Santa

Traci - posted on 12/06/2008 ( 17 moms have responded )

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I am struggling with Santa. We celebrate advent with a Jesse tree and advent candles and wreath. We talk about Jesus and that this is his birthday. They go to Catholic school (preschool and 1st grade) and celebrate the feast of St. Nicholas (which is today). How do you handle Santa? i just feel bad.........lying ....to them about Santa. Help!

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Robin - posted on 05/20/2009

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We include Santa in our Christmas celebration. We read a book called, "The Saint Who Became Santa Clause" to them and stress to them that Santa wants you to thank God for your gifts and blessings, not him - a person. We also have told our kids that we give gifts on Christmas because it is Jesus' birthday and since we can't give him gifts, we show our love for him by giving eachother gifts. Basically, we just try to keep Christ in Christmas with out demonizing our cultural realities.

Breeze - posted on 01/25/2009

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My daughter figured out Santa at age 7. It sort of broke my heart. She's vowed not to spoil it for her brothers now aged 6 and 3.

I had her read, "Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus". It's truly amazing. "Santa" exists just as surely as poetry and music. Santa is like the special feeling you have when you wake up and suddenly remember it's your birthday. He's the feeling you have in your tummy when you know about the special present Daddy's gonna get that's been hidden in Grandma's basement since September. He serves no *practical* purpose. He's Christmas carols and hot chocolate w/ marshmallows and getting out those ornaments that your kids made in kindergarten year after year. He's tasting those Christmas cookies that your mom makes and no matter how hard you try, yours never taste quite the same.

We got a small statue of Santa kneeling before the Christ Child. You can find them in Christian book stores. Santa is based on a Christian tradition after all. He loves children and certainly must support what Jesus is all about.

Is Santa a man who comes into your house and leaves presents? No. Is he real? Yes.

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Yes, this is very hard. We have a 7, 5, 3, 8mo. children. The oldest three are girls. I don't want to ruin it for them. We do give the kids three gifts from Santa which represent the three wise men's gifts to Jesus. We have a little in the stocking, too. We have a Jesus birthday cake and we do a lot of Advent activities. The most important is giving back to the poor and that is what we focus.

Brooke - posted on 12/31/2008

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I have a 9, 4 and 2 yr old, so this subject is teetering on the fence with me. I feel the same way as you and dont want to lie about Santa. My boys all go to Catholic school and the oldest just did a report on St. Nicholas. In his mind St. Nickolas is MAGIC and that is how we explain santa. That at one time yes, he was a real live man and now he is magic. As long as you still believe in the magic then he appears........ I really dont know what else to say and he seems happy with that answer. He still believes and so do his little brothers. I think he is respectful enough that when he decides it is a fable then he will keep it to himself. We will see...... ????

[deleted account]

My husband and I discussed Santa and we basically decided that we would enjoy the spirit represented by him, we would not pretend he is real. We treat him like Mickey Mouse. Our daughter loves Mickey and so far has not asked or seemed to make any leaps about the reality of either. When she does, (she is almost 3) we will tell her he is based on a real saint, but no chubby man with elves and flying reindeer lives at the north pole. We don't want to lie to her but more than that, we don't want her obsessing over santa and gifts at Christmas and forgetting Christ. We do celebrate St. Nicholas' feast day, we have a Christmas tree, we have stockings, etc., but we don't pretend they are filled by anyone but mom and dad or friends and family. I explain a bit more of my reasoning on my blog: http://churchdomestic.wordpress.com/2008...

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Michelle - posted on 11/05/2011

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My daughters attend Catholic school, and we attend church each week. On Christmas Day they wake up and say "Happy Birthday Jesus". My girls understand the reason that we celebrate Christmas but, at the same time, they also believe in Santa. Saint Nicholas was a real man, a good and christian man, who had a reputation for secret gift giving, e.g. putting a coin in the shoes that were left out for him. I don't know why he is meant to come on Christmas Day, as Saint Nicholas day is different but, I suppose, it's because the three wise men (or three kings) came and gave Jesus gifts when he was born so people have just, over time, put them both together. So, really, you're not technically lying to your children about Santa. I would, personally, let them enjoy the magic of Santa but ensure your children understand (and I'm sure they do already) the true meaning of Christmas. On that note, I hope you have a great one :-)

Ana - posted on 05/22/2009

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I absolutely recommend the FamiLIA program for you. (Family Life In America) Do they have one at your parish?

Sarah - posted on 04/24/2009

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I see nothing wrong with Santa, as long as the children know that Christmas is really about Jesus and not Santa, because these days Santa is everywhere and Jesus isn't. Think about it this way, if it was Jesus sitting in the mall at Christmas, how many parents would take their children up for a picture with him?? I know that I still would, and probably all of you would too, but society has something about promoting Jesus, it's like its a bad thing. They have made Santa into the symbol and icon of Christmas and thats not what it's about. As long as your children know that Christmas is about Jesus and not Santa, I don't see the harm in letting them believe in Santa. They are only young once and for such a short time, I say let them be kids and if they want to believe in Santa let them. I don't see it as lying to them. I grew up believeing in Santa, and when I found out that he wasn't really real, I didn't feel lied too. Christmas continued the same as always. As long as you keep Jesus as the main focus and put Santa in the background then your kids will understand that Christmas is about Jesus and not Santa. Kids are smarter then we sometimes give them credit for. There's nothing wrong with a little imagination and make-believe.

