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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    2,667

    Santa dos and don'ts

    Has anyone heard this This American Life?

    http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radi...mas?act=1#play

    It's long, but pretty interesting. It's the story of a family that takes the magic (or the deception) of Santa Claus to a new level. In the wake of a certain nameberry mega-troll, I've gotten to thinking about Santa Claus. How important is it in your family to create an atmosphere of magic around Kris Kringle? How far would you go to deceive your children in the name of Christmas spirit? What's your warmest memory of Santa Claus from your own childhood? Do you remember the moment you learned he wasn't real? As parents, how do you handle BEING Santa? And what special tricks do you have up your Santa sleeves this year?

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    114
    I am very interested in this thread. As a child I was always told that Santa was fake. Never once in my entire life did my mother ever say to me or any of my siblings that there was such thing as Santa, and she actually very adamantly said that he was not real, so we couldn't silently believe.
    I always felt superior as a child, like I knew a secret only for adults and all of my other friends weren't mature enough to hear it yet, but I'm having my first child and really wondering if I'll follow in my mom's foot steps or go the Santa route.
    Side story: My cousin is my age, and when we were thirteen she came in and was waving around a Santa hat thrilled that Santa had signed it while he ate the milk and cookies she made. She was very serious.
    That was too far. If your kid is old enough to make their own cookies for Santa it's time to come clean.

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    641
    We don't do Santa with our son. I mean, he has books that people have given him about Santa, we're not hiding Santa from him. We just aren't telling him that Santa is a real guy. He is only two right now, so he doesn't get it yet. But we plan to tell him that Santa is a fun game that people play at Christmastime, and that he can't spoil the game by telling other people that Santa isn't real.

    My husband did not grow up with Santa, so he thinks Santa is kind of weird. Then his mom got remarried and he had new stepsisters who did grow up with Santa and all of the sudden, there was all of this Santa! Presents from Santa, leaving milk and cookies out for Santa, his mom pretending she could hear sleighbells- no discussion about it at all. He just found it confusing and weird.

    My parents were really devoted to us believing in Santa, though. They kind of took it too far. I kept asking if Santa was real and they kept swearing that he was- this is embarrassing, but I was in middle school before I finally figured it out. I was really upset that they had lied to me about it (I am sure that a lot of this came from being an angsty pre-teen. And also being embarrassed that I still believed in Santa Claus in sixth grade) I remember I asked them for a list of all of the other thing they lied about.

    Seriously, I think it would have been fine to raise us with Santa. I don't think it's really damaging or anything. It's just that I kept asking and they kept saying things like, "don't you trust us? Of course there is a Santa Claus! You have to believe in him!" I really don't know why it was so important to them, this went on for way too long.

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Wishing for Greece, stuck in the US
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    6,038
    We're not going to do Santa. In our religion, we have our own thing. For the Norse, Odin brought gifts. You would leave straw out for Sleipnir and Odin would leave you presents. And if you are bad, Krampus gets you (that isn't Norse particular, that's just a Germanic thing). I don't think we're going to do Krampus because he's terrible, but I like that I could say "Well, in our religion, Odin brings presents. Better be good because the All-Father won't bring you presents otherwise!" But she's going to know she'll always get presents from us, but if she's not good, she won't get a special present from Odin.

    And we're going to tell her that other people believe in Santa and that's fine. It's just different for everyone.

    All that being said, she's still getting a picture with Santa for her first Christmas.

    For my own childhood, the daughter of one of my moms friends told me when I was 5 that Santa (and all the other stuff kids are supposed to believe in) were fake. So we did the Santa thing, but only sort of. We put out milk and cookies but we all knew mom and my step-dad were eating them. That's about it. We've got a picture of me when I was like 3 on my grandpa's lap as Santa and I'm looking off camera with this "Oh brother" look and my eyes rolled so obviously I never really believed much. :P
    Last edited by dantea; December 19th, 2013 at 11:13 PM.
    Mother, Hellenic Pagan Priestess, and Resident Greek name expert ^_^ Call me Dantea or Remy

    http://covertocoverediting.webs.com/ -- Editing services available for cheap.

    Proud Mama to:
    Persephone Elysia Willow -- June 5th 2013
    TTC #2 by Christmas 2014

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Anaheim, CA
    Posts
    2,410
    My parents were (and are) pretty devoted to the Santa thing, almost to the level of the parents in that first story. Some years, my sister and I would wake up with presents in our bedrooms--a new quilt covering us, a stuffed animal in our arms, that sort of thing. One year, when "Santa" entered my room, I was still awake and peeking through my eyelashes, and could distinctly see the silhouette of a chubby person with a beard. I would later learn that my mother had dressed up as Santa on the off chance that one of us would wake up. Now that is commitment.

    My parents had lots of help, though--there's a Santa in our area, colloquially known as "the real Santa," who just sells it. He's ready with logical explanations for all the Santa lore ("How do I get into your house? Not the chimney anymore, I use a skeleton key. How do I get around the world in one night? Time zones, duh. And I don't make all the toys, I have deals with all the major toy manufacturers!") which all sound very plausible to a kid. He also has an uncanny way of reading children; he's like Sherlock Holmes or something.

    I stopped believing in Santa when I was 10 or 11 years old, right around the time it was starting to get embarrassing. Then I kept up the charade for my little sister's benefit for the next two years, then we had one Santa-free year before my brothers got old enough to understand the Santa thing. We're still keeping up the illusion for their benefit; they're 9.

    I think I'll do the same crazy level of commitment for my eventual future kids; I liked experiencing that magic. I also think I'll tell them the truth once they hit fifth or sixth grade, depending on their maturity level, because being a middle schooler who still wholeheartedly believes in Santa would be rough.
    Gwen
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