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To tell my child that Father Christmas is not real?

(209 Posts)
Purplelipgloss Thu 07-Dec-17 00:11:02

I have a newborn baby so I'm thinking ahead here and it is a conversation that DH and I have briefly touched upon in the past.

He thinks that we should tell DS because it's wrong to lie and parents should certainly not lie to their children - could cause trust issues etc.

I however, am a bit more of the opinion that we should play the Santas real game, he'll get over it. I think that the enjoyment in the belief you have as a child by far outweighs being honest here.

Just wondered what everyone else thought and if there were any stories that would help us make a final decision.

GreenTulips Thu 07-Dec-17 00:12:41

Micky mouse isn't real
Most stories aren't real

Real life is quite scary for kids!!! Why spoil the short time they have to be children

RunRabbitRunRabbit Thu 07-Dec-17 00:12:59

I think it is an important rite of passage to work it out for yourself. We never explicitly said santa was real but we never denied it either. "What do you think?" was our standard response to child questions. They are good little thinkers my lot.

ScipioAfricanus Thu 07-Dec-17 00:16:44

I have never come across anyone who had trust issues with their parents because of this. Not saying there might not be any, but it isn’t common at least!

Most children grow out of it slowly and segue into the magic of pretending for others when they do.

It was incredibly magical for me to see my DS delighted to see his full stocking the Christmas before last. I remember being so excited about it as a child myself, and then happily transitioning to putting the pillowcase outside our rooms so our parents could easily fill them (sometimes they did it before we’d gone to bed when we were teenagers/20s).

There are so many real things in the world, and plenty of time to get to know them, but only a short space of time when you can truly believe in the fantastical.

GummyGoddess Thu 07-Dec-17 00:18:38

Depends on your child's personality which you don't know yet. I hated the idea of father christmas and was so relieved that it was actually my mum. It was also nice to know she cared enough to try really hard and get us what we wanted rather than it magically appearing. Dh loved the idea and has great memories of it.

Our compromise is a paired back version, so he brings stockings and one present. I don't think it will last long as we live in an extremely diverse area and many other parents seem to do Christmas celebrations but not father christmas. Once he gets to school I think he'll know as his friends won't have the same experience as him.

123bananas Thu 07-Dec-17 00:19:20

My children think of Father Christmas as a story, much like any other favourite story. They still love Christmas and enjoy the festive season without the belief that he is real. We have a tree, they get stockings and presents, but are aware that the gifts come from their family. It doesn't ruin their childhood or Christmas to not believe.

It is totally up to you as parents, I have no trust issues with my parents because they told me Father Christmas/Santa was real. I do remember the disappointment when I caught my mum nibbling the carrots we left out for the reindeer though grin

ScipioAfricanus Thu 07-Dec-17 00:19:27

Also depends on the child how they’ll take it all. I carried on believing for quite a few years (I am a very truthful adult) - even convincing a few others who’d stopped believing to start again with various logical arguments. My younger sibling stopped believing very early on but pretended for years afterwards to ensure a supply of presents. Sibling is a successful lawyer now and I think enjoys playing with the ‘truth’!

FiFiLaPoodle Thu 07-Dec-17 01:10:09

Sorry OP but your DH is chatting shit.

Your kid will have trust issues coz you said there is a Santa?

Load of balls.

Don't say any such thing to your child.

Nocabbageinmyeye Thu 07-Dec-17 01:13:01

Trust issues 😂 For fuck sake, what a joy sucking gobshite

notangelinajolie Thu 07-Dec-17 01:26:53

Dear me get a grip. You are massively overthinking this and fast heading to be one of 'those' parents. Your life must be a barrel of fun at Christmas. Are you really saying you have discussed how as parents of a newborn you are going to do explain Santa? Does it really matter? Poor baby And for the record of course Father Christmas is real! You just need to believe. Watch Christmas films if you don't believe me

GreenTulips Thu 07-Dec-17 07:57:12

Also strikes of parents who want all the glory!

Believe me parenthood is thankless and hard -

BrieAndChilli Thu 07-Dec-17 08:02:13

You’ll be doing yourself out of up to 10 years of being able to say ‘you’d better behave as santa know when you are naughty and won’t bring you any presents’ I drag that out from October onwards and it works like a charm, even have a fingerprint scanner app on my phone for the kids to scan and see what list they are on!!!

PurplePillowCase Thu 07-Dec-17 08:05:11

sorry I'm with your dh.
father christmas isn't real.
I told my dc about the 'real' santa, we looked at yesterday's news about his bones, which are kept as relics in several churches etc.