Anne - posted on 03/15/2009

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We do not encourage Santa. We celbrate the feast day of sanit nicholas when she gets her stocking. She is only 20 months when she gets older we will explain to her that other children beleive in Santa and he is derived from St. Nicholas. I want her to know that Jesus is the reason for Christmas not presents and Santa. I am glad to know that we are not the only family who does this.

Lisa - posted on 02/19/2009

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In our house Santa is St. Nicholas. We celebrate St. Nick's day with our stockings. Santa brings the kids 3 presents in honor of Jesus. We explain Santa as the modern version of St. Nick but we should still honor St. Nick's day as well.



In our house we like to put more emphasis on the nativity though. We play out the nativity with the figurines on the dates that things happened. The crib is setup with the animals before advent. Joseph and Mary travel around the house, arriving at the crib Christmas Eve. Baby Jesus suddenly appears in the crib before the kids wake up on Christmas. At that point, the three wise men, gifts and camel travel around the house to arrive at the crib on January 4th. With all this activity and excitement going on with the nativity, Santa is a minor event and the kids understand the true meaning of Christmas.

Cissy - posted on 01/11/2009

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I know this is kind of late but I figured I would share anyway. :) We have 7 children ages 16 to 2 & we have always done Santa. When it is time that they start asking if he is real, we explain how Santa came from Saint Nicholas. They get 3 presents like Jesus did and those are from "Santa" then they get one from mom & dad. (we started that after baby #5 came) My son believed until he was 11 and he was like "Wow! Your good!" LOL the he preceded to ask me if his14 year old sister knew. ROTFL & my 9 year old daughter found out this year. Boy is her 10 year old brother going to be really mad that she found out before him, LOL It is fun for the little kids & I grew up with Santa & I certainly wasn't mad or distraught over my parents telling me that there was Santa. And my kids never accused me of lying to them.........well, I still have 4 more to find out, so one of them might surprise me. LOL But anyway, I think it is all in good fun & as long as you drill that it is all about Jesus & celebrate everything for Him, then Santa is definitely secondary. He has been with all mine so far. Some ways to do this is to do the Jesse Tree for sure beginning the first day of Advent, don't start decorating until a couple weeks before Christmas or if you can hold off longer that's great, do the 12 days of Christmas after Christmas, and celebrate Epiphany. Take Care, Cissy

Shannon - posted on 01/10/2009

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LIke most of you, we don't make a big deal about Santa in our house.  The presents the are "from Santa" have dwindled down to what is in the stockings.  The nativity has a bigger place in our Christmas season than anything else.  I have two boys (11 and 6).  Like Brooke talked about, our oldest doesn't "believe" in Santa, but he has kept it to himself.  The youngest is questioning, but it's more trying to reconcile what other kids are saying to what we do at home.  Santa represents the story of St. Nicholas in our world today and we all enjoy the stories of giving and sharing. But we don't get into leaving cookies and mile, or "reindeer food", getting our pictures taken with him at the mall or using him as an incentive to behave.

Michelle - posted on 01/03/2009

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We handle Santa as something we do during the Christmas Season. I have an 8 and 4 year old. Both have attended Catholic school at some point and I am a PSR (CCD) teacher. We always put the emphasis that St. Nicholas was the first Santa. That by having Santa come down the chimmney on Christmas morning we are remembering what St. Nicholas did for his community. We also make sure that the kids know the reason we have Christmas. It is not to celebrate Santa, but to celebrate Jesus. We always sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.

Kate - posted on 12/15/2008

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Stockings are from Santa, not gifts in our family, and we treat Santa as a big game of make-believe. I've already explained to my 3 yr old how Santa Claus is a derivative of our dear St. Nicholas (through the dutch Sinterclaas) - basically that the silly little english speaking children in America didn't quite understand what their dutch friends were going on about, but wanted in on the fun.

Anyway, I think in a home that is already bursting with pretend play, fantasy, and imagination, a little more in the form of Santa Claus doesn't hurt. No worse than my son's obsession with Batman (and believe me, he doesn't seem the least deterred by the information that Batman is 'just for pretend!!')

Angela - posted on 12/10/2008

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Personally, I don't think that believing in Santa or not believing in Santa is right or wrong. Growing up, my parents were evangelical protestants, and they didn't have us believe in Santa. I know that *I* always felt like I was missing out on something, wishing I believed in Santa. I knew he didn't exist, but wished I did, I kind of still wish there was one - It can be a magical time ALL AT THE SAME TIME having the strictist reverence and love of the true, real meaning of Christmas. We plan to do Santa, do a birthday cake for Jesus, Advent wreath & calendars, stockings filled by Santa, one big present from Santa and presents from Mom & Dad as well. There's always the option of doing "St. Nick's Day" and doing a little present on that day and not really doing Santa on Christmas Day. It's up to you, but I wouldn't feel guilty either way you choose. You know your kids & family best & you need to do what's best for them. As far as lying to them, I don't think if you don't make too big of a deal about Santa to start, when they find out the truth, they won't be too disappointed. It's a fun time while it lasts and I don't think bigger kids really care afterwards, unless their parents really built it up in their heads. my .02 worth! HTH!

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I feel the same way. Luckily our baby is 5 months old so we still have another year to figure out what we're going to do, however for now we are just taking the not mentioning Santa route. Many solid Catholic families that I know do the whole Santa thing but only give each kid 1 present from Santa, give more presents from Baby Jesus, and do not emphasize the whole "be good for Santa during Christmas time so you get more gifts." Other than that, it seems pretty harmless. My parents were HUGE on Santa and when I found out he didn't exist (about 6-7 years old) I didn't think my parents had lied to me or anything...Christmas just continued as usual! Hope this helps.

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