believing in Santa, if it means that he believes in good-natured humanity. I don't think this "lie" is the kind that will scar and damage our children for years to come. I would love to teach my son that the spirit of Santa is about giving unto others and being kind and taking care of himself and others around him. I just don't get caught up in the decorating or talking about Santa coming down the chimney at night and leaving gifts under the tree. Imagination is so fundamentally important in a child's life. We don't have to shove Santa down their throats, but we don't have to crush him under our boots either.

[deleted account]

I hate Santa. I can't think of any reason to lie to my child. I will tell my daughter that he doesn't exist and presents are from mommy and daddy. NOT some imaginary fat man that breaks into your house in the middle of the night. Its one of the commandments, don't lie...yet a christian holiday lies to millions of children each year??? its absurd! When i found out their was no Santa. i quit believing in God. I thought well if Santa isnt real, God doesn't exist isn't either. I don't want to do that to my daughter. Plus the horror to find out the one person in the world LIED to me, for years. I thought i didn't trust her after that.

Jaime - posted on 12/12/2010

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Actually, I think Carol summed it up the best...at least she did so for me. So thanks Carol, you, as always, are awesome!

[deleted account]

@Carol -- I think you are missing the point -- I wasn't scarred by "learning" that Santa wasn't real. I was upset by the realization that, if Santa isn't real, then my had been lying about the existence of Santa and were, by extension, liars. When you're 4 or 5 and idolize your parents, that's a big deal. You should be able to trust your parents to tell you the truth. I'm also not advocating that my kids shouldn't believe in anything imaginary -- my boys have very active imaginations. For example, my boys have an imaginary tiger that lives in our house, which they created all on their own, using their own imaginations. My point is they don't need adults to create mythology around an imaginary person (not talking about St. Nick, here, but straight Santa) as a way of "promoting" their imaginations. I don't think supplying a story really works their imaginations at all.

Jaime - posted on 12/12/2010

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I guess you could say I celebrate the season. Winter is about preparing for the renewal of the earth so-to-speak when spring arrives and new things/beings are born. The winter season is not made any more or less important by Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa or what ever else is celebrated...it's is simply how some people choose to celebrate. I think what we lose sight of is the fact that Christmas has been adapted for hundreds of years. It's not specific to Christians (as has already been established) and so it is not limited to just the people that choose to be religious and celebrate Christ. I don't think I will ever understand why we choose to argue over who has the 'right' to celebrate Christmas...everyone has the right to celebrate. If you don't agree, that is your prerogative...but it doesn't change anything.

Jaime - posted on 12/12/2010

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I don't celebrate 'Christmas'. I celebrate the holidays with my family because THEY celebrate Christmas. I give gifts to the kids because I enjoy giving. And I often bake goodies and give framed pictures to the adults of my son from that year...sometimes a photo album too. I don't get hung up on gifts and decorations because for me it really is about coming together with family once a year to celebrate. For me it's celebrating life...it's that simple.

Jaime - posted on 12/11/2010

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I won't be telling Gray about Santa either. I don't decorate, and I don't see the point in telling him that Santa is going to bring him presents once a year. I love the true story of Saint Nicolas, the philanthropist, which we have based our version of Santa on...but I feel like the Santa that we "celebrate" is so commercialized and doesn't really portray my idea of what a holiday celebration should be.

[deleted account]

I think the reason Santa is so magical is because children are so rooted in fantasy. They want to believe in magic no matter its form.

That said, I understand your perspective. I'm sure there are other ways you can feed your children's fantastical imaginations. But a little suspension of disbelief is a healthy thing in the long run.

Johnny - posted on 12/09/2010

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Until I joined COM I'd never heard of the "Santa-trauma" as I've come to call it. Really, I had never heard even a mention of a person scarred by the discovery that Santa was a magical or imaginary creature and not a real regular dude. Every time I see this on here, I'm completely agog.

That being said, we do the "Santa" thing. We don't act like he's some actual guy like our neighbor or the nice man at the store. He's a magical creature based on generations of myths and stories. The story of Santa Claus or St. Nicholas or whatever you name him is a great parable for teaching children about giving. It is fun, magical, and allows adults (those who aren't suffering the dreaded Santa syndrome) the opportunity to remember those special childhood moments when their imaginations took flight with dreams of sugar plum fairies.

When we went to see Santa, we never act like he's the "real" Santa Claus, but a representation. I mean, I don't spell it out in those words to my 2 year old, but the way we speak of it hopefully conveys that concept. She was just really enthusiastic to show the mall Santa the stuffed Santa Claus that her GG gave her last year. And to ask him to bring her carrots, for some reason.

