To be honest with my 2 year old from the beginning that Father Christmas/Santa isnt real

(136 Posts)
OHforDUCKSchristmascake Sun 08-Dec-13 20:25:50

My 6 year old asked today if it was the parents that put the presents under the tree because two people in his class had said so. I was trying to tread carefully, and thought he was asking if Father Christmas wasnt real.

I actually said the words 'not real' and he looked shocked and blank and told me he didnt understand what I was saying.

Turns out, he still believed in F.C, just that it was the parents that put the presents down because surely F.C doesnt have a sack big enough.

I know he is going to find out this or next year that the whole thing is a big fat lie and I dont like it. Its seemed worth it at the start but seeing his big wide worried eyes when I dared suggest that FC wasnt real made me feel pretty bad for him.

Im considering not going along with all the santa lies with my 2 year old, because he can just enjoy Christmas for what it is and have no nasty surprises on the way.

Is anyone here just honest with their kids from the start?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 08-Dec-13 20:29:19

Your kids, your decision. IME Kids can deal with finding out the truth eventually and I don't think anyone is ever traumatised by the revelation. It's just one of those rites of passage that means they've gone from gullible baby who believes anything you tell them, to a child that can appreciate a good myth if there are a few gifts at the end of it. 'Big fat lie' makes it sound malicious, which it isn't.

ICameOnTheJitney Sun 08-Dec-13 20:30:43

Oh not another thread about this. There are numerous. Why don't you look at those?

Screamqueen Sun 08-Dec-13 20:30:59

"big fat lie" here we go again...fhmm

SPsWantsCliffInHerStocking Sun 08-Dec-13 20:31:01

What cognito said

OHforDUCKSchristmascake Sun 08-Dec-13 20:31:25

Ha! Am I being precious? Perhaps I am.

This morning I felt exactly the same as you, but those eyes when I suggested he might not be real. Argh a knife through my black heart.

OHforDUCKSchristmascake Sun 08-Dec-13 20:32:46

Jesus Christ I didnt see any others, I didnt post to piss you off scream hmm and I didnt know this riled people.

So hide my thread?

I dunno. <shrugs>

monicalewinski Sun 08-Dec-13 20:33:01


I was quite nervous about how the whole finding out thing would affect mine. Somehow we got to last xmas with my oldest still believing (he obviously had his doubts and didn't broadcast at school that he still believed but he was reluctant to let it completely go iyswim) anyway, he was 10 last xmas, so pretty old really and I didn't expect to get that many years out of him.

Anyway, I've actually had 'grown up chats' with him all about it this year as he's 'in on the santa myth' for my youngest - I asked him how he felt about it all and how he felt to find out it was a lie and if he wished we'd never done it/if he felt a bit stupid etc.

His opinion is that santa made Christmas fun and magical (we're not religious at all) and he was glad that we'd done it - he says he'll do the same when he has children when he's grown up.

That's a child's perspective for you if that helps!

IamChristmas Sun 08-Dec-13 20:33:14


Moxiegirl Sun 08-Dec-13 20:33:27

I really play down the whole fc thing. Only the stocking presents are Santa and we don't make a meal of it, it just doesn't come naturally to me!

SPsWantsCliffInHerStocking Sun 08-Dec-13 20:35:02

I found out when I heard my mum and dad arguing late Christmas eve about who was meant to bring the Santa presents down. grin

I was harmed or traumatised or found it hard to ever trust my parents. I never told my siblings either. I went along with it for them. I quite enjoyed it, made me feel grown up.

Screamqueen Sun 08-Dec-13 20:35:18

Did I say you had posted to "piss me off"? No. But yes I'm rolly eyed at all claims of believing in Santa is so wrong because its "lying" to your child..

SPsWantsCliffInHerStocking Sun 08-Dec-13 20:35:45


SPsWantsCliffInHerStocking Sun 08-Dec-13 20:35:57


ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Sun 08-Dec-13 20:36:04

I agree with monikalewinski's DS. It makes Christmas Magical and kids come to terms with it slowly and it's then their turn to help create the magic for younger children. I have no idea why people would want to deny their children this little bit of magic.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 08-Dec-13 20:36:25

In our family we don't limit the big fat lies to just Santa btw. Oh no!! A woody copse is ... obviously... where you find Heffalumps. Various landmarks are privately owned by uncles and aunts. "Three old ladies locked in the lavatory" is the real version of Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be. We love a bit of harmless kidology. smile Anyone else's family the same?

