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post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
How many of you tell your kids there's a Santa? Why? I never understood this thing and my parents never told me there was a Santa so I just don't understand why people do this. Don't you think it's deceiving to your child? I keep seeing tv shows and stuff about parents trying to convince their children that Santa does exist and I don't understand it at all. I appreciate keeping the child like innocence and magic of Christmas, but don't they wonder why Santa gives them presents and their own parents don't? I totally don't get this concept at all please someone explain..
post #2 of 63
Thread Starter 
don't get me wrong, i think Santa is a fun myth (hence my sig picture) but I don't get the whole lying thing.
post #3 of 63
I got to be Santa for my two sisters and loved every single minute of it!! (They are actually my cousins, we adopted them when I was 18 and they were 2 and 4 yrs old).

I can't think of anything more heartless than the destruction of innocence by telling a child that Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy aren't "real".
post #4 of 63
Thread Starter 
well I think it's one thing to tell a kid that believes in Santa that there's not a Santa, that's just wrong, but I mean I don't understand why parents tell them that there is in the first place. Especially now with all the different cultures around, and then like with my family, they were very religious and believe that Christmas is a religious time and beyond the whole :censor::censor::censor::censor::censor::censor::censor:ization of a beautiful religious holiday, there's also the concept that if you are Christian you should be striving not to lie rather than doing so.
post #5 of 63
I have a 3 year old daughter. She willbe brought up to believe in Santa. I am NOT deceiving her. I was brought up with Santa and one day somehow we just figured it out. We weren't traumatized,did not feel deceived,and we did not suffer long term affects from it.
post #6 of 63
My son who is 9.5 already knows but my daughter who is only 6
still believes in Santa...we'll tell her when she's older
post #7 of 63
When I was a child, the belief in Santa made Christmas my favorite holiday! When I got older and Santa became a myth, I did not hate the world for lying to me! I feel it is nice to believe in something good when you are growing up, it helps one face the bad things later.
So heck, tell the children!
post #8 of 63
I don't like the idea of telling my kids something that isn't true, but on the other hand, I was told there was a Santa and I have nothing but fond memories of Christmas. I wasn't traumatized when I discovered there is no Santa and I don't secretly hate my parents for "lying" to me.

I think it would be hard for a child to relate to other kids since the majority of kids do/will believe in Santa. Those kids (unless kept from other kids entirely) will either have to tell other kids Santa is fake or will have to keep their mouths shut. They'll either be faced with hurting other children, having their feelings hurt from other kids, or be forced to completely suppress their feelings on the subject. All may be good character-building life lessons to be learned, but not something a kid young enough to believe in Santa should have deal with. It's not a very good position to put your kids in, IMO.

So since believing in Santa/Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy/etc. won't harm them, I plan on letting them believe. Kids pretend all the time.
post #9 of 63
No kids, but plan to.

The belief in Santa for me was the magic of Christmas. My fondest memories include my grandfather on his extension phone, in the room next to the one I was in, pretending to be Santa. By voice - I knew it was grandpa, but in my heart it was Santa Claus. Christmas Eve - when an aeroplane light tower became Rudolph's nose and having to be in bed by 8 so Santa would come.

This is my favorite Christmas article:

Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

Editorial Page, New York Sun, 1897

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

Dear Editor---

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O'Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the scepticism of a sceptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to have men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive of imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
post #10 of 63
Santa is magical. It makes Christmas magical for children. I have 2 kids, who both believe still. Someday when they figure it out, it won't be traumatic, just as it wasn't traumatic for me or anyone else for that matter. I've never heard of anyone emotionally scarred when Santa becomes not real.

When you have children and you see their eyes light up because Santa is coming, there is no greater joy. It has nothing to do w/ deception, its a childhood fantasy just like the Easter bunny, the Tooth Fairy....All children have a imagination, its part of being a child. And for an adult to steal that away is shame.