Personally, I think every family should enjoy this season the way that works best for them. If that doesn't include Santa, I'd never second-guess them. I have some very religious friends who don't do any of the pagan Christmas rituals, no trees, wreaths, fires, mistletoe, Santa Claus or stockings, etc. Yet they celebrate the "day chosen to celebrate the birth of Jesus" as they see it, and their kids seem just as excited and happy about it as those kids who are waiting for Santa to leave something in their stockings.

I will say though, when I hear about parents who don't want their kids to "believe" in anything imaginary ever, it almost brings a tear to my eye. Talk about stealing the magic of childhood!

Hayley - posted on 12/09/2010

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I can't say I was traumatised when my Mother first told me that Santa didn't exist.....I was quite fine about it. It was a lovely magical thing to believe in when I was very little but as I got older, I was already starting to figure out the whole thing for myself anyway.
I think my Mums handwriting on the present tags was a HUGE give away. You'd think that she's have had the sense to do it left handed or tried to disguise it somehow lol!

Amanda - posted on 12/08/2010

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You aren't necessarily a scrooge, I'd say more of a grinch! Lol JUST KIDDING! :)

But I have to say, yes I was dissapointed as a child when I found out, but I've always incorporated Santa Claus with Christmas. My son was born on Christmas Eve, and he's my little Christmas Miracle!
They go see Santa every year at the mall, and I get a picture of them. They write letters to Santa, as well as my daycare kids. They talk about how neat it would be to meet the man that travels the world, and to pet Rudolph and the other reindeer!! I think it's fun as a child to hear about magic, and miracles. I will be a little upset when the truth comes out but it's not so much a lie, it's a make believe story. Actually it's a make believe universal story. Lying seems to be so mean to say about Santa. Kids love him, and he's been around forever! I don't know what I would do if he were to no longer exist! We love setting out milk and cookies, as well as carrots for the reindeer! I value him and will continue to celebrate with him every yr! Sorry you are not on the GO SANTA train! :)

Jo - posted on 12/08/2010

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Our family does Santa, like others, he's definitely not a focus of the holidays but it's just a fun lil 'tradition' that adds a lil extra to the imagination and spirit of Christmas for us.

None of my siblings or I were even remotely hurt by finding out Santa wasn't a real person. We all knew all along because of the way my parents and family portrayed him. "Santa" is the spirit of giving something to someone you want to see smile.

My parents gave us one gift signed from Santa and it was always the 'toy' that we got, and then they gave us stuff we needed, clothes, a new blanket, socks, paper and pencils, an alarm clock.. that kind of crap. The Santa gift, we KNEW wasn't from that fat guy in a red suit coming down the chimney... our chimney went to a wood stove that was 3 feet wide and 2 feet tall.. we had imagination but we didn't believe that crap could be for real.

We also got an envelope on the tree outside, usually in a bag so the snow didn't soak it. It would have 5 free movie rentals, a couple scratch tickets and sometimes $5 or $10. It was always signed from the reindeer. Mom & Dad always swore they had NO idea where it came from and I found out when I was about 10 that it was my grandpa who would get them and after we went to bed, he would walk up the street (he lived 4 houses down the road) and tie them up in the tree.

We also did a LOT of giving at Christmas. Mom, Grandma & us girls did a lot of baking, Grandma and mom did a ton of sewing, knitting and crochetting, made blankets, pillows, sweaters and us girls did embroidery that would go on the blankets and pillows... we'd gather up old toys and we'd donate them to different places. Mom always told us that was the Santa in our family, giving to others just because we want them to smile and feel happy.

We also sat on Santa's knee at the community hall and we got a present from Santa there too. My son has sat on Santa's knee 3 years in a row and I showed him a "message from Santa" online to him too. He doesn't GET who Santa is, and he doesn't care either, yet. I plan on giving him the same Santa experience I had growing up. So I hope the only "Santa" he cares about is the one that my parents taught me - the spirit of giving something to someone just to see them smile!

Sherri - posted on 12/08/2010

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You know Santa was once a real person right? All we are doing is keeping the spirit of Santa alive. To see the magic in your childs faces and the utter joy that it brings is something I would never want to take from my children. The entire season is such a magically time and really for the children. I love to just take a moment to sit back and watch the magic in their eyes and see it from their point of view. It makes my heart and soul smile.