SPsWantsCliffInHerStocking Sun 08-Dec-13 20:38:34

Cog I was brought up on lies grin A leprechaun lived near my grandparents, my dog went on to become a police dog, my nanna smoked to keep clouds in the sky etc

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 08-Dec-13 20:40:24

Fantastic stuff SPs. Stacked up against leprechauns and cloud-smoking grannies, Santa's pretty credible really... smile

ShoeWhore Sun 08-Dec-13 20:41:26

YABU. It's a little bit of childhood magic, not a big fat lie.

Coldlightofday Sun 08-Dec-13 20:41:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

monicalewinski Sun 08-Dec-13 20:42:33

Us to Cog, there was a sodding bear that lived in the woods near us, everyone else apparently saw it when we drove past but I "just missed it" every time.

Loads of unfounded lies in our house - tis fun!

monicalewinski Sun 08-Dec-13 20:42:50


Isn't the Santa thing a case of "better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all"?

SteamWisher Sun 08-Dec-13 20:44:22

Were you traumatised?

I don't even remember the shocking news that FC wasn't real.

Don't be a grinch.

IThoughtThat Sun 08-Dec-13 20:44:31

My kids all knew he didn't really exsist from when they were little. They still pretended to put out sherry and biscuits for him much in the same vein as they played any pretend game. I didn't give any of this any thought and I don't think it matters one way or another. It's not worth over thinking this dilemma.

mymatemax Sun 08-Dec-13 20:45:06

Ahhh don't deny them the magic & mystery of father Christmas. they either work it out for themselves or a friend (usually with an older brother or sister) will tell them.
Relax its Christmas... besides what else would parents threaten kids with?
Hes watching you know!

monicalewinski Sun 08-Dec-13 20:45:14

breathe that's made me tear up a bit! fsad

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 08-Dec-13 20:47:30

Ah monica ... I expect your bear is as elusive as our heffalump and the Claus that is Santa. Damn tricky critters all....

rpitchfo Sun 08-Dec-13 20:48:42


OLittleTownOfBarflehem Sun 08-Dec-13 20:50:10

I've never known anyone who resented their parents for keeping up the Santa thing. It's a nice story but everyone has their own way of handling it. I'm a bit fhmm at this idea that those who keep the story going are somehow damaging their kids. It's not some malicious lie.

Although I am curious as to whether non-Santa people do the tooth fairy.

Do you have a reason not to? Religion etc? Really don't get the angst on mn about this. Does anyone know an adult in therapy in mid life because of how they found out what their parents said wasn't quite as true as once thought? I know plenty of troubled people but Santa has never ever been the reason why.

Btw I believe because I prefer to. It can be a choice you know.

AbiRoad Sun 08-Dec-13 20:51:57

I am always surprised each year about the number of people who Cme out with this on MN. I really don't know anyone who has been traumatised by learning FC is not real. i bet nearly everyone would say they would rather have experienced the magic than not even if there is a bit if disappointment at the end. To me it is akin to "better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all".

SliceOfLime Sun 08-Dec-13 20:53:12

If questioned now my mum would probably still tell me that Father Christmas exists and I am 31 grin She always said it was the magic of Christmas and you shouldn't question magic. Even when i was quite old, maybe 10 or so, I liked that she didn't just come out and say 'you're right kids he's not real' - it would have spoiled the fun somehow, we all knew, but there was no need to say it. Maybe I am just a bit of a kid really. I am enjoying telling dd (2yo) all about how Santa will bring her presents and she is so excited! grin

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 08-Dec-13 20:53:44

Your child. Your decision.

Personally I love the whole Santa thing and think it's a real shame when people don't allow their DC to believe in magic.

I don't know anyone who is traumatised or damaged from finding out Santa isn't real. I think your DS may have been upset because rather than him growing up and discovering for himself that he's not real, you told him outright. I think it normally goes total belief - some questions - lots of questions/some doubt - big doubt - the truth. By the time they get to knowing they're old enough to understand about lies and myths and imagination etc.

thenamestheyareachanging Sun 08-Dec-13 20:54:08

We don't do Father Christmas - partly because we don't want to lie, partly because I feel it undermines the Christian meaning of Christmas. My children have plenty of magic and excitement surrounding cihristmas, and plenty of imagination in their lives. You won't find much support for this point of view here, though.

OLittleTownOfBarflehem Sun 08-Dec-13 20:55:06

For me, once I found out about Santa, the magic was that my parents (who were otherwise really quite awful) cared enough to build up this beautiful story, brought and wrapped our presents, reading our letters, spent weeks building up to the moment we opened the living room door and saw that small pile of presents under the tree. They did all that to make us happy.

