Babies: 6 - 9 Months

My UO - No Santa

So, I'd like to raise my DS without Santa, the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Great Pumpkin, etc. I realize it's going to be challenging but I have this thing about DS thinking his parents are big fat liars once he finds out these things aren't real. Plus I'd rather focus on the Biblical reasons for Christmas and Easter than the commercial. Yes, I realize you can do that and have Santa too but that's how I feel. Is anyone else thinking about or has decided on Santa-free parenting? If so, here are my 2 biggest questions so far: How do you explain the difference between not believing in Santa but believing in Jesus? And how do I get him not to spill the beans to his classmates? I've done a little research but would like to hear the always-intelligent thoughts of my fellow bumpies.

Re: My UO - No Santa

  • I have the exact same feelings, but everyone thinks I'm robbing her of joy or something.  We weren't Christians growing up, so I didn't do any of that anyway. I have no idea what it's like to believe in Santa or the Easter bunny.  I am REALLY interested to see what people say.  My husband will not let me leave out Santa, so I'm conflicted.

    Most Christian adults grew up believing in Santa, but they can understand the difference between Jesus and the monster under the bed now. I wouldn't worry about that part.  I agree with you that focusing on the real meaning behind the season sounds so much better. 

    My parents told me that other kids believed in that stuff, but it wasn't real. The kids at school would were really unkind if I suggested Santa wasn't real so I learned real quick to avoid that subject.

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  • I just wanted to say that I do not know one single person that thinks their parents are big fat liars because they let them believe in Santa.

    I think you have the right to raise your child to believe in whatever you wish and you have the right to practice whatever you wish. I have no problem with people not doing the santa/easter bunny/ tooth fairy thing. I just don't buy into the "I don't want my child to think I'm a liar" thing.

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  • I didn't think my parents were big fat liars -- did you?  I think you're overestimating a kid's dislike for finding out it isn't real or underestimating them being able to understand that while Santa isn't real, he embodies the spirit of Christmas.  Plus, he's based on a saint, so you can bring in a religious teaching there.

    Focusing on the real meaning is important, though.  Growing up, we weren't allowed to open our presents until we found Baby Jesus and put him in the  manger and then said our prayers. For Easter, our baskets didn't show up until we got home from church.

    If you're going without, maybe explain to your child where the ideas came from and how they evolved so that while they know they're not real, they understand the basis (even if it is Saturnalia and the symbol of fertility).

    But don't be surprised if your kid does get mad that they didn't get $1 for their first tooth! 

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  • I think it is strange, but dont see anything wrong with it. Santa is a story about a real person so maybe tell him about that real person and that now he is gone because he is. And just explain that some people "pretend" he still exists. I wouldn/t wory about it at school, most kids are going to bulk that there isn't one until they get to a certain age, and then there will be many school kids who know the truth as well. I will say though that I was raised a christian, and had all of those things, and never felt as though my parents were liars when I learned the truth.

    GL I am sure it will work out fine.  There are lots of religions as well that do not practice these things so you may want to look at maybe how they explain them.

  • I grew up not believing in Santa. My parents told us that Santa was just for fun.  They still designated one gift that was supposed to be from Santa but we never set out cookies or anything like that.  And they told us when we went to school that the other kids might think he's real and don't spoil the suprise. I don't think any of us 4 kids told anyone at school.
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  • image CourtneyR2N:

    I just wanted to say that I do not know one single person that thinks their parents are big fat liars because they let them believe in Santa.

    I think you have the right to raise your child to believe in whatever you wish and you have the right to practice whatever you wish. I have no problem with people not doing the santa/easter bunny/ tooth fairy thing. I just don't buy into the "I don't want my child to think I'm a liar" thing.

    This, exactly. You will run into issues when other kids get money for their teeth and your LO gets nothing. So just be prepared for that inevitable situation.

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  • We were raised believing in Santa, but more so the Saint Nicolas angle.   It was kind of neat learning about St. Nic.


  • image CourtneyR2N:

    I just wanted to say that I do not know one single person that thinks their parents are big fat liars because they let them believe in Santa.

    I think you have the right to raise your child to believe in whatever you wish and you have the right to practice whatever you wish. I have no problem with people not doing the santa/easter bunny/ tooth fairy thing. I just don't buy into the "I don't want my child to think I'm a liar" thing.

    This. And while you can do whatever you want with your child, I don't think this is going to work out like you want it to. What is your poor child going to do/think when the class is visiting Santa to tell him what they want for Christmas? It's just too out there to be avoided. If anything, your kid could hate that you took the magic away from them. They are KIDS. Let them believe in something. The real world is too scary for a child as is.

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  • Honestly, I felt more lied to when I found out Jesus wasn't really born on December 25th than I ever did about Santa. 

