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scarygothgirl
12-02-2014, 12:22 PM
What are your thoughts on Santa?


Growing up I believed in Santa, and enjoyed all the surrounding tradition. We figured out fairly early on that Santa was in fact our parents (gasp!), but we pretended we still believed for their sake. My parents continued to give us Christmas stockings every year until I got married. And then my husband and I decided to get eachother stockings every year, which I really enjoy. I find it wonderful that after growing up enjoying Santa, I now get to be Santa!

But there's the other side of it. I'm not so keen on the idea of Santa himself. Christmas stockings I love, and plan to do for any future children I have. But I'm not keen on the idea of lying about Santa being real.
My mother once said to me something about how we lie to children and expect them to believe that Santa is real, and then not be upset to find out that he is a lie. But we also tell them that God is real, and expect them to continue to believe when the world tries to tell them that God is a lie.
I also read something recently about how the focus should be on giving gifts to people we love, not on receiving gifts out of some feeling of entitlement. Christmas is about us receiving the ultimate gift from God, and that is something we are given because God loves us, not because we deserve it. Santa is supposed to give gifts to children who are good, but we know that we can never truly be good, and that the greatest gift of all is given to sinners.
Also Santa is kind of creepy. We encourage children to go sit on the lap of some stranger dressed as Santa, but tell them not to talk to strangers for the rest of the year. 'He sees you when you're sleeping, He knows when you're awake. He knows if you've been bad or good, so be good-for goodness sake!'


I'm thinking that with my future children I will tell them about Santa as a fun fictional Christmas story, and make it clear that it is fictional. And I will let them know that their stocking gifts are from my husband and I as a symbol of our love, but they can pretend they're from Santa if they want.

snooch
12-02-2014, 12:37 PM
I grew up believing in Santa, and no one discouraged me from it. I figured it out on my own and had that transition year where I professed that he wasn't real, but then snuck downstairs after I was supposed to be in bed to leave him a note, just in case ;). I wasn't traumatized by it and I never related it to anyone lying to me or to not believing God was real either because of it. Although I guess I can see how that might happen.

Kids are all about make-believe. I love the innocent faith kids can have in magical things. Santa represents the spirit of giving to me. I don't have kids, but if I did I would probably let them experience that magic until they were old enough to not want to believe anymore.

mina
12-02-2014, 01:03 PM
I'm neither a Santa lover nor hater. I find the extreme of each side to be quite distasteful. I enjoyed Santa growing up. I will probably be relaxed about it with my own children and not push them to embrace nor hate Santa and spoil it for other children. The most hateful things I've ever witnessed as a teacher was a first grade child telling others that they will go to hell for believing in Santa, making the other kids cry about it all to be "right". It was downright disturbing and meanspirted. Yeah, so the Santa extreme types creep me out. I also think it's wrong to rejoice in a child being cruel to other children or being proud about it because their child knows Christmas is about Christ. I'd rather my child act in kindness and with compassion, like Christ, no matter if they believe in Santa or not.

GM
12-02-2014, 02:17 PM
I grew up believing in Santa, and no one discouraged me from it. I figured it out on my own and had that transition year where I professed that he wasn't real, but then snuck downstairs after I was supposed to be in bed to leave him a note, just in case ;). I wasn't traumatized by it and I never related it to anyone lying to me or to not believing God was real either because of it. Although I guess I can see how that might happen.

Kids are all about make-believe. I love the innocent faith kids can have in magical things. Santa represents the spirit of giving to me. I don't have kids, but if I did I would probably let them experience that magic until they were old enough to not want to believe anymore.

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katzankatz
12-02-2014, 05:52 PM
If I could go back in time and redo certain things with my kids, one thing I'd do different is emphasize that we are PRETENDING at Santa. At the time it seemed to me that they understood that we were pretending. We talked about pretending, but apparently not enough. I remember an incident in which they were clearly confused and dismayed at Santa's apparent failure to show up on time . When I think back on that I feel a tiny bit bad that it was confusing for them.

I remember my brother telling me that Santa wasn't real, and I was pretty disappointed, but I got over it quickly. I assumed it would be the same for my kids, but it wasn't.

I don't have deep regrets and the kids don't seem to be scarred for life or anything, but I'd still do things a tiny bit different..

blythe_ann
12-03-2014, 10:04 AM
My thoughts on Santa stem from the Easter Bunny.
One Easter, when I called my mom out on it when I caught her hiding the eggs in the yard and she tried to make up some story about helping the "Easter Bunny" hide the eggs because we had made too many that year or something.
I was probably on my way to being 5 at the time. My mom and I both remember it clearly, though. I looked her in the eye and said in an annoyed voice, "really, Mom?". While I was finding the eggs the adults were watching and taking pictures and teasing me a bit. For some reason, I wasn't having any of that. How dare the adults hide eggs and then laugh at me while I look for them!
My dad asked why I was so mad and I told him "Mom hid these eggs to make fun of me because the bunny isn't real and Jesus didn't decorate eggs." -- We caught that on film :).

Anyway, after that, my parents would give me presents under the tree labeled from Santa, but otherwise we didn't talk about it or do anything else, because, well, I think my parents were afraid I'd be ticked off again.

