Author Topic: S/O telling children about Santa  (Read 2541 times)

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Bryton

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Re: S/O telling children about Santa
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2010, 12:58:25 AM »
To say "if you stop believing, Santa will stop coming" sounds like borderline-threatening to me. 

It's all in the tone and the context of the conversation.  By the time they were old enough to ask, it was a very a truthful answer.  I'm probably splitting hairs but, there's a difference between "if" and "when". 

Chinchillazilla

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Re: S/O telling children about Santa
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2010, 01:45:36 AM »
I figured it out one year (I was ten - I'd suspected but that year I knew) and asked my mom about it. I phrased it badly - something like "Uh, so I know we're kind of poor this year because of your surgery, and I noticed Santa didn't bring me very much, so..."

My mom got VERY UPSET and INSISTED Santa was real. Because she'd tried really hard to make sure I got "enough" that year, and it hurt her that I noticed.

So I had to pretend I believed in Santa until I was twelve, when a friend had us take care of a parakeet "Santa" was bringing his daughter. I was like, FINALLY I can thank my parents for my presents instead of Santa.
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ClaireC79

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Re: S/O telling children about Santa
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2010, 04:14:43 AM »
We don't do Santa with our kids mainly because of dh - who does feel that his mother lied to him about the whole thing, and I think it was because when he figured it out she told him he was wrong Santa does exist etc.  He said had she said 'yes you are right, but don't tell your younger brother and sister' that would have been fine.

Our kids are aware of Saint Nicholas and that people 'do' Santa in memory of him, who was a real person and they get St Nicholas presents - just they know they are from us

MrsO

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Re: S/O telling children about Santa
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2010, 04:32:43 AM »
I remember hearing things in school about there being no Santa. I wasn't traumatised or anything :P , I think I played along for a while until it just went unsaid that my mum knew I knew there was no santa.
We do Santa with our kids. Our eldest is Six, and before Christmas last year, she was suspiciously quizzing me about it. I'll be honest- I sort of encouraged her that he was real. She said things like 'When we went to Spain on an aeroplane, it took over two hours, so how can Santa do the whole world, drop presents at EVERY house in one single night?' (that kid is too smart for her own good). I told her that he's magic, and there's time differences in each country so kids are sleeping at different times :/ . It was partly because at 5/6, i felt she was too young for Christmas to be 'real', and partly because she can't keep a secret and I didn't want her little sister finding out. She's getting to the age now where I'm sure she'll hear things in school, and I'll probably not try and convince her otherwise if she doesn't believe :( .

Traveler

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Re: S/O telling children about Santa
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2010, 07:47:05 AM »
I don't remember any trauma, or honestly even transition from "believing" to understanding the story my parents did use to explain. 

Like some of the PPs have done, my parents used Santa as a representative of giving and thinking of others. I don't remember exactly how they phrased it / told us, but the gist of it was that Once Upon A Time, the world was much smaller. There was a Santa/St Nicholas who made sure that everyone in his town had a Merry Christmas, with presents and good deeds.  Then the world got bigger, and Santa could not do it by himself any more.  So, as soon as we are old enough, it is everyone's job to be Santa for all of the people they know. [This didn't translate into *presents* for everyone we know, but kindness and good deeds for everyone.]  And, as long as we all treat everyone this way, there is always a Santa Claus.  And if we're very good, then Santa is here all year round.

I like it, and I'm sticking with it. :-)

AbbyW

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Re: S/O telling children about Santa
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2010, 08:06:57 AM »
I don't remember any trauma, or honestly even transition from "believing" to understanding the story my parents did use to explain. 

Like some of the PPs have done, my parents used Santa as a representative of giving and thinking of others. I don't remember exactly how they phrased it / told us, but the gist of it was that Once Upon A Time, the world was much smaller. There was a Santa/St Nicholas who made sure that everyone in his town had a Merry Christmas, with presents and good deeds.  Then the world got bigger, and Santa could not do it by himself any more.  So, as soon as we are old enough, it is everyone's job to be Santa for all of the people they know. [This didn't translate into *presents* for everyone we know, but kindness and good deeds for everyone.]  And, as long as we all treat everyone this way, there is always a Santa Claus.  And if we're very good, then Santa is here all year round.

I like it, and I'm sticking with it. :-)

I like this too and I'm stealing it!  My oldest is 7 this year and I"m sure it will come up.

2littlemonkeys

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Re: S/O telling children about Santa
« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2010, 10:31:29 AM »
My kids are still in the "I believe!" stage.  But I do remember when I learned that it was really just a story and not true.  I don't remember it being a huge shock and kind of already knew that it couldn't really be true.  I played along for my sisters' sake and went on my merry way.  I think a lot of kids kind of figure it out for themselves and just need confirmation.  Traveler, I LOVE the explanation your parents gave and might be borrowing that.

We keep the Santa gifts expectations low by explaining that he has to get presents for a whole bunch of people and the girls will only get a couple of things on the list.

Same with the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny.  I am, however, having a very difficult time making DH realize there are no such things as the Cooking, Cleaning and Laundry Fairies.   I think he's just in very deep denial.  :P

kethria

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Re: S/O telling children about Santa
« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2010, 10:39:02 AM »
We're not "doing" Santa with Babybartfast - she's 2 now, so this coming Christmas will be the first one where she actually understands anyway.  We're not trying to hide her from the Santa story, just laying it all out: at Christmas some grown-ups play a big game of pretend, where everyone pretends there is a man named Santa who comes down chimneys and leaves presents.  And we'll leave it up to her whether she wants to join in the big game of pretend or not.

