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I WISH I had NEVER done the 'ho ho ho' fib!

(52 Posts)
HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Thu 06-Dec-12 08:14:55


Seemed like such a great idea when they were little. But they are 12 and 13 and refuse to accept that santa isn't real.

I have tried every which way, including last night saying "I lied to you." putting it as baldly as that. - they aren't coping well with that, I have to tell you!

but they say yes, they understand. And in the next breath are talking about santa coming.

how the HELL do I deal with this? Or am I going to be arguing with 30 year old men that santa isn't real?

FanjoTimeMammariesAndWine Thu 06-Dec-12 08:15:53

Why do you want them to stop believing?

Just interested smile

FanjoTimeMammariesAndWine Thu 06-Dec-12 08:20:36

I am just a bit biased on this subject though as my DD is only just beginning to enjoy Santa ("Anta") this year now she is 6!! smile

PolterGoose Thu 06-Dec-12 08:22:16


I suppose you could make up a whole new story about him stopping coming once you're 13, which will keep the story intact but mean you haven't got to take part in the whole Father Christmas thing forever?

coff33pot Thu 06-Dec-12 08:35:29

He was real smile st Nicholas is Santa Claus x

He is the patron saint of fishermen, children and giver of gifts. Which is where Father Christmas or Santa Claus is based from. He is saint in quite a few countries.

in diff parts works he is know. From giving gifts to resuming people (brittanica mentioned rescuing babies in a basket when I was young) from saving children from murder etc.

<blows raspberries at mother and backs up kids> grin

coff33pot Thu 06-Dec-12 08:38:02

IS real. Rescuing children . Known not know! Good grief not that I am on a iPhone of course!

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Thu 06-Dec-12 09:28:00

I want them to stop believing because they are 12 and 13 now and I try so hard to help them to stay 'with' their peers, iyswim. I don't want them to be mocked for still believing in santa as teenagers. Life is hard enough for them, they're different enough, without that. Kids can be cruel sad

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Thu 06-Dec-12 09:29:26

Oh, forgot to say thanks for the ideas! grin

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Thu 06-Dec-12 09:37:43

A "stops when you are a teenager" story seems like a great idea. I've always told mine that he doesn't come to adults so that seed is already sown for me.

Alternatively, just stop doing whatever you do to perpetuate it - so daft token gifts in a stocking, big presents from you.

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Thu 06-Dec-12 09:38:53

Are you certain they really believe though? My older two still talk about Santa and they absolutely don't believe.

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Thu 06-Dec-12 09:48:23

No, I can't be certain, but they demonstrate that they believe. Asking what santa will bring, talking about how santa brings the gifts doesn't he?

I wonder if they're struggling with the idea that we have lied to them. Do you think that could be it?

squidworth Thu 06-Dec-12 10:03:56

When ds1 was 12 -year7 I took him shopping so he could see that the presents came from us, I made a big day of it and told him that he, like other adults has the responsibility to keep the secret safe from primary school children. He still had surprises on the day but they where wrapped in paper he picked. It was horrible being the one to tell, but I was so scared of him telling his peers what Santa had bought him.

sagandswing Thu 06-Dec-12 10:05:15

HMMM...I am actually glad this has been posted, My Ds 7 (poss ASD) has recently sat down and asked me if santa is real OR is it really Me and Dh??.

At the time I just said I don't know I have never seen him, but at the same time I was also thinking should I just tell him? TBH I like to see the excitement in my Dc on christmas eve it feels really magical (I was devastated when I was told santa didn't exist can't remember how old I was way before my teens!! infact I didn't enjoy christmas anymore until my children came along!) and I don't really want to take that away but then after he told me that everyone at school said santa isn't real it did make me think of how many frustrating moments my Ds may have defending the fact that santa IS real!

Imagination is a wonderful thing in our Dc [no matter what age] and I think that the day we take that away from them they are no longer children IYSWIM, maybe just have a little chat that everyone have their own views some believe, some don't and the older we get we try to keep it a secret as to what we think.

BUT has anyone else ever noticed that one pressie under the tree which has no label...and no-one ever knows were its come from????? I will leave you with that thought....confused hmm grin grin

starfishmummy Thu 06-Dec-12 10:27:39

Ds is 14 and we are avoiding mentioning Santa - but ds is'nt mentioning "him" either. Dh thinks that Ds does know but is not letting on......