I think that's pretty magical.

tracypenisbeaker Sun 08-Dec-13 20:55:16

Telling kids that santa is real can't be that traumatic else people wouldn't do it to their own children. I've never met anyone who had trust issues/ a fractured relationship with their parents because of it.

notanotherusername1 Sun 08-Dec-13 20:56:00

Perhaps just make it into a little game, not so much that Santa is 100% true, just that it's all a little bit of fun. I know some parents go the whole hog with it but we just kept it all low key and never came out with the "if your naughty then no presents" Or anything along those lines.

We all still like pretending Santa is coming and youngest is 10. They know it's made up but we all still Have a bit of fun with it. None of them have suffered or been upset in any way.

I don't have any memory of finding out it was all made up and my parents were the type that Really made a huge issue of us all believing.

Go with whatever you feel is right.

KnitActually Sun 08-Dec-13 20:56:03

I don't remember believing in Father Christmas, so I've never told my ds that he is real. I don't think he's particularly happy about knowing tbh, but personally I didn't feel right playing along.

thenamestheyareachanging Sun 08-Dec-13 20:56:45

It never even occured to me to do the Tooth Fairy olittletownofbarflehem - I actually didn't know that people tell their kids it's real! My parents did Father Christmas but not the tooth fairy, as far as I remember. We did leave tooth under a pillow and replace it with a coin, but ds knew it was a game - equally, they leave a mince pie out for FC, but they know it is a game.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 08-Dec-13 20:57:54

The christian meaning of Christmas. LOL! I take that to mean hijacking a perfectly good winter festival of food, booze, gifts, magical spirits and various other traditions and superimposing a totally different story over the top......

Fugacity Sun 08-Dec-13 20:57:57

We've never lied to our children about Father Christmas. I don't get the angst.

NoComet Sun 08-Dec-13 20:58:08

I was never brought up to believe in Santa and it never worried me at all, but and it's a big but there was nothing like the fuss about Santa and Christmas as there is now.

DMIL was far more of a romantic than my parents and did stockings and the whole Father Christmas thing really well and DH wanted to do it for the DDs.

Anyway DD2(12),DH and me were chatting and putting up tinsel 5minutes ago and I said I didn't want do Santa and she said 'but it's not a lie, it's part of the magic'.

I can't argue with that!

SanityClause Sun 08-Dec-13 21:00:19

I am the second eldest of six siblings. By the time my Dsis and I were around 10 and 9, my parents had stopped doing the whole FC thing, and we had Mummy Claus, Daddy Claus and Gran Claus.

I don't think my younger siblings were scarred for life, by this, although the fundamentalist Christian attitudes were a bit trying.

VikingLady Sun 08-Dec-13 21:00:45

I found out for sure that he wasn't real when I was 6 and my bf found the receipts for her presents. I asked my dad and he managed to make me feel really good about it! It was nice to know my parents got me more presents than I thought, and I was co-opted into keeping it real for my younger brother. That conversation is one if my best childhood memories, and I will do the same with my own DCs

DB on the other hand was afraid if he let on he knew the truth our parents would stop buying the "Santa presents" and managed to persuade them until he was 14!

girliefriend Sun 08-Dec-13 21:02:11

My 7yo (nearly 8yo) still totally believes so don't know why you think next year your 6yo will suddenly not believe.

If you have started off telling him about Santa then I think its really mean and confusing to suddenly tell him it's not real. Generally as kids get older they gradually work it out for themselves and no harm is done.

It is the only time in their life where they will truly believe that magic is possible but if you want to take that away from them thats up to you I guess!!

TwistedRib Sun 08-Dec-13 21:03:23

I've never lied. Just asked if they thought he was real and if they did I just said "well that's all that matters"
Ds2 said he thought he was real because "people all over the world wouldn't lie like that, would they?"
They realised later on but it was never a trauma, just an understanding that they were growing up.
It doesn't have to clash with any beliefs. It's just part of the fun of Christmas. I think people tend to overthink things TBH.

CailinDana Sun 08-Dec-13 21:03:28

I was very pissed off as a child about being lied to about Santa so I don't make out he's real to my dc, DS(3) knows it's just pretend.

