Author Topic: Santa etiquette  (Read 7675 times)

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CaptainObvious

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #30 on: December 11, 2012, 12:25:01 PM »
It sounds like her mom wpuld relish the chance to day "Those oresents you got yesterday weren't really from Santa, there is no Santa"

If her Mom is this malicious, then there is no way I would be visiting for Christmas. I wouldn't care what kind of drama it created.

bah12

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #31 on: December 11, 2012, 12:26:24 PM »
I know you said "short of not spending Christmas with them" but given all the other stories about your mother and complete interference with the raising of your child, maybe you should start to think about what your life would be like with a little less of your mom in it.

There are plenty of "lies" that parents tell their kids partly because children can only conceive of the world in a limited fashion*.  Unless a parent is telling their kid that cars never hurt people and cleaning supplies are a refreshing alternative to milk, I see no reason for anyone else to get involved ever.

*My 4 year old daughter is firmly convinced that no-one she knows will ever die because she will "hug them and then they will be better"

Santa is a red herring. This is about your right to raise your daughter as you see fit.

I don't think its about OP's right to raise her daughter at all. She can still do the Santa thing. She can tell her daughter whatever she wants. She can't expect the rest of the world to play along.

A lot of people have beliefs, practices, traditions, etc. that I don't share. I respect them enough to keep my mouth shut and, well, respect them. I do not make a point of telling their children how wrong the parents are. You can decline participating without actively ruining the event for everyone else.

I agree wholeheartedly with this.  This is absolutely an issue that comes down to parenting rights in deciding how a child is raised.  You can substitute Santa with anything (religion, stance on punishment, chores, allowances) whatever.  Grandma doesn't get to tell the kids that the parents are wrong just because she doesn't agree with the decisions they make.

The OP stated that her mother flat-out said that she would tell her child the truth about Santa.  That is way overstepping.  She can still hold fast to her particular belief system, not "lie" about Santa, and still respect the OP's right to raise her child as she sees fit.

This definitely would be a hill for me.  As disappointing as it may be not to spend Christmas with a family I love, I would do it to stand up for my right to make my parenting decisions without interference and overt opposition.

Knitterly

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #32 on: December 11, 2012, 12:28:54 PM »
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.

I had this in my original version of what I'd written, but decided not to include it as I did not want the topic sidetracked into an area that might end up getting the thread locked.  I do see that it is relevant, though.
I was raised in a very conservative christian home.  My mother's feelings (hers moreso than my father's, but I guess his, too) on Santa are extremely strong for religious reasons.  She feels that Santa diminishes what she believes is the "true meaning of Christmas".  Let's not go there, as I disagree and religion can be very emotionally charged.  But understand that is the reason, whether it's right or wrong.

I know you said "short of not spending Christmas with them" but given all the other stories about your mother and complete interference with the raising of your child, maybe you should start to think about what your life would be like with a little less of your mom in it.
(snip)
I'm not there yet.  I have my reasons for keeping my family in my life.  I am close to certain siblings and do not want to put them in the difficult place of picking sides.  Choosing to have a little less mom in my life would result in family drama that I don't want other family members to have to go through.

I know you said "short of not spending Christmas with them" but given all the other stories about your mother and complete interference with the raising of your child, maybe you should start to think about what your life would be like with a little less of your mom in it.

There are plenty of "lies" that parents tell their kids partly because children can only conceive of the world in a limited fashion*.  Unless a parent is telling their kid that cars never hurt people and cleaning supplies are a refreshing alternative to milk, I see no reason for anyone else to get involved ever.

*My 4 year old daughter is firmly convinced that no-one she knows will ever die because she will "hug them and then they will be better"

Santa is a red herring. This is about your right to raise your daughter as you see fit.

I don't think its about OP's right to raise her daughter at all. She can still do the Santa thing. She can tell her daughter whatever she wants. She can't expect the rest of the world to play along.
I don't.
I also don't expect someone to actively walk up to a child and tell them "Santa is not real!  It's bad to believe in him.  He is evil."
It's not about wanting her to play along.  She doesn't have to do that.  She just doesn't have to ruin it.

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.
There is no tooth fairy, either.  No easter bunny (definitely no easter bunny).  No magic.  She has very strong beliefs.  We had quite the disagreement over Halloween, too.

Maybe it should be a hill... but I don't want to lose my siblings in the crossfire.

Has anyone ever dealt with this before, themselves?  Is there a polite way of dealing with it, either preventatively or afterwards?