There is NO harm in letting your child believe in Santa. In fact, I believe the crime lies in if you don't let your child experience that magic of the holiday.
post #11 of 63
I found out Santa wasn't real when I woke up and caught my father leaving presents for my sister. I was about 8 years old. He tried to say that she had woken up but I knew he was lying because when he left the room, I had not received my gifts from santa but my sister had.
post #12 of 63
My mother asked a child pshyc and they said you SHOULD NEVER EVER lie to a child. She has picked on and told she did wrong for YEARS because I wasn't raised to beleave in santa. She still feels stupid for beleaving in santa clause.
When I was 2 1/2 I saw a commerical on tv and it said to donate money and toys to poor kids so they could have a merry christmas. So cute little me walks up to my mom crying asking why santa doesn't give poor people presents??? Are poor kids bad? So my mom in her wisdom, me being the first child and all, asked me what I thought. So I said either santa is make pretend like cartons or he is a bad man. I didn't give my mom much of a choice, she told me the truth and from that day on I played "santa" we would go shopping together and pic out presents for me AND presents for the poor children. I think it would be MUCH better for childen to learn about giving and that part of chirstmas then to make a list for santa and make chirstmas about give me give me give me......
Kids don't NEED to be brough up to beleave that there is a santa. Times are hard for alot parents can't afford to get there kids what they want. I know that those gloves and mittens I gave when I was little kept someone warm and made them smile because they got a gift. I NEVER once wished that I had beleaved in santa, and I do not feel like I was robbed of anything.
My mother also made it clear I was not to tell other kids I knew the truth. So for years I kept quite and the one by one my friends all felt stupid that they beleaved in santa.

Also isn't it one of the 10 comandments that thou shall not lie...lieing is lieing, what a way to celebrate the birth of jesus by breaking on of the 10 comandments.....
post #13 of 63
My hubby and I struggled with this when our first child was born. We didn't like the idea of deceiving her, but like Daniella said- Santa makes Christmas magical for children. I'd never want to deny them of that. I remember being so excited on Christmas Eve as a child listening for Reindeer hooves on the roof, and seeing the empty plate of cookies in the morning. When I found out the truth at about age 9, I wasn't devastated. I appreciated the fact that my parents loved me enough to keep Christmas magical.

A lot of the Christmas traditions like Santa, reindeer, trees, etc stem from ancient pagan beliefs anyways, so I have no qualms with any of it. My children will be taught the origins of all those things when they are old enough to understand.
post #14 of 63
I think there are so many problems in the world today that kids need a time when they can just be innocent and believe in magic.

When my son was small we told him that Santa came in the middle of the night and left lots of good presents under the tree. Except one year I messed up. That was the year I told my son that Santa would really prefer cookies and a wine cooler over cookies and milk when he stopped at our house. For several years, my son still seemed to believe in Santa, but then he finally told us that the year I said Santa prefered a wine cooler was the year that he realized Santa is really just parents sneaking around on Christmas Eve night. The truth didn't traumatize him at all.
post #15 of 63
I don't like being lied to, and don't understand how people can lie to there kids. There is nothing magical or great about a fat man sneaking in your house and bring you presents. There is something magical about knowing that you can give presents to kids that normally wouldn't have any so they can beleave. I would rather teach that we are all santa, santa is the spirit of christmas and off giving. Knowing that when you are opening your gifts you made it possible for another person to be opening gifts that would normally not have anything, now that is speical and magical.
post #16 of 63
Val - I can understand your feelings on this. However, it has been instilled into western society for so long that it is basically automatic for parents to tell kids that there is a santa.

I would love to hear of any other countries views on Santa/Father Christmas - if they have christmas, do they have santa?
post #17 of 63
I am with Daniela. We did the Santa thing with the kids when they were small. I see absolutely no harm, and I far from consider it "lying" to a child. I do think it contributes to the idea of the "magic of Christmas" for a kid and for me too. Some of my best childhood Christmas memories were of going to visit one particular Santa around Christmas time.

