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Parents and Santa

 
 
Seed
 
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2009 04:00 pm
How do you handle it? Do you let your kids know at an early age that there may not be such a thing as Santa? Are you a believer and buy things just to help the man out on his busy night?

Do your kids write letters to the big man? What do you do with the letters when they are wrote? Do you use Santa as a way of keeping your kids in check the closer and more stressful it gets to Christmas? (you know how kids don't want to get on the naughty list).

Do you take your kids to see Santa and sit on his lap? Do you turn around and leave if the mall Santa doesn't seem to be the picture of Christmas? Do you bake cookies for the kids to put out on Christmas eve? Or do you teach your kids healthy habits and put out something greener for the big guy? What do you do with the food that is put out if a night time visitor hasn't been by and par taken in your kindness?

 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2009 05:15 pm
I think i was about 15 when santa stopped coming. Not sure if thats because i got on the naughty list or because i pretended to believe.
I had a brother about 6 years younger than me so a facade was kept up.
(if you can pretend there is a santa surely its ok to pretend to believe)
Santa is a vehical for retailers to make millions. We all need to consume less.
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2009 05:35 pm
@dadpad,
Quote:
We all need to consume less.


Respectfully disagree. We need to consume more. The economy's in the toilet as it is. If people stop spending money, it can only get worse.

dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2009 05:48 pm
@Merry Andrew,
If we dont slow consumption there wont be a planet to live on MA.
The slowing in consumption will be natural as we run out of resources for important things you and I wont have to worry though it will be our grandghildren's problem.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2009 05:52 pm
Mo only believes in Santa at Christmas time.

Last year he begged me to "just tell me the truth" so I did. A few weeks later when Christmas rolled around he believed again. Then he went a year where he didn't and now he believes again.

It's funny because Santa doesn't really bring him that much since so many gifts come with rules about use. If I want to set the rules I have to give the gift, if you get my drift.

I like it that he wants to believe in Santa.

We certainly did our bit to support the economy this holiday season.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2009 06:08 pm
I don't mind Santa getting some of the credit, so long as spending and a child's expectation is not out of sight. I have always tried to show Santa as a wise man, with a bit more to offer than only toys.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2009 06:43 pm
@boomerang,
Yeah, I think that's where we are too.

I don't remember details but I'd thought sozlet knew about the Santa deal -- we definitely had some kind of conversation at some point that indicated as much. (I think maybe she informed me that she'd found the special from-Santa wrapping paper in the basement and figured things out.) But as of right now, she believes. I think it has to do with wanting to drag out the fun stuff as long as possible.

I keep things relatively neutral. Actively talked him up when she was teeny (like 2), now I just follow her cues.

We've never done the lap thing. In our latest discussion where she indicated that she believes, she said that she knows that all the mall Santas are just helpers, not the actual guy.

I know what you mean about conditions, boomer! I also get a little cheesed that Santa gets credit for the major gifts (one per year) that I spent the most time, effort and money on. But I do think she knows the deal, so...
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2009 06:56 pm
I don't think I was ever led in the direction of reality belief in santa, we were all given the idea that santa was a symbol, not a religious symbol but rather a humanitarian symbol of human compassion especially aimed at children but equally aimed at adults. this was at the same time as the end of WWII and (where I lived) the beginnings of the Israel/Palestine conflict. Compassion was not a common commodity in those days.
0 Replies
 
Seed
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Dec, 2009 09:57 pm
I always found this time of year interesting. My parents never told me he wasn't real. And at the age I am now in my mind I can clearly see how he could not be real. On the other hand, the child in me, the person in me that believes in Big Foot (I mean I follow him on twitter for god's sake!), the person in me that believes in the Lock Ness Monster, and the one that believes in ghost and aliens gives indulgences to the possibility of Santa being no more fictional then that of you or I.

Growing up in public schools (as I am sure it was the same in private schools) you run into the kids who want to make life hell for you. So they tell you things you didn't want to hear. Santa was a fake. It's just your parents. They eat the cookies, and they put the presents under the tree. They give you cold hard facts: He's to fat to fit down a chimney. Reindeer are too slow to get all over the world. Of course you battle back with the shield of magic and the sword of belief. It never works of course. Either way though, it gets in your head. You decide to try and stay up to see and catch who ever it is in the act. You can never just stay awake. Even if you think you had only dosed off for a moment, that was the time that "he" struck. Eating the cookies, drinking half the milk and leaving a wealth beneath the tree that you had only seen in commercials and windows at the malls.

