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View Full Version : Do you do the "believing in Santa" thing at your house?



crunchynerd
12-19-2016, 01:06 PM
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!

BakedAk
12-19-2016, 06:03 PM
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.

alexsmom
12-19-2016, 06:31 PM
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.

inmom
12-19-2016, 06:46 PM
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.

Oksana
12-19-2016, 10:28 PM
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.

Leila
12-20-2016, 12:01 AM
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.

aselvarial
12-20-2016, 04:16 AM
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.

fastweedpuller
12-20-2016, 08:53 AM
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...

farrarwilliams
12-20-2016, 08:52 PM
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!" :^o): Like, seriously? Maybe rethink your Christmas priorities if they involve violence against my kids, even jokingly.

crunchynerd
01-02-2017, 09:26 AM
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.

crunchynerd
01-02-2017, 09:37 AM
I tend to fall into the same camp as those who deem it important to be truthful and not pretend fantasy is reality, but on the other hand, concede the point to those who present it, that childhood's belief in things magical and fantastical, may be a cherished and mystical experience, without which, modern kids really miss out. Who knows what the benefits or importance of believing in fairy tales may yet be revealed to be, for children that age? If a person cannot remember ever believing in fantasy as if it were real, he or she cannot appraise the loss of that experience.

Learning to differentiate, firmly, between fantasy and reality is a developmental rite of passage, and while it is necessary for full maturation, to go through it, maybe being able to remember what it was like before that, is important in ways some of us can't grasp.

Alas, for me, I never truly believed in the fantastical, even when it was obvious to me that adults expected me to. So I played the part to keep them happy, and lived with a precocious knowledge of cynicism.

Figuring my kids are much the same, I spare them the cynicism by sparing them the falsehoods. Yet seeing my friend's kid, in the tween years yet still believing in Santa, makes me realize that people are different, and I am not going to tamper with that kid's universe, unasked. Like pubescent awakening, the timeline and method in which maturation comes is deeply personal, and none of my business.

Sometimes I wish there had ever been a time when I had believed in fairies. No one tried to prevent me...in fact, my mother tried to encourage me to believe in things she thought were appropriate for young children to believe in. Didn't work.

I would have been a very bad Waldorfian.

crunchynerd
01-02-2017, 09:44 AM
..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. ...
Query: why would them being mostly secular make you surprised there was a Santa myth going on? I thought more evangelicals disliked the Santa myth as a distraction from Christ at Christmas, or worse, a secular displacement and confusion of him. But who knows? Is being pro-Santa more likely or less likely in evangelicals? The most devout and fundamentalist among them that I ever heard from on the point, felt that Santa was a bad thing, a secular takeover of what the holiday was supposed to be about (hence slogans like "Jesus is the Reason for the Season" and so on).

In your experience, are Christians the ones primarily doing the Santa thing? I wonder if it varies regionally.

NotYourName
01-11-2017, 12:59 PM
We do Santa, the Easter Bunny, etc. However, we preferace it by saying "Some people believe in so and so and this is what they do."

As far as Christmas is concerned, we have always said, Santa is the spirit of Christmas. Is he a real guy that flies around and gives every child in the world a present on one night? No.

But I do believe in the magic of believing in fairy tales, building those traditions, etc.

fastweedpuller
01-11-2017, 01:32 PM
Query: why would them being mostly secular make you surprised there was a Santa myth going on? I thought more evangelicals disliked the Santa myth as a distraction from Christ at Christmas, or worse, a secular displacement and confusion of him. But who knows? Is being pro-Santa more likely or less likely in evangelicals? The most devout and fundamentalist among them that I ever heard from on the point, felt that Santa was a bad thing, a secular takeover of what the holiday was supposed to be about (hence slogans like "Jesus is the Reason for the Season" and so on).

In your experience, are Christians the ones primarily doing the Santa thing? I wonder if it varies regionally.

It might vary regionally, it is just *I* thought it surprising because the majority of the kids in her class were immigrants here to work for the big local international company. So why would the Korean, Thai, Indian, Chilean, Belorussian kids be wholly down with the Santa myth? I can only think it's 100% trying to fit in to this particular culture. Hell, the kids weren't even fully English fluent yet they chatted up about the big white guy in the red suit. Headscratcher. And not encouraged openly in the Montessori class, not at all. Sure, all holidays were discussed and one big Light Holiday was held near the December solstice...a combo Diwali/Hanukkah/xmas/pagan/etc affair with lots of (electric) candles and food. All I am saying is I thought my kid would be safe in a class of immigrants! but no! When she left the school The Elf on the SHelf was a big deal. I blame the company they all worked for.