CassCade Sun 08-Dec-13 21:04:18

I'd keep it going as long as you can! There's enough crappy stuff that happens in life which is absolutely real and has to be dealt with, even for children.. When I finally came clean with my nearly 11 year old, (and I had previously ducked out of some difficult questions), it was because she asked me directly, "Mummy, look me in the eye and tell me the truth! Are fc and the tooth fairy real?"
We were alone (no younger siblings about) and I had thought I was lucky to have her believe it for so long, although it was pretty shaky for the last year. I don't think she had fully believed for a while, but she really wanted to. She was a bit tearful (which surprised me) until she said, "I'm crying because you made it magical for me all those years, writing letters from them and everything. Thank you for that!" So, that's my opinion of how damaged children are by believing their parents about fc and the tooth fairy. ;)

lilyaldrin Sun 08-Dec-13 21:05:25

Kids can enjoy Father Christmas as something magical and lovely without you trying to convince them he's actually real.

FC is as real to my 3 year old as Power Rangers and baby Jesus grin

OHforDUCKSchristmascake Sun 08-Dec-13 21:06:06

Ahh good motto breathesslowly you have a good, nicely put point.

No I wasnt traumatised in the slightest, I clearly remember finding out, it being a surprise for 0.5 seconds and then carried on with my colouring in.

Ok so I was being precious, and I will keep up the Big Fat Lie with the baby too then. wink

screamqueen you're an aggressive poster arent you? Why? Did you go on the naughty list one year and its scarred you ever since? Have a sherry and a mince pie and chill out. wink

FWIW though, me telling my child that if he isnt good santa wont bring him presents/santa brings presents on a sleigh etc etc IS a lie. How is it not?

Thats a rhetorical question scream dont get your already twisted knickers tighter, you'll end up with thrombosed lips. grin

Thanks for the input others, I shall carry on the magic! and stop being emo

OHforDUCKSchristmascake Sun 08-Dec-13 21:07:48

See I havent just let my son believe, Ive out and out lied about it. I thought that was the done thing.

lily what do you mean the Power Rangers arent real? <wibbles>

DownyEmerald Sun 08-Dec-13 21:10:56

Just to put the opposing view - I was upset when I found out.

I had realised Dad did the whole stocking thing, but thought FC kind of masterminded the whole thing from the North Pole - my big present was always from FC.

I think mum and dad thought I was in the 'wanting to believe' camp. (I was about 8). They'd run out of Girl's Worlds so mum asked me if a substitute was acceptable for my big pressy. One look at my stricken face and she took me into the nearest cafe for a cup of tea with lots of sugar.

Imagine if Father Christmas had brought you the wendy house tho SP? grin

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 08-Dec-13 21:13:37

'FWIW though, me telling my child that if he isnt good santa wont bring him presents/santa brings presents on a sleigh etc etc IS a lie. How is it not?'

There are ways to present it, without actually lying. If they get all their ideas about Santa from books, films, songs etc. and never actually ask if he's real, you can keep up the pretence without actually lying to them. You don't need to tell them they won't get presents if they're bad etc.

sutekidane Sun 08-Dec-13 21:14:58

I don't know what to do either (but daren't start a thread about it). I know dd wont necessarily be traumatised but I have ishoos myself and don't know if I'd be able to look at her and say "of course he is!" if she asks if he's real. My family have all said the same as everyone on here that its childhood magic that can never be done again but I just don't know sad I think I'm finding it hard to separate the good "lies" from the bad lies.

OLittleTownOfBarflehem Sun 08-Dec-13 21:15:20

Downy, were you upset that he wasn't real though, or resentful about the lie?

CailinDana Sun 08-Dec-13 21:16:43

Sute I feel the same. You don't have to go along with it.

lljkk Sun 08-Dec-13 21:16:54

oh ffs, not this again.
I never taught my kids the FC myth. it simply was never part of their Christmas.
I never need to tell anybody about this IRL.
They chose to believe in Santa when they got to school, anyway. Like to go along with the crowd. They don't really understand what he's about, but he's nice to chat to at the school Fair and gives them chocolates for £1.50.
No harm done.
If it's fun for you then do it. If not then don't. Who cares?

CailinDana Sun 08-Dec-13 21:18:10

I for one was definitely resentful about the lie.

moldingsunbeams Sun 08-Dec-13 21:22:22

I havent read all the thread but I didnt do the whole santa thing and when dd asked I explained about St Nicholas.
However she went to school and they wrote letters and santa visited and brought presents and she fully believed so it was a waste of time.

sutekidane Sun 08-Dec-13 21:24:18

I just can't decide cailin sad it's hard because I know it could be really fun for dd but I will be uncomfortable all the time when she asks questions about him because every answer will be a lie. I can just picture her little face asking about him and then a few years later having to tell her "hey guess what! Remember all that stuff I told you. It was bollocks!". I know it's probably not a big deal to loads of people but I find that hard. But should she have to miss out just because I'm odd about it? I don't know sad

needaholidaynow Sun 08-Dec-13 21:24:37

I think it's a case of your kids, your decision. You can tell your own kids what you want.

