what do you say about Santa? Surely there must be ONE other sceptic out there?(36 Posts)
I have a problem with Santa and it seems I'm alone on this one. Where I live its unheard of not to tell children about Santa and have a whole emphasis on presents and commercialism over Christmas. Even among my peers if I say I don't like the idea of it I get shot down! Basically - I have a baby daughter now, and while I don't have to worry about it too much for the next year or two...I DREAD being forced to tell her that some man comes down her chimney, into her room and delivers presents. First of all, I don't really agree with outright lying to kids, but I'm far more uncomfortable with Santa (strange old "santas" in shopping centres with kids on their knee) than, say, fairies or whatnot. Secondly I take issue with the commercialism and consumerism of it. My partner, his family and all of our parent friends go fully in for the whole thing without a question, although my partner say's he will support whatever I decide to do about it. The thing is I'm really swimming against the cultural tide - one woman I know said that if a child in playgroup said to her child that there was no Santa she would go around to that childs house and complain (not so politely) to the parents, so, essentially, I'm being forced into this enormous lie. Don't get me wrong - I intent to celebrate Christmas, enjoy the company of family and friends and exchange gifts - I just don't want to lie to my daughter. Am I the only one?
You're not alone!
We have never really told DD about it but she has picked it up from other sources and tends to think her stocking presents where from FC.
If he asks questions - and last year was the first tin really, aged 5- I just ask what she thinks and don't commit myself!
It's always sat badly with me too.
I sort of fudged it by telling them the truth as soon as they asked and not laying on the Santa stuff too thick.
DS1 was shocked when I told him though. He couldn't believe we'd lied to him for so long
DD just stated that she didn't believe in magic stuff like fairies, Santa, unicorns and baby Jesus and got on with it.
I agree with you though but I don't think you can tell them until they're old enough to keep a secret.
You are very much in the minority. There are threads like this every year and every year it becomes very clear that this view is a minority view.
Let your daughter enjoy the magic. There's time enough in life for gritty realism.
Some friends of mine told their children the truth but explained that pretending Santa was real was a game that some mums and dads liked to play with their children and that they shouldn't tell friends that Santa wasn't real because it would spoil the game for them.
They still did stockings etc but the children knew they were playing a pretend game about Santa. AFAIK, none of their 3 children ever told friends at school.
I agree, but have been roundly shouted down (on MN and in real life!) on this one. I don't see why it's so great to lie to small children; I try not to do it other areas of life. That said, it's fun for kids to "believe" and so many people feel so strongly about the so called "magic" that I tend to take the path of least resistance and go along with it!
I think the same as you OP, but even if I don't bring up Santa, somebody will. Mine is 3 this year so will be aware. My partner feels the same as me...We will ask our daughter what she thinks is true if she asks about Santa. Personally, I don't think there needs to be any more 'magic'
As I was genuinely terrified of Santa as a child , I haven't played up to if much so my children were vaguely disbelievers last year at aged 4 and 5 .They asked a lot of questions about why children in their classes didn't get gifts ( different religions ) and I don' t like lying but don' t want them to spoil it for others . So now I've cobbled together the idea Santa is a postman but parents buy the presents .
We don't have a chimney .
My DD is only just 2 so will still be unaware of the whole mythos but i'm still in two minds about what we're going to say next year.
I love the idea of children getting really excited (but from watching other small children they seem to be equally excited by birthday celebrations so I suspect it's mainly the presents!) But I am finding it hard to marry the ideas of teaching my dd to be honest and acting as a role model whilst simultaneously cultivating a huge untruth (no matter how enjoyable it might be at the time)
So no answers here, i'm still torn.
I'm with atticus...the time they believe in Santa goes by so quickly. It's incredibly magical and exciting for kids at that age.
Harsh reality comes soon enough, let them enjoy it
"There are threads like this every year and every year"
If you search in the 'Christmas' topic, you'll find a lot on this. Might be worth a browse?
I struggled with this too: we are our children's best source of knowledge about the world, and it doesn't sit well to lie to them.
Had to make a decision last year when DD was almost 3, since that's when it started to come up.
