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How to keep the father christmas magic alive for a 9 year old when she is in a country with a compleatly different father christmas culture?

(7 Posts)
honeytea Sun 30-Sep-12 21:39:33

My sister is 9 and she is coming to stay with us at christmas. She still think that father christmas is real, I'm sure this must be the last year that she believes but I have said this for the last 2 years so maybe kids just find out later these days(?)

The problem is that I live in Sweden, she is aware of the Swedish tradition, here "jul tomten" (father christmas) comes to the childrens house on the evening the 24th and delivers all the pressies. Jul tomten is usually an uncle or family friend dressed up as father christmas in a not very good fake beard. my d-sis will in no way believe he is real with a fake beard.

We have explained that father christmas comes early in Sweden because he lives so close (lapland) and by the time he has seen all the kids in Sweden the kids in the UK are asleep so they have to leave the stockings out. She is happy with this explanation.

She is happy and knows that the guys dressed up as father christmas in shopping centers are not the real father christmas, we have been to lapland and met the "real" father christmas, should we tell her that the jul tomten who will visit on the 24th is not real just some fun dressing up but the real father christmas will come on the night of the 24th and leave stuff in her stocking? Also my baby will be around 2 weeks old, we didn't really intend to do a stocking for him but should d-sis is very excited and is going to inform father christmas in her letter about the new baby so she fully expects us to put a stocking out for the baby, do you think a sock and some dummies/hat/rattle will do?

Any ideas, this father christmas lie is getting so confusing!

3duracellbunnies Mon 01-Oct-12 10:05:54

Why not have Jul tonten deliver a Christmas Eve hamper - DVD, PJ, hot chocolate, and then FC deliver stocking and some little bits for the baby (bath toys are great, maybe a bib, sleepsuit etc).

Do bear in mind that Christmas is a fair way off yet, the bubble may already have burst. They don't tend to think about Christmas as early as we do, but by december quite a lot of spoilsports will have already have discussed it in class.

EdMcDunnough Mon 01-Oct-12 10:09:51

I think your plan about telling her it's just someone dressing up is quite reasonable.

Then she can have her 'real' presents left overnight. I think mine like the surprise element - there's an empty stocking at bedtime, then in the morning it has stuff in it.

They don't really want to see the imaginary bloke who leaves it there. It's part of the mystery.

Yes, have a stocking/old ski sock etc for the baby - mine is due just after Christmas and I have got him a personalised one to match the elder children's ones, well you never know, he may arrive early smile

honeytea Mon 01-Oct-12 19:15:31

Thank you for the ideas smile

I really hope she doesn't find out from school friends but I guess that is the normal way kids find out sad

I love the idea of a ski sock! we love skiing as a family but we will be missing our anual ski trip this year.

reddwarf Tue 02-Oct-12 04:51:59

Genuine question - why are you so desperate for her to keep on believing to the point of it bothering you enough to give it this much thought let alone start a thread about it? I don't mean that nastily really I don't. But she is 9. Firstly I'm amazed a 9 year old would still believe it. I don't think other kids chatting about it and it getting out that it's not true is spoiling it. As kids, you just went along with it and not aware it's some big secret, unless you have slightly obsessive relatives or much younger siblings. But imo it is part of the fun for young children. I imagine still genuinely believing in it at the age of 9 or 10 (if you do manage to convince her again) would lead to some serious mickey taking. I really think it's infantalising her tbh.

BTW we don't live in UK and the traditions here are similar to yours I guess. Mine have never been phased by the differences, but having to come up with plausible explanations I guess has led me to feel that instead of it being a fun fairytale actually the more effort you have to put into covering your tracks, the more it just feels like lying iyswim.

I have come to this conclusion slowly over a few years. I wish we didn't even do the whole FC thing at all, but we started it, so we've gotta finish it so to speak. DD is 4 and I guess I'll carry on this year, but if her siblings let slip I won't loose any sleep over it.

3duracellbunnies Tue 02-Oct-12 06:53:02

I know what you mean reddwarf FC and faries are the two areas I feel least comfortable about. Dd1 is nearly 8 and still seems to believe in both, whenever she asks we just ask her what she thinks, then she goes on her merry believing way. Lots of her friends do too though, so it feels mean to blow the myth for everyone, but I think she is begining to not believe, except in the tooth fairy. Once she discovers it dd2 will too, ds is probably a bit young at 3 to understand, but then that is when I stopped believing. I think the main thing is not to make it too complex. Also it is hard for the OP as it is her sister so her parents might be annoyed if she lets on.

honeytea Tue 02-Oct-12 08:01:02

I think my sister would have stopped believeing at 7/8 bit that year we took her to lapland I think that gave her faith for a little longer as she had "met" the "real" father christmas.

I suppose this year I'd want her to not have the magic spoilt because it will be a hard time for her anyway, I am having my first baby (which is why they are traveling over at christmas) my sister and I are very close and she feels worried that the baby will change things and she won't be the special little one any more, of course she will still be special and we will still do fun stuff together.

Also my brother found out that father christmas wasn't real one year when he asked for a remote controlled car and he didn't get that, he had been told by the father christmas that visits the school that he had one of those ready for my brother but my mum was a single mum and could only afford small toys, my mum told him on christmas morning that father christmas wasn't real it was her and she couldn't afford the expensive toy. It was a traumatic christmas for everyone!

I guess I am being a little precious about it. It is stopping me worry about the possibility of my PFB catching whooping cough though!

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