What will you tell your kids about Santa?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Winter2011Bride. Show Winter2011Bride's posts

    Re: What will you tell your kids about Santa?

    Alf I went all out and my son is ok, don't worry.  
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from winter09wedding. Show winter09wedding's posts

    Re: What will you tell your kids about Santa?

    I don't mean to hijack the original post, but it seems like part of what is being discussed is whose traditions to follow. My DH and I have struggled with this one, particularly because my family lives out of state. Some are little things- which mass we went to, whether santa wrapped his gifts, etc. but some are bigger things- what we do emphasize about the holidays, how much time is "our" family time versus "extended family" time. Now that we have a little one, I want to make sure that things become traditions for us. 
    I grew up without a lot of money, and most of our gifts were always very practical- new socks and underwear- rather than toys.  DH's family has more money, and they spend it only on frivolous and fun things (they see holidays as a fun time to spoil each other).  Although it seems like an ideal mix... I worry in the future that my mother will be seen as the "boring one” although we clearly need her practical gifts. In addition, another big difference is how the gifts are handled- we opened them one by one, watching everyone else to see if they liked what we carefully made or picked out, whereas DH's family gets all upset when I watch because I am not opening my own gifts as fast as possible. Last year, DS got completely overwhelmed and vomited with all of the noise and gifts being thrown at him. He was covered in vomit and wrapping paper and it made me really sad and angry. Not at all like the magical time everyone else is describing.  
     Do other people not have these same issues with extended family members doing what they want? I sometimes feel like DH and I can make all the decisions I want, and still other things happen (like others being invited to my home because it is there “tradition.”)  If you guys are doing something different from siblings, how is that managed?
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: What will you tell your kids about Santa?

    I hate the idea of your baby covered in vomit and wrapping paper!  So sad.
    I know; it's hard to reconcile traditions.  We had to take a little bit of a stand about staking out our own time, but were able to couch it in concern for the LO's schedule.  Hopefully others saw that a vomit-filled holiday is not the most fun for anyone!
    We were lucky that our families agreed with us that it didn't matter exactly which day we got together as long as we got together.  So we did extended family things on different days.  Would that work for you?

    Alf - really?  Once again, we were just saying there are concerns around Santa, which is actually the whole reason the OP started this thread.  You seem to be saying that people are nuts for having these concerns.  This is all I'm going to say on the topic, but I'm hoping to receive some additional mean sarcasm in return.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from IPWBride. Show IPWBride's posts

    Re: What will you tell your kids about Santa?

    ALF your post made me laugh thinking about a therapy fund!!  I also have no idea when I stopped believing.  Guess it didn't do me any harm to learn the truth, but I've met kids where I can see them being bothered.  My DH has an incredibly literal nephew (who is now older) but I'd guess he was seriously disappointed.  We'll be all about Santa in our home because our families are as well.  I still give gifts to my mom "from Santa" every now and then.  I do recall going to Disneyworld one Christmas and being incredibly nervous that Santa wouldn't be able to find us.  So I do remember how wonderful it was to believe... at least for me!

    Just backed up to edit this as I saw the additional question.  Its so hard to control your families.  My DH's family is over the top with gifts.  My SIL spends thousands of dollars on toys.  And she hosts Christmas... period.  My side is so subdued on gifts... so I am also hoping they aren't seens as the boring ones (a point from above).  For example, this 1st birthday... the amount of gifts were somewhat obscene from my DH's family.  And my mom just got him a stuffed bunny.  He doesn't notice now... but I'm sure he will soon.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: What will you tell your kids about Santa?

    If you don't want to do the Santa thing w/ your kids, then don't.

    Yes, I think people need to lighten up and have some nog if they think that kids are going to be harmed for life by being told about Santa. If you teach your child coping skills, most children will be able to get over finding out about the Santa Lie just fine. If you have a super sensitive little one, then you probably will be clued into that by the time they are toddlers and can adjust your Christmas traditions and what you tell them accordingly.  I don't care how brilliant junior is; he is not going to remember that he got a gift from a non-existent fat man in a red suit when he was 1 or 2.  You can stop doing the Santa thing for the third Christmas when he may possibly have a memory form.

