Author Topic: Santa etiquette  (Read 7987 times)

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Knitterly

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Santa etiquette
« on: December 11, 2012, 09:53:47 AM »
I was not raised believing in Santa.  My parents have very strong feelings about Christmas and against Santa Claus.  I have never understood their feelings and always wanted to believe in Santa, even though I knew he wasn't real.
My husband was also not raised believing in Santa for completely different reasons.  His parents are immigrants and do not come from a culture where Santa is celebrated.  (They also never wrapped presents, and my husband still has a hard time wrapping :forgive the pun: his mind around what he thinks is a "waste of paper" - he defers to my preference and wraps the gifts, though.)

My sisters with children have gone in my parents footsteps and have not made Santa a part of Christmas at their house. 
My husband's brother and sister in law do Santa at their house.

We want to play Santa with Little Knit.  To be honest, I don't see the harm in it and due to her personality, I don't expect the Santa phase will last very long with her (she seems to think and puzzle through things very much like my husband).

My mother has flat out told me that she does not want me raising LK to believe in Santa.  That made me angry, as it's not her choice.  She has told me that if we play Santa, she won't play along and will tell LK the truth.

Short of refusing to spend Christmas with her, I don't know what to do.  She's very adament and upset over this issue.  I feel like it's my parenting decision to make and am equally upset over it.  I can't not spend Christmas with them as I have a multitude of siblings and Christmas is one of the few times a year that we all get together.  I love my siblings.  Heck, I even love my mom as much as she makes me crazy.

So short of refusing to spend Christmas with them, I would really like some suggestions on how to deal with this with her.

We're having a similar issue about trick or treating (ie, I was never allowed to go, but we made the decision to take LK out), but that's an easier topic to avoid than Santa, since I don't have to see mom at Halloween.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2012, 10:09:33 AM »
Oooh.  That is tough.  How close do you live to your parents? Is there any chance you could possibly decline to go to their place and instead invite your siblings and their families to come to your place after they've visited with your parents?  Frankly I would not want to reward your mother's attitude that she will not play along and will go against your wishes when it is your decision to raise li'l Knit as you choose. 

My older two don't believe anymore but I have told them they are to pretend they do for their baby brother's sake, which seems to really bug the middle pirate for some reason.  He came home one day saying "I'll pretend to believe in Santa for PirateBabe if you let me say water comes out of the faucet by magic!"

I looked at him and said "Okay then, it's magic." I don't think he was expecting that answer! LOL! My brother is 8 years my junior and I pretended for him and it actually made the magic last for me even longer as a result. 
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2012, 10:16:55 AM »
'Mom, Little Knit is our responsibility to raise.  We have chosen to have Santa be a part of our Christmas celebrations.  You do not need to play along but you do have to respect our decision.  This Christmas, if you tell Little Knit there is no Santa, we will seriously have to consider whether or not we will spend any future Christmases with you, until Little Knit no longer believes.  Please do not put us in that position.'

Only if you are willing to follow through, of course.  You'd have the whole year to plan an alternate celebration with your siblings without your mother.
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Ontario

Knitterly

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2012, 10:19:02 AM »
Oooh.  That is tough.  How close do you live to your parents? Is there any chance you could possibly decline to go to their place and instead invite your siblings and their families to come to your place after they've visited with your parents? Frankly I would not want to reward your mother's attitude that she will not play along and will go against your wishes when it is your decision to raise li'l Knit as you choose. 

My older two don't believe anymore but I have told them they are to pretend they do for their baby brother's sake, which seems to really bug the middle pirate for some reason.  He came home one day saying "I'll pretend to believe in Santa for PirateBabe if you let me say water comes out of the faucet by magic!"

I looked at him and said "Okay then, it's magic." I don't think he was expecting that answer! LOL! My brother is 8 years my junior and I pretended for him and it actually made the magic last for me even longer as a result.

No chance.  None at all.  It would cause a huge amount of family drama and if the reason were to come out, my siblings would not support me.  As I said, those with children have similarly made the choice not to introduce Santa.

We live fairly close to both sides.  There was already a crazy amount of drama when we said that we had to split Boxing Day with both sides, since both sides were doing christmas celebrations on the same day.  It should never have been drama, since we're the ones driving and each side will get at least 3 hours, but it was.   ::)


SiotehCat

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2012, 10:36:25 AM »
I can completely see your mothers side here. It doesn't seem fair to ask someone to participate in a lie.

I think the only thing you can do is refuse to spend Christmas with them.

dawbs

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2012, 10:46:15 AM »
I can completely see your mothers side here. It doesn't seem fair to ask someone to participate in a lie.

I think the only thing you can do is refuse to spend Christmas with them.
Although grandma can completely avoid the question pretty easily.
"grandma, do you get presents from santa?" -no
"Do you believe in santa"-oh, I don't discuss that
"What do you think about santa?" That's a question for your mother.