Tabby Uprising

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #33 on: December 11, 2012, 12:33:01 PM »
Quote

I took the OP's explanation to mean that her Mother will not play along in her own home.  Which is her Mothers right as the host.  Her Mother told her upfront that she will not have it in her home.  To me, this is a guest/host situation.  The host told the guest the parameters, it is now up to the guest to accept or decline based on that knowledge.

In this case, I think the guest should decline.  It's not just Mother either, it sounds like the whole family has entire set of different beliefs that directly contradict with the OP's.  Asking all of them to change to suit the OP probably won't go over well.

The thing is, Knitterly has indicated that her family will throw a fit if she does decline the invitation.  It's fine to have a "no Santa" rule in your own home and expect any guests to be respectful of that, but you can't throw a fit when guests do decline for that reason.  You're setting up an ugly situation.  If Knitterly's mom is not fond of Santa and doesn't want that belief in her home then she needs to gracefully accept her daughter's beliefs and subsequent decline of the invitation.

Additionally, Knitterly hasn't indicated that she expects her non-Santa family to all don Santa suits and buy Little Knit gifts from "Santa". She's not mentioned anything that gives the impression she is asking her entire family to change their beliefs/habits.  She's just asking they don't burst Little Knit's Santa bubble. 


Knitterly

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #34 on: December 11, 2012, 12:33:31 PM »
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)

I forgot to include this in my reply.
Not all presents come from Santa.  We plan on doing it in such a way that one present comes from Santa, and not even the best present.  I want the best present to come from a real person - Mr K and I if at all possible. 
Mr K and I exchange one present each.  LK will get one gift from us and one smaller gift from Santa.  There will probably also be a stocking from Santa.  Santa won't be leaving presents at other people's houses for her.

SiotehCat

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #35 on: December 11, 2012, 12:37:04 PM »
I think that if the child is not going to be discussing Santa, you can definitely ask that Mom not discuss Santa either. I think once Santa is brought up, its open to discussion and all that.

bah12

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #36 on: December 11, 2012, 12:37:26 PM »
Has anyone ever dealt with this before, themselves?  Is there a polite way of dealing with it, either preventatively or afterwards?

It's not quite as bad, but I have an aunt and uncle that for the same very strong religous beliefs refused to let my cousins believe in Santa.  These cousins are much younger than the rest of us, so although aunt and uncle were quite outspoken about the "evillness in lying to your kids" around the holidays, it didn't ruin anything for the rest of us.

Now that my siblings and I have children, they continue to be pretty outspoken about Santa.  They haven't come right out and threatened to ruin it for the kids, but I wouldn't expect them to keep quite about it either.  We don't spend holidays with them and whenever the subject comes up in front of the kids (Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, whatever) my sister and I usually interrupt quickly and say this is not something we're willing to discuss and leave the room with kids in tow.

My situation is much easier to avoid though as I generally have little desire to be around them and would have no problem cutting them out completely if they outwardly tried to tell my child that Santa (or anything else I allow her to believe in) isn't real.

Rohanna

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #37 on: December 11, 2012, 12:39:51 PM »
There is a HUGE difference between not participating in Santa, and deliberately spoiling it. I am not religious, and I will not pretend to believe in a God for anyone's sake- but I will not walk up to people's small children and deliberately *tell* them that I think there God isn't real, jus because I do not believe in it myself. If, when they are older, they want to discuss it with me- fine. When they are little, I will redirect them to their parents with questions, and I will certainly not bring the subject up with them for no reason.

If I did not do Santa, I would simply respond with child-friendly bean dip- just as I do with politics and religion when I don't feel it's my place to bring it up.

If LK was being raised in a religion, and had non-religious Grandparents, would we think it was right of them to take a toddler aside and tell her, against her parents wishes, that her religion was wrong?
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. ~ Jack Layton.

CaptainObvious

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #38 on: December 11, 2012, 12:41:03 PM »
I think that if the child is not going to be discussing Santa, you can definitely ask that Mom not discuss Santa either. I think once Santa is brought up, its open to discussion and all that.

The Op's daughter is a toddler, so if the toddler mentions Santa, you think it is okay for the Mother to "discuss" it? I think the issue coming up is the whole problem, she wants her Mom to just keep quiet.

Moray

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #39 on: December 11, 2012, 12:42:59 PM »
I don't know that etiquette really has much to do with this. This is about your parenting choices and, more directly, your relationship with your mom.