My kids know why we celebrate Christmas to celebrate the birth of Jesus it is still the #1 reason we celebrate. We just add a little Santa in there too. He brings the children 1 gift a piece and one gift only. We sprinkle reindeer food and leave out cookies and milk.
My oldest two believed in Santa until they were 12 yrs old. Now they are my helpers to try and keep the spirit alive for their younger brother.

[deleted account]

It seems like the moms who are saying they were upset were younger (4, 5, 6), like I was, when I learned the news and that moms who were older (8, 9, 10) were OK with it when discovered. I think the reaction has a lot to do with the age. Maybe the younger you are, the more upsetting the news will be. I think I'm going to continue to not promote the Santa mythology in my home -- I don't see the point.

Jackie - posted on 12/08/2010

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Santa is Real! He is a real tradition...

I don't know about everyone else but Santa IS coming down my chimney this year and every year to come and he will have cookies and milk waiting for him to help him along his journey :P

[deleted account]

Well for me, there was nothing magical about Santa or Christmas growing up and I found out he wasn't real early on (I was 4 and it wasn't pretty how I found out). So I guess for me, I still want my son to have the magic of the season but I don't know how to portray that using Santa so we'll find other ways to make it magical. I don't have a problem with other people teaching their kids about Santa at all. If things had been different for me, I would probably be doing the same thing. I just can't bring myself to do it. For me, it's all I can handle every year just setting up the tree. I don't know, I guess I'm a scrooge lol

[deleted account]

I was told Santa was not real when I was 10, because lots of children were telling me he wasn't real and I didn't believe them so my mom and dad decided that so I was picked on for it they would tell me. It did upset me but then I got a triple whammy because when they told me about Santa I asked about the tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny so I found out they were all make believe in less than an hour. Gutted, but not scarred for life. I then had to keep yup the pretense for my little brother, although he was having suspicions anyway so it wasn't for long.

I just love the magic of Santa, a couple of years ago we stopped at my SIL for Christmas, my neice was 7 and my nephew was 4 and their faces when they come down stairs and saw Santa's snowy footprints all around the lounge and the remains of the carrots on the ground outside was incredible and so worth it, they were so happy and tbh that was better than all their presents to them. That is why we decided to do Santa (as well as loving it ourselves)

[deleted account]

I talked with my husband about this just the other day. I think we'll do the Santa thing, but if, when she asks if he's real or not, we're not going to lie.

Becky - posted on 12/07/2010

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Santa lives in this house, and he will continue to live in this house long after all my kids stop "believing" in him.

April - posted on 12/07/2010

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@ Sara...you were a nice sister!! I was a mean sister...as soon as I found out...I told my little sister. I got to believe in Santa 3 years longer than her.

However, i wasn't devastated. I think a part of me always knew. I was constantly trying to play detective and find out where the presents were.

April - posted on 12/07/2010

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Okay...my son is almost 2 (Dec 22!!). I kind of wanted to do Santa because it was fun for me and my little sister when we were growing up. However...I cannot make the words come out of my mouth. It feels funny to me to lie to my baby. I've never lied to him before about anything and kind of want to keep it that way.

Kerry - posted on 12/07/2010

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I think Santa IS the essence of giving. My kids know they will get presents form santa and we also give presents to each other as family. I can't imagine them going to bed on Christams eve without putting out the cookies and milk, taking twice as long to go to sleep because they are so excited, and then the look on their faces when they see santa has been. To us that just wouldn't be christmas at all....

[deleted account]

Oh, and I wanted to add that I actually WAS scarred in the way I found out there was no Santa. It was horrible. Not that there's any chance my son will find out the same way but still....better not to tell him the lie to begin with than to have him be hurt when he finds out the truth. There's a difference between a child believing in fairy tales and in blatantly lying to them about someone who doesn't exist. We have the same view about the Easter Bunny.

[deleted account]

Well color me a scrooge too because I don't teach my son about Santa or Jesus either. He's 3. I prefer to teach him about the spirit of giving. Does he get a gift from Santa? Sure. One. Has he sat on Santa's lap? Yep. And did I over pay for those pictures that we waited far too long in line for? Yep. But could my son pick Santa out of a line-up? Nope. It's not that I'm sheltering him from being shattered later by finding out there is no such thing. I just didn't want to lie to him from the begining. About any of it. He thinks Christmas is about decorating trees and making presents for people (cookies, ornaments, etc) and snow. That's as far as I've gotten with him. He's 3. Still a long way to go to his understanding but at least he knows it's not all about him.