     

  • image emilydholmes1:
    image CourtneyR2N:

    I just wanted to say that I do not know one single person that thinks their parents are big fat liars because they let them believe in Santa.

    I think you have the right to raise your child to believe in whatever you wish and you have the right to practice whatever you wish. I have no problem with people not doing the santa/easter bunny/ tooth fairy thing. I just don't buy into the "I don't want my child to think I'm a liar" thing.

    This. And while you can do whatever you want with your child, I don't think this is going to work out like you want it to. What is your poor child going to do/think when the class is visiting Santa to tell him what they want for Christmas? It's just too out there to be avoided. If anything, your kid could hate that you took the magic away from them. They are KIDS. Let them believe in something. The real world is too scary for a child as is.

    Agreed!  Good luck with your decision, though.

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  • I never thought of my parents as liars when I found out Santa wasn't real. The beans will be spilt. I don't think you can have your cake and eat it too. When kids talk about Santa, what are you going to do when your kids come home asking about who Santa is? 

    Our oldest (9 y/o) has told us that the gig is up on Santa...but he still firmly believes in the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny. They're harmless. He also doesn't think we're liars.

    If someone at school tells him the Tooth Fairy or EB doesn't exist, it's OK with me. He's old enough now that it doesn't matter as much. It does baffle me a little bit why Santa doesn't exist yet the other 2 still do.

    So I guess while I don't care what others tell their kids, I do care about what their kids tell mine, depending on the age and subject. 

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  • Eh, your kids will adjust no matter what you tell them.  They will believe in what you believe in (or what you tell them to believe in) until they are old enough to decide for themselves.  I am not religious and was raised that way.  My friends believed in things that I didn't.  And it was not a big deal.  Because my parents didn't get on their high horse and tell me that my friends were "wrong" for believing, I just grew up accepting that people believe in different things. 


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  • My parents felt the same way you do, OP.  My brother and I grew up knowing Santa wasn't real but we still played as though he came on Christmas.  It was like a game.  I don't think I missed out on anything.  My parents focused on the Christian Christmas story instead and stressed that Jesus is real.

    I have Christian friends with children who currently say that Santa is like Sponge Bob - a character that some people think is real and others don't.  He's a lot of fun, so why not? 

    DH seems to agree with the majority of people that we'd be robbing DD of something if we tell her Santa isn't real.  I've known a lot of people who said they were completely devastated when they found out he wasn't real but DH seems to think that's part of the joy of the whole thing.  I'm not firmly on one side or the other of the matter, so I guess we'll be pretending that Santa's real. 

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  • Just for the record - I never believed in Santa and it didn't and doesn't bother me. I went back to school when everyone else was talking about what they got for Christmas and I didn't get anything because we didn't celebrate the holiday.  It taught me how to be ok with being different. I learned really valuable lessons about thinking for myself and not always following the crowd.  I think either choice is fine. Kids are really resilliant.  Lots of kids go without presents because they can't afford it. At least I could say my parents didn't believe in it. I felt like I was better off than they were.  Kids won't think you are a liar if you tell them about Santa just like they won't feel depraved and pitiful if you tell them he's a fantasy.
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  • I never thought my parents were liars for letting my sister and I believe in those things...and we are a practicing Catholic family. But of course, you are entitled to raise your child according to whichever beliefs you think are best.

    However, if you would like an idea of how to consolidate the concept of Santa Claus with Jesus' birth, I think there is a story for children called "The Kneeling Santa".  I'd have to google it.  There is also a figurine (I think by Fontanini) which depicts Santa Claus kneeling before Baby Jesus in his crib.  I will be sharing this story with DD when she is old enought to understand it...I would like her to have the best of both worlds.

    http://www.catholicsupply.com/christmas/kneelsanta.html

    http://www.deepershopping.com/item/jeanne-pieper/a-special-place-for-santa-story-of-the-kneeling/221284.html

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  • I didn't think my parents were liars for doing the Santa/Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy.  We never had any issues separating religion from popular culture either.  We went to church regularly and had plenty of exposure to the bible stories, etc.  Santa was fun, sure, but it was also great to see my family and do presents with friends and family.  Even without Santa, I think that tradition is worth something.  I love the Christmas season for both sacred and secular reasons.

    We went to school with lots of kids with different religions and cultures.  Even if we came home and said that our friends said Santa wasn't real, my parents always handled it with a "what do you believe?" conversation.  When we decided we didn't believe any more, that was the end of the myth. 

    Interestingly, I had several non-Christian friends who were visited by Santa.  Their parents saw it as a secular thing and enjoyed the whole surprise the kids routine.

  • I don't want to tell my son about Santa. It has nothing to do with religion. I just don't want to lie. Its not that I think it will traumatize him, but its just not the type of parenting I want to do.

    Part of my issue with Santa is the illogical privileged message it gives. Why do poor kids get more presents than rich kids? Does Santa like rich kids more? I always felt so unlucky. I too am completely unsure of how to handle the situation. Where have you done research because I haven't seen anything on it. thx!

