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  1. #1

    Default Do you do the "believing in Santa" thing at your house?

    There are many reasons and viewpoints on this, including those who don't celebrate Christmas at all; those who celebrate Yule orSolstice religiously but without the Santa thing ; those who celebrate Christmas religiously and may or may not include a Santa aspect; and those who are atheist but still may have divergent viewpoints on the secular Santa tradition. I'll try to add an option for everyone, and invite discourse on what you do at your house, and why. Cheers!
    40-something mom of 4 kids who haven't been to school, taking it one year and one day at a time.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Evolved BakedAk's Avatar
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    Just this minute broke the news to my sensitive 10-year old. He is not happy. He wants to believe in everything, from the fairies and elves in Arthur Spiderwick's field guide to every last magical being in Harry Potter's world, to all the things he imagines himself. If I'd known I'd have a kid for whom reality and fantasy were closely intertwined, I would not have allowed the Santa thing to get a foothold in my house, but I was going with the Christmas tradition I'd grown up with.
    Melissa

    Mommy to Girl-12 and Boy-10, trying to keep my head above water with farm, school, home and art.

    http://ButterscotchGrove.wordpress.com

    You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you odd.
    (Flannery O'Connor)

  4. #3

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    We havent done the Santa as real thing, but its been present in stories read, tv shows, and movies. DS4 has been with me when I've most most of his presents, and he knows he has to wait til xmas to receive them. He keeps prompting me and DH to go wrap the presents, I think its his way of hurrying along the holiday.

    Sometimes I wonder if my boys are missing out by not having the belief in fictitious entities promoted for their imaginations. But to me, it gets uncannily close to dogmatic religion.
    Homeschooling DS11, DS5.

    Atheist.

    My spelling and typing are fine, its my keyboard that doesnt cooperate.

  5. #4

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    We did the Santa thing until they were about 7 or so. Of course it helped when it snowed before xmas and the local deer population would wander through the yard at night. The kids were convinced they were reindeer tracks. But the illusion didn't last long, and they were fine with that.

    On a related note, DD, who is 20 yo, remarked to me yesterday that she is always surprised when some of her college friends talk about going to church on Christmas day....since we never have. We prescribe to the "live and let live" philosophy. If it makes them happy, great, especially if they don't make someone feel bad if they don't.
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years

    Daughter (20), a University of Iowa junior triple majoring in English with Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies

    Son (19), a Purdue University sophomore majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, and history

  6. #5

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    No Santa, no tooth fairies, no other fantasy stories presented as real in our house.

    I have always kept a clear line for my kids between what is real and what is not. We have read and are still reading a gazillion of fairy tales and fantasy books, but everyone is clear on what can happen in real life and what can not. I can't even explain why is this so important to me. Maybe, I have been lied to too many times as a child ...and a line between a lie and a made-up story is just too unclear to me.
    mom to 3 girls: DD9, DD7, DD5

  7. #6

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    Same as Oksana. The line between fantasy and reality is very clear in our house. We don't do Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, etc.
    Leila: Freelance writer, wife, mom, grad student
    Kiddo: 6 years old, loves Lego, vehicles, cats, and music

    Tweet me @leilam

  8. #7

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    I had too many friends absolutely horrified their parents, and EVERY adult they knew had lied to them for their entire lives. I grew up highly religious so, of course, it didn't go at my house. But when Tech was born, my in-laws were PISSED we weren't doing the Santa myth.

    The thing is, the line between fantasy and reality in our house is completely blurred. We have a fairy door, are planning a fairy garden, talk about vampires and werewolves as if they really did exist, discuss the difficulties inherent in being the different types of dragons. Tech inherited my extremely active imagination, and there are times it takes me a few minutes upon waking or stopping reading to transition back to the "here" reality.