Brittanie - posted on 12/07/2010

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I am also VERY pro Santa. I do not look at it as lying to my kids at all. I still enjoy anything Santa related like movies, books, mall santa's, etc. I found out or "figured" out the whole Santa thing when I was about 11 years old. I had been questioning my parents for a few years about it at that point but they always had an answer for any question I had about it. I would never ever think that what they said to me to keep that magic alive was a negative thing. I was actually shocked to find out that so many parents are now against doing Santa for their kids..I just can't imagine not allowing my children to have those butterflies in their stomache on Christmas eve lying in bed straining to see if they could hear reindeer on our roof.

Kerry - posted on 12/07/2010

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"".....I don't see it as lying, to me it's more about ENCOURAGING their imagination and experiencing the magic and fantasy of Christmas. ""

I never said you were ruining your kids childhood or imagination!!!!

[deleted account]

I'm so so very pro santa. I will lie to my kids. I want them to know about the spirit of chrsitmas and IMO that comes from ebing a child who believes in santa.

Yes we can teach them all about christmas and what its all about but there is just soemthing special about santa claus.

I don't care if you don't do it with your children and i don't think it ruins their imagination if you choose to not encourage it.

Laura - posted on 12/07/2010

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Rebecca, I don't know when I truly found out--I think I simply "figured it out" by the time I was 10 or 11. My sister, on the other hand, asked the dreaded question: Is Santa real? My mother answered honestly that "no" Santa wasn't flesh and blood real, but that his Spirit was. This happened when she was about 10. She was crushed! Of course (as the story goes) she came down Christmas morning and found her big gift from Santa waiting for her. She turned to my mom and loudly pronounced: "See! Santa IS, too, real!" I do think this affected her, however: She refused to add Santa to her family's traditions and celebrations. Her kids always had to be careful around my daughter because we did/do the whole Santa thing. Of course we are VERY different people even though we are from the same family! : )

Laura - posted on 12/07/2010

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Our family does Yule, too, Jessica! Happy Yule!
Whatever parents decide to do or say about Santa is entirely up to them! There is no right or wrong reason. Every family creates their own holiday traditions whether Santa is a part of those traditions or not. Ultimately the festivities at this time of year center on "family" which is generally a good thing!

That being said, we believe in Santa--he is very real (no lying!) because he is...ME! Since I am real then so is Santa, or so the logic goes. : ) I actually explained to my daughter (when she asked the dreaded question) that Santa was real in the sense that his Spirit is real and those who act on behalf of his spirit bring Santa to "life". We have always had fun with the stories of Santa during this time of year because of that understanding. Even though my daughter "knows" that Santa is her dad and I, we still enjoy the magic and fun of him at Yule/Christmas. She enjoys playing along, I suspect because her dad and I have such fun with being Santa. Shoot, I was leaving cookies and milk out for Santa the last year I was home for Christmas when I was 24 (my sister was 21)! The rituals have deep meaning to me and the symbolism of Santa is rich with virtues like giving, generosity, kindness and love. Those qualities are easy to show through Santa. And "yes", you do not need Santa to display those qualities--I simply find the Santa stories easy to understand as a means to convey those qualities.

Now that my daughter is older and in the know about the Santa myths, we have been exploring Santa from different cultures, namely that from my Dutch heritage, Sinterklaas. She has since written a report on Sinterklaas for school and we are adding St. Nicholas Day (Dec. 6) to our festivities next year (this year wasn't a good time, for personal reasons), at her request! Hmmm...an extra day of receiving a gift...I think I see where she is coming from... ; ) We have also been looking at the pagan origins of Santa from a northern European perspective-- again from my heritage-- the Norse god Odin's influence. Boy, I hope there isn't another seperate festival for that one! Santa is just one more symbol for the holidays and families can choose to use him in their celebrations and traditions as they see fit! Happy Holidays everyone!

[deleted account]

I was probably 7 or 8 when I realized he wasn't real, but pretended I believed until I was about 11. It was too fun to not believe! Plus my little sister held on to the belief much longer than I did, and I'm protective of her. So my pretending was for her sake too.

[deleted account]

Of the moms who say they weren't upset when they found out, I'm curious how old you were at the time (if you remember). Another friend of mine (whose daughters are 10 and 9) just found out last year!! I find that amazing! I believe I was about 4 1/2 when I found out. I'm just wondering if there is a correlation between the age at finding out and how you deal with the news.

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