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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?

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.

Minnieisthedevilmouse Sun 08-Dec-13 20:50:13

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

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