    Kids grow up so fast that I just don't see the point in depriving them of childhood tales and wonder before they can even tie their own shoes. If you think that is lying to them, then by all means, don't perpetuate the Santa myth.  But make sure that your super rational little one does not spoil the fun for all the other kids who want to believe in Santa.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from dz76. Show dz76's posts

    Re: What will you tell your kids about Santa?

    While DH and I "fight" over the holiday tradition (it is actually one of the areas we have the most issues with) we both agree that Christmas morning is just "our" family. 

    We do Christmas Eve at one side and Christmas Day at the other (since we now have 3. Although it didn't work out perfectly for us last year MIL threw a little monkey wrench in things and asked us to come open gifts on the day after Christmas which I had planned to spend at home).

    Winter - I think your DS is still young, right?  For DD1's first Christmas she slept through every present opening much to my MIL dismay.  For the next one she was SO overwhelmed that it wasn't fun at all.  And last year, she was at the rip off wrapping paper and then MUST open toy immediately.  None of them have been Norman Rockwell-esqe. 

    On Christmas Day last year at my brother's all 7 kids (7 and under) opened their presents at the same time.  I felt scared and overwhelmed.  The toddlers were even worse.  However, I don't think there is any other way a gaggle of overexcited kids can be expected to act and I think every year will get better as the kids get older.  We let the kids open their presents and then moved onto the adult gifts where we opened presents one by one. 

    Now that I'm thinking about it through DH's family does present in similar way so we didn't have any tradition conflicts about present opening.  The stocking thing though, wrapped or unwrapped, is a wicked hot topic for us though with DH on the wrapped side.  I've won by default since I handle that stuff but I get crap from him all season.

    Every year for the last six, we've done something slightly different depending on when Christmas falls and what each sibling set is doing (DH and I each have 2 sibling mine with kids his without).  I'm ready for everything to just get SET into tradition for the next 20 years!
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml2620-2. Show ml2620-2's posts

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    This post likely explains why no one has come out with a Santa manual. I was thinking it would be awesome if everyone got on the same page about Santa rules and what Santa did, etc. (Does Mrs. Claus exist, etc.), but I see the disparity.

    I think for us, and honestly I have to discuss this with my DH some more now that I've read all these comments, but we will emphasize the magic of Christmas, of which Santa is a part of that magic, but Santa won't be the magic in and of himself. I really like Sarah's idea of encorporating history and customs into it.

    For the most part, I hate Christmas, the fuss, the expense - mostly the family drama and expectations of being pulled in 6 different directions. DH and I took a stand a few years ago, we won't do Christmas Eve at my aunts house. We stand firm on "Silent Night" - that Christmas Eve is for our immediate family and anyone who wants to come relax with us with no expectations, generally his mom and our neighbor/aunt.

    My hate of Christmas really changed two years ago when we got our "Christmas Miracle" - my pregnancy was confirmed just as the sun was setting December 24th and Christmas eve began. I will never forget that moment, ever. I know that will be a big part of the story we tell DD about the magic of Christmas.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

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    Now our Christmas present opening was very restrained. We had to wait till after Christmas dinner [1 or 2 ish] and then w/ all the family gathered one person at a time got a gift. This was w/ several kids involved. My dad would 'play Santa' and hand out 1 gift at a time.  We watched everyone open his/her gift and say thank you. Then the next gift was brought out for someone else.

    So there was no storm of paper and screaming and yelling like people are describing. I'd probably vomit all over the room if chaos like that erupted. 

