Santa: To believe or not to belive

[deleted account] ( 11 moms have responded )

I am almost positive there was a post on this topic here recently, but I cannot find it today. I came across this article, which I really enjoyed, and wanted to share it. I couldn't find the original thread, so I started a new one.



I know we have lots of people who do, and lots who do not, "Do Santa" with their kids, and lots who do modified versions. I would love to hear your thoughts on the article, how it correlates with your own ideas about myth, and whether it impacts your decisions about what you tell your kids about Santa.



http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/t...

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Rosie - posted on 12/10/2012

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we don't do santa, purely because i couldn't keep up with all the lies. i hated it, it was too much work trying to hide why i had something they knew was a present, and how it got from me to santa.

i don't feel that the examples given in the article are the same as lying to your children about something you know to be false. fantasy play is great, if you want to do santa that's great as well. i just personally think it's silly to purposely lie to your child in order to have fantasy play. you can still fantasize about santa claus as a 34 year old, knowing it's not real. you can do the same as a child as well-no need to lie and confuse the child. i'm not saying it has life long lasting devestating effects or anything, i just don't see the point of lying to my children just to have to correct the lie and see their confused, heartbroken faces once they find out.

Lady Heather - posted on 12/06/2012

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I loved it so much as a kid that I couldn't possibly not do Santa with my kids. I don't remember feeling upset when I found out the truth. Around here we do a pretty elaborate set up. We have the elf on the shelf and he fills our family advent calendar with an activity to do together everyday. He also wreaks havoc on the house. My 3 year old LOVES it. I knew she would enjoy the whole thing, but I'm really surprised by just how much. First thing she says in the morning is "We have to find Magnus (the name she gave the elf) and check the calendar!". And every night she tells him to go back to the North Pole. lol.



It's too fun not to do. Being Santa is like being a kid again. :) If people don't want to do it, well that's cool. Just don't tell my kid. Hahaha.

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[deleted account]

my parents sucked so bad, they tried to do Santa but flubbed up so bad the first time that they just stopped bothering.

my husband, on the other hand, was a full-blown believer.

so we are somewhat at odds with whether or not we should do Santa. i don't have that great an imagination for stuff like that anymore but my husband is a kid at heart and he wants to do the whole Santa thing. i say just wrap up some presents and tell the kids if they're good they can have them.

but i'm depressed right now, so that may be most of the reasoning behind my not caring much about the whole Santa thing. it's nice and all, but my brain has been stuck on logic mode since high school and i just can't go back.

Mary - posted on 12/12/2012

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I was not heartbroken when I realized Santa wasn't real - and I honestly don't know anyone who was. If this discovery was truly all that traumatic, I'm pretty sure that this tradition would have all but died out long ago. I think most parents, like myself, continue to perpetuate the Santa myth because it was such an awesome part of our childhood. When I think back to my childhood Christmases, I remember fondly the sheer joy, excitement, and anticipation that filled that time. I can vividly recall lying in bed, in the room I shared with my sister, whispering back and forth, while listening for the merest hint of hooves on the roof. I remember that butterflies-in-my-stomach feeling upon waking as we quietly snuck downstairs to see if he had come. I remember blissful family mornings with my whole family gathered around the tree - everyone still in their pj's. It was such a happy, harmonious, and magical time. I can't remember any specific presents, but I can vividly recall the feelings of that time, and what sticks with me the most is that it was a time of shared happiness within my family. My discovery that Santa wasn't "real" was gradual, and was shared between my sister and I. There was no overwhelming disappointment or sense of betrayal, because what really made Christmas so happy and special remained - that magical family harmony and shared joy of the season.



