#1 Posted by mtcantor (948 posts) -


#2 Edited by mtcantor (948 posts) -

Basically just asking actual parents on the forum how they handle this potentially touchy aspect of Christmas. My wife and I are honestly conflicted on how to deal with it. On the one hand, Christmas can be magical and amazing and so and so for kids that really believe. But on the other hand, we really don't like setting our kids of for disappointment, cynicism, and that whole lying to them thing.

Is there a good way to do the Christmas thing without lying to your kids or setting them up to believe something that's just not true?

#3 Posted by Bell_End (1208 posts) -

my parents let me figure out that things like father christmas and jesus were just made up by myself.

#4 Posted by ajamafalous (11994 posts) -
@mtcantor said:
Is there a good way to do the Christmas thing without lying to your kids or setting them up to believe something that's just not true?
Well, you can either lie to them and tell them that Santa is real, or you can not lie to them and tell them that he's not. Ultimately that choice is up to you, which probably isn't helpful advice at all.
 
 
But yeah, what you're asking for is impossible.
#5 Posted by mtcantor (948 posts) -

@ajamafalous said:

@mtcantor said:
Is there a good way to do the Christmas thing without lying to your kids or setting them up to believe something that's just not true?
Well, you can either lie to them and tell them that Santa is real, or you can not lie to them and tell them that he's not. Ultimately that choice is up to you, which probably isn't helpful advice at all. But yeah, what you're asking for is impossible.

Not only is it not helpful advice, it isn't advice at all. We already established these things. What I am asking for are actual parents' experiences handling this.

#6 Edited by Hockeymask27 (3683 posts) -

Just leave it tell they figure it out. One year I just didn't want to write to Santa. I figured it 2 years before that but I liked extra presents.

#7 Posted by Eldave0 (29 posts) -

Kids (for the most part) are pretty smart. Go along with the ruse and they will work it out in tme - at least, thats the approach I'm going to take with my kid.

#8 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -

My mother doesn't know how to tell my little sister that Santa does not exist, since she's old enough already. Personally, i discovered on my own, and i plan to do what E says, but i'm drunk and voted B.

#9 Posted by Dagbiker (6976 posts) -

Im not a parent. But I figured out Santa wasn't real when I woke up sleeping on the couch of our hotel room and saw my Dad putting presents around the tree. I wasn't disappointed. I imagine the question you are asking must be the same people ask when they want to tell their parents they are gay, or lesbian. They don't want to disappoint their parents. Perhaps letting them figuer it out on their own is a good Idea. But leaving bold clues about who Santa is is a good start.

#10 Posted by ajamafalous (11994 posts) -
@mtcantor said:

@ajamafalous said:

@mtcantor said:
Is there a good way to do the Christmas thing without lying to your kids or setting them up to believe something that's just not true?
Well, you can either lie to them and tell them that Santa is real, or you can not lie to them and tell them that he's not. Ultimately that choice is up to you, which probably isn't helpful advice at all. But yeah, what you're asking for is impossible.

Not only is it not helpful advice, it isn't advice at all. We already established these things. What I am asking for are actual parents' experiences handling this.

You asked a question so I answered it.
 
 
Fine, I'm not a parent, but my parents just let me figure it out on my own, which I did some time in elementary school. I don't feel betrayed. Don't rob them of their childhood innocence; just let them believe in it. I don't think there's any harm in that.
 
How old are your children, by the way?
#11 Posted by mtcantor (948 posts) -

@ajamafalous said:

@mtcantor said:

@ajamafalous said:

@mtcantor said:
Is there a good way to do the Christmas thing without lying to your kids or setting them up to believe something that's just not true?
Well, you can either lie to them and tell them that Santa is real, or you can not lie to them and tell them that he's not. Ultimately that choice is up to you, which probably isn't helpful advice at all. But yeah, what you're asking for is impossible.

Not only is it not helpful advice, it isn't advice at all. We already established these things. What I am asking for are actual parents' experiences handling this.

You asked a question so I answered it. Fine, I'm not a parent, but my parents just let me figure it out on my own, which I did some time in elementary school. I don't feel betrayed. Don't rob them of their childhood innocence; just let them believe in it. I don't think there's any harm in that. How old are your children, by the way?

No worries. Sorry I came off as snippy. Been a long morning.

None yet. On the way.

#12 Edited by ProfessorEss (7375 posts) -

My son believing in Santa Claus makes Christmas for me and for him.