My husband and I will probably read books with Santa in it or something, but we have no intention of making Santa, the Bunny, or anything else "a thing". Just a personal preference, I suppose.

Historia
12-03-2014, 05:22 PM
I thought I was the only one who thought Santa was creepy. :D I'm not a fan of Santa. I don't have a problem with the pretending part. I think that's just fun for a lot of kids. I do think mall Santas are so creepy, though. I don't think the people who dress up as Santa are necessarily bad people and probably most are lovely, but I don't want to encourage my son to sit on some strange dude's lap and tell him what he wants to be given.

However, I do plan to read him stories about Santa in a way that just makes it fun but clear that it's just magical make-believe. I also plan to read him stories (and have been looking for a good one) about St. Nick and how his story evolved into Santa. I think the story of the real man is better at showing the spirit of giving.

jgonz
12-04-2014, 06:09 PM
I grew up with Santa, and my parents continued the tradition WAY after we knew he wasn't real.

After I got saved, I really really really didn't like the whole Santa thing... So when DH and I got married and started our own family, we decided to skip Santa and tell the kids that "Santa is just a fun fairy tale at Christmas time."
My parents still sent gifts from Santa. *rolleyes*

We don't do Christmas anymore at all (we keep Hanukkah), but we still get presents from my Mom, wrapped in Santa paper. It's actually rather funny...

tiredwalker
12-05-2014, 05:33 PM
I still believe in Santa. I don't do the naughty/nice part--I use him as an example of God's grace. He gave us his son though we didn't deserve it, and Santa thought that was great and gives us all presents whether we deserve it or not. I still get stuff in my stocking, and I enjoy filling some stockings. When the kids ask, I say "What do you think?" That way they can choose to continue or not.

Gillian
12-07-2014, 05:44 PM
I grew up believing in Santa, and no one discouraged me from it. I figured it out on my own and had that transition year where I professed that he wasn't real, but then snuck downstairs after I was supposed to be in bed to leave him a note, just in case ;). I wasn't traumatized by it and I never related it to anyone lying to me or to not believing God was real either because of it. Although I guess I can see how that might happen.

Kids are all about make-believe. I love the innocent faith kids can have in magical things. Santa represents the spirit of giving to me. I don't have kids, but if I did I would probably let them experience that magic until they were old enough to not want to believe anymore.

I had the same approach with my own children, but a couple of them took slightly longer than most children to figure out that it was just their mum and dad leaving them presents. I certainly disagree with having all presents for children as from Santa. The only problem with my children was that they didn't want to stop the Santa tradition and were expecting Santa gifts when they were well into their 20's. We decided on a change and now we do Secret Santa, whereby each of us buys for 2 others in the family a gift costing just a small amount.

Gillian

DIANAC
12-07-2014, 11:59 PM
There was no Santa in the Soviet Union where I grew up. We had Grandfather Frost and his granddaughter Snow Maiden. However, along with the Christmas tree, they were nowhere to be seen as the Soviets decided that those three looked very "Christian". But on Jan 1 1949 they were set free, and the Christmas tree was renamed a New Year tree. By the time I was born (1950) people still did not put up a New year tree. Only in 1954 after Stalin died I saw my first New Year tree in my house as my mother and my father decorated it with some lights colored at home and amazing glass ornaments.
Grandfather Frost and Snow Maiden made appearances only at organized functions like at schools and factories. They gave the children gifts that were small bags filled with candies and tangerines. But each year I was hoping to find a small doll in that bag. I am glad that my parents did not make a big deal out of Grandfather Frost. This way I accepted him as a fairytale character. But when 9 years later my brother came along, I completely made up for the lack of Santa/Grandfather Frost in my early years. I hid his presents and told him stories about Ded Moroz. I did the same with my son in a more elaborate fashion. But now it was Santa. Now I wish I was not that eager, as Santa celebration does have an element of deception. But I was not a Christian then. At the age of 9 both my brother and later my son knew the truth about Santa. Each one figured it out on his own. Now my job is done :)

Sam
12-08-2014, 09:10 AM
My parents were the crazy anti Santa parents, I swear just seeing a Santa figure on a card or on tv was enough to set them off. It was a little ridiculous, but I know their hearts were in the right place, they wanted to keep Christmas about Jesus and not some random guy breaking and entering lol.
Dh's parents did Santa, and all the commercialization of Christmas, and they still go way overboard. Dh still loves Santa and all that.
My SIL's family did too and she felt betrayed and lied to when she found out Santa wasn't real and it really affected her. So, since my brother wasn't raised with Santa, and my SIL has negative feelings about it, they don't do Santa but their kids are instructed not to ruin it for other kids.

Now for me, I don't care much either way. If it wasn't so important to DH I probably wouldn't do Santa and I would do a few simple presents. Like I said, it's really important to DH so I go along with but we don't do all presents from Santa, just her stocking and what she's specifically asked Santa for, is year it was a pink toolbox. Any questions she may have I refer to DH since it's a foreign idea to me.

I don't think it takes away from Jesus because He is a part of our every day lives, and Cassy knows we celebrate Jesus' birthday on Christmas.