Kittysparks1 Thu 07-Dec-17 08:11:16

My and my partner had this conversation last night. Usually I'm very upfront and tell kids how it is regardless of age.
However, one of my strongest memories was being awake on xmas eve and I was sooo excited. I actually convinced myself I'd heard santas sleigh. Even now, I know santa isn't real but I bloody heard him I swear!
It's one of my favourite memories. I want my son to feel like I did that night.

Isadora2007 Thu 07-Dec-17 08:14:40

The lengths some parents go to to “convince” their child about santa is pretty ridiculous and speaks more of their needs than their kids. It seems often to be a bribe and blackmail tool (santa is watching you, santacam, naughty and nice apps etc) which to me defeat the spirit of Christmas.
Like others, we have used the story of F.C/st nick etc but we do not say he is real. Works for us and keeps our christmasses magical for good.

FlakeBook Thu 07-Dec-17 10:47:20

I'm with your dh too but it's not a popular point of view!
Just don't be one of these people with separate wrapping paper for Santa and elaborate hoaxes like that!

TheOnlyWaysTitsUp Thu 07-Dec-17 10:55:14

I agree with your DH.

Aged 4, I realized that Father Christmas couldn't be as described. My parents (who had taught me that lying was wrong) repeated that he was real. confused

The next few Christmas Eves, I was torn between the idea that my parents were deliberately lying to me, or the even worse idea that they were letting a stranger into the house who couldn't possibly be who he said he was... I would try to keep awake (but look asleep), so that if the stranger tried to hurt them I could run downstairs and help them! shock

Go for Isadora's suggestion smile

curryforbreakfast Thu 07-Dec-17 10:57:36

Nobody has trust issues because of Santa, ffs hmm

some people are such funsuckers. Kids love stories and magic and make believe. it's good for their imaginations, its fun and makes them happy.
What is the problem with happy, enchanted, fun loving children exactly?

Sisinisawa Thu 07-Dec-17 11:08:47

We have never done Father Christmas as a real thing. We told our children that it's a lovely story based on a real person.
Our eldest is 8 and has never told her friends as we explained lots of parents pretend he is real so not to tell them the truth.
They love Christmas and get a Santa sack of gifts plus family gifts, they still get really excited and gave a wonderful time. We also visit Santa's grotto and they love it.
Knowing the truth hasn't spoiled it at all for them.

Op. Do what feels right for you and your family.

On here people will call you a joyless Scrooge but Christmas is so much more than Santa and you can enjoy it all whichever way you do it.

EdmundCleverClogs Thu 07-Dec-17 11:09:45

We’re going to ‘not not’ say Santa is real, if that makes sense. If our children ask straight out, then we wouldn’t try and fluff it up ‘just for the magic’, which seems to be more for adults regardless (especially considering some of the more melodramatic responses here). In the meantime, we aren’t doing ‘big presents’ from Santa - I think the worst bit about this time of year is the obvious division between rich and poor. As soon as your child realises that Santa managed to get Jonny an Xbox, but yours only gets a board game from the same ‘guy’, we’ll that puts a bit of a shitter on the ‘magic’ doesn’t it.

Parents work damn hard to afford Christmas, I don’t think it does children harm from a very young age to thank the people who actually bought them the ‘big’ gifts. You can still have stories, traditions and all that, it’s the real people that make ‘the magic’ not some imaginary guy.

PurplePillowCase Thu 07-Dec-17 11:11:03

Kids love stories and magic and make believe.

absolutely. we 'do' make-belief as well, visit santa etc but my dc know it's a game. it's still fun and magical and christmassy - without the deception.

PinkyBlunder Thu 07-Dec-17 11:20:13

DD4 isn’t convinced and never has been. I don’t go to great lengths to make her believe because I don’t really see the point. If she ever asks I’ll tell her it’s up to her whether she believes or not and go with that. Otherwise, she gets a stocking, she talks about getting presents from Father Christmas and that’s about as far as it goes. She’s never shown interest in writing letters or going to ‘see’ him. The fact we don’t make a big deal doesn’t ruin her childhood christmases, she gets a lot more out of other elements of the season.

curryforbreakfast Thu 07-Dec-17 12:00:50

It's not deception.

There is a huge difference between not going out of your way to play up to the santy thing and telling a small kid outright "this is not real". The former is fine, the latter is joyless pettiness that is more about parental feelings than childrens.

BoardGameBlues Thu 07-Dec-17 15:23:32

Most kids won't end up with trust issues beggars because of Santa. On the other hand most kids who don't believe in Santa won't have joyless "unmagical" Christmases either. My parents always told me Santa was a nice story and a fun game and I loved Christmas just fine.

curryforbreakfast Thu 07-Dec-17 15:26:22

None will. Not one.

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