I see no need to rush your kids into all the harsh realities of the world, they'll have more than enough time to wallow in the mundane when they get older. I mean do you feel the need to tell your kids "I don't want to lie to you. Remember when we were playing hide-and-seek this afternoon and I couldn't find you? Well, I was just pretending. I knew where you were the whole time. You kind of suck at hiding".

I say let them believe in magic and indulge their wonderous nature until they sort this stuff out for themselves. It'll happen soon enough (too soon) anyways.

(EDIT: PS: as a side note, I still remember when I found out Santa wasn't real because I saw the presents from him in my parents' closet. I remember not feeling crushed at all, I felt like a clever little dude)

#13 Edited by jaycrockett (451 posts) -

Dude this is so so hard and I just ran into it. 5 and 3 year old. We have an elf on the shelf and it's major fun. But the 5 year old told his mom "I think you are the one who moves him at night". And she said "No"! Just flat out lied. This bothered me and in a fit of "'integrity" or something, the next day I said to the boy that the elf wasn't real, it's just a fun Christmas thing, etc.

Disaster. My wife is furious for bringing it up and essentially calling her a liar (which technically she was). And my son was devastated because he thought that not believing in meant that the elf would have to go away. He eventually just sort of blocked out and denied what I said, in order to "protect the elf".

So, my advice is, go with the 'It's fun to pretend" thing but realize kids don't really have a good way to differentiate between fantasy and reality, so maybe let them have their beliefs, until they start questioning them, and try to ease them into it.

Really freaking tough though.

#14 Posted by benjaebe (2783 posts) -

I'm 21 and I still ask Santa for things. He's real, guys.

#15 Posted by BlatantNinja23 (930 posts) -

i think there's a period where you don't want your child to be the one ruining christmas for everyone.

unless you want their friends going home in tears because of the death of santa.

#16 Posted by MegaMetaTurtle (414 posts) -

Only actual parents? A weird way to word it...

#17 Posted by Nadafinga (958 posts) -

We give our kids one present from Santa xmas morning, the rest are from us. And we definitely fall into the "maybe he's real, maybe not" category. When they ask questions about Santa, we just respond by saying "well, what do you think?" They think he's real for now. But we're not going to sit there and actively lie to them and tell them stories about how he lands on the roof comes down our chimney, and leaves presents. We let them invent their own stories. I agree with , let them believe in magic while they still can, there's nothing like seeing your kids eyes light up when something magical happens.

#18 Posted by mtcantor (948 posts) -

@MegaMetaTurtle said:

Only actual parents? A weird way to word it...

people with kids yes.

#19 Posted by TheJohn (553 posts) -

My nephew came to me at the age of seven or eight with a smug little smile and told me he had figured out that Santa wasn't real. I tried to jokingly convince him that he was wrong, but quickly let him know that he was right and that there's no Santa. I think he enjoyed the "magic" until he grew out of it, and then felt smart and more like a big boy when he figured it out on his own.

Kids are smart. They'll figure it out, but until they do, look at it more like allowing them to live in a world with magic and wonder than lying to them. Don't deny your kids adventure and wonder. Fairy tales are fun.

#20 Posted by MegaMetaTurtle (414 posts) -
@mtcantor

@MegaMetaTurtle said:

Only actual parents? A weird way to word it...

people with kids yes.

So no foster parents or other family members that look after kids?
#21 Posted by Lenny (84 posts) -

I have three kids, the oldest is 4. She believes in Santa, as I once did. I'm sure she'll work it out just like I did... but for a while Santa was the guy brought me a NES and he was the fuckin' man, why remove a little bit of magic from someone's childhood? As long as they aren't condemming others for not believing in the one true Santa where's the harm?

#22 Posted by mtcantor (948 posts) -

@MegaMetaTurtle said:

@mtcantor

@MegaMetaTurtle said:

Only actual parents? A weird way to word it...

people with kids yes.

So no foster parents or other family members that look after kids?

Nope. Only pure blood biological parents please. DNA tests preferred.

#23 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

Other: Fake Santa's murder/suicide in your living room as soon as your kid hits 10 years.

#24 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

@mtcantor: I can remember my sister and I asking my dad if Santa was real, and he would always just smile and say, "What do you think?"

#25 Posted by Vinny_Says (5709 posts) -

One day they'll look through your closet at random and find the hidden nintendo box you put there and figure out santa isn't real.