    Just, Santa is a creepy myth. So is the tooth fairy. A man who constantly watches you determining whether you are naughty or nice by a set of rules that are unknown is creepy. And then he breaks into everyone's house every year and this is fine?? And the tooth fairy breaks into your house while you are sleeping and "buys" your teeth!!! In voodoo and other magic circles if you have a part of a person, whether blood, hair, skin, or teeth, you can cast magic over them! IT'S CREEPY! After reading Hogfather? No, just could NOT stand THAT particular myth.

    Like I said though, the line between fantasy and reality in our house, is a moving target.

  9. #8

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    No myths here either. BUT! darn it if the culture has a way of undoing one's best plans...Montessori kids (surprisingly christians were the minority in her class too so this is still a head-scratcher to me) convinced her at 4 that he was a real guy. So we went to the seasonal Santa house on main street and let her tell her what she wanted. Unlike the majority of her life, this was captured on video, and it was really quite funny.

    She always knew it was her parents, all those presents...but we also do other holidays with other trappings like some pagan fests and the like (candy money in shoes on St Nicholas day, hot crossed buns on St Lucias day, leprechaun hunting on St Pats, etc) and yup she got money for teeth lost. Very clear however that it was us, not some weird fat dude/fat rabbit/tooth-stealing djinn...
    Year five! Singleton 7th grade dd. Science and history with all other subjects supporting 'em. Eclectic-ish.

  10. #9

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    Santa was always a game we played. As real as Narnia or Paddington Bear or something. So we always did the whole putting out cookies and so forth, but as a sort of pretend game.

    I felt strongly that I didn't want to lie to my kids about Santa. But I think you can make a case for the whole magic of belief... I mean, I get it in a way. I don't really agree, but I'm certainly don't think anyone is hurting their kids by telling them. But I can't stand that every year there's some jerk parent on my FB feed who says something like, "If any of your children ruin Christmas for my kids, I will hunt you down! You horrible Christmas ruiners!" Like, seriously? Maybe rethink your Christmas priorities if they involve violence against my kids, even jokingly.
    Disclaimer: Everything I'm saying is just my own opinion, based on my own experiences teaching and with my own kids and my own life. You should just ignore me if I'm annoying you. I don't mind.

    But if I don't annoy you, feel free to visit my blog:
    http://farrarwilliams.wordpress.com
    Children's Books, Homeschooling and Random Musings...

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by BakedAk View Post
    Just this minute broke the news to my sensitive 10-year old. He is not happy. He wants to believe in everything, from the fairies and elves in Arthur Spiderwick's field guide to every last magical being in Harry Potter's world, to all the things he imagines himself. If I'd known I'd have a kid for whom reality and fantasy were closely intertwined, I would not have allowed the Santa thing to get a foothold in my house, but I was going with the Christmas tradition I'd grown up with.
    Don't be too hard on yourself: that's the trouble with these things: we can't predict our kids' innate personalities, and reading firsthand accounts of adults now, who were absolutely shattered (instead of taking it in stride) by finding out about Santa, makes me realize the extent to which kids vary, and parents can't beat themselves up for something if 99% of kids are fine with it, and their kid drew the short straw.

    My DS9, for all he's so hardheaded and often appears insensitive, is so devastatingly sensitive in ways others' kids aren't, that I still don't dare show him the movie "Neverending Story" because the part about the horse would destroy him. Maybe by the time he's 12, he can handle it.

    He almost stepped in it when a homeschooled friend who is "young for age" but older than DS, apparently still believes in Santa....my DS made a passing reference, and the other boy's response on the phone gave us to realize he believed and my DS 9 had to back-pedal and change the topic. Fortunately, the other kid happily allowed the conversation to turn elsewhere. That would never happen with DS (or me, either).

    So I get it: kids are different, and most of the time, the Santa tradition is not a big huge problem for anyone, either way. But adults are usually the ones making drama over it. I would never judge you for doing the Santa thing and then going, "oops, I have one of the kids for whom it poses a difficulty" because my DS9 is that way about so many things that are perfectly fine for most kids, and the only way I found out was trial and error.
    40-something mom of 4 kids who haven't been to school, taking it one year and one day at a time.

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Do you do the "believing in Santa" thing at your house?