    I don't forsee any family conflict re traditions b/c we don't and likely will never live near either side of the family.  So we visit one family 1 year and the other the next. We have already decided [sans kids] that when we have kids, we aren't going anywhere; people can take turns coming to us.  It's easier to lay down the law when you live a 2 hr plane ride away from either side of the family. :-)
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from winter09wedding. Show winter09wedding's posts

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    dz... following your rules, that means one more year of overwhelmingness!! oh no!! and to answer someone's question, MIL thought he was sick from what I fed him (just breast milk.) I can not win.

    we were able to avoid the overwhelming thing at his birthday party by opening the gifts for him after he went to bed (after like 4 gifts he lost it and was pooped.)  although it now seems a bit communist, we are still giving him like 1 or 2 new presents each month and have more to go.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: What will you tell your kids about Santa?

    ALF, I actually accused my mom of lying when she rounded the time from 9:13 to "quarter after" when I was about 9 years old.  Yes, that's nutty and extreme, but it's how I felt - I saw things that black and white; I was maybe the most literal kid ever.  I had to be taught that rounding is not lying.  (My poor mom.)  Anyway, I would not have been happy if my mom had told me an elaborate story as if it were gospel truth and then excused it when I found out it was hooey by calling it a fun myth.  I'd have been irate.  

    Of course, this colors my idea of how to handle it with any child, but chances are, given I was a complete crazy literal lunatic, that most normal kids would shrug it off with no problem. lol
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: What will you tell your kids about Santa?

    That's what the sock fund is for, kar. ;-)

    Seriously, though, I imagine that your mom would have been able to discern that you had a very sensitive temperament by the time you were 2 or 3 and adjusted Christmas and other childhood stories accordingly. I just think deciding from the outset when the child is an infant and you don't have any idea how sensitive they might be, that you won't do the Santa thing for fear of scarring them is a bit excessive.  Now, if you have religious issues about it, that's another ball of wax. And if you personally were so scarred by the Santa Lie as a child, then that will of course color your approach.  And if your child displays tendencies that lead you to think 'hmm, maybe this isn't a good idea', then you reassess. 

    I was the oldest of 3 and routinely made up stories and drew picture books with elaborate plots for my younger sisters, so I understood the concept of make-believe.  I had an overactive imagination, and still do.  So maybe I 'got' make believe better than some kids would, although I really don't think I was unusual in my ability to get over finding out about Santa.  

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

    Re: What will you tell your kids about Santa?

    I loved make believe and had a pretty decent imagination, although, I did name my only doll "Doll" out of spite for everyone who asked, "What's your doll's name?"  I thought they were all pretty dense for asking me what I named an inanimate object.  I was 3.  So, maybe I didn't have a good imagination after all...hm.

    Anyway, you're totally right - my mom was well aware of that VERY early on, lol.  Too bad she didn't start a sock fund; I've already spent a year in counseling on my own dime!  And, yes, I know I'm clearly insane.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from princess-cal. Show princess-cal's posts

    Re: What will you tell your kids about Santa?

    I respect everyone's opinions to each "her" own, lol.  However, I wouldn't give up my "Santa" years for anything.  I never considered it to be a lie, but more of a myth or folk lore.

    My DH have been married for 14 years and do not (and never planned on) having kids (just a choice we made).  However, as I say to DH almost every Christmas, "this is the one day of the year that I would love to have a bunch of kids."  Just seeing kids' face/reactions when opening gifts from Santa is priceless to me and I think would bring some of that Christmas magic back to me as parent.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from Lostgrouse. Show Lostgrouse's posts

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    Last year we kind of let the Santa idea fall where it would with my daughter and she was fascinated to see Santa at the mall.  We kind of treated him as an idea rather than a person last year.  I'll let her go with the outside influences and take her cues to determine whether or not we push the idea of Santa flying around, landing on our roof and coming down the chimney versus just some sort of mystical Santa gift giving concept.  Maybe it's like the difference between a figurative and literal translation of the bible.  
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from GC1016. Show GC1016's posts

    Re: What will you tell your kids about Santa?

    Santa is real.  Santa brings you the one magical present that your parents would NEVER buy you and fills your stocking.  That's our approach.  