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Thu 06-Dec-12 10:28:49

Are they literal children and crap with lies in general? If so, a cut off age story is probably the way to go. You don't want to crush them.

Maybe Santa could write a letter saying how he's loved coming, thanking them for the cookies etc but this is the last year as they are now too old and he has to focus on younger children.

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Thu 06-Dec-12 10:34:54

That would have been a good idea! I WISH I'd done that! But now won't I be contradicting myself? Having spent so long telling them it's not true?

I have been trying to ease them out of this for a couple of years now. I think I posted about it last year. I just don't know how to get through to them.

I even left the big box of presents in the hallway (wrapped up) so they can see it filling up. I'm telling them it's me, I'm explaining that we tell little children this story, I'm comparing it to the fairy tales I read to them, I'm involving them in the choosing of the gifts, I even logged on to ebay to show my eldest what I'd got so far!

But they KEEP talking about santa. And I don't know why.

yes, S, I think I wanted that magic for myself blush I think that's why parents do it. It's our christmas present to see our little ones excited and thinking it's magic. When in reality, they'd probably be just as excited if they knew the gifts were coming from us, cos either way - big pile of presents grin

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Thu 06-Dec-12 10:38:33

If they believe you were lying then they will know a letter is a lie and there is no problem. If they still believe it draws a nice line under it all. You could claim you wanted them to be prepared for it all ending.

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Thu 06-Dec-12 10:39:56

Next year don't entertain any hint of Santa - reply to any questions/comments with "Yes, I will look at buying you X" etc.

squidworth Thu 06-Dec-12 10:52:20

It does not have to be a lie, it is our countries tradition. Will they understand that presents from Santa is a way for children to remember the birth of Jesus and for parents to give their children gifts in the name of st Nicholas as a rememberence to him. Maybe explaining different beliefs have their own traditions.

FanjoTimeMammariesAndWine Thu 06-Dec-12 11:02:58

Hec, I see, that is sensible, quite a hard dilemma for you too sad

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Sat 08-Dec-12 08:25:53

It is.

I am no further forward.

Just now, the postie arrived with a couple of parcels.

My eldest was there and he asked him "did santa post these"

My eldest is 5ft 6 and has a moustache!

The look the postman gave him almost made me cry. The biggest WTF look you've ever seen in your life.

I shut the door and said PLEEEEEASE, X, I keep telling you, Santa isn't real. It's ME.

I'm feeling desperate now. The way the postman looked at him broke my heart.

glitch Sat 08-Dec-12 08:40:02

I am thinking the letter from Santa to say that he now has to look after younger children is a good one. You could add that it is now mums job to organise the presents in place of him.

It covers both angles then, they can still believe but from now on they know it is just you and not Santa doing the present stuff.

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Sat 08-Dec-12 08:41:44

Go with the letter.

As an aside, have you thought of becoming a politician as you are clearly great at selling myths smile

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Sat 08-Dec-12 08:46:53

I wish I had done the letter! I think it may have worked.

But what do I say now, if I do a letter, when he quizzes me on why he's got such a letter when I have spent so long telling him there's no santa and I buy the gifts and it was always me?

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Sat 08-Dec-12 08:47:57

grin ha. Yes. vote for Hecate.

actually, you can!

I made the namechange shortlist. First time ever!

I am ridiculously chuffed. hmm

I need to get out more...

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Sat 08-Dec-12 09:07:03

You can say you wanted to let him down gently.

Although ""FFS! Its Me There is NO SANTA" wasn't very gentle wink

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Sat 08-Dec-12 10:35:14

blush I know.

I have really backed myself into a corner here royally and screwed up

This is why I should ask mumsnet before attempting to do ANYTHING grin

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Sat 08-Dec-12 10:43:11

Oh, it's not your fault. Most children suss it out by now or accept the confession. Are you sure they aren't doing it to piss you off? Not sure if it's something they'd think of.

I bluntly told DS1 (NT) that the tooth fairy didn't exist when, aged about 9, he had 4 teeth out as part of his orthodontic treatment. He stood there with the £5 in his hand looking at me with puppy eyes. With hindsight, I should have handled that one differently.

Could you set aside some time to do it as a kind of lesson? With visuals, and a really basic info thing to learn and understand. I'd be tempted to sit down and teach them that parents pretend for a while and then stop. Set them homework on it? Social story? What would you do if you had a baby? Etc

colditz Sat 08-Dec-12 11:00:22

Could you draw them a cartoon strip? I find with ds1, the way to make things stick in his head is to draw him a cartoon strip, with speech bubbles.