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  • image emilydholmes1:
    image CourtneyR2N:

    I just wanted to say that I do not know one single person that thinks their parents are big fat liars because they let them believe in Santa.

    I think you have the right to raise your child to believe in whatever you wish and you have the right to practice whatever you wish. I have no problem with people not doing the santa/easter bunny/ tooth fairy thing. I just don't buy into the "I don't want my child to think I'm a liar" thing.

    This. And while you can do whatever you want with your child, I don't think this is going to work out like you want it to. What is your poor child going to do/think when the class is visiting Santa to tell him what they want for Christmas? It's just too out there to be avoided. If anything, your kid could hate that you took the magic away from them. They are KIDS. Let them believe in something. The real world is too scary for a child as is.

    wait, What school takes kids to see Santa? Because how do the parents of children with a religion that does not celebrate Christmas? I never saw Santa at school. What does Santa have to do with school? 

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  • image mrsleo524:

    I have Christian friends with children who currently say that Santa is like Sponge Bob - a character that some people think is real and others don't.  He's a lot of fun, so why not? 

    I like this.

    And I love the pp that said we were more lied to about Jesus' birthday!  So true. 

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  • image CourtneyR2N:

    I just wanted to say that I do not know one single person that thinks their parents are big fat liars because they let them believe in Santa.

    I think you have the right to raise your child to believe in whatever you wish and you have the right to practice whatever you wish. I have no problem with people not doing the santa/easter bunny/ tooth fairy thing. I just don't buy into the "I don't want my child to think I'm a liar" thing.

    I agree with all of this.

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  • image stw_77:

    Honestly, I felt more lied to when I found out Jesus wasn't really born on December 25th than I ever did about Santa. 

     

    This! Haha
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  • I love this. I have an absolute HATRED for the Easter Bunny, Santa, Toothfairy, etc. I am going to tell her those are made up cartoon characters. I don't care if she spills the beans at school. I just don't get why parents bust the butts to get things for their kids and tell them someone bought it. I don't get lying. The difference between you and I is I don't believe in Christmas period. I feel it is a made up holiday to force you to buy presents for people you don't even like (like your neighbor, hairstylist, workmates.) Our Christmas tradition will remain the same as pre child: We will use the time off work to go to the Caribbean.
  • image mrs.kapow:
    image mrsleo524:

    I have Christian friends with children who currently say that Santa is like Sponge Bob - a character that some people think is real and others don't.  He's a lot of fun, so why not? 

    I like this.

    And I love the pp that said we were more lied to about Jesus' birthday!  So true. 

    Thanks, I guess that is why I don't understand  the whole " I don't want to lie to my kids" argument either.  Jesus wasn't born anywhere close to December 25th.  Dec 25th was a pagan holiday celebrating the birth of the Roman Sun god Mithra ( I think, I am not up on my holiday history). So yeah, technically that is a lie too.  I mean I understand why the early church established it as Jesus's birthday, but I also understand why we have fun with Santa Claus too.  I was not joking when I said I felt more lied to when I was told Jesus wasn't born anywhere close to December 25th than I ever did about Santa.  I wasn't distraught or anything like that, I just felt lied to.  A few of my Christian friends also said the same thing. 

    I figure if our kids are going to feel lied to whatever we do. 

  • image sugarland726:
    image CourtneyR2N:

    I just wanted to say that I do not know one single person that thinks their parents are big fat liars because they let them believe in Santa.

    I think you have the right to raise your child to believe in whatever you wish and you have the right to practice whatever you wish. I have no problem with people not doing the santa/easter bunny/ tooth fairy thing. I just don't buy into the "I don't want my child to think I'm a liar" thing.

    This, exactly. You will run into issues when other kids get money for their teeth and your LO gets nothing. So just be prepared for that inevitable situation.

    I never said he wasn't getting anything. He will get Christmas presents, an Easter basket and money or a trinket to celebrate a lost tooth. The difference is my son will know all the aformentioned came from me and his father, not a pretend character.

  • image kandjrolls2:
    I love this. I have an absolute HATRED for the Easter Bunny, Santa, Toothfairy, etc. I am going to tell her those are made up cartoon characters. I don't care if she spills the beans at school. I just don't get why parents bust the butts to get things for their kids and tell them someone bought it. I don't get lying. The difference between you and I is I don't believe in Christmas period. I feel it is a made up holiday to force you to buy presents for people you don't even like (like your neighbor, hairstylist, workmates.) Our Christmas tradition will remain the same as pre child: We will use the time off work to go to the Caribbean.

    Well, that's a sucky attitude.  I don't understand this whole concept but try not to judge.  Can't you show a little mutual respect and teach your kid not to ruin it for those who do "believe?"

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