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What to tell 8 yo about Santa

(58 Posts)
oobedobe Tue 25-Oct-16 00:57:07

So DD1 has come home from school full of questions. A 'friend' said Santa is dumb, and its the parents etc. This has upset my DD as she is fairly young for her year and only just turned 8, still likes to (half) believe in magic, fairies, Easter bunny etc.

So is this the time to tell her the cold hard truth?

I have been evasive and tried to focus on the magic of Christmas and how it is a lovely time of year with traditions etc, I have never pushed the Santa thing really hard, though we do visit him at the mall and follow on Norad. But I do feel sad telling her outright that Santa is no real.

What have others done in this situation?

LittleReindeerwithcloggson Tue 25-Oct-16 09:01:03

My niece was told when she asked at 7 years old that Santa is real but as the world is so big now he can't get everywhere so has official helpers (other santas) and parents to help him spread the magic of christmas. Sometimes it's "her turn" to have them delivered by santa, sometimes it's parents but it's a big secret as to who it is each year.
Not saying it's the only or best way of dealing with that question but it definitely kept the magic alive a bit longer whilst preparing her for the total truth. She would have been devastated if she had been told outright!

SpeckledyBanana Tue 25-Oct-16 09:05:53

DS (7 at time) asked outright whether FC was real, and so I told him. We'd been dancing around it for months, but I'd held back until he looked like he actually wanted to know, IYSWIM. He said, "knew it" then went back to what he was doing.

I think once kids in school are talking about him not being real, it's time, personally.

I did swear DS to secrecy though, explaining that it wasn't nice to spoil people's fun, which he accepted.

ILoveAutumnLeaves Tue 25-Oct-16 09:12:07

No, don't spoil it for her.

Tell her that some children don't believe in Santa so he doesn't bring them any presents. Tell her that the girls parents will still buy her some & might pretend they're from Santa.

11yo here still believes (genuinely) as do many in her year 6 group of friends. It's lovely. She knows there are lots of 'helpers' who are pretend Santa's & that some parents pretend all the presents are from Santa etc. We have some very interesting conversations 😁

Don't spoil the magic.

MiddleClassProblem Tue 25-Oct-16 09:18:51

I think I was about that age when I found out. I was looking for something in my parents' room and found some stuff that was obviously meant for our stockings and felt the sinking feeling. I didn't say anything. When I opened my stocking on Christmas Day I just thought to myself "that's about right". We still had stockings into late teens and towards the end we kids get bits for them too. We only stopped them because it was all getting a bit expensive.

NotCitrus Tue 25-Oct-16 09:27:24

Ds and dn are 8 and 9 and concluded there is no FC. So I talked to them to explain Christmas is about giving and the real magic is all the grown-ups and and children old enough all getting together to get presents to everyone, to make it look like FC is real. So what presents could they make or buy or give to dd and Daddy and aunt etc.

Also a heads-up that some kids and dd still sort of believe and it wouldn't be nice to call them stupid.

They were very impressed and planned to dig out various babyish toys for dd. But agreed that school Santas are crap as they only give you books (issue with one pretending parcels might be iPads, leading to sad kids...)

Buttercupsandaisies Tue 25-Oct-16 09:28:37

I agree don't tell her. My DDs are 11 (year 6) and 9 (year 4) both defo believe - and no there're not having me on! All my elder daughters friends still believe. They believe in fairies and everything! There's no need to tell her yet - unless you want it to end yourself which I know some parents do

lalaloopyhead Tue 25-Oct-16 09:29:34

I've never told my dc's that Santa is not real, but obviously the older ones do know (15 & 17)! I think it was only last year I openly acknowledged that I bought the presents and until then we all went along with the pretence - that said I do have a younger dc and we've partly kept it all going for them. Youngest has asked if Santa is real and I just say 'What do you think?' I think she still wants to believe so I couldn't possibly bring myself to say no!
I remember as a child that once we dropped the Santa thing and had all our presents under the tree before Christmas that it never felt the same.

sleeplessinderbyshire Tue 25-Oct-16 09:31:08

My seven year old knows he's not real. She voiced some doubts aged 5 which we glossed over. Last week she said "I think Santa is made up and it's you and daddy doing the stockings". She told me none of her friends believe in Santa any more. She's totally fine with him not being real but determined to keep it secret for her little sister.

DrCoconut Tue 25-Oct-16 09:32:29

Santa is the spirit of Christmas, of love and sharing, and he is therefore as real as people want him to be in a sense. That's what I was told and I like it.