I think that this article missed on a big part of what makes Santa so unique in the realm of childhood imaginary play. For many children, it is the one time when everyone happily and enthusiastically joins in their fantasy. My 4 y/o is really big on imaginative play, and creating little stories and scenarios. I certainly try to engage with her in this, but I'm not privy to all that is in her mind, so I often "get it wrong" when trying to participate in her little imaginary world. Christmas and Santa, however, is fantasy play and storytelling that everyone around her shares in - and enthusiastically so. It's not just mommy and daddy participating, either; grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, neighbors, teachers....in her eyes, everyone is taking part and actively participating in this great story. It's really no different than her princesses, dolls, and stuffed animals - except that it's on a much grander scale, and it is a shared "game".

Momma - posted on 12/11/2012

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I don't know, my daughter was not heartbroken when she realized. I guess, all kids are different. Mind you, I have yet to meet anyone that had a "thing" for their parents or were heartbroken because Santa didn't "really" bring them their toys. Meh.



Fairies aren't real either and neither are mermaids. Do you think my daughter believed me (not until she was about 12)? I tried to tell her the truth and she was having none of it. So, I just played along with her. There is no harm in it. I am just having a bit of child fun, something more parents should learn to partake in. It can really be magical and make you feel young.



~MeMe

Tracey - posted on 12/10/2012

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As long as they keep getting the presents my kids don't care whether Santa is real.

Kate - posted on 12/09/2012

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I feel like in a world where my five year old has homework at least once a week. Parents work longer and longer hours to keep food on the table, meaning more time in child care for kids. It's not safe to let your nine/ten year old ride his bike around the neighborhood alone for fear of child molesters. Video games targeted to preschoolers.... Anything that lets them live the magic of childhood just a little longer can't be a bad thing.

Jodi - posted on 12/09/2012

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I totally missed out on Santa growing up...that's what you get being the youngest of 5!!! So, I totally do it up for my girls, we do the elf on the shelf with crazy stunts, we do a countdown to christmas with activities and stuff to do each day, we do "Pay it Forward", basically doing good deeds with the motto of, "no need to pay or thank me, just pay it forward" or do a good deed for someone else in payment to the good deed done to you. My husband tromps around the yard with a deer hoof stamp on a stick making reindeer tracks on the roof and all that jazz. My kids LOVE it. Believing in Santa doesn't mean being greedy or not understanding the meaning of the season, it means you can have fun AND get a small reward for being a good person.



Oh, and my 3 year old has had SO much fun picking out presents for everyone else and doing nice things in our community. She is DYING for a Butterscotch FurReal Pony (which she is getting! lol), but she asked our Elf to make sure that all the little boys and girls who don't have much get one too!



♥ Santa!

Jayce - posted on 12/09/2012

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What do you mean Santa isn't real??? I have proof that he is. I have one of his sleigh bells (no it wasn't given to me Polar Express style), it fell off his sleigh and I found it in our driveway on Christmas Day.

Momma - posted on 12/06/2012

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We definitely do the whole Santa thing. Yes, I was disappointed when I was 4 and found out the truth (caught my drunk Dad, eating the cookies) but I got over it and it did not scar me. The way I was treated 365 days a year, did.



My daughter loved Santa and had a great time living and playing the fantasy. She is 14 now and she knows he isn't real. She was not upset in the least and she looks forward to carrying on the fun with her 2 year old brother and her soon to be born sister.



I don't have an issue with families that don't partake. I don't understand but I respect their choice. What I don't like, is if their kids try and ruin it for mine. Of course, we play it so well, it would take one heck of a spoiler to ruin it for them. ;)



To each is own on this one.



~Meme

Dove - posted on 12/06/2012

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I think the post you are looking for is on Parenting Debated and Hot Topics. ;)



That's a good article. We don't do Santa. I fully agree w/ the imaginary play, etc... being great for kids learning and development... and also the part that Santa isn't necessary to achieve that. My kids know the true story of St. Nick and that that is where people get Santa from.



I do know of some kids (friends of friends) that were VERY upset about finding out the truth about Santa.... but many more that weren't. Basically, if you want to do Santa... go for it. If you don't... don't. There isn't automatically anything wrong w/ either way and generally speaking.... Santa will not make or break your kid. The other 364 days of the year have a much greater impact on life.

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