Author Topic: Santa etiquette  (Read 6671 times)

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sparksals

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #60 on: December 11, 2012, 01:53:06 PM »
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.

Parking my POD right here. 

cheyne

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #61 on: December 11, 2012, 02:20:42 PM »
What does your DH think of all this?  Surely he is sick and tired of your mother meddling in your parenting decisions.

Your desire to not "rock the boat" has given your mother all the power.  Time to take her power away.  Do you really believe that your sibs would give you the "cut direct" over you not showing up for Xmas? Do they have issues with your mother's overbearing opinions/actions?

Sophia

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #62 on: December 11, 2012, 02:30:05 PM »
Yes, Grandmother has all the power here.  If she tells LittleKnit that Santa is a lie, then what?  Absolutely nothing will happen. 

It seems very mean-spirited to tell a child "Santa is a lie."  Particularly since it is so easy to transition the Santa idea into something entirely Christian based. 

lowspark

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #63 on: December 11, 2012, 02:39:17 PM »
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.

To me, this isn't really an etiquette issue. It's an issue of religious differences where your mother does not respect your choices in how to interpret your religion and how to teach it to your child.

I mean, you can be polite all day, and we can give you advice on how to politely ask her to refrain from going against your parenting wishes, but in the end, the real question is, Will she refrain? In other words, if you say it in just the right way, will she back off? If not then I don't see the point of looking for polite wording. At that point it becomes a decision on your part to either somehow deal with her actions (which you cannot change) or stay away from her. You have to weigh the consequences of each of those options.

Moray

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #64 on: December 11, 2012, 02:46:46 PM »
Knitterly, if I may make an observation?

This seems to be a relationship pattern. You have posted many, many threads asking for advice on how to make your mom respect you, your wishes, and your parenting. You seem to constantly feel anxiety over how she'll react to [x thing] and seem to be on some neverending quest for the right thing to say that will somehow make her see things your way (or even win her approval.)

At a certain point, you have to accept that you can only control yourself, and no amount of "etiquette" or beating your head against the wall is going to flip a switch in your mom's behavior.
Utah

Eden

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #65 on: December 11, 2012, 02:54:47 PM »
Knitterly, I think if you would like to try to have the conversation, the best approach is one of logic and respect and, if that fails, direct communication free of hyperbole.

"Mom, I appreciate the lessons you taught us about the reason we celebrate. We plan to make sure that's the primary focus for DD when we celebrate as well. We also would like to enjoy the fun, fanciful aspects of the season. This is the choice we have made and we will not change our minds. I understand that is not what you would choose. I would never ask you to change your beliefs or opinions on this matter. And I would never ask you to lie. What I will ask is that you avoid the topic altogether and change the subject if DD brings it up so that you don't have to participate in something you don't believe in. Will you agree to that?"

I really hope she will agree and the next part won't be necessary. If she argues or says she will not agree to avoid the topic, you and your DH need to decide what you are willing to do and communicate that to her. I believe that if you have no consequences to her refusal you are only going to have this same situation over and over as you raise your daughter.

I do understand not wanting to create the family drama. I'm sorry you're in this position. I guess you just have to decide if the drama with your extended family is worth what you want to create for your immediate family. But do know that it is unlikely this will be the only time you have to make the choice, particularly if you don't start putting your foot down soon.

Docslady21

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #66 on: December 11, 2012, 02:58:09 PM »
Prepare the kid before you go: "Now, just so you know sweetie, Grandma does not believe in Santa. She thinks parents give the presents. Isn't that silly? So don't worry about what she says--we believe in him and that's all that counts!! If she bugs you about it, just go find something else to do." All said in a nice voice with a smile.

For the record, when I realized there was no Santa, I did not feel lied to or betrayed. And I had younger siblings, so I was super excited to continue propagating the myth. Best year ever was when I got to be Santa when I was around 11 or 12. It was so exciting to help my exhausted parents and have all the glee at their wonder on Christmas Day. Good memories.  ;D

Lynn2000

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #67 on: December 11, 2012, 03:06:01 PM »
Interesting thread, there seems to be a lot going on in this situation. I just wanted to suggest that if Mom deliberately tries to ruin LK's belief in Santa--such as by saying, "There is no Santa, your mom bought you that," which I think is very mean-spirited by the way--it won't necessarily work. I would guess that LK would be perhaps confused, maybe upset if her grandma speaks to her in a scolding tone, but I don't think her world of make-believe would shatter into a million pieces right then. If she even remembered it for very long, she might ask the OP about it later, and the OP can assure her that different people believe different things, and in their house they have Santa, and other appropriate things.