You can definitely ask her not to "spoil" things, but there isn't any way to stop her from being a killjoy if she's set on it. (Aside from not being around her, of course.)
Utah

bah12

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #40 on: December 11, 2012, 12:43:20 PM »
I think that if the child is not going to be discussing Santa, you can definitely ask that Mom not discuss Santa either. I think once Santa is brought up, its open to discussion and all that.

I think it's pretty unreasonable to expect a toddler not to bring up Santa on Christmas.  Nor is it fair to say that if Little Knit says "I got a doll from Santa" that the OP's Mom now has a green light to tell her how wrong the OP is and ruin this belief for her. 

Knitterly is not asking her mother to buy gifts from Santa, have Santa gifts in her house, or even actively participate in telling her daughter about Santa.  She's asking her not to disrespect a parenting choice that she made by going behind her back and telling her child something completely different.  That's not a lot to ask, nor is it an unreasonable thing to ask. 


Piratelvr1121

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #41 on: December 11, 2012, 12:45:12 PM »
I can understand your reluctance due to feeling like it'll cut off other family who see your parent's side more than yours.   I was lucky when I cut off my parents that my brother understood where I was coming from and why I made the decision to, so he and I still have contact even though he still lives with them and gets along well enough with them that he can stand doing so. (he's 26 and attending college but will move out once he's done)

Maybe one of your siblings will see where you're coming from, perhaps not as far as Santa goes, but wanting to establish your position as the one to make decisions about raising your child.  I can't imagine your mom's only doing this to you.  If not about Santa, anything else. So even if the siblings don't agree with you on that issue they might commiserate on "Isn't Mom intrusive?"
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WillyNilly

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #42 on: December 11, 2012, 12:51:00 PM »
Oh but Virginia, Santa does exist... oh sorry I meant oh Knitterly  :D

I would straight up call my mom a liar to her face in her own home if she told my child Santa doesn't exist. Santa is an act of faith, how dare anyone say the innocent curious hopeful faith of a child isn't real? Santa really lives in the hearts & minds of millions of people, and that faith is real, ergo Santa is real. Santa is part of the Christmas spirit, he is the bridge between the secular and the religious, he is the faith in *happiness* that lives in children's hearts, he is the difference between a jolly holiday and a serious one.

Religion serves many purposes, but it does not serve every need. Santa fills in some of the gaps. Santa, IMO, is unquestionably real. And ifyou believe too, then your daughter will believe, no matter what your mom says. Because its more fun to believe.


Tabby Uprising

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #43 on: December 11, 2012, 12:56:46 PM »
I think that if the child is not going to be discussing Santa, you can definitely ask that Mom not discuss Santa either. I think once Santa is brought up, its open to discussion and all that.

I think it's pretty unreasonable to expect a toddler not to bring up Santa on Christmas.  Nor is it fair to say that if Little Knit says "I got a doll from Santa" that the OP's Mom now has a green light to tell her how wrong the OP is and ruin this belief for her. 

Knitterly is not asking her mother to buy gifts from Santa, have Santa gifts in her house, or even actively participate in telling her daughter about Santa.  She's asking her not to disrespect a parenting choice that she made by going behind her back and telling her child something completely different.  That's not a lot to ask, nor is it an unreasonable thing to ask.

That's what I was thinking.  A toddler babbling "dolly from Santa" doesn't need to be the catalyst for a discourse on religious belief systems. If you are the grandmother, how hard is it to just say, "Pretty dolly, Little Knit. Shall we play tea party?"

Little Knit gets to have her belief and grandma gets to have hers. 

Rohanna

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #44 on: December 11, 2012, 12:58:02 PM »
And there are plenty of ways to answer a child without agreeing that it was Santa:

Santa brought me a lovely doll!
"yes dear, that's a lovely doll"

I got to go see Santa at the Mall!
Did you get your picture taken/get a candy cane/have a good time?

Santa's going to bring me presents if I'm a good girl!
Yes, you should always try to be a good girl.

If a Grandparent can't do that much, then they aren't really trying. Young kids rarely notice a non-answer. If the child asks if Santa has visited them, or if they've seen Santa- or anything more direct- well- it's easy enough to say "No, I don't have Santa Stuff here- but I DO have (cookies/a pretty tree/a new puzzle for us) - most little kids are pretty self focussed and won't dwell on it too much. My son has never asked his Grandparents about Santa- Santa is for kids in his world.
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. ~ Jack Layton.