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 08-Dec-13 21:26:16

A couple of nice ways to explain about Santa.

The Truth about Santa

Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus

CailinDana Sun 08-Dec-13 21:27:01

My 3 year old doesn't really even register the idea of santa. He's still excited about Christmas.

SPsWantsCliffInHerStocking Sun 08-Dec-13 21:27:03

TooOld I would have run off to live with him grin

The toddler believes in Santa. He visits him, watches films and sings songs about him. He will have a stocking from him. He doesn't get told no presents for bad behaviour etc

SPsWantsCliffInHerStocking Sun 08-Dec-13 21:29:10

Sutekidane My parents never lied to us. When we came to them and said "so and so said Santa's not real" they would say "well what do you think" we would say they were wrong and they would tell us that's up to us.

they never said "so and so is wrong" or "Santa really is real".

you could try that? It is totally up to you though

MyMILisfromHELL Sun 08-Dec-13 21:34:07

Oh ffs. As a child I enjoyed the magic of Christmas while it lasted. Your ds will figure it out by himself & won't think you've lied to him, just that he's grown up.

Why are some parents so fucking nasty & suck the joy out of everything? Fucking ridiculous.

CailinDana Sun 08-Dec-13 21:35:42

SP what do you if the child says "I don't think he's real" particularly in the presence of other children who believe?

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 08-Dec-13 21:39:03

Just say 'ok' and move on quickly!

lilyaldrin Sun 08-Dec-13 21:41:42

If DS asks if Santa is real, I'll tell him he's magic like fairies and unicorns. In front of other children I'll probably go with some people believe and some people don't.

Some people don't even celebrate Christmas.

OHforDUCKSchristmascake Sun 08-Dec-13 21:42:20

Ooohhahahahahah Im so fucking nasty and sucking the joy out everything and fucking ridiculous?

I think you need to join scream with the mince pie and sherry in the chill out corner.

You complete plonker. grin

ll31 Sun 08-Dec-13 21:46:47

I think this type of thread just demonstrates the imo overly precious way some parents view their kids..and also a kind of pursed mouth prissyness about not telling a 'lie'..... worrying they'll be traumatised on discovering santy is not real....

Have you no belief in your kids resilience or abilities ? I really don't get it tbh and feel a bit sRory for your kids.

SPsWantsCliffInHerStocking Sun 08-Dec-13 21:47:38

Cailian If that ever happens I will just say "if that's what you believe ok"

That's what we got. It didn't harm or traumatise anyone.

CassCade Sun 08-Dec-13 21:52:35

CailinDana, I think it's just the same as teaching children to respect other people's feelings - whether about fc or religion! In my case my youngest two still believe, so I made it clear to the eldest when I told her that they are enjoying the story and the magic. Made her promise never to tell them out of malice during an argument, just to be mean. She came close to it today though. (Grrrr!)

CailinDana Sun 08-Dec-13 21:54:07

Fair enough sp. That kind of answer drove me nuts as a child so I couldn't say it to a child myself. Out of interest if that child then asked "do you believe in santa?" what would you say?

MyMILisfromHELL Sun 08-Dec-13 21:56:03

OHfor if anyone needs to chill out it's you. Here's a grip for you, now go it.

II I hear you. Some parents have very poor emotional intelligence.

CailinDana Sun 08-Dec-13 21:56:55

I don't get the comparison to religion. Surely religious people genuinely believe their god(s) are real? Whereas santa is purely fictional and adults know that for certain?

MyMILisfromHELL Sun 08-Dec-13 21:57:14

Go get it grin go now, get some perspective.

MyMILisfromHELL Sun 08-Dec-13 21:58:55

Oh & I'd rather be a plonker than dull as fuck!

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 08-Dec-13 22:00:43

Cailin if 'if that's what you believe, ok' is off the table for you, how are you going to teach your DC about different religions, cultures, ideas etc? 'Everyone can believe what they like', is the basis of tolerance, there's no reason that should 'drive you nuts'.

CailinDana Sun 08-Dec-13 22:01:59

I also don't get why some parents who do want their children to believe in santa get so angry about parents who don't.

lilyaldrin Sun 08-Dec-13 22:02:33

Grown-ups don't believe in Santa, children do - that's fine as an answer isn't it confused

WorraLiberty Sun 08-Dec-13 22:03:09

Only on Mumsnet could this subject be such a big deal fgrin

Generations of children have managed to grow up without trauma, to appreciate their parents for keeping up a 'magical' myth and tradition for a bit of fun.