We ended up going with it, but tried to keep it fairly simple: Santa brings presents to all the children, and he brought you your stocking. She did ask a few questions like where he lives and what he does the rest of the year, and I just tried to keep it vague.
What I've discovered in the last year though is that they do understand that some things are 'pretend', even at this age - and in fact she now enjoys talking about pretend stuff (Xuli the go-jetter came to nursery with us this morning - and it was clear that it was just for fun). I think we'll continue to (try to) keep it low key, and as soon as she starts to doubt or question, I'll explain it's pretend. Last year I worried about how she would react when she finds out, but now I'm pretty sure that it won't upset her or destroy her trust in us.
Have to confess I'm very tempted to try to fit in a Christmas Lapland trip before that happens though
I find the 'not lying to children' thing a bit odd. Are you really going to tell your small child the truth about EVERYTHING? I doubt it. And do you preface every story with 'x, y and z don't really exist'?
I agree too - but you'll find most of mumsnet will shout you down.
If you are not comfortable with the whole thing, you are perfectly entitled to avoid it. We just don't 'do' Santa in our house. We don't mention him, or have stockings from Santa, or mysteriously appearing presents.
If DD asks about Santa when she's older (or maybe his year), we'll explain that it's a story and that lots of people like to pretend because it is fun.
My DD - 2, nearly 3 - went to a dinosaur-themed outdoor play session in July. She brought her dinosaur "egg" home and asked if a dinosaur would come out. I told her "Of course!". DH bought a 50p toy from Tesco on his way home from work. That night we made the egg a nest and DD went to bed all excited. When she woke up, the egg was broken and a small dinosaur was inside. Do I feel bad for lying? Not at all. I wouldn't trade that look of magic in her eyes for all the money in the world.
I can't wait for Christmas.
Tread softly because you tread on their dreams.
We don't talk about Santa with our kids. They LOVE Christmas and LOVE presents and we still have a magical time. They've heard about Santa of course but we just dont put any emphasis on that aspect.
Personally I've always kept Santa low- key. I love Xmas but have never gone all out with the FC stuff. She will pick up on it from TV or childcare so you could leave it to those sources of info?
No Santa here either! DD will be 4 this Christmas, and it'll be the first time it's a real issue - last Christmas she hadn't started nursery. Having spoken to other mums who also don't do him, we're going to go down the 'game other families play' route to try to avoid too much ostracisation! DH's family never did Santa at all, when I was growing up, he brought our stockings. We (DH and I) are very uncomfortable with deliberately lying (and maintaining that lie) to DD, and we're fortunate to have other similar friends.
I'm torn about what to do. DH is very much of the same view as you, OP. I'm just not sure. I remember the excitement from when I was a child, but I also remember feeling really hurt when I learned that mum and dad had been lying to me for years. It's a tough one! I'll follow the thread for ideas.
Low key Santa here. Small gift and stocking from him. Bigger gifts from family. I'm not having me two give someone else the 'credit'. We create magic in other ways with family stuff and time. We don't make a big deal about him coming, how he gets in or even take them on special trips to visit Santa. He's a part of Christmas but not a big deal. Same way we deal with the birthday we're all celebrating! He's a part of Christmas but not a jog deal! I'm a cynic and a heathen!
With regard to Santa coming in their rooms, you don't have to tell them this, for us he comes into the living room and leaves the presents & stockings by the fireplace.
I'm with you, OP. Unfortunately no advise as DD is only two so we have until next year to figure it out!
I love, love, love Christmas and the magic of it (even as an adult) and would love to do a Lapland trip and all that stuff when she's older. But the lying and commercialisation of it... no.
As a child, I always knew Santa was pretend (no-one told me and gave the game away, I just always knew) but still loved it all. I think I always considered Santa to be a sort of mythical magic postman, rather than a real guy who supplied whatever you asked for. So I just need to figure out how to impart this to DD!
I agree with you and I was brought up in the same manner. My parents never made anything of santa or fudged who gifts and stockings were from and I don't remember a time when I believed in it. DS1 is now 6 and, although I haven't perpetuated the myth, he fully believes. I am not sure where to go with it this year.
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