12/9/08

What about Santa?


This year will be our third Christmas with Red Chief, and each Christmas I've thought about what we will tell him about Santa Claus. I still don't know what to think, but I need to come to a decision before next year.

I don't think I can lie to him; I don't like to lie, or even slant the truth. I'm pretty blunt, actually. But I don't want to deprive him of the magic of childhood, either. Although I knew the truth about Santa Claus by the time I was eight or so, I never grudged my parents the illusion, and I loved the magic of it all.

What do you tell your kids? What do you think about Santa Claus? Does he eat cookies and leave ashy footprints at your house, or is he a nice legend from a storybook? I'd love some feedback.

14 comments:

  1. It always seemed so exhausting to do the whole Santa thing when my kiddos were little. We had all the gifts hidden till Christmas Eve and then when the kids were asleep we put them out. That was fun we still do that.
    But we decided to tell them when they were 5 and 7 that we were Santa and they got so excited. The fact that mom and dad were Santa brought them more joy. I didn't like the lieing and telling them a stranger no matter how jolly he was was coming in and leaving presents and the charade of it all was tiring. But once we told them it all seemed to bring more joy to the holiday. We also that year started our own traditions as a family and the holidays have become more enjoyable.
    Like I said we still keep all the presents hidden till christmas eve so they wake with them under the tree there are none there till then and that is fun for them.
    This year we added a few things like a parade and a festival at the college but the traditions we make as a family are what makes the biggest impression on the jolly guy in the suit.
    Erika

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  2. My last line was ment to be our traditions make the biggest impression on them not the jolly guy in the suit. I get to typing and leave stuff off :0)
    Erika

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  3. I loved DaBergs suggestion on her blog, so I'm going to do that with my daughter. You should check her's out...it's a sweet story. http://dabergsblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/of-course-there-is-santa.html

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  4. The biggest problem with walking the line of real and not is, that young children don't understand it yet. So for Kaia and Mo, Santa is a real person, just as real as the characters on TV, and monsters. What I did learn during my years of youth work is that when a child asks, Is Santa (or Fairies or...) Real? The best response is, I like to believe he is. Isn't it fun to believe in the magic that he or she creates?

    Like I said, at a young age, that distinction is difficult, but as they get older, they understand, and like Erika said, they enjoy the fun of it.

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  5. When our oldest was still a baby, my husband and I decided together that we would not present Santa as a real person. He's not "banished" from our house, but we try to put all of our focus on the Savior instead.

    It actually works well for our large family, because our kids know that they're not going to be able to make a big long list and get everything in the world that they desire. We simply can't afford it!

    We are very open and forthright with our children-- we don't do the tooth fairy or Easter Bunny, either. We do explain these things to our kids, as a matter of cultural literacy, but we are also very clear that other children DO believe in those things, and that it's between those children and and THEIR parents. They know that telling other children that these things aren't real is NOT their job. We've never had one of ours spoil it for someone else who chooses to believe in those things.

    Every family just needs to do what they feel is best for their own children and not worry about what others might think. That's why our children were sent to our home, and not someone else's. *wink*

    I'm sure you'll be lead by the Spirit to do what is best for your children. :-)

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  6. I do the whole Santa thing, I think it is fun, however as soon as they seriously start asking I tell them the truth..once, then I never admit again that Dad and I are really Santa. I think it is a fun game that does no harm.

    We do tell the kids that Mom and Dad have to pay Santa back for the gifts so they can't have everything...I guess I am a big fat liar, but it works for us. ;-)

    I did also tell the kids that "know" that if they are ever to tell the little kids they will be in huge big trouble (what that trouble would be I don't really know...) I think it is fun for them to help carry on the secret.

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  7. I totally agree with Aimee... I love Santa! Even the non-believers play along and are threatened if they ever reveal it before the younger ones are ready. My hubby and I even get our stockings filled every year by Santa. I will forever believe!