I know no adults who carry round bitterness and anger because their parents told them a 'big fat lie' about Santa and the tooth fairy.

But then again like I always say...there's Mumsnet and then there's real life fwink

OHforDUCKSchristmascake Sun 08-Dec-13 22:03:44

Arent you just the most adorable thing Milfromhell?

SanityClause Sun 08-Dec-13 22:04:19

I do object to the "you won't get presents if you aren't good" bit, though.

FC always brought stocking presents (my youngest DC is nearly 10, and this is the first year that it will be us, not FC) but we never told our DC they had to deserve them.

I hate the idea of FC spying on children to make them behave nicely.

SPsWantsCliffInHerStocking Sun 08-Dec-13 22:04:41

He has asked me before. I said "I don't because I'm a grown up". He thinks Santa is just for children which he is.

usualsuspect Sun 08-Dec-13 22:05:28

Do what you like.

OHforDUCKSchristmascake Sun 08-Dec-13 22:05:35

CailinDana this is surprising me too.

People are getting very cross about this, even way after I said Id keep up the pretence with DC2. Why the anger? Absolutely no idea, how very odd indeed.

CailinDana Sun 08-Dec-13 22:05:35

It drove me nuts as a child outraged because my parents couldn't answery questions about santa (such as why doesn't he use his magic to help the people who are starving) but wouldn't just answer me when I asked if he was real. Belief in a religion is not comparable belief in santa imo.

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 08-Dec-13 22:07:37

I always say 'yes', when they ask me if I believe, because he does exist in a sense, just not in a physical sense. I like the explanations in those links I posted upthread.

SPsWantsCliffInHerStocking Sun 08-Dec-13 22:09:01

Do the Santa thing if you want, font do it if you don't.

I believe in Santa as much as I believe in god but I don't think they are the same.

I also don't have an issue with what people tell their children. Tell them whatever you wish. Just don't try tell others what to do. Not saying anyone here has.

I was told many lies growing up and they haven't affected me.

CailinDana Sun 08-Dec-13 22:09:25

Though I have to add if my DC came home asking about whether they would go to hell for not going to mass (as I was told by my psychopathic infant school headteacher) I would definitely say "no that's not true at all.'

monicalewinski Sun 08-Dec-13 22:12:34

Cailin, when asked outright last year about santa, my husband shouted "Monica!, little monica has a question". he is a coward who would throw me in front of a bus

I just said to little monic: "what do you think?" and waited.
He said "I think he's real but other people say its your mum & dad".
I just said again "well, what do you think?",
at which point he said "I want him to be real".
So I said "well if you want him to be real then he's real, what other people say doesn't matter".

And that was that, just after xmas he said "he's not real, is he?" and I said "no" (because I didn't want him going to secondary still believing!).

It was all fine, with no trauma and he's right on board this year for his wee brother's benefit.

And if you're a proper underhanded liar with questionable morals like I am, there are loads of you-tube clips where "santa has been caught on hidden camera", magically appearing from fireplaces etc. fwink

FWIW, I don't do the 'be good or no presents thing' either.

CailinDana Sun 08-Dec-13 22:13:51

See I think answering yes is just lying outraged. It's a lie with good intentions but a lie nonetheless.

SPsWantsCliffInHerStocking Sun 08-Dec-13 22:16:39

I cant get worked up about lies. No harm done. I'm not hurt that my nanna lied about her smoking was the reason there were clouds, or how the dog didn't really go on to be a police dog etc

Parents lie about random shite. To me its a perk of having children grin

CailinDana Sun 08-Dec-13 22:16:41

I think using santa as a threat is in a whole other league. At least my parents didn't do that.

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 08-Dec-13 22:16:49

No it's not. I do believe in Santa. I don't believe he brings the presents or lives in the North Pole or has a physical presence, but I believe in him as a magical part of Christmas, of childhood. The same as I believe in wishes and fairies and magic.

SPsWantsCliffInHerStocking Sun 08-Dec-13 22:17:50

Outraged I know what you mean. On Xmas eve I get a little excited about Santa blush

usualsuspect Sun 08-Dec-13 22:18:23

No one gives a shit when they grow up that their parents lied about Santa.

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 08-Dec-13 22:18:40

Although I do lie to my DC's as well. Like when I tell them I'm the Queen of the Universe or that I have eyes in every room grin

Tapiocapearl Sun 08-Dec-13 22:18:52

Are your children overly sensitive? If you think they are going to be mentally damaged by some festive fun then don't bother.

