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DH doesn't want to 'do Santa'

(98 Posts)
DoubleCarrick Fri 18-Nov-16 11:30:16

Morning all,

This almost feels like an anti-Christmas thread but I couldn't think of an appropriate place to post!

DH was brought up in a religion that doesn't celebrate Christmas. He left when he was about 14 but has never until he met me celebrated Christmas.

For me, the important things about Christmas are family, food, having a stocking and a couple of prezzies under the tree, a tree, crackers, etc. Nothing expensive or extravagant - Christmas is always low key when it comes to expenses.

DH is pretty happy with this and enjoys celebrating Christmas with my family. He's obviously been having a think now though. Our first baby is due just after new year and he mentioned yesterday that he doesn't think we should "do Santa". He said he's happy with everything else but isn't comfortable telling our children that Father Christmas exists and will bring them presents.

I'm as of yet unsure how I feel so have told him I'll think for a few days and discuss with him later.

My thoughts - how can we do stockings if there is no Santa? Both me and DH still get stockings from "Santa." How do we broach it with family members, especially those with kids? Will our baby be the one four year old in school who ruins it for everyone else?

How do we come up with something that isn't telling our child that Santa exists but will match with my traditions also?

Is anyone able to share what they do if they've never done Santa?


HelenaJustina Fri 18-Nov-16 11:36:19

We've never done Santa, 4DC aged 3-9. They know they are absolutely not allowed to spoil it for anyone else and to my knowledge never have, they even play along with other adults e.g. Checkout assistants who ask them if they got nice things from Santa, they just smile and say yes!

They do get stockings, they are filled with little things; magazine, new toothbrush, chocolate coins, small playmobil/lego etc but they know that they come from me and DH.

All other presents are under the tree and come from whoever bought them for them! Definitely helps with more realistic requests and gratitude...

PhilODox Fri 18-Nov-16 11:36:45

I am sure there will be children in school that do not believe in father Christmas. There will be children there from other religions and other cultures, surely? We did not tell our children about him, but they learned all about him at nursery, so that was what they wanted to believe!
FWIW, lots of my DCs' friends are from other non-uk cultures and religions, but they still celebrate Christmas with their families and friends, give presents, and even have a Christmas tree, because that's what people in Britain do in December. It's never been an issue at any point. My children were told not to spoil the magic for other people once they realised the truth (particularly as my youngest worked it out before the eldest did).

HelenaJustina Fri 18-Nov-16 11:37:30

Posted too soon, meant to say, how lovely that you are finding a middle way, creating new traditions for your new little family. Have a lovely festive season whatever you decide!

PhilODox Fri 18-Nov-16 11:38:07

Ha- perfect x-post!grin

isthatpoisontoo Fri 18-Nov-16 11:44:50

My dh and I have agreed that we don't do Santa, and I know plenty of parents who don't. Children are great at imaginative games, they can enjoy the Santa story without believing he is real.

DoubleCarrick Fri 18-Nov-16 11:55:49

So we literally just crack on and even from the age of two just say it's a story?

It all seems so alien to me but I'm happy to accommodate his beliefs as he doesn't object about much. He also doesn't like the Easter bunny or the tooth fairy but I'll worry about that another day!

My first Christmas with him after he moved in was lovely because we just picked the traditions we wanted as he had no concept of Christmas. I even taught him how to put lights on a tree. It was really special

HelenaJustina Fri 18-Nov-16 13:09:39

We don't do Easter bunny or tooth fairy either! I promise you my DC are not lacking in magic, imagination or special rituals in anyway... for us Christmas and Easter are centred around the religious festival

IHeartKingThistle Fri 18-Nov-16 13:12:06

I was in two minds about it but nursery took it out of my hands and told her all about Santa!

LeavesinAutumn Fri 18-Nov-16 13:19:10

Op many posters come on at this time of year and say things like " I didnt have it as a child and we dont do it for our children"

Then you see other threads about special things from childhood, magic moments, and you will get hundreds of posters saying " Christmas, Father Christmas, listening out for the sleigh bells...watching a star and believing it was him, a snowy foot print left in the hall way, a present damaged because it fell from the sleigh...."

we have a lot of nasty evil horrid things us humans create and do in this world, in my view - this creation of Father Christmas is one of the best. It shows a side to humans that gives humanity, its imagination, wonder, joy, magic.

Its also a juggernaught you will be separating your child from, they will get it everywhere in the run up! I do shudder when I see the " I never had it so didnt harm me comments" about everything. Surely as parents we need to take the good and bad from our own childhoods and choose what we want?Rather than dishing out more of the same...

You wouldn't believe in this as an adult its precious to only children.
Why deny them?

LeavesinAutumn Fri 18-Nov-16 13:23:18

Its not something I would allow my DH to inflict, in a way he never had xmas either, family not religious, not even influenced in any small way by children. they celebrate on a different day adn Dh grew up with no santa bringing presents as his parents are materialistic and needed to get that direct thanks, well MIL lets say as she sees buying presents as a special thing only she does <bitter>.

Dh has never questioned christmas, and we do it the normal british way - which is - father christmas coming down chimney and bringing presents.Now he has seen our dc, with stockings and racing into the living room, the sheer shock, joy , amazement on their faces, when they see the trees cant beat it!

I would have argued till my last breath before I would have allowed my un knowing DH who simply had no idea what it was all about - take that away from my children.

LeavesinAutumn Fri 18-Nov-16 13:27:22

Definitely helps with more realistic requests and gratitude...

wow, thats quite a statement.