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  8. We do the whole Santa thing. I hide the presents and they go under the tree Chreistmas Eve while everyone's asleep. Not all the presents come from Santa though, some are from mom and dad. (it gets tougher every year to remember what's supposed to be from who thoughO. My ten year old is close to figuring it out though. She asked me a few weeks ago if there really was a Santa. I just asked her what she thought, and she really didn't give an answer. She did discover who the tooth fairy was last year, and she thought it was pretty cool. So, I don't think she'll be too disappointed to find out the truth.
    I think it's fun for the little ones though to believe. I remember when I found out I wasn't devastated. I too, thought it was fun to be a part of the big secret.

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  9. We never did the Santa thing...and actually I don't think my dd would have believed it if we had said it.

    I don't think it has lessened their excitement about Christmas to know that there is no real Santa...same way with Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy...the kids know it's just mom & dad.

    Of course we've made a point of telling them not to say "Santa ain't real" when other little kiddies are around.

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  10. We have included Santa in our traditions. We haven't really ever had to discuss it because the kids have always assumed he will come. (They have heard about Santa from others as long as they can remember.)

    In order to balance this, we do frequently discuss the fact that Santa brings us gifts to remind us that we are celebrating Jesus' birthday. At the same time, Santa just brings 3 gifts and fills their stockings. The 3 gifts are because the Savior received 3 gifts from the Wisemen.

    This has worked really well for us. It has allowed us to balance the magic that we remember from childhood with the true reason that we choose to celebrate Christmas.

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  11. We've always done Santa. My oldest was 16 when the youngest was born so the older kids had great fun preserving the Santa tradition. Usually they start asking about it around age 5-7. They hear stuff at school. I never lied to them, I would always say, "what do you think?" They would either reply I think there IS a Santa-or they would say-I think you're Santa mom, and I would say-"you're right!" They were never disappointed and it was always fun for the older ones to "be in on the fun." I think Red Chief is probably too little yet to get the idea.

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  12. That's a tough call for me too. I have the same feelings that you do. So this is what we do, at least for now. When my kids ask about Santa, I ask them what they think about him. My 6yo dd knows that the Santa that she sees is not the "real" Santa (his beard gaps a little too much, that's what she said) and in her eyes Santa is much too busy to be visiting everyone right before Christmas. I let the image stay, but I don't encourage it. It's fun to have it, a little magic.

    But we focus on Christ and what he gives us. When Santa comes he fills the stockings and leaves a present at the end of the bed (a family tradition) to be opened whenever the child wakes up. and that's it. The presents under the tree are from family. We live too far to visit family at the holidays so there is plenty under the tree. We don't like for Christmas to become a big gimme fest so we keep it small. When my kids decide they don't believe anymore then that's it. I'm not going to lie, I just let them figure it out, they always do.

    I also liked TJ's comments. A creative child loves to believe in the "magic" that exists in her mind. My dd is very much that way. She loves fairies of her own creation. So we do those things to encourage her own creativity. When she asks specific questions I always turn it back to her, so that she can create it in her own mind and then I don't have to stretch the truth to appease her.

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  13. I LOVE Santa! (did a post about it today, in fact) Like you I was not upset with my parents at all when I found out.
    What I tell my kids is that there really was a St. Nicholas (We've even had lessons about him) and so there REALLY is a Santa Claus (or at least was) and that we do it to show the magic of Christmas.
    My kids haven't minded at all when they found out. My kids made it to about 8 or 9. And the LOVE to pretend for the little ones that still don't know. It's like real life make-believe and dress-up that they get to play along with.
    *hugs*

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  14. I've never thought there was any harm in letting kids believe in Santa. It was so much fun for me as a kid and I never thought my parents lied to me for letting me believe in Santa. It is fun and lets them use their imagination. I hope my son believes in Santa for many years to come. My kids get one present from Santa, thats it and the rest are from family.
    Cookies for Santa, You bet. Ashy footprints, no way! :-)

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