WinchesterWoman Tue 25-Oct-16 09:38:37

I've never told my children father Christmas isn't real. I think when they were under ten I said, don't argue if someone says he isn't. I mean you don't want them embarrassed at school. But you know they just work it out and carry on quietly enjoying the fun of it.

BaggyCheeks Tue 25-Oct-16 09:38:38

I like what DrCoconut said. It might be a good time to break out the Miracle on 34th Street. I wouldn't be as blunt as to say "No, they're right. Santa - nonsense." because I think that wouldn't be true - my siblings, DP and his siblings, all the grownups we know in our families all talk about "Santa" as though he were real even though every single one of us does the present buying. Santa is a frame of mind where I stand, and 8 might be a bit young to fully get that.

BertrandRussell Tue 25-Oct-16 09:40:28

Why is it lovely that 11 year olds believe in Father Christmas? hmm

WinchesterWoman Tue 25-Oct-16 09:43:22

At that age they must be in some sense willing themselves to believe. I would have thought most children realise by about eight and keep up the game.

llangennith Tue 25-Oct-16 09:44:21

I'd like to still believe in Santasmile

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Tue 25-Oct-16 09:47:16

It's not lovely at all,good grief! I don't actually know anyone who tells their kids FC is a real person. That's like telling them Cinderella is a real person instead of a nice story.

Cel982 Tue 25-Oct-16 10:09:54

I really think that once they're old enough to question it, they should be told the truth. I wouldn't be comfortable telling my child a lie in response to a direct question like that. Asking "Well, what do you think?" is a good way to gauge how ready they are to hear the truth. But making great efforts to convince a child who has naturally become sceptical seems really wrong to me.

everydayimshuffl1ng Tue 25-Oct-16 10:13:02

When I was about 7 a supply teacher at my primary school told us Santa wasn't real and along with about 75% of the class I was so upset. My parents were furious and went in to see the headteacher who was amazing. He took the time to see each of my classmates individually and explained that some people believed in God and some people didn't and it was the same with Santa. He believed in Santa but obviously the supply teacher didn't. It totally restored my belief for quite a few years more and I always think of him fondly for extending the magic of Christmas for me for another few years.

Can't be doing with the parents who would rather not "lie" to their children. It's nothing more than creating harmless excitement and magic while you're still young enough not to be jaded by the realities of the world like adults. Absolutely did me no harm and I'm grateful to my parents for giving me that fun and excitement in my childhood that I can now look back on so fondly and get excited about re-creating for my own children.

MiddleClassProblem Tue 25-Oct-16 10:38:34

everyday that's awful! What a crap supply teacher!

Buttercupsandaisies Tue 25-Oct-16 11:19:44

Everyday I agree. Most people I know who've told their kids have done so for their own benefit. It takes a lot of effort to keep that magic going!

Some people - not all I know - tell them to get it over with when I'm sure they could have prolonged it.

I'd be gutted if my 9 year old questioned it - in our school/local area, most parents are very much into the innocence of kids and prolonging that. There's plenty of time for reality to sink in. I remember my dn asking my brother at age 9, he told her the truth and she was gutted and after a few days went up to him and said she wished he'd lied!

BertrandRussell Tue 25-Oct-16 12:51:37

So. You expect 11 year olds to be starting their GCSE science syllabus-and, for that matter, the RE syllabus -still believing in Father Christmas? Blimey.

mouldycheesefan Tue 25-Oct-16 12:56:45

I would quite like mine to know the truth as I would like the credit for the presents.😂 However the magic years don't last that long so I won't be telling them. They already know about the tooth fairy and Easter bunny though. We don't go and visit Santa now though and tend not to mention him too much, I guess we are gradually minimising the role he plays in Xmas. We do write the letter and put up stockings but trying to downplay it as mine question it a lot.

BertrandRussell Tue 25-Oct-16 13:10:48

We still write letters and put up stockings and mine are 15 and 20. I think it's really sad that people stop doing the lovely things when they stop believing.......

WinchesterWoman Tue 25-Oct-16 13:15:37

Mine are adult kids. I still have to wait until about 2am christmas eve and then creep around with stockings. It's ridiculous. I should stop.

Stickerrocks Tue 25-Oct-16 13:35:21

There is a brilliant book called "How Santa Really Works" by Alan Snow, which explains everything from how he gets down chimneys to how he stores presents & uses helpers.

We always just used the simple idea that if you didn't believe in Santa you couldn't get any presents from him.

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