My DS aged 10 is just coming to the realisation father Xmas doesn't exist. He's intrigued with how we organise it and wants to help. He had a cheeky little smile in his face when he realised last year.

Father Xmas does the stockings and everyone else does presents under the tree, so FC never takes all the credit in our house anyway.

And besides the whole thing is based on the story if St Nicolas. Maybe you could tell this story to your child?

CailinDana Sun 08-Dec-13 22:20:09

I admit I have proper serious issues around lies SP. I'm impressed you didn't use the "bu's not lying, it's keeping the magic alive" line. It is lying, but if you're ok with that, fair enough. I'm not so I don't do it.

Tapiocapearl Sun 08-Dec-13 22:22:49

If you do tell them he doesn't exist, you mustn't allow your kids to sabotage the fun others will have

SPsWantsCliffInHerStocking Sun 08-Dec-13 22:23:44

If you aren't ok with it then nothing wrong with you not doing it. I have no issues with the tiny/funny lies I was told as a child and my son gets told them.

I won't use the keeping magic alive line because I just don't like that grin I know Santa isn't real but still enjoy Christmas and the Santa experience for my son.

Yes he will find out he isn't real but he will also find out that shops don't close just because its dark, toy shops don't open when we are in town etc

Tapiocapearl Sun 08-Dec-13 22:24:23

It's just a bit of harmless fun based on the story of St Nicholas.

CailinDana Sun 08-Dec-13 22:28:48

It doesn't add up though. It's "harmless fun" but it "mustn't be sabotaged." Surely if it's harmless then it doesn't matter if it's "sabotaged"? In fact I'm not sure how harmless fun can be sabotaged. If knowing the truth hurts no one what's the problem?

OhWellWhatToDo Sun 08-Dec-13 22:30:35


My children aren't brought up with Santa- it wasn't part of my childhood whatsoever, which is why. I don't give a fuck what other people do, believing in him doesn't traumatise you, and not believing doesnt take the magic away, you do Christmas a bit differently, that's fine. I think the magic of knowing that everyone was gathered together, and that they were sharing presents and sharing love, was much more magical than a creepy guy sneaking into your room at night- but then that was me. I can see how Santa Claus can make Christmas feel very magical and exciting, and I can see how Christmas can be magical and exciting without belief either.

So basically, YANBU for doing what you want with your child (and it doesn't matter whether that is them believing or not in Santa Claus).

SPsWantsCliffInHerStocking Sun 08-Dec-13 22:30:41

Because just because someone's child doesn't believe doesn't mean all children shouldn't. It should be up to the parents/child.

Its like someone forcing your child to believe in Santa because they don't think its right you don't want them too.

Do what you want just don't force it upon me or my child grin

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 08-Dec-13 22:30:47

Do you never lie Cailin? Learning to lie to save others' feelings is a key stage in a child's development. I think around 6/7 years old, they learn a little white lie is sometimes kinder than the truth. It's vital to helping them fit into society.

That's not related to Santa obviously, but I'm always intrigued when people give 'not being able to lie' as the reason they don't do Santa.

SPsWantsCliffInHerStocking Sun 08-Dec-13 22:32:28

I tell little lies to my son. Tonight I told him I couldn't read his book to him again because I had to tidy up. I didn't and I haven't but not a chance I was reading that book again.

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 08-Dec-13 22:34:13

'In fact I'm not sure how harmless fun can be sabotaged.'

Really? Disneyland is harmless fun. The DC know it's not a real Mickey Mouse, but if someone marched up, tore his head off and went 'IT'S A TINY FRENCH TEENAGER, YOU IDIOTS!'. It would really ruin the harmless fun.

I would have thought it was fairly obvious. Like watching a 'making of' program before watching a film. It ruins the magic.

No one traumatised in this house. DD1 knows, DD2. Knows but still pretends and Dd3 is 5 and loving the whole thing.

Do or don't, I don't care. Same as I don't care how much you do or don't spend.

CailinDana Sun 08-Dec-13 22:37:08

I tell white lies, yes. Not generally to people close to me though . Santa doesn't count as a white lie imo.

SPsWantsCliffInHerStocking Sun 08-Dec-13 22:37:21


No idea why that made me laugh so much grin

CailinDana Sun 08-Dec-13 22:40:52

I am tickled by the tiny french teenager (not literally).

monicalewinski Sun 08-Dec-13 22:43:19

Outraged fgrin

CailinDana Sun 08-Dec-13 22:43:27

X post grin

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 08-Dec-13 22:43:43

grin There's some residual trauma there from my Disneyland trip.

