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To ask BIL to join in with the Father Christmas pretence?

(133 Posts)
LastnightIdreamed Sun 02-Oct-16 21:10:13

This is a slightly tricky one. BIL and SIL have chosen to tell their children from the off that there is no such thing as Father Christmas. They want to come and stay with us this Christmas. All fine so far.

DD is 3. She absolutely loved Christmas last year and had a stocking which we opened before we met up with the rest of the family so as to avoid any tricky conversations. This year, at our house, I would like to give her a stocking again but I fear that she is now old enough to notice why her cousins aren't getting one and start questioning the situation (intensively, as she does). BiL obviously has the right to make whatever decisions he wants to re: parenting his own children. It's not for me to undermine that. Would I be unreasonable if I were to suggest that I made up small stockings for his kids and asked them to play along with DD hanging up a stocking on Christmas Eve? They are 10 and 7 - is it completely unreasonable of me to try to get them to join in something they don't believe in for DD's benefit? Are they still just too young to do it for the sake of a little cousin? I just feel a bit sad otherwise that DD has to miss out on some of the most common Christmas traditions because of a decision that someone else has made, when that person is insisting that they come to our house for Christmas. Please let me know what you would all do - thanks!

rumpelstiltskin43 Sun 02-Oct-16 21:15:48

I would tell him he can't come. Why should you have to compromise what you want for your daughter to suit him.

DerekSprechenZeDick Sun 02-Oct-16 21:15:48

No. you can't ask them to do that as the kids will be confused to shit and question it

Your DD is 3. She won't notice. If she does then lie. Say there's are at home.

It's really not a big deal

Also YABU to be thinking about this in OCTOBER!

ajandjjmum Sun 02-Oct-16 21:20:24

I would not have them to stay at Christmas, and explain why. It's a shame, but the magic could be so easily ruined by their family, and I would completely want to keep it going for my DC.

neonrainbow Sun 02-Oct-16 21:21:17

A 10 and 7yo are definitely old enough to play along.

SpringerS Sun 02-Oct-16 21:22:19

My DS is 3 and he'd definitely notice. I don't think that her cousins are too old to play along with it though. Kids often like to play along with a younger child's belief. In fact everyone I know who has raised their children not to believe in Santa all still play along with the game of Santa every Christmas and go through the motions of belief without actually believing.

I'd tell your BIL that you respect his decision to raise his children as he does but everyone in your house on Xmas eve night and Xmas morning plays along with Santa regardless of what they actually know and he can either respect that or wait until later in the day to come.

T0ddlerSlave Sun 02-Oct-16 21:23:20

My friend has a 6 yo who doesn't believe but even at 6 is old enough to say, I know he's not real but others don't know yet so I have to keep it a secret.

TaggieRR Sun 02-Oct-16 21:23:41

I wouldn't have them to stay. You don't get the Father Christmas magic for long!

HeyRobot Sun 02-Oct-16 21:23:56

I'm more than 4 years older than my next sibling, so there's a bigger gap than between the youngest cousin and your DD, but I remember loving making Christmas magical for the younger ones. I probably felt all grown up helping my mum out with it as well.

IrenetheQuaint Sun 02-Oct-16 21:24:40

I don't think she'll notice the other children don't have one if you don't draw attention to it. You could ask the cousins to play along if she does bring it up, they're probably used to doing this at school.

Don't wreck your family relationships for the sake of a myth!

PurpleDaisies Sun 02-Oct-16 21:25:17

Give him the option to either not tell your dd that Father Christmas isn't real or not to come. The cousins don't have to join in, they just have to not give the game away. Presumably they'll still be opening presents on Christmas morning anyway.

RiverTam Sun 02-Oct-16 21:26:26

Either they get on board or they don't come.