Note that I am not diminishing the problem; I also see it as major boundary-crossing by the mom, no matter if her intentions are good in her mind. And even if "all" that happens is that the child is upset to be scolded by her grandma, I think that's still bad, because it's unnecessary and will make the visit unpleasant. But, my personal take is that it's unlikely to really be something that the child will remember for long--I think it's much more an issue for the adults.

FTR, I come from a family that was Santa AND religious; my dad is a minister. I had the Easter bunny, tooth fairy, etc.. We weren't "militant Santa," though (not saying the OP is, just that I've known some families like that). To us Santa was just "playing pretend," no more a lie than running around pretending to be superheroes with towels for capes, or letting a little kid think a card trick is really "magic."
~Lynn2000

Docslady21

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #68 on: December 11, 2012, 03:10:02 PM »
You're not changing your mother. You're not going to not go. All you can do is behave pre-emptively in your own home before going there. People say Santa is not real to my kids all the time. I tell them, so what? More presents for you.

StuffedGrapeLeaves

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #69 on: December 11, 2012, 03:10:23 PM »
Knitterly, if I may make an observation?

This seems to be a relationship pattern. You have posted many, many threads asking for advice on how to make your mom respect you, your wishes, and your parenting. You seem to constantly feel anxiety over how she'll react to [x thing] and seem to be on some neverending quest for the right thing to say that will somehow make her see things your way (or even win her approval.)

At a certain point, you have to accept that you can only control yourself, and no amount of "etiquette" or beating your head against the wall is going to flip a switch in your mom's behavior.

I agree with Moray.   You being etiquettely correct isn't going to change your mom, so you have to decide what you are willing to accept. 

bah12

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #70 on: December 11, 2012, 03:20:02 PM »
Interesting thread, there seems to be a lot going on in this situation. I just wanted to suggest that if Mom deliberately tries to ruin LK's belief in Santa--such as by saying, "There is no Santa, your mom bought you that," which I think is very mean-spirited by the way--it won't necessarily work. I would guess that LK would be perhaps confused, maybe upset if her grandma speaks to her in a scolding tone, but I don't think her world of make-believe would shatter into a million pieces right then. If she even remembered it for very long, she might ask the OP about it later, and the OP can assure her that different people believe different things, and in their house they have Santa, and other appropriate things.

Note that I am not diminishing the problem; I also see it as major boundary-crossing by the mom, no matter if her intentions are good in her mind. And even if "all" that happens is that the child is upset to be scolded by her grandma, I think that's still bad, because it's unnecessary and will make the visit unpleasant. But, my personal take is that it's unlikely to really be something that the child will remember for long--I think it's much more an issue for the adults.

FTR, I come from a family that was Santa AND religious; my dad is a minister. I had the Easter bunny, tooth fairy, etc.. We weren't "militant Santa," though (not saying the OP is, just that I've known some families like that). To us Santa was just "playing pretend," no more a lie than running around pretending to be superheroes with towels for capes, or letting a little kid think a card trick is really "magic."

I think that's possible, but I know I for one would not want to take those chances with my child.
 
I am also Christian and believed in Santa as a kid and am continuing that tradition with my daughter.  I have lovely memories of the excitement of waking up Christmas morning and seeing that Santa had indeed come.  The same with the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.  I was also a very practical child and had a lot of suspicions that Santa, et al were not physical manifestations (IE. Real people I could touch), but I still believed because it was fun.  When my parents did tell me "the truth" (mostly as a result of my own questioning), they were very sensitive.  They explained to be that St. Nicholas was indeed a real person and taught me a little about him and that Santa Claus is the "spirit of St. Nick" that lives in all of us.   I wouldn't necessarily say that Santa was pretend...he was very much real for me.  But, I certainly didn't feel "lied" to. 

I have a 3 year old now and even though we've given her things from Santa, this is the first year that she's really starting to understand.  So, I told her the story of St. Nick and told her that today, St. Nick is Santa Claus and that he will leave presents for her under the tree on Christmas Eve when she's sleeping.  She loves that idea! (BTW, she gets more from me and DH, and gets gifts from others...but there are a few presents from Santa). I just took her to see Santa and she was just as excited to meet him as she was when we took her to see Mickey Mouse (who she also thinks is real, without us having to tell her so).

I do think this is more a parenting issue than a "Santa" one and I do think that the OP needs to be adamant that she makes the choices when it comes to her daughter, not her mother.  And I think that the only way she is likely going to get her mom to respect her and butt out would be to distance herself for some time.  Until she actually takes action to show her mom that what she's doing is unacceptable, her mother will have no reason/motivation to change.

EMuir

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Re: Santa etiquette
« Reply #71 on: December 11, 2012, 03:23:53 PM »
I would be very tempted to tell my child that when grandma was little she was naughty and so Santa didn't bring her any gifts, so she thinks Santa doesn't exist, and isn't that sad?