One question that I wonder about...... a couple of you who have posted to this thread have talked about being Wiccan many times in the past. How exactly does that fit in with celebrating the Christian holiday of Christmas to begin with?
post #18 of 63
Another way to think of this, we tell stories to people about different things, that is fantasy, and in no way lying. Its the same with the Santa thing - its a fantasy and its a feel good fantasy. I have yet to hear a story of someone who became so traumatised after finding out that Santa is not real.
post #19 of 63
Originally posted by Princess Purr
santa is the spirit of christmas and off giving.
Val, that's what hubby and I said to our son when he finally told us that he had known the truth about Santa for some time.

Of course you can do whatever you want after you have kids, but if you tell your kids the truth about Santa from the very beginning, there is always the danger that they will tell all their little friends.
post #20 of 63
However, it has been instilled into western society for so long that it is basically automatic for parents to tell kids that there is a santa.
I don't agree with this "automatic" part. I know many Christian families who keep Advent as the magic of Christmas, and for them, the placing of the baby Jesus in the nativity scene is the real magic on Christmas eve.

I do love the whole idea of the Santa fantasy, and see no harm in sharing that with kids. And I am happy that there is a secular Christmas tradition, that non-Christians can share. I do think that telling kids that a real guy named Santa arrives to leave presents is far fetched, and a difficult thing to expect kids to believe. But the "magic" part, the fantasy part, is good harmless fun.

I was not brought up to believe in Santa, but we did go to visit Santa at the department store. We knew that he was the guy who had the job of telling parents what kids wanted for Christmas.

My nieces were overheard one year discussing Santa. The older girl (age 8) said, I think I'll believe in Santa for one more year. And the younger, age 6, said, me too. Maybe a couple more years.

So they knew, and loved the make believe part of the Santa fantasy.

And one of the most beloved memories of my childhood Christmas Eve was my dad reading "the Night Before Christmas" to us kids.
post #21 of 63
Originally posted by Deb25
One question that I wonder about...... a couple of you who have posted to this thread have talked about being Wiccan many times in the past. How exactly does that fit in with celebrating the Christian holiday of Christmas to begin with?
I was raised catholic, very very catholic (ccd, and four years of catholic highschool). So we celbrated and still celbrate christmas with my parents. When I have kids they will be raised to learn about a bunch of different religions. My parents are catholic so they will want to do that holiday with the kids. Weither you are christain or not christmas has become a holiday like halloween or labor day. It seems almost everyone celbrates it weither it is part of there faith or not. I'm sure even though i'm not christain christmas means alot more to me then alot of people that claim to be christain.
post #22 of 63
Originally posted by Deb25
a couple of you who have posted to this thread have talked about being Wiccan many times in the past. How exactly does that fit in with celebrating the Christian holiday of Christmas to begin with?
Deb has a good point, what happens when your kids hear about Baby Jesus and the true meaning of Christmas from their friends, and then ask about this at home??? Doesn't that make it really difficult??????????????
post #23 of 63
As my Dad once said (at the age of about 55), "I still believe in Santa. As long as Santa brings me presents, I believe in him."

Santa IS real - he is selfless giving. He is the spirit of the gifts given at Christmas.

I don't think that telling children that there is a Santa is lying to them. Stretching the truth perhaps, but not lying. Why is it so wrong for them to believe in a little magic? I was told there was a Santa, and I figured it out when I recognized Mom's distinct handwriting on the presents from Santa. But you know what? Santa still kept coming to our house. I became Santa sometimes. It was the spirit, not the "man", who was kept alive.