So the thought still lingers. It's there for another year. In the back of your mind. Making no noise, just sitting there waiting for the opportune time to poke his rosey red cheeked head out and make you start wondering. Of course it's around the same time of year every year. Just about the time you start wondering if the deeds, both good and bad, are going to be enough to get you on the naughty list or if you are about to be keeping Christmas morning warm by stoking the fire with that lump of coal you are sure to receive if you miscalculated your good deeds for the year. Either way, if you believe at that point or not, it was enough to make you re-evaluate your position on the whole subject. And with that thought, if only for one more year, you believe again, just in case.

Time quickly flies by. You are 15 or 16 again. You want the coolest new thing out. You scoff at the idea of writing a letter to Santa and yet you still do. In secret of course, but you write it. You do it quickly, quietly and when no is looking you slip it in the mail box. Why? Your mother used to handle the letters and since you didn't want to involve her, it's the best idea you can come up with.

Those rosey red cheeks still pop up when least expected. Maybe it was because you have always been a kid at heart. Or maybe it was because the thought of believing makes you feel like there is something wholesome and good still left in the world and that's almost like a blanket to you. Maybe because it just reminds you of a time in your life when things were simple, when things were fun. Either way, you never stop believing totally, there is always a little something there to hold on to. At least for those who never gave into the bullies in school, that is.

0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Dec, 2009 01:19 am
Just like Seed my daughter came home and told me that the kids in school told her that Santa does not exist.
I told her he does exist - in our heart. If we like to celebrate Christmas, to give and to recieve gifts, writing cards, think about the ones who a lonesome around Christmas then we have a Santa in our hearts. Santa in our hearts is so much more important than the one dressed up in a red coat.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Dec, 2009 03:06 am
[rant]I still resent each stupid lie adults tried to foist on me (I'm still pissed about the Jackalope, that was the last one I fell for) and to me Santa, the Tooth Fairy and all that is the same. As a kid I was told to pay heed to what adults told me. To learn from them. To obey them when they told me not to lie, for example. Then they go around and abuse that trust by playing dumb games with me for stupid amusement? Sure, I understood that they may have meant well but it was patronizing, deceitful and an abuse of their authority.

Fantasy is fun on its own, you don't need to lie to the kid and try to sell fantasy as reality. I still remember the first moment I realized that adults aren't always right, and that adults might lie to me. I felt like an idiot for being so credulous up to that point. If parents have a right to make up nonsense about Santa and construct this elaborate illusion because they think their kid might enjoy it then the kids should be able to falsify their report cards because their parents might enjoy that illusion as well.

Most adults don't like being lied to for fun, or for an illusion that someone else thinks they might enjoy, so why does society do it to our kids?[/rant]
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Dec, 2009 04:19 am
@Robert Gentel,
Hmmmm...that's surely one aspect. But it's very black and white.

But it's really hard for parents, because there is (in many countries) such a culture of santa and the easter bunny etc.

If I think about it, I am still pissed off about OTHER lies my father told me, but not the fairies and easter bunnies and such.

I think I recognized them as a fun thing for kids, quietly and naturally worked out that they were a tale, and equally quietly pretended still to believe in them, because I knew I would get extra stuff that way!

I don't think I'd be able to lie if seriously challenged about them, though.

I remember my little cousin sending my lovely Auntie Merle into a terrible moral torture chamber. He was about 3 or 4....and he marched up to her one christmas, fixed her with a basilisk glare...and said :" I'm going to ask you something, and you have to promise to tell the truth!"

She promised, and, of course, he asked her "Is father christmas real?"

She was paralysed like a deer in the headlights, and the entire family shared her agony.


Then she told the truth.....only to be met with a towering rage; "You should have lied!!!!" he wailed.

My Gethsemane came with a munchkin with a morbid fear of ghosts.

We examined the evidence pro and con.

"So...they don't exist." he said.

"But what about father christmas and the easter bunny?"



Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Dec, 2009 04:46 am
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
But it's really hard for parents, because there is (in many countries) such a culture of santa and the easter bunny etc.

If I think about it, I am still pissed off about OTHER lies my father told me, but not the fairies and easter bunnies and such.


But this is another reason why I think it is absurd. That most don't really accept this behavior outside of the cultural rituals indicates to me that most know it's undesirable.

Quote:
My Gethsemane came with a munchkin with a morbid fear of ghosts.

We examined the evidence pro and con.

"So...they don't exist." he said.

"But what about father christmas and the easter bunny?"


