Question for other non-Santa households

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from ElmiraGulch. Show ElmiraGulch's posts

    Question for other non-Santa households

    In our house, there has never been any discussion of Santa Claus except as how some people choose to personify the Christmas Spirit. We have been careful to instruct our children that some other children may believe that Santa Claus is an actual person and that it is not something to discuss with them. 

    Recently, DS, who is in first grade, has started discussing Santa Claus as if he is a real person. In school, he was taught several carols that discuss Santa's actions.  Certainly some of his friends have been taught that Santa is real. 

    We have tried to reason with him. We have gone over the prior explanations. We are being met by DS with a rebuke of blind faith in Santa Claus' existence. 

    I am afraid that there will be some horror when there are no stockings, no chimney and no presents in our home on the 25th.  Has anyone else had this happen, where a non-Santa-believing child suddenly starts believing?  Or, equally relevant, deciding that other fictional characters are real and will impact their life?

    To be clear, there is no option to "play along" as I will neither buy presents on behalf of a fictional character nor perpetrate a lie.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Question for other non-Santa households

    Do you give gifts on Christmas day?  From yourself?  Are gifts coming from friends, his grandparents, aunts and uncles? that is, do you celebrate Christmas at all?  I think my answer is different based on the answer to this question.

    so, 1. if you DO celebrate Christmas and give gifts, just not have Santa give gifts:  I would stop trying to discuss it.  And on Christmas day when there are gifts from lots of other people but not Santa, and IF he is upset (he might not be, he might know that he can discuss Santa, learn carols about Santa, and still not expect gifts - heck, Jewish kids do this all the time! (and other religions).  but if he is upset, you can say well, remember how we discussed that we don't have Santa come to our house, in our house we give gifts to each other (or whatever it is that you've used before as your wording).

    now, if 2. you don't give gifts at all, and you don't celebrate Christmas, then you will just need to tell him that 'this isn't our religion (or 'way we do things') at our house but it's fun to hear about it at your friends' houses, isn't it?  and fun to see Santa at the mall, isn't it? (because it can be fun for him, just not something he'll share at his house).  There are lots of fun things others do that I will enjoy hearing about, but not do at our house. 

    does this help?
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Question for other non-Santa households

    Santa is real.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from MichelleandtheBoys. Show MichelleandtheBoys's posts

    Re: Question for other non-Santa households

    I wish there was a "like" button.  I would like Lemon's posts all the time. :)
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from SarahInActon. Show SarahInActon's posts

    Re: Question for other non-Santa households

    Troll alert!
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Question for other non-Santa households

    In Response to Re: Question for other non-Santa households:
    [QUOTE]I wish there was a "like" button.  I would like Lemon's posts all the time. :)
    Posted by MichelleandtheBoys[/QUOTE]

    LIKE!
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Question for other non-Santa households

    I have to agree with Sarah.  I find it suspect that a child actually raised to not believe Santa is a person would "suddenly" believe their friends instead.  Kids, especially at that age, believe their parents.  In fact, if the other kids have brought it up by saying he's a person, they'd naturally respond, "My mom said..."  And songs have even less influence on a child's belief system than their own parents and even their friends. 

    If this is a real situation, please forgive the assumption that it's made up (but you have to admit it sounds far fetched) and know that your son will get over it and learn the hard way that what his parents taught him about it was the right answer.  I can't imagine this will lead to years of therapy.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Question for other non-Santa households

    In Response to Re: Question for other non-Santa households:
    [QUOTE]I can't imagine this will lead to years of therapy.
    Posted by kargiver[/QUOTE]

    Just years of estrangement.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from GC1016. Show GC1016's posts

    Re: Question for other non-Santa households

    Followed by years of therapy.   
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Question for other non-Santa households

    LOL!  Cool
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from lissafro. Show lissafro's posts

    Re: Question for other non-Santa households

    I agree with CTDC that whether or not you celebrate Christmas affects how you respond to this.

