Believing In Santa Claus….Or Not

by admin on December 19, 2013

This particular story occurred about 8 years ago. My daughter “Allie” was about 4, and was excitedly discussing at an extended family dinner what she had asked Santa Claus for.  My husband’s brother “Mark” jumped into the conversation, asking some pointed questions about what she had said. It quickly became clear, to our utter disbelief and horror, that Mark was trying clue Allie in to the fact that her parents were in fact Santa Claus.  For example, “Well, don’t you find it strange that Santa Claus uses the same wrapping paper as your parents?” and “Don’t you think it’s pretty impossible that Santa Claus is able to get to ALL those houses in one night?” My husband and I were livid, but were able to hold it together long enough to refute his not-so-subtle points, put a stop to his line of questioning and quickly change the subject.

Turns out, Mark (who was childless at the time) was against children believing in Santa Claus. He felt it was misleading and cruel when the child found out the truth. So, he felt it was his place to fill Allie in. I might add he completely blindsided us with this. We had no idea he felt this way, nor did he ever discuss our decision with us. I had some choice words for him later in the evening when Allie was out of earshot.

Fast forward several years…My sister and Mark now have 3 beautiful little girls. They changed their tune about Santa Claus, and all of their children look forward to Santa coming each Christmas. The mature side of me has chosen to take the high road and not bring this particular incident up to him now and point out the irony, tempting as that is! Although, I must admit part of me (OK, a large part!) would like an apology, which was never forthcoming.

I believe every parent has the right to raise their children in whatever traditions they see fit. I do understand his point completely, and raising your children to not believe in Santa is certainly a viable option, but don’t tell me how I should or shouldn’t raise my own children! 1229-11

I raised my children to not believe in Santa Claus and I experienced the reverse with people trying to sabotage this by insisting to my children that Santa Claus was real.   So, disrespecting other parents’ choices does go both ways.

My thought on the OP’s submission is that while parents may choose to follow a tradition of Santa Claus with their own children, other people are not under an obligation to disregard their own convictions to support yours.   In other words, I won’t lie to children when asked if I believe in Santa Claus nor will I play along with verbal games meant to fish from people their wish list for Santa or pledge an allegiance to a belief in Santa Claus.   I may say nothing or beandip like crazy which is awkward but a lot less awkward than bluntly stating my own truthful beliefs.

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