Screamqueen Sun 08-Dec-13 22:50:00

Ooooh be careful outraged or you to will be accused of being aggressive by the OP fwinkfgrin!!!

LadyBeagleEyes Sun 08-Dec-13 22:59:49

We're all adults on here and most of us were brought up with the Santa myth. Does anyone remember being traumatised? I certainly wasn't, it's just a happy memory.
Ds is 18 and he just gradually learned, he wasn't upset as he was assured he'd still get the same presents.
I think we overthink this.

CailinDana Sun 08-Dec-13 23:04:44

I wasn't traumatised LBE just pissed off. My DS is quite similar to how I was as a child.

tracypenisbeaker Sun 08-Dec-13 23:09:07


usualsuspect Sun 08-Dec-13 23:09:26

I don't think I know one child who was pissed off about finding out.

Most kids suss it out themselves.

WorraLiberty Sun 08-Dec-13 23:12:12

I really really do think the fraction of 'pissed off' children (once they've learnt the truth) is absolutely minuscule.

So if anyone is worried about it after reading all these MN threads, I'd say really please do not worry.

Ask yourself how many real life people you know who rant about P&C spaces, have random people 'sneering' at them for no reason, or find themselves being ogled/leered at/thrown out of places for breast feeding.

This should put it into some sort of real life perspective.

Merry Christmas fgrin

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 08-Dec-13 23:14:55

shock Worra you've just exposed all the myths of Mumsnet!!

Shame On You!

Won't you think of the Mumsnetters?

<clutches pearls>

monicalewinski Sun 08-Dec-13 23:27:17

Won't you think of the Mumsnetters?

<clutches pearls>

lol fgrinfgrinfgrin

WorraLiberty Sun 08-Dec-13 23:31:13

Look, if I didn't say it someone would have exposed the truth...

It's ok though...the tooth fairy's still real fgrin

WorraLiberty Sun 08-Dec-13 23:33:02

At least I fucking hope so

My teeth are getting loose with age and I don't have a decent retirement fund...

SantaIKnowHimIKnowHim Sun 08-Dec-13 23:39:36

IME Kids can deal with finding out the truth eventually and I don't think anyone is ever traumatised by the revelation.

Not commented on thread yet, but I was absolutely GUTTED when I asked my mum outright if Santa was real because some girl cowbag from school had told me he wasn't real.
So I naturally went home and asked my parents. To be told "no he's not real."
Could have cried? Make that DID Cry and run off in floods of tears to my bedroom. blush
Now I'm an adult and CANNOT do that to mine, they'll learn in their own time and come to their own conclusion! smile

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 09-Dec-13 00:27:14

'It's ok though...the tooth fairy's still real'

Thank God for that! wink grin

Screamqueen Mon 09-Dec-13 11:30:08

My 11 year old DS seems to still believe, he has asked me this year because of what others are obviously saying and I just said something about Santa being real if he wanted him to be and we all need a bit of magic at Christmas. His justification for not doubting Santas existence is he remembers seeing his snowy prints in our house years ago, makes all the little things we have done for our boys so worth it!

My two dont think Santa is real and never really have.
I let them know exactly who pays for their presents and how long i have to work to buy each.
Some fat guy is not taking the glory away from my supreme present choosing.

DownyEmerald Tue 10-Dec-13 22:05:31

Sorry, back late to this.
I was upset he didn't exist. I really really liked the whole idea. I don't remember being upset my parents lied to me.

Pilgit Tue 10-Dec-13 22:13:49

I have never subscribed to FC. I grew up knowing it was mythology and not real - my mum just didn't get it as she wasn't raised with it either so it just didn't occur to her to peddle the myth. As a result I have never really understood why people peddle the myth - but each to their own! I am sure a lot of you would accuse me of peddling a myth due to my Christian beliefs and the fact that we give presents to each other to honour Jesus's birthday fgrin! and that is your right. But I won't destroy a child's belief in FC either.

I think it's a nice thing for children to believe and certainly wasn't traumatised by rumbling it wasn't true. I think all but the least understanding of children will understand why adults do it once they find out it's not real.

Fair play to my mum and dad though who had to come up with some stuff on the hop a few times. I remember being about 5 or 6 and asking why all my presents from Father Christmas ha tags written in my mums handwriting. Quick as a flash she said "he's a busy man, Dizzy, he hasn't got time to write all the tags. He sends them to me ahead of time and I write them for him" grin

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