    I was brought up in a home that celebrated Christmas and all its stockings, tree, gifts, but no Santa.  My mother didn't feel comfortable fabricating the story.  We knew that some kids (like our older cousins) believed in the Santa story and we shouldn't talk about it because it might hurt their feelings. 
    I always loved Christmas and was very grateful to my parents for the gifts they got us.  There were a few years between the ages of 8 and 12 where we had very little money and I understood that the gifts I got might not be as much as I had gotten in the past but my parents were giving what they could with what they had. 

    I am not planning on doing the Santa Claus myth with my 2 year old.  It would be weird, especially considering my husband's family is Jewish and we celebrate both holidays.

    I can tell you, however, a very funny family story that pertains directly to your dilemma.  Apparently I came home from kindergarten (the oldest kid) and announced at dinner that "I'm going to believe in Santa this year, is that OK Mom and Dad?"  When pressed for details I blithely explained "oh, it's just easier to pretend I believe with adults." 
    Maybe your son is going through something similar. 

    Whatever it is, I wouldn't worry too much about him being traumatized. 
    I would suggest, however, if you are a family that doesn't celebrate Christmas at all because it is not your holiday that you should have a talk with the school about their techniques when leading discussions of religious holidays that not everyone celebrates.  It's fine to discuss differences but it's another thing entirely to just assume everyone believes the same.  Even if they are not intentionally making your son feel inferior or uncomfortable for having different beliefs, they should be aware that their actions have consequences.
     
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  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from lissafro. Show lissafro's posts

    Re: Question for other non-Santa households

    PS -
    And being called a Troll just because you don't believe in Santa is the kind of thing that would really hurt a 1st grader's feelings.  It's one thing between adults on the boards, but I would hope that people aren't so quick to make grand statements/assumptions when around little kids and in person in public.  It might be this kind of undercurrent to discussions about the holiday that is making the OP's son feel he needs to believe in Santa to be happy.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Question for other non-Santa households

    In Response to Re: Question for other non-Santa households:
    [QUOTE]PS - And being called a Troll just because you don't believe in Santa is the kind of thing that would really hurt a 1st grader's feelings.  It's one thing between adults on the boards, but I would hope that people aren't so quick to make grand statements/assumptions when around little kids and in person in public.  It might be this kind of undercurrent to discussions about the holiday that is making the OP's son feel he needs to believe in Santa to be happy.
    Posted by lissafro[/QUOTE]
    The poster's screen name is "Elmira Gulch." She said in another post that she has only six photos of her child, which she keeps in a locked box. And she equated a belief in Santa to "deciding that other fictional characters are real and will impact their life." If she's not a troll, she's a nutjob. A "troll" is a term for an internet troublemaker, by the way.

    My Jewish friends never had a need for Santa, or any insecurity about Christmas -- they got EIGHT days of presents! EIGHT!
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedFishBlueFish. Show RedFishBlueFish's posts

    Re: Question for other non-Santa households

    I can see why the kid is confused. He goes to school to learn and you do face a dilemma in reason with "you have to learn from your teacher, except that sometimes your teacher is teaching you lies." His parents are saying one thing, but the people he's with at least half of the day (his teacher and friends) are saying something else. When Santa sounds pretty darn awesome, why would he believe his parents when they say he isn't real? Just because they're his parents? He's a "big kid" now in school, so he thinks he can learn for himself.


    What makes me somewhat sadder is the idea he should not believe in any fictional characters. Imagination is what being a kid is all about and that seems to me like it would completely crush a child's spirit.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from Daisy75. Show Daisy75's posts

    Re: Question for other non-Santa households

    Lissafro--on message boards, a "troll" is someone who randomly posts or pops into discussions in the interest of causing trouble.  Given that ElmiraGulch has only had 12 posts in 2 years and that she also recently responded to a post that was over a year old--about another potentially controversial topic--raises the suspicion that she's a troll.  The term has nothing to do with children/families who don't believe in Santa Claus and/or don't celebrate Christmas.