So for yours, I would do a cartoon of the boys at schools, and 'meanwhile, mum is at the shops, buying toys and wrapping paper'. Then a picture of mum and the boys wrapping up the gifts, and putting them under the tree. Then a picture of everyone going to bed on Christmas Eve, and getting up Christmas Day to unwrap the presents under the tree.

silverfrog Sat 08-Dec-12 11:08:11

Hec, we have ALL made mistakes which, in hindsight, would have been better handled differently.

Could you try the letter idea (am definitely storing that one up for the future!) and if it is queried fudge it along the lines of:

You thought that he would be saddened to think that Santa was no longer interested in him, and so you told him it was you, so that you could get the blame, not Santa. That you will always carry on the job in SAntas place, that is what happens once children reach 13/15/whatever. You were trying to save his feelings by sayi g it was you, and that it was an easier explanation (you thought) bt now see you were wrong. That it is better to know that Santa is still there, but busy working with all the small children, than to think he is not there at all. Do you know any small children that he can. E engaged in 'keeping the secret alive' for? Would having that job (and outlining who needs it to be secret and who doesn't ie adults vs children) work?

On the other hand, try telling him that some people have never believed in Santa, and that it is best talking about him wih a jokey tone, that other people are happy to indulge the joke, but might think it odd if he says he truly believes (since they do not). Then he might be seen as a slightly eccentric teen/young adult rather than really out there - you know, along the lines of an adult who still loves Disney/has a teddy in their bed/loves all the Christmas razzmatazz etc.

mariammama Sat 08-Dec-12 11:12:45

At this stage it's mainly the talking to outsiders about Santa which is harmful, the believing in him problem can wait till next year. A 'rule' not to mention Santa outside the family, perhaps?

The wtf look was probably cos the postie thought he was winding him up, probably afraid he was about to become an unwilling youtube star grin. Am wondering, could the postman tell them the new rule if you explained?

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Sat 08-Dec-12 11:51:37

Thanks. Will have a go at all these.

Cross everything for me!

grin yes, postie could have thought he was taking the piss, I suppose.

coff33andmintspies Sat 08-Dec-12 12:33:18

Ok uncannily enough (this santa is or isnt is reaching all who read grin) DS was in car yesterday and said "is santa real?" <paused, thought, said to ds hang on I am concentrating on driving to sum up what to say next>

I told him that there is a yes and a no to that told him about St Nicholas and that he was the patron saint of fishermen, children and the giver of gifts. Then told him about St Piran our patron saint and how we have St Pirans Day, that there is a St Georges Day etc. So that we have a day where everyone gives gifts to each other to celebrate Christmas and in honour of St Nicholas. That he was then nicknamed Father Christmas or Santa Claus in his memory so to speak and that is how Santa came about.

Then we went home and I showed him on the internet! So he bought that quite easily as it was a satisfactory explanation of what is real and not real but done in memory of?

However DS is a child to needs a satisfactory explanation lol he just wouldnt by the "no hes not real" or he would analyse and give me grief for supposedly lying to him from when he was a baby grin

After the fact he did say to me "well mum it was the flying reindeers that did it. Everyone knows they cant fly" grin

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Sat 08-Dec-12 12:42:15

"However DS is a child to needs a satisfactory explanation"

I can really relate to this! My eldest will quiz you for HOURS!

Days. Weeks. He'll come back to you with a further question on something you said years ago. "On Friday 8th May 2009 you said..."

He once quizzed his cousin for a VERY long time on how come if he was a <oursurname> his surname was <not our surname> and <oursurname> was his first name.

His cousin. 30 years old and a lawyer. Likened it to a cross examination in court, laughed and suggested that my eldest should become a lawyer

mymatemax Sat 08-Dec-12 14:10:46

i have just had a car full of 13yr old nt boys, none of them believe in FC, but all of them when quizzing each other where asking "Whats santa bringing you?" Talking about leaving sherry & whisky out etc etc. They were saying it all tongue in cheek but Honestly if one of them had still believed I wouldnt of been able to tell which one!

