to kill my MiL for telling DD2 that Santa doesn't exist

(122 Posts)
freddiefrog Mon 19-Nov-12 09:39:26

DD2 is 7, she was very firmly in the I Belive camp and I really would have liked it to remain that way for a couple more years.

DD1 (11) got suspicious a couple of years ago, and finally sussed/had it confirmed just after last Christmas, amid dire warnings of no stocking if she blew it for her sister.

The DDs were Skyping with the inlaws last night and the subject of Christmas came up.

MiL said 'oh, you don't still believe in Santa do you <DD2>, you're getting too old for that'. DD asked her what she meant, MiL then told her it was 'all pretend'

I'm ready to kill her

GrimmaTheNome Mon 19-Nov-12 10:32:56

OP, YANBU - but only because losing granny and santa at the same time might be a bit much for your DD to cope with.

Silly granny. My DD stopped believing in santa at <6 but she understood that you keep up the pretence for friends who still do believe it (she was a little more robust on the issue of god but learned the 'some people believe' mantra quickly). If small children can understand about not taking away other peoples magic, an adult should be able to do it.

Takver Mon 19-Nov-12 10:33:55

Your MiL needs this poem which includes this bit:

"What was beheld by Jabez Dawes?
The fireplace full of Santa Claus!
Then Jabez fell upon his knees
With cries of 'Don't,' and 'Pretty Please.'
He howled, 'I don't know where you read it,
But anyhow, I never said it!'
'Jabez' replied the angry saint,
'It isn't I, it's you that ain't.
Although there is a Santa Claus,
There isn't any Jabez Dawes!"

I think "It isn't I, its you that ain't" is one of my favourite lines ever grin

GrimmaTheNome Mon 19-Nov-12 10:34:22

I meant YABU of course. Duh.

Corygal Mon 19-Nov-12 10:34:36

Clarification - I was discussing issue via some people I know IRL, not the poster's on DC. I still think that local family's weirder than me...

BonaDea Mon 19-Nov-12 10:34:54

YANBU. What an old hag.

Kittycatcat Mon 19-Nov-12 10:34:54

What a mean lady sad. Your poor dd. nobody but you has that right.

freddiefrog Mon 19-Nov-12 10:35:44

OK, I won't kill her.

How about itching powder in her knicker drawer when she comes to stay next month?

Fairylea Mon 19-Nov-12 10:41:23

Send her a lump of coal in the post from Santa

Startail Mon 19-Nov-12 10:42:00

I never believed in Santa, Christmas is still magical.

It's no big deal!!!

Trees, fairy lights, tinsel, presents and too much chocolate. Oh and more fairy lights.

Bearded gentlemen are totally optional.

Anniegetyourgun Mon 19-Nov-12 10:45:17

I was never brought up to believe that Father Christmas really physically came into our house and really physically put presents into our stockings. Thus there was never a horrible realisation that we had been lied to and, given my nature I would definitely have thought of it this way, being made fools of for years. It destroys your trust in your parents, that sort of thing, IMO. However, I was never told, and didn't tell my own DCs, that he didn't exist. That's a different matter entirely.

I actually had to tell DS1 at the age of 6 that Santa does not really come down the chimney, because the idea frightened him! I said he was the spirit of giving, inspired by Saint Nicholas who was ever so real, and nothing ever to be frightened of. DS3, on the other hand, was insistent at 8 that it was so really real, despite his brothers being very scornful whenever I wasn't there to stop them. DS3 didn't quite land on Planet Earth until his late teens, though I'm pleased to say he has not only landed now but is in a fair way to conquering it.

My childhood was stuffed with fantasy, wonder, fairy tales and (my mother being as she was) science fiction! I don't feel deprived at all.

All that said, it was definitely wrong of MIL to come out and say it in that way to your DD. It's over-riding your parenting. DD would be much better off working it out herself and feeling terribly clever about it wink

Everlong Mon 19-Nov-12 10:45:34

I know kids of 11 whose parents still pretend. I am not sure if the 11 year old still believes but he cracks on he does.

sue52 Mon 19-Nov-12 10:46:37

How sad your MIL wanted to stop the magic. I'd be furious. Itchy nether regions would be a good revenge.

McTagster Mon 19-Nov-12 10:50:07

My 8 year old DD still firmly believes is Santa. She has, in the past, been told by other children that he doesn't exist, but we just laugh and tell her how ridiculous they're being, and that they probably won't be getting anything from him then. She's a very bright child but she excepts that quite happily and continues to believe (which I'm certainly glad about). My 12 year old DD cottoned on at 10, but she's very good at helping us to keep it going for our 8 year old.

I think parents who 'don't like to lie' to their children about Santa are a bit mean. It's part of the magic of being a child!

And freddiefrog, your mil sounds horrible, I'd be fuming!

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Mon 19-Nov-12 10:52:15

YANBU I'd string the mean old cow up! No need to say anything like that!

I'm actually glad now that my own grandparents went out of their way to treat me like a small child well into my teens! (they were still asking me what santa was bringing me when I was about 16!)