It sort of implying that everyone elses dc, make un realistic requests and are un grateful.

If this is why you do it, I am afraid to say its simply not true and people even within the bounds of santa do it in different ways.
Also lets just say there are children who are allowed to choose anything they want and get ponies,puppies, motobikes etc....even then, one day of being allowed what they wouldn't turn them into un grateful brats. Being a parent and raising children is more than one day a year at Christmas, their personalities are formed every day from the day they are born.

If a child is grabby or greedy its not down to one day a year.

averylongtimeago Fri 18-Nov-16 13:30:17

That wonderful moment when you are lying awake in bed and you hear the DC wake up and find their stocking - "muuuum daaaad he's beeeeeeeeeen!" Best part of Christmas unless it's 3am

Rockpebblestone Fri 18-Nov-16 13:34:30

You could tell your child about the Saint Nicholas account and other Father Christmas legends and folklore. Then say that you like to do the same thing, give people nice gifts and celebrate Christmas by making a special effort to be kind to people. You could then say that people like to sometimes give their gifts in secret, as a surprise, then say 'It is from Santa' because you are following in his footsteps ( in terms of copying his idea of giving gifts in secret).

WordGetsAround Fri 18-Nov-16 13:37:01

I wouldn't force it - you can definitely have Christmas without Santa! However, you could do a v low key Santa. We have stockings from 'santa' - but we don't write to him or go on about him. We don't go to grottos or make him in any way a focus. If the children talk about him we play along in a low-key way, saying he's magic. But all our DC know there is no such thing as magic - so it's quite obvious he's not real. It works for us!

SaltyBitch Fri 18-Nov-16 13:43:06

It sort of implying that everyone elses dc, make un realistic requests and are un grateful.

Not it's not. It's saying it has that impact upon her children only.


HelenaJustina Fri 18-Nov-16 13:51:11

Thank you salty I was definitely only talking about my DC/experience, I wouldn't presume to make sweeping statements about everyone else.

And yes, it does mean my DC know that our gifting is not magical or limitless, that the money to buy things is hard earned and has to shared between everyone.

It doesn't always stop them asking for unrealistic things, especially age 3-4, but if it is a pony, they know they'll get a hmm face! We gave my DD a large rocking horse, complete with tack and grooming kit instead...

Christmas is such an emotive subject for people, but I really think there is space for everyone to celebrate their own way - creating their own traditions.

harderandharder2breathe Fri 18-Nov-16 14:08:48

Could santa just do stockings? That's what happens in my house and did when I was growing up too

Main presents from parents.

DoubleCarrick Fri 18-Nov-16 14:24:11

Ah my goodness, it's far more complicated than I ever thought!

I'm glad DH broached the issue before baby arrived! I think we're both going to have a chat in further detail before his first Christmas comes

NotCitrus Fri 18-Nov-16 14:27:32

We did a neither confirm nor deny approach - presents under the tree are from whoever, and stockings get filled and "people say Father Christmas fills them" - the dcs spent a couple years wondering which was more likely, a magic chap with a sleigh, vs loads of parents suddenly getting all generous and sourcing all the sticking fillers in secret. They still find stockings plenty magical!

Obviously the Santas at school and nursery and in shopping centres weren't real as they only give you books!

MistresssIggi Fri 18-Nov-16 14:31:11

Your dh doesn't know what your DC might be missing out. Maybe HE should do some research before deciding, then you could reach a more rounded decision together.
Does he have residual feelings about the religion he grew up, as I would be very worried if there was a chance of him going back to it.

SatsukiKusakabe Fri 18-Nov-16 14:44:05

I wasn't sure about doing Santa, as I had two older siblings I don't think I ever thought it was real but enjoyed the make believe.

However, children want to believe these things and form the age of 3 my ds was full of the idea of Father Christmas, so we went along with it. I have never said he exists! If he asks questions I always try and keep it neutral and answer questions truthfully, or direct them back to him? "Well how do you think he would be able to do it?" Etc. But he loves the storytelling and the game of it and seeing if he can glimpse him or if his stocking is filled. It has all come from him.

DoubleCarrick Fri 18-Nov-16 14:56:07

mistress that's a really interesting perspective. Not quite the case in this situation. He was merely opening a dialogue and speculated about the idea of lying to our children, etc. I'm lucky in that he's a very thoughtful man and that he will be willing to communicate his feelings, listen to mine, take them on board and work with me so that we can reach a compromise that works well for both of our belief systems and upbringings. Interestingly, he wouldn't go back to the religion because he doesn't agree with the idea of expecting someone to conform and the lies that he believes he was told.

MistresssIggi Fri 18-Nov-16 15:30:12

Double I love the very polite way you tell me I've got it wrong! Must try that on dh grin
I remember figuring out Santa was my parents, I was 7ish iirc. It didn't spoil anything, still loved the surprise element of the gifts arriving in the night until I was 25 and the stocking etc - I don't think just being handed a present would be as good (we got presents that way too!)
It's also possible to "do" Santa but in a lower key way, you don't have to go all elf-on-the-shelf.

Floralnomad Fri 18-Nov-16 15:40:41

We always did FC as a fantasy type thing with ours , we've never done stockings just have presents under the tree . Both of my DC love Christmas ( teen and adult now) , we have our family traditions , which include visiting DLP during the Christmas season , comedy films on Christmas Eve etc . When they were small we did do all the grotto type things and the DC still enjoy that but know it's all make believe . Christmas is not all about FC , if it were then what happens after they stop believing , to us it's about developing traditions for your own family which evolve over time .

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