    ETA:  Elmira Gulch, in case you don't know, is the character in The Wizard of Oz who wanted to take Toto away from Dorothy after Toto bit her.  Not exactly a benign, benevolent, FICTITIOUS character with whom to associate oneself....
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Question for other non-Santa households

    But the story doesn't make sense.  Kids believe their parents first and foremost at that age.  Other kids and songs can't usually compete with that, generally speaking.  I did apologize if I'm mistaken about that, and I really would be sorry!

    I also have a funny story, some-guy.  My parents didn't talk about Santa one way or the other, but I decided to go on a mission (I was 4 or 5) to find out for myself.  I was with my mom at the mall, and there were 3 Santas, one in the main mall area, 2 in stores.  We stood in all 3 lines and instead of asking for what I wanted for Christmas I asked, "Are you the REAL Santa?"  And, of course, they all said that they were.  I told the second two how odd it was that they and the guy (or two) before them said HE was the real Santa.  They hemmed and hawed something about really being "helpers."  Yeah, sorry, too late.  At the end of the day, I "informed" my mom that Santa wasn't real.  She agreed (after hearing my experiment, what could she say?) and then, as a kindergarten teacher, told me to never tell that Santa is fictional, that I'd be breaking hearts left and right.

    A not so funny story backs up some-guy's assertion that purposefully instilling that Santa is a real guy coming down the chimney can be a terrible idea.  My grandmother choked up telling this story 'til the day she died - she literally relived the hurt every time.  She took great joy in knowing she could always trust her parents.  No matter what she asked she got the (age appropriate) truth.  That is until her brother broke the news to her that Santa was not real.  She wasn't upset that Santa wasn't real.  She was devestated that her parents had LIED to her and she had believed them.

    I'm glad I figured it out by myself before my parents told me anything.  I think they were ignoring it and hoping for the best.  They knew, after all, what my mother's mother experienced.  I suppose my mom didn't want that to happen!

    ETA:  We did play pretend about Santa and always had gifts from Santa under the tree.  We imagined, just knew the truth at the same time.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Question for other non-Santa households

    I always thought of Mall Santas and such as delegates of the One and True Santa -- kind of like priests represent Jesus on earth and spread his word.

    I still get presents from Santa.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Question for other non-Santa households

    That's what the second two Santas told me, but only after they said that they were the real Santa so they blew it.

    I think my DH is the real Santa. ;)
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Question for other non-Santa households

    In Response to Re: Question for other non-Santa households:
    [QUOTE]That's what the second two Santas told me, but only after they said that they were the real Santa so they blew it. I think my DH is the real Santa. ;)
    Posted by kargiver[/QUOTE]

    Did you rip off their beards and yell, "YOU SIT ON A THRONE OF LIES!"?

    Santa is magical, and his ways mysterious. He very well may be working through your DH.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from Daisy75. Show Daisy75's posts

    Re: Question for other non-Santa households

    FWIW: 

    http://www.boston.com/community/moms/articles/2010/11/29/experts_say_be_gentle____but_truthful____about_santa/

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Question for other non-Santa households

    No, but that would have made for a MUCH better story!  I resisted that urge and (admittedly quite smuggly) said, "Oh," and moved on to number 3.  I was disappointed there weren't more to test, but I figured my experiment was robust enough to draw a conclusion.  My mom was astounded that that was my day-long goal of Santa-visiting.

    Indeed...DH is jolly, generous, not so keen on pouting, and loves cookies.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from SilverFestiva. Show SilverFestiva's posts

    Re: Question for other non-Santa households

    In Response to Re: Question for other non-Santa households:
    [QUOTE]I wish there was a "like" button.  I would like Lemon's posts all the time. :)
    Posted by MichelleandtheBoys[/QUOTE]

    too funny, I was thinking the exact same thing!!
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Question for other non-Santa households

    double like!
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Question for other non-Santa households

    ladies (and trolls), I am brimming over with holiday spirit.
     
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