Is there anyway you could brazen this out? like "silly granny forgot to take her pills again! ofcourse santa exists! i think someone will be getting coal in her stocking eh, GRANNY?!" followed by laserbeam glare granny's way. This is the sort of thoughtless stuff my MIL will not doubt come out with (she has form). Luckily she is a tad thick daft anyway so hoping I can brazen it out exactly as above should the need arise.

sashh Mon 19-Nov-12 10:52:25

I would send her a Christmas card with the message.

"You told your gd santa wasn't real. I will remember that when I chose your care home".

Also MNHQ can you please link to the other thread where the boys at school were telling someone's son santa wasn't real.

Not wanting to one up but it could be worse. When I was a child my aunt and uncle split up, just before leaving uncle cunt told his three and five year old that santa would not be comming that year. He was wrong.

Blu Mon 19-Nov-12 10:53:45

Children go along with 'believing' long after they actually believe because it is part of the fun. But unless your child is at school with children who have NO older brothers and sisters then it's pretty hard to keep it going as a real hard line belief.

Pretend believing and tradition is just as much fun.

OP's MIL should not have been unequivocal like that.

I went to a midnight mass at the local CofE some years ago. Lots of families and smallish children there. During the short 'talk' as opposed to sermon, the female vicar included something about Father Xmas not being real. I nearly walked out on the spot - even though I don't have children. I thought that appalling and potentially ruined children's Christmas.

I've told this story before but DD1s English class were discussing myths and legends in Y9 (so 13-14) and the teacher listed out some mythical characters "and of course Father Christmas". One girl there still genuinely believed, and ended up in floods of tears because of it. Thankfully the class were mainly nice kids, and no-one teased her, they all thought it was quite sweet albeit weird.

Selfdoubt Mon 19-Nov-12 11:16:31

My 7 year old still believes in Santa, and the Tooth Fairy. If anyone tells him they are not real, I would go mental. Nobody elses place to do that other than myself and his father.

He has started asking questions, wanting to know how Santa knows whether he has been good or not etc, so I think it won't be long till he figures it out for himself and that is how it should be. If he however still believes age 10/11 then it is his parents job to tell him the truth, no one elses.

I would be fuming OP. Glad your partner as had words!!

amy175 Mon 19-Nov-12 11:47:55

my 8 year old just worked it out this year but still wants to believe so we still are planning to do all the santa stuff still, just like we do for the other two older ones. I would kill MIL. I like the giving of coal idea too

When I first read the OP I was thinking that I would probably kill my ML too, having read the entire thread I think some people are slightly overeacting. Yes, I'd be annoyed that someone had let the cat out of the bag, but does anyone really think that this lady thought "I wonder what I can do to upset my grand-daughter today"? I was never told about Father Christmas and was probably the little shit that told some of you that he was made up but I was determined that MY own children would have that "magic" feeling. They all (except my 4 yo) learnt at various ages that it wasn't real and it doesn't seem to affected them. I always said that if they asked me outright then I would tell them the truth which is what I have done. I certainly think that when I was a child most kids had worked it out by the time they were 7 and I'm not THAT surprised that a grandmother would have assumed that her grand daughter knew. By all means try to repair the damage, but in your shoes I'd be more tempted to tell her the truth. I do think there's a big difference between allowing them to believe a bit longer and blatantly lying to them, especially when that entails telling them that their grandmother is the liar.

amy175 Mon 19-Nov-12 11:50:29

in fact the older ones love the wanting to believe bit loads too. we track him on NORAD and do the mince pie and a carrot thing, even glitter in oats on the drive! they love it and one turns 18 next year! hell i love it!

cozietoesie Mon 19-Nov-12 12:08:48

There's a (very) long previous thread on this MIL Justforlaughs. Some of us may have read that and therefore be reacting more strongly than others.

thegreylady Mon 19-Nov-12 12:21:18

All the 9 year olds I know still believe. It seems to be year 5 ish when they stop. We always told ours that Santa was the spirit of Christmas who caused the magical feeling that is always in the air at Christmas. When dd was doubting we told her that Grandma still believed so it became a shared secret and she carried on helping to fill Grandmua's stocking for years :-)

freddiefrog Mon 19-Nov-12 12:26:04

justforlaughs if I was being charitable, I would say the that MiL had assumed DD knew, but given the conversation they were having it was obvious that DD2 did in fact believe and it was clear by DD's reaction to her first comment, when MiL could have made a joke about it or back tracked a bit, rather than spelling it out to her.

I don't think it was a deliberate attempt to upset her granddaughter, more completely thoughtless over something that is none of her business's and not her place to tell DD about in the first place. We were going to tell DD2 when she asked off her own bat.

This wasn't an innocent slip up. DD was talking about what she was asking Santa for and MiL told her she was too old to believe in Santa, then spelt it out when DD asked her for clarification

I don't want to outright lie, then in a couple of years time have to have the conversation that nanny was right all along, so we've fudged it a bit for now.

She was quite happy believing, she never questioned it, never voiced any suspicions.

We do have a lot of history with MiL, so it does colour my judgement sometimes I do admit.

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