The child in question is, I believe, to young to object super strongly or push the issue beyond that--it'd be harder to avoid the issue with a 5 year old.

SamiHami

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2012, 10:47:14 AM »
I can completely see your mothers side here. It doesn't seem fair to ask someone to participate in a lie.

I think the only thing you can do is refuse to spend Christmas with them.

She is not asking her mother to "participate in a lie." All her mother needs to to is keep her mouth shut regarding Santa. It is the parents decision, not her mothers. Her mother has no right to interfere.

OP, I think you might want to prepare LK a bit and explain to her that sometimes when people get older, like her grandmother, they stop believing in Santa, but she should not let that affect her. "Nevermind what Grandma said; Santa will bring you presents for Christmas as long as you are a good girl!" You could even make LK feel grown up by making it a special secret between you and her.

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Dindrane

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2012, 10:48:28 AM »
I think there's a difference between participating in a lie and remaining neutral in the face of one.

Basically, your mother doesn't have to agree with you, or think you are right. She certainly doesn't have to lie to Little Knit. But I think it is entirely fair to ask her to not bring the subject of Santa up at all. There is no need to volunteer the truth to a small child.

If Little Knit asks her grandmother directly if Santa Claus is real, she doesn't have to say yes. She can, in fact, say no outright. But otherwise, she's not the parent, and she doesn't get to ruin your parenting decision just because she doesn't like it.

I think that's kind of the risk you run, though, Knitterly. I think it's reasonable to ask your mother to be silent on the subject of Santa Claus as long as nobody else is bringing it up. But I don't think it's reasonable to ask her to give a less-than-honest (to her) answer if Little Knit ever does ask.

Until that point, though, I think you should tell your mother that this is a decision you and your husband are comfortable with, and to please simply keep silent about it around Little Knit. Since you aren't willing to forgo the family celebration, you can't really deliver any real consequences if your mother doesn't do as you ask, so I think you'll have to think about how you will deal with that, too.


ClaireC79

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2012, 10:51:32 AM »
I also have heard that some people do ALL presents must come from Santa - if you are expecting your mother to give presents which come from 'santa' then I think that would be too much (If however you do gifts come from whoever gives them and then Santa gives extra/one big present/stockings then grandma can just not tell her)

onyonryngs

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2012, 10:52:18 AM »
I can completely see your mothers side here. It doesn't seem fair to ask someone to participate in a lie.

I think the only thing you can do is refuse to spend Christmas with them.

She is not asking her mother to "participate in a lie." All her mother needs to to is keep her mouth shut regarding Santa. It is the parents decision, not her mothers. Her mother has no right to interfere.

OP, I think you might want to prepare LK a bit and explain to her that sometimes when people get older, like her grandmother, they stop believing in Santa, but she should not let that affect her. "Nevermind what Grandma said; Santa will bring you presents for Christmas as long as you are a good girl!" You could even make LK feel grown up by making it a special secret between you and her.

I completely agree.  She's not asking mom to cover up a crime, it's Santa.  Mom doesn't have to participate, but she should be respectful of her own daughter's parenting decisions. 

GratefulMaria

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2012, 11:04:57 AM »
We're a non-Santa household here, too.  Have your parents specified their reasons?  Because if there's an aspect they find offensive, that might not even be something you're introducing.  For example, if they object to the omniscient and conditional being thing, and all you're doing is "nice character who brings presents and spreads love and joy," that might already be a middle ground.

Sharnita

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2012, 11:11:43 AM »
For me this would be an issue to cut her out of Xhristmas over, and the rezt of the siblings too if needed. Yes you love them but to me the most important thing would be to establish who makes the parenting decisions for the family. This isn't just about  Santa, it is about who gets the final say regarding how your children are raised. If you give her the power to determine this what other power does she assume?

Perhaps if you draw that line she will decide that Santa is not worth sacrificing time with family after all. Or maybe dictating how you run your family is the ultimate thrill for her.

bah12

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2012, 11:18:07 AM »
This is less you asking your mother to participate in a lie and more your mother dictating how you'll raise your child.  And that's not right. 

You can try to reason with her.  This is a subject she can easily avoid. Instead of "What did Santa bring you for Chrismas?"  She can ask "What did you get for Christmas?"  And if your DD asks her any questions about Santa, she can tell her to ask you.

But, if she can't or won't be reasoned with you have two choices:  1. Let her dictate how you raise your child or 2. Don't spend Christmas with her.  Is she really so adamant and stubborn that she would rather not see her grandchild than not talk about whether or not Santa is real?

lowspark

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2012, 11:29:05 AM »
Just curious, does she object to the tooth fairy as well? To me, it's the same concept. So on the off chance she's on board with the tooth fairy story maybe you can use that logic to convince her to keep mum about Santa.

strawbabies

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2012, 11:29:58 AM »
I realize you're in a tough spot.  But with your family's attitude I don't see any way of doing Santa with your child and spending Christmas with your family without them spoiling it for her.