To answer Deb's question, I was raised Christian so Christmas is definitely instilled in me. I love the idea of Christmas, well, the secularized idea of Christmas. To me, Christmas is about love and giving, which ties right back into the idea of Santa and if you are Christian ties into the idea of God sending Jesus to earth. And Melissa is right - the timing of the holiday, as well as many of the rituals we associate with Christmas, were taken from the pagan celebration of Winter Solstace and Yule.
post #24 of 63
Not really, I plan to teach the kids about all different faithes and let them pick. So if they want to beleave in jesus that is fine, if they want to be pagan that is fine..or if they want to be jewish, I would have to do alot of reading because I don't know much about that, but that would be fine also.
The kids will be well aware of jesus from my parents and i will explain to them that that is what christmas is about. We are celbrating my parents faith and the joy of giving.
post #25 of 63
I know some devout believers that insist that Santa was created to purposefully take away from Christ and Christ's birth. They maintain that if you switch the letters in the name you come up with Satan. I believe that Santa is Magical, and I am not talking wiccan. I believe that he keeps the imagination of the child alive and I do not know any adult today that is *walking wounded* because of finding out at a tender young age Santa is not real. Once you grow up and become educated you understand that he cannot possibly be real anyway, though there are times when I wish he were, for the world would be a better place for kids.

It is up to the parents to create the balance between the true meaning of CHRISTmas and the arrival of gifts from a man who slides down chimmneys. It has nothing to do with lying to a child, it has to do with wanting to keep the child young and the imagination flying. It is to bad that Christmas is so commercialized these days and people go flying to stores to spend money they don't have to try and keep the magic alive. They say they are doing it for their kids, but I wonder how many of them are doing it for themselves as well? I know that when the grandkids are here, it feels like Christmas, and when they are not, the house is strangely empty-feeling.
post #26 of 63
Well then, if the true meaning of Christmas is more of a spirit of giving, I see no harm in children believing in a Santa who generously gives to all. That is the symbolism behind the myth of Santa, anyway. To me it is no different than celebrating the birth of Jesus (what the holiday means to me in my upbringing) and not truly believing in Christ. While I agree with exposing a child to the teaching of all religious beliefs, it is not likely that a child will be able to choose one to embrace in childhood, unless it is the faith of the parents.
post #27 of 63
I was raised in a catholic family but knew since I was very young that catholic didn't fit me. If my parents would have explained other faithes to me or even given me a clue that there were other ways to worship I would have been better off. I spend a good deal of my childhood just not really beleaving in anything.
Why not just teach kids that santa is a symbol then? Why does he have to be "real."
post #28 of 63
The true meaning of Christmas is a personal thing. To me, because I'm not Christian, I don't focus on the birth of Jesus, I focus on the love and giving. I don't have kids and I'm not going to, so what I will tell my children about Christmas is a moot point.

And actually, the Ninth Commandment says, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor," not just "don't lie."
post #29 of 63
The bottom line on my opinion, and I shall be as tactful as I can here, is that if we are to respect the beliefs of others, I respect the fact that you choose to celebrate an adaptation of the Christmas holiday that suits you.

For me, Christmas is one of the 2 most major Christian holidays celebrating Jesus Christ. If I choose to include Santa in that celebration in the raising of my children, then I would expect and appreciate not being called a 'liar' because I choose to do so. To me it is no worse a sin than celebrating a holiday for a religion that you have chosen not to embrace or practice.
post #30 of 63
Wow, this is a really thought-provoking thread!

You might be interested in reading this history of Santa Claus:

Santa has nothing to do with Satan - Santa is derived from the Dutch name for Saint Nicholas, Sinter Klaas. http://www.americancatholic.org/Abou.../prsam1102.asp

As for telling our (future) kids about Santa, honestly I haven't discussed it with Hubby yet, but we probably will. I believed in Santa when I was a child, and had lots of fun with it. Even after my siblings & I figured it out (at a pretty young age) we kept it up, leaving cookies & treats out for Mom - it was a lot of fun all around. We saw it as a fun holiday ritual, not as deceit.

Although I am now religious, I was not raised in a religious household - Christmas for our family was an American cultural celebration rather than a religious celebration. My mother now simply celebrates the season in relation to the Solstice, and also out of respect for others that celebrate Christmas and Hannukah.
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