PolterGoose Sat 08-Dec-12 15:23:45

Coff, it was the flying reindeer thing that busted it for my ds too grin

coff33andmintspies Sat 08-Dec-12 17:01:56

I have sympathy HEC our children are from a similar mould grin

PolterGoose it was that and the fact that he saw a santa sleigh and thought logically how in hell are they going to park on the roof! grin

My ds2is nearly 16, 6 ft tall and still totally believes.
Had we known when he was small that his autism would mean he would not 'grow out of it' I think we wouldn't have started it... But he has 3 elder siblings who still believed then.

We are stuck.. He won't take any hints, he is excited beyond belief at the thought of Santa coming and will spend all xmas eve tracking him on Norad.

He has moderate learning difficulties and is in special it's fine there, but he also integrates into a mainstream unit and I worry that he will be tormented by other kids if they realise he really does believe.

We have told him Santa stops at 18, then mum and dad do the stockings. Hoping in 3 years it will stop naturally tho I suspect he will still betracking Santa when he is 30:/

Catsdontcare Sun 09-Dec-12 00:56:52

Oh god ds is only four and this is the first year he has started to get the idea of Santa. <scraps plans to go to Lapland next year>

Could you get them to help you wrap each others gifts and then on Xmas eve get them to help you put them under the tree for morning? Maybe if they wrap them and put them under the tree and see on Xmas morning that it is only the presents they put there they will accept it?

Oh and FYI expecting a four year old with asd to open one door a day on a Lego advent calendar will result in you ripping open every door on day 6 because you can't bear the thought of 18 more massive tantrums due to the fact that darth maul Santa was not behind the door.

justaboutchilledout Sun 09-Dec-12 07:21:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Sun 09-Dec-12 07:52:31

Thanks all.

good points that he might actually be stubbornly holding on to it cos he likes it grin

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Sun 09-Dec-12 07:52:46

and thanks again for more suggestions!

Lougle Sun 09-Dec-12 08:06:19

Could you do a project on Santa? Get him to Look up the tradition, read about St Nicolas, etc., commercialisation...then go on to compare it with what happens at Easter, how shops sell chocolate eggs blah blah...

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Sun 09-Dec-12 08:22:08

Yes. Thanks.

I have loads of stuff to try now, thanks to you all. Between us, we'll crack it. I hope.

As an aside, look on my profile pictures. It's my birthday today and my eldest decided to make me a card...

PolterGoose Sun 09-Dec-12 08:36:23

Happy birthday Hec thanks

Lovely card grin

sazale Sun 09-Dec-12 08:46:33

I told my dd 13 that Santa wasn't real when she started MS secondary as I too was worried about her being bullied for believing. We didn't know she was ASD then and her brother 2 years younger had figured it out years before. We were worried she would then tell the youngest one (then age 3) but she never did as really she still believes.

She has the knowledge he's not real but still acts like he is but wouldn't tell anybody that he's still real. She still wants to go see Santa and tracks him on NORAD etc. it's a bit like the way she can tell people how to cross a road safely, heck she was the road safety officer at primary, but can't put it in to practice to do it herself!

My youngest is now almost 6 (under assessment for ASD) and he is so observational (tested at age 9 on standardised tests) and very logical that he's more or less figured it out already! He went to see Santa at the school fare when he was 3 and came out and told us who's dad it was dressed up! His own kids hadn't noticed!! We haven't been to see any Santa since as he says what's the point it's just a person dressed up! He pointed out the chimneys were all in the wrong place for santa to get down the fireplace last year!

Hope you get it sorted OP x

PenguinBear Sun 09-Dec-12 09:06:03

Agree that he may just want to believe because he likes it. Man I wish I could still believe in Santa, those were good times. Wouldn't it be nice if Santa did exsist.. There was a lovely post going round Facebook about how to explain to your dc about Santa and how we all become Santa or something but I can't find it now to link sad Although now I am Santa no such luck in pretending to believe grin.

Lougle Sun 09-Dec-12 09:36:36

Happy birthday! lovely card smile

wrinklybottom Sun 09-Dec-12 10:02:14

Happy Birthday Hec
Couldn't you get a surprise birthday card from Santa explaining that he can no longer visit or something confused
I do sympathise. Ds is a similar age and if I accidentally mention Santa he rolls his eyes and says 'Mum,I know there's no Santa - it's you and Dad. I just went along with it all those years to humour you' hmm

coff33andmintspies Sun 09-Dec-12 12:58:25

Happy Birthday! Nice Card! xx

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Sun 09-Dec-12 15:21:08

Great card smile

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