The only reason that'd be a tough question for me is because it's not exactly toward to break the news to a kid that their parents are lying. Which is another reason I hate this ritual, it pressures others have to participate in the whole charade and that moral dilemma occurs for a reason.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Dec, 2009 07:59 am
@Robert Gentel,
Yeah...I can't fault you logically, but, since I and most kids I have come across have greatly enjoyed the great santa lie, I can't agree with you.


I didn't see it as being lied to, but as the adults getting together to give kids lots of pleasure.

That being said, I know of kids who have found it distressing to discover the truth.

The juxtaposition of ghosts and santa in that little kid's question certainly made the dilemmas and logical contradictions clear! It most certainly IS untoward to break to another's child that the benign fantasies are false, too.

sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Dec, 2009 08:09 am
@Robert Gentel,
I think there's some sort of in-between area. Sozlet and I have always talked about fantasy stuff in a way that is different from reality stuff but isn't utterly dismissive of the fantasy.

When the Santa thing came up, she didn't confront me, it just was something that came up obliquely and I was curious about whether she'd categorized Santa in the actually-true category or the fun-fantasty category and asked her. That's when the wrapping paper came up in an "of course it's not true, but anyway..." kind of way.

Interesting -- I was thinking back and realized "she started it!" Heh. Not Santa but the whole in-between gray area. When she was a tiny toddler and signing Very Important Things that included the orangutans that lived in the tree in our back yard. Who had a pet fox. I didn't say "What, that's impossible?!", I said "Oh really? Cool! Tell me more."

Anyway, kids have active fantasy lives (even at 18 months or whatever she was) and (generally) enjoy indulging in fantasy, while still realizing that there isn't actually an orangutan in the tree or that Santa is actually real.

I don't know, maybe I'm wrong and she REALLY TRULY believes in Santa right now. I think it's the gray area though and she has fun with all the stuff around it (cookies et al) so prefers to keep it gray rather than shoving it into the confines of the "untrue" category.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Dec, 2009 08:21 am
@sozobe,
The thing is, Santa is real. There are some myths around, like how he's a single person, or lives at the North Pole, or uses elf slave labor, or delivers packages via an eight rp flying sleigh.

But I guarantee that Santa fills my kids' stockings and provides a special gift each year.

(Just like the nisse play practical jokes every year because they didn't get their Christmas porridge.)
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Dec, 2009 08:22 am
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
Yeah...I can't fault you logically, but, since I and most kids I have come across have greatly enjoyed the great santa lie, I can't agree with you.


I kind of feel the same way about people with strong religious belief. They get tremendous joy or strength or pleasure from it. I'm not going to get into a huge "it's a giant fairytale" argument with them. I'm envious of them many days.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Dec, 2009 09:50 am
http://www.nemu-nemu.com/comics/519-faq-for-santa-1.jpg
0 Replies
 
mac11
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Dec, 2009 10:04 am
@Seed,
Seed wrote:
Do you bake cookies for the kids to put out on Christmas eve? Or do you teach your kids healthy habits and put out something greener for the big guy? What do you do with the food that is put out if a night time visitor hasn't been by and par taken in your kindness?

We put out cookies and milk (Santa remembered to put his dishes in the sink!) and we put out (uncooked) oatmeal in the backyard for the reindeer, too.

I remember feeling somewhat betrayed when I had proof that Santa wasn't real at age 9. I heard the rumors for a while, but proof was another thing. Did they think I wouldn't recognize Daddy's handwriting?

When asked, my mom always said "Santa only brings presents to children who believe in him." That nipped the doubts for a while.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Dec, 2009 10:16 am
@Seed,
I like the fantasy - up until last year my daughter then 10 believed even with the kids in her class all telling her Santa wasn't real she still believed. When she asked me (as I didn't want to fib to her), I would say what do you think? She would ponder and say (in comparsion to say the Easter bunny -which didn't believe in at an earlier age) well he has a real face so he's real.

Yes - she especially would write letters and get her younger sister to as well. She would leave them at the table with the cookies, milk and carrots. I've kept them - she also has written to the Easter bunny - in both cases she had asked if they were real - one year I left the Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus article for her with a note from Santa saying because so many children ask me this, I carry a copy of this article around to leave.

We also go on the website that shows where Santa is on Christmas eve. It is really cool as it will also tell you about the country where Santa is at the time.

My younger daughter still visits Santa - she loves it. My older daughter now 11 is too old and was too old last year (at least from what she says). I do point out that my grandmother just 10 years ago used to visit and get her picture with Santa. But I leave it up to them whether they want to or not. And my local mall Santa is the real deal.

Of course cookies - Santa has to be fat!
0 Replies
 
 

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