Author Topic: Santa etiquette  (Read 6645 times)

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suzieQ

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #45 on: December 11, 2012, 01:06:03 PM »
I have no advice, but ugh! We raised our kids without Santa, no Halloween (we bought candy for them), no Easter Bunny (they got baskets from us), not even the tooth fairy, IIRC.

BUT, if my DD who is now married and plans to have a child in the next few years, wants to do ALL of those things with her child That. Is. Her. Choice.

I will be happy to play along with it and follow her lead on it. Parents who try to dictate how their grandchildren are raised are a mystery to me. Why would you do that??

I hope things resolve well for you, Knitterly.

Sharnita

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #46 on: December 11, 2012, 01:08:22 PM »
OP, I think the thing is that there will be some point where you will have to draw a line with your mom and tell or no, she can not dictatw your oarenting. At that point you might regret how much you sacrificed only to have a delayed confrontation anyway. If it is likely to happen why delay it and sacrifice what is important to you?

Knitterly

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #47 on: December 11, 2012, 01:09:55 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.)

I don't think it's entirely about parenting.  It's about the etiquette of how to discuss this with my own parents in a polite way, redirecting conversation without causing an argument, and generally being polite about a different way of doing things without allowing things to devolve into a fight.

Whether or not to allow a child to believe in Santa is a parenting.  Dealing with other adults on the topic is not a parenting decision, it is an etiquette issue.  At least, from my perspective.

It's not the right or wrongness of Santa.  It's dealing with a rude person (who happens to be my mother, so is unavoidable) who would spoil something.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #48 on: December 11, 2012, 01:13:21 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.

Watching Polar Express at the moment, I have to agree with this.  I always love how the boy says the bell still rang for him as an adult because he realized that Santa is truly the spirit of Christmas.  :)

But I think it's not so much the issue of Santa's existance but just KnitMom's tendency to be a buttinski and tell her daughter how to raise her grandchild.  If someone told me we were wrong for teaching our children to believe in Santa, well I might just say "That's our choice" and avoid having much to do with them from that point on if they can't respect that.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Slartibartfast

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #49 on: December 11, 2012, 01:13:53 PM »
We're doing the "no Santa" thing here, and we're getting the opposite problem - MIL and FIL find a way to take Babybartfast to "Santa's Village" each year, have her sit on Santa's lap and tell him what she wants for Christmas, etc.  (We're doing this because I object to the lying aspect of it more than a religious thing.)

So I do see where your mom is coming from, and I can understand not wanting to have to pretend Santa is real in her own home.  That said: are you going to actually be at their house Christmas morning?  Could you have Santa come early (before you leave to go to see your parents) and tell your DD he agreed to come a few days before Christmas because he doesn't come to you parents' house?  If you get the "Santa" part of Christmas out of the way earlier, then you can have Christmas morning be about the family this year and just not mention Santa at all.

That said, I think your mom is totally out of line if she expects to purposely bring up the topic of Santa with the intent of "setting your DD straight."  And I think you'd be justified in threatening to not come for Christmas if that's her plan.  Asking her to refuse to answer questions about Santa - and being willing to not do any Santa-related activities while a guest in her home - would be a reasonable compromise.

JenJay

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #50 on: December 11, 2012, 01:16:03 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.)

I don't think it's entirely about parenting.  It's about the etiquette of how to discuss this with my own parents in a polite way, redirecting conversation without causing an argument, and generally being polite about a different way of doing things without allowing things to devolve into a fight.

Whether or not to allow a child to believe in Santa is a parenting.  Dealing with other adults on the topic is not a parenting decision, it is an etiquette issue.  At least, from my perspective.

It's not the right or wrongness of Santa.  It's dealing with a rude person (who happens to be my mother, so is unavoidable) who would spoil something.

Have you said "Mom, we are doing Santa. I'm not asking you to participate, I'm asking you to stay out of it. If DD says 'Look what Santa gave me!' I'd appreciate it if you'd say 'Oh boy, how lovely!' and not 'No he didn't, your Mommy bought that.' Is that a compromise we can make?"

Because if you tried that and she said "No. I will tell her the truth as soon as I get a chance." then I don't think there is anything you can do other than prepare yourself and show up knowing your mother is going to ruin Santa, period.  :(

Sharnita

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #51 on: December 11, 2012, 01:17:05 PM »
I think the problem is the interest in etiquette is obly on one side. You want to avoid an argument but she sounds like she is looking for one. She is counting on your desire to keep the peace to give her the upper hand.

Moray

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #52 on: December 11, 2012, 01:24:52 PM »
Exactly, Sharnita. Knitterly can be polite and "etiquettely correct" all she wants, but if her mom isn't willing to come to the table, it becomes a relationship issue.
Utah

GratefulMaria

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #53 on: December 11, 2012, 01:29:28 PM »
PODding Sharnita and Moray -- my input about common ground was based on the hope that all parties wanted to find one.

There are enough wise suggestions for responses the OP can try, should she decide to have the holiday with her extended family.  I think etiquette tools help frame rel@tionship decisions -- and help keep those of us concerned with courtesy sane!

Amara

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #54 on: December 11, 2012, 01:32:35 PM »
I'm not sure, OP, if you can re-direct someone who is intent on spoiling a child's belief in Santa politely. You can certainly bring out the bean dip, but I honestly don't think there is any way.

ZaftigWife

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #55 on: December 11, 2012, 01:33:32 PM »
Knitterly, maybe my own experience with this will help a little, even though it's not exactly the same situation.

My parents are very religious also.  My mother did do Santa with us, but we knew from an early age that Santa wasn't a person - Santa was the spirit of giving.  As Mom always said, "Anyone can be Santa."  Since it wasn't a matter of believing in an actual person, we continued to get gifts from "Santa" every Christmas until our late teens.  We were happy to play along, and we never felt lied to.  In fact, when I was around 9 or so, I insisted that my parents get stockings so my sister and I could be Santa too - we would buy small gifts with our allowance and fill Mom and Dad's stockings before we were sent to bed, and they always promised not to peek in them before morning.  It was a great lesson in giving for everybody.

I know your daughter is too young to get the distinction now, but if you tell her something like this when she's old enough to understand, then it won't matter if your mother tells her Santa isn't real.  She'll know better.

Bryton

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #56 on: December 11, 2012, 01:39:27 PM »
I, too, was raised in a very conservative, Evangelical Christian home.  I was not allowed to believe in Santa and honestly, I regret that.  I wish I would have been allowed the anticipation and wonder of waiting for the Jolly Red Guy on Christmas Eve.  My children were raised with Santa much to the dismay of my family.  If you are interested, I have a wonderful article on reconciling Santa with Christian beliefs.  It may help you formulate the polite responses to your mom.   Just PM me. 

CaptainObvious

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #57 on: December 11, 2012, 01:41:15 PM »
Exactly, Sharnita. Knitterly can be polite and "etiquettely correct" all she wants, but if her mom isn't willing to come to the table, it becomes a relationship issue.

I have to agree. I don't think personal relationships follow "etiquette rules".

sparksals

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #58 on: December 11, 2012, 01:50:23 PM »
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.   ::)

More drama, hurt feelings or resentment over the fact your mom continues not to respect your boundaries or parenting decisions?   If you won't not go to family Christmas, then you risk your desire for LK to believe in Santa Claus.  You must decide what is more important to you - the joy in your little girl about Santa or your mom's refusal to respect your parenting. 

sparksals

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #59 on: December 11, 2012, 01:51:34 PM »
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.

It is not fair to rob a little girl of the spirit of Santa for the sake of the mother's own selfishness.  She is putting her needs and beliefs over those of her granddaughter.