We do intend to emphasize that she shouldn't go around telling other kids that Santa isn't real, but hopefully if we don't make a big deal about it anyway (good or bad) she won't think it's important enough to bring up in conversation once she gets old enough to have friends who believe!

My parents did this with us mainly because my mother is Colombian and they don't "do" Santa like other countries do. I actually appreciated the honesty from my parents. Presents from the "tooth fairy" always included a note from mom and dad about how proud they were of us and how much they loved us... ditto Easter bunny...


So we aren't going to do it with Leila or #2 (if there is a #2) either.

Also I remember my ex husband's daughter coming up to me and asking about Santa... that was an awkward conversation. She asked me if he was real and I hemmed and hawed and told her she needed to ask Memaw (my ex MIL) then she said "The thing is it doesn't make sense... but they swear he's real. And if he isn't then they are lying right? And if they lied to me about that.. what else are they lying about? The Easter Bunny? The Tooth Fairy? Jesus?"

Yeah fun covnversation there!

Everlee

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Re: S/O telling children about Santa
« Reply #23 on: August 10, 2010, 11:01:47 AM »
I don't even remember making the switch from believing to not believing.  My parents never really made a big deal about Santa so I never really cared. 
I don't think believing in Santa is as big of a deal as parents make it out to be.  My kids talk about Santa, but they know I am the ones buying their presents. Heck, half the time they're even with me picking them out.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: S/O telling children about Santa
« Reply #24 on: August 10, 2010, 11:27:07 AM »
I told my kids that Santa wasn't a real person, but a symbol of the spirit of Christmas-to be generous and happy. 

When my youngest nephew asked his mother, this is what she started to say.  He kind of stuck his fingers in his ears and did the 'La La La La' thing.

It didn't come out until a couple of years later that at the Kids Christmas Party at my brother's work that year, nephew happened to be in the washroom when the guy playing Santa came in to change.  Santa didn't see my nephew but nephew saw him.  The jig was up but nephew figured he'd get more presents if he kept his mouth shut.

My brother is 5 years older than me.  He had a lot of fun helping my Dad do things to make me believe Santa had visited, right down to sleigh marks and boot prints in the snow across the flat roof to the chimney.  I was a naive kid and believed far longer than most.  The year my parents decided to break it to me, my brother and I wrote our letters to Santa and left them on the fireplace hearth Christmas Eve.  My brother's said, 'Oh, and by the way, Santa, can you please fix my snowmobile?'

The next morning, in my Dad's handwriting, was a note back from Santa, 'Fix your own dang snowmobile.  What do you think I am, a mechanic?'  I'd been wavering but that just sealed it for me, in a funny way.  I remember being a little disappointed but it wasn't overly traumatic.
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Jocelyn

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Re: S/O telling children about Santa
« Reply #25 on: August 10, 2010, 11:40:18 AM »
My family continued to do Santa long after I (the youngest) stopped believing. It was a way of giving someone a surprise without taking credit for it. I remember one year,  we were eating Chinese food and my mom said that she loved water chestnuts so much, some day she was going to buy a can and eat them all by herself. So that year Santa brought her a can of water chestnuts.
I found out at 7, from a classmate who was telling about the Easter Bunny.  Once you know about the Easter Bunny, it's pretty obvious to make the connection.
My sisters are much older than I am, and one year my mother heard the younger of them saying she was going to ask Santa for X, Y, Z. The older one said, 'Mommy and Daddy can't afford that.' 'I'm not asking Mommy and Daddy, I'm asking Santa.' And my oldest sister replied, 'Santa may bring it, but he sends Mommy and Daddy the bill!'

Judah

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Re: S/O telling children about Santa
« Reply #26 on: August 10, 2010, 11:44:23 AM »
I always told my kids that when they stop believing, Santa stops coming.   The oldest two are 17 and 16.  There's never been a problem.

This has been our policy too.  Mine are 18 and (almost)16 and claim to still believe.   ;D
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deadbody

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Re: S/O telling children about Santa
« Reply #27 on: August 10, 2010, 12:43:35 PM »
I always told my kids that when they stop believing, Santa stops coming.   The oldest two are 17 and 16.  There's never been a problem.

This has been our policy too.  Mine are 18 and (almost)16 and claim to still believe.   ;D

My son just turned 12, his sisters are 5 and 2, he was told that Santa will still come as long as he doesn't spoil the magic for his sisters.  He understood and stuck to it, ditto the easter bunny.


triciadi

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Re: S/O telling children about Santa
« Reply #28 on: August 10, 2010, 12:46:47 PM »
Mother of 5 here!  They are all adults now but Santa is alive and well at our house.  In the form of Mom and 5 adult children.

When each of them questioned (around age 7 or 8) if Santa was real, I always asked them what they thought.  Usually they thought he wasn't.  And then I offered them the chance to be part of the magic and the spirit that is Santa with their younger siblings.  As well, those who didn't believe in Santa (including myself and my now ex), drew names to fill each other's stockings.  We still fill stockings for each other although there are no gifts under the Christmas tree from Santa.

I think having them become part of the magic teaches them a generosity to others - whether family members or those outside the family.



MissRose

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Re: S/O telling children about Santa
« Reply #29 on: August 10, 2010, 01:23:03 PM »
I dont remember the ages me and my sister regarding the Santa thing.  I think by the time we got to our early teens, all of the presents had "To: Kid From: Mom & Dad" instead of some with Santa, some with Mom & Dad on them when we were younger.

I have no idea how my sister handles things with her kids that are now 11 and the younger will be 9 in September.