Doilooklikeatourist Sun 02-Oct-16 21:27:49

Don't let them stay on Christmas Eve
Let DD open her stocking , play with her stuff Get excited and they can be there later
Don't let BIL spoil the magic

mysistersimone Sun 02-Oct-16 21:28:01

We believe wink and I have my stories all ready for when my eldest starts questoning it (he's 6) and spoiling it for the 4 year old. I will tell her that if you believe you make enough magic to give Santa the ability to visit you. You make a special light that let's him know where you are. When you stop believing the magic goes and mummys and daddies have to play Santa.
If they want to carry on as they are they should let you too, do want them want but don't go on about it not being true to your daughter. I'd have a chat soon, October is not too early

museumum Sun 02-Oct-16 21:28:23

A 10 and 7 yr old will both be aware that the whole Father Christmas thing happens and ought to be able to be trusted to pretend for one morning.

TwentyCups Sun 02-Oct-16 21:28:51

You're overthinking this I think. If she questions why the others don't have gifts from Santa you could say it's because he doesn't give to big boys and girls (7 will seem practically adult to a 3 year old!). I doubt it will be questioned though, your daughter will be far more bothered about her toys than who gave their cousins theirs i think.

EllieHandMeDownBaby Sun 02-Oct-16 21:29:59

YANBU to ask the parents if they could ALL play along.

Think of it this way: if your BIL & SIL had let their children believe in Santa, and then - as they got older - they had found out that it was made up, wouldn't you still ask them to play along for the sake of their younger cousin?
I'm certain my older siblings were told to play along for my sake while I still believed in Santa.
And what do they do now when talking to friends who believe in Santa? Do they spoil it for everyone or are they already used to pretending?

DinosaursRoar Sun 02-Oct-16 21:30:04

My 3 year old would notice, and my nearly 7 year old doesn't really have the emotional maturity to play along if they didn't get to do it.

I would say that actually, you need to think if you can do Christmas together if you want to do Father Christmas magic for your DC but your DBIL does for his DCs.

It might come down to what do you think would be more important for your family, doing the whole Father Christmas thing for your DD or spending Christmas Day with cousins. You can't really do both.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Sun 02-Oct-16 21:32:42

Can you do stockings in bed just the three of you and then presents around the tree later. That's what we do after one too many near miss from elderly grandparents going on about the war and their parents only affording a small home made toy and a nut saved from the tree in autumn. It means that we can have some time together, they get a lie in and they don't get bored. I would run the plan past BIL and make it clear that you have respected their traditions and they need to respect yours.

FlibbertigibbetArmadillo Sun 02-Oct-16 21:42:43

Can you just open stocking with your DD in bed then she won't see cousins not getting one? We always used to pile into my parents bed to do stockings on Christmas morning. Was part of the fun

furryminkymoo Sun 02-Oct-16 21:45:21

My DD will be just 4 this Christmas and I can honestly say that the Christmas last year age 3 was the best that I have ever had.

I wouldn't have them to stay at Christmas, meet for lunch yes but I wouldn't miss that magic on Christmas morning with a 3 year old for anything. Children talk, your nieces/nephews will revel in talking about Father Christmas fakery. Your DD will doubt that they are good because they didn't get gifts from Father Christmas. Too much head fuckery.

Benedikte2 Sun 02-Oct-16 21:52:46

I'd ask BIL and family to come over at lunch time after you've had your traditional stocking opening. They can stay over Christmas night.
Or do as shouldwestayorshouldwego suggests with private family time in bed and other children primed not to mention FC to your DD

HeCantBeSerious Sun 02-Oct-16 21:57:27

You're all assuming that the BIL and family live fairly nearby.

PoldarksBreeches Sun 02-Oct-16 22:00:14

Why wouldn't the 10 and 7 year old be able to play along? There is no harm in asking and I bet they would find it fun. Not doing the Santa thing doesn't mean he's a joyless turd who wouldn't indulge his little niece and get his kids to play along.

PoldarksBreeches Sun 02-Oct-16 22:00:34

Of course he may be a joyless turd in which case don't have him over for Christmas

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