     

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

    Re: What will you tell your kids about Santa?

    Christmas is absolutely my favorite time of year!  DD will be about 14 months at Christmas this year, so I'm sure she still won't "get" it, but I'm looking much more forward to this one than to last, when she was only 2 months. 

    Growing up, we always had a good balance between the holy day and the holiday in our house.  Christmas Eve was for decorating the tree, going to church, dinner just our immediate family, reading "Twas the Night" and opening those new Christmas PJs.  Christmas morning, the first thing we always did was put Baby Jesus in the manger, and then opened gifts.  Our house was one where we watched one after another open a gift, and I loved it.  Part of the whole gift-giving and receiving thing for me is that process of everyone paying attention and thanking people. 

    I hope I can give my daughter the same love of the holidays we always had growing up, and it definitely does include Santa.  But it also includes the giving tree at church during advent, the advent stories we read every night leading to Christmas, the idea of giving others a gift, not just receiving.  I can remember being soooooo proud and excited to give my parents and grandmother their gifts (usually purchased at Woolworth's!)...just as much as I was when I came down one Christmas and saw my dollhouse or Cabbage Patch kid! 

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

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    ML - I love your magic Christmas Eve story.  Brought tears to my eyes!
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: What will you tell your kids about Santa?

    luvRI - I agree completely about how exciting it was to get little gifts for my parents and family!
    When we were kids, the holiday fair at my elementary school featured a "kids only" room.  You could go in and for, like, a dollar, pick out some kind of screwdriver, or magnet, or magnifying glass or something like that to buy and give as a gift.  We took it very, very seriously and were just beyond proud and excited to pick out these gifts.
    I don't know if schools still have holiday fairs, but that "kids only" room was just the best idea.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from amy-lynn. Show amy-lynn's posts

    Re: What will you tell your kids about Santa?

    I am coming at this from a very different perspective, the one of being Jewish, but still having Santa and the Easter bunny, because my father's side of the family was Christian (he converted when he married my mom) and then my parents divorcing when I was 5, and my dad going back to Christianity (he is now a decon in his church).

    So, I did believe in Santa. I remember worrying about Santa finding my brother and I when we were staying with my dad when we wrote our letters to Santa at my mom's. But I also believed my mom (who loved doing "Santa" and seeing the looks on our faces, despite being Jewish) when she explained that every year after the huge Chritmas rush, Santa took a week off in Florida, and on his way back to the North Pole, he dropped off presents at our house, so with her we always opened presents on New Year's Day. As I got older, even though I knew Santa wasn't a concrete actual person, we continued with our traditions, but also talked more about the spirit of Christmas being one of giving, and kindness to others. Which transcends any single religion, and makes me happy to continue celebrating Christmas with my Catholic DH, even though we will be raising DD as Jewish. 

    I guess my take home message is twofold, one is that the whole Santa phenomenon can be completely separate from the religious aspects (which is why it evokes a lot of hard feelings, especially from religious folks who believe it detracts from the true meaning of Christmas). As such, how you choose to represent Santa is really a personal choice, but one that should be made by discussing it with your spouse. You can't run roughshod over someone else's feelings when it comes to being a family together, and that means having an open discussion about what you want to do and why it has value for you. 

    The second part of my message is that trying to mesh multiple families traditions is tough, but sometimes what works best is to create new ones that work for you... (see the part about Santa and New Years, that allowed my mom to keep the magic of seeing us see presents delivered by Santa while adhereing to court ordered visitation scheduling - which my brother and I never knew was the reason for not spending Christmas with my mother until we were much older).  I'm not saying it will be easy, or that some kids won't be heartbroken to learn that Santa is a very cool idea, but not a physical reality, but (channeling sappy Christmas specials, or maybe Scrooged, now) the holidays are about doing things out of the goodness of our hearts to make the world a little bit better, and that is the message I hope my DD gets about the whole she-bang. Laughing
     

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