Santa Isn't Welcome at My House

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Let the booing begin, but no fictional fat men come down my non-existent chimney, and much to no one's surprise, he didn't when I was a child either. Yes, I'm the anti-Santa mom. Code Name: Mama is too and when she wrote about how she doesn't do Santa at her house, it really resonated with me. One thing that's always bothered me is the reaction I get from other moms when I tell them of my no Santa policy. And even worse is how some kids treat my kids when they learn we don't leave cookies for the man in the red suit. 

It happens. It makes me worry about how my kids will be treated by their Santa-loving peers. I know how bad it is because it happened to me -- a kid who shunned Claus.

If you have followed any discussion amongst moms regarding Santa, things can get seriously heated. You get women who don't do Santa, who will yell at you about the trauma of lying to your child, how they'll resent you, not trust anything you say, and how when your child finds out Santa isn't real, expect them to start questioning why they're supposed to believe God is too. Yikes.

There are those who are adamant that without Santa, you've destroyed your child's entire childhood, the magic of the season, their imagination, and that you're cruel and a ridiculously self-righteous beeyotch. They get in your face, very angrily, and say in a threatening tone, "YOUR child better not RUIN IT for MINE." Or else what? I wish I were exaggerating.

I am anti-Santa ... for my own home. I really don't care what you do with your kids. Do I think it's lying? Yeah, I do. It's not something I'm comfortable with. I work really hard to try to be as age-appropriately honest with my kids as possible. But I also don't hold anything against anyone who feels that it's all in good fun. I don't do the Tooth Fairy (she scares me), the Easter Bunny, or anything of that type. We do lots of incredibly fun, unique, and very special things around holidays though, since there are many ways to celebrate, both involving fairy tales and without. We also don't believe in God, but I spend a LOT of time talking to my kids about beliefs of other people. The phrase "Everybody believes different things and that's okay" is ingrained in Rowan's little brain and he's used it. He tells me about conversations kids have about Santa, and we talk about it -- he knows that just as it's NOT okay for other kids to insult him for his beliefs, he can't do it either, and it's wrong to tell someone else that their beliefs are wrong. I quickly stopped him from announcing in Wal-Mart that the Santa costume was for Daddies to dress up in to pretend, because there were other kids around, yes, but I was more scared of what the moms would do.

When it comes time to end it ... if your child questions it, they deserve a truthful answer. I've heard things like explaining the history of Santa at that point, and discussing how the magic and fun makes him real, just like Big Bird is a man in a suit, but you can still love him (my mom told us that last part ... Santa was just like Big Bird, and it was a good explanation for us). And for goodness sake, DO NOT tell your children that their friends are liars or bad children if they ask why Joey said he doesn't believe in Santa or that Santa doesn't come to his house.

Biggest of all? If your kid does hear that there is no Santa, absolutely, under no circumstances, go on a crusade against the person who told them, whether it be a TV show, a movie (Megamind tells your kids he's not real, just a heads up!), or another child. ESPECIALLY not another child ... or their parents.

Whether you choose to "do" the Santa thing or not, keep reality in check -- no one is scarring their children for life either way, unless you're one of the extremists who thinks that the other people are, or you attack children and mothers because reality happens to seep into the fairytale you've perpetuated, or because you think that fairytale is the ultimate evil.

Santa exists ... as a fun character. What you make of it is your own thing, but try to remember the whole thing is intended to be fun ONLY.

Have you had people outright attack you either way over the Santa issue?

 

Image via Peter Forret/Flickr

bullies, friends, holiday

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lizzeh lizzeh

I wasn't brought up believing in Santa. My mom is actually very anti-everything so when we talk about Santa to my 4 year old she rolls her eyes and mumbles under her breath.


I admit, the Santa thing is probably way more for than for my daughter. It's fun! Just like the belief we have in fairys. (We have an entire game about Urban fairies in my area). I even put a fairy door in her room.


I also know that  part of it is because I did feel like I was left out. I understand my mom's reasoning in telling the truth and I'll never understand mom's who are so anti-being anti-Santa. I don't even see myself getting mad if another child slips up and says that Santa isn't real. He's not and the little pretend play we do will eventually have to end, but hopefully not soon. =o

ethan... ethans_momma06

My son knows that Santa Clause died along time ago, but that people still pretend to be Santa to keep the spirit of what he did alive, He's 3.

betha... bethany653

We don't do Santa in our household either. I didn't believe in him as a child, and I don't think it harmed me in the least. To teach my children that he was real when he actually isn't, would be a lie. I don't know if it'd make my children not believe anything else I had to say, or question me, but since I preach "don't lie" to my children, I'd be a hypocrite if I lied to them. In the same sense, we also don't teach the easter bunny or tooth fairy. We tell the kids about all 3, (the fictional stories behind them) but we also teach them it's not right to tell other children they don't exist. I told them it's a family secret. It seems to have worked so far. =)  I think the whole 'without Santa, you've destroyed your child's entire childhood, the magic of the season, their imagination' is crap. I've heard that more than once. My kids are able to enjoy Christmas just as much as any other child who does believe in santa. And they're all very imaginative children. Some fictional guy in a red suit plays no role in that whatsoever. That statement holds no truth, I don't know why others choose to use that as an argument. Plain and simple... My children are MY children. Why do others care so much? So, you teach your children he exists. Good for you. I teach my children he's pretend. Good for me. Some parents care wayyyyy too much about others beliefs.

Theresa Young

My child believes and we do it all. I have no problems with others not doing the Santa stuff around Christmas as long as they are like you guys.All your kids seem like they are great with not spilling the beans for the other kids.  I don't like my kid coming home sad and tearful cause someone doesn't think Santa is real and called my kid a baby for thinking he is.  Right now I am more concerned about my kid coming home from kindergarten picking up bad habits from the other kids like lying and talking back to me. These are real issues that I am dealing with and Santa, although important to us, is not a priority.  Merry Christmas.... no matter what you believe in. :)

Mom2j... Mom2jngnc

Santa comes to my house. My children at 15, 11, 8 and 3 have yet to question the man in the red suit. They know that Santa's at the mall, Holiday parties etc.. are men in suits that work as helpers. My oldest is mildly autistic so that might be why he is still a lone hangon for his age. My 11 yr was old on the darn school bus at 8 yrs old that he wasn't real. His reply to the fellow 8 yr old was..."whatever." He recently went to bat for Santa with my 4 yr old niece.


To each their own way of thinking..... Santa will come down my "chimney" sometime that evening, my DH will *finally* allow me to place Baby Jesus in my manger..... lots of stuff will be opened, dinner will served, 2 church services atteneded.... and maybe peace and happiness will prevail for one night ;)

Tiffany Fisher

we do santa,EB and will do the tooth fairy (my oldest is 3 so it'll be a bit lol) and all the others,but i certinly dont shun anyone who does not. its each to their own

lovin... lovinangels

I'm Santa. I'm a freaking fairy. I also have bunny-like qualities once a year.


When it comes down to it, and they ask me if he's real, I always say, I don't know, am I real? I get all the joy of playing each character each year, it's fun for ME. My daughter LOVED finding out Santa was Daddy...it's pretend. It's imagination...and I love it.


I eat the cookies I put out, too. Oh yes. I do. Yummy yum yum.


I think you are very cool about the whole thing, though.

Emily Walton

Yes. My sister-in-law at a family gathering asked our daughter what Santa was bringing her and we told her that we don't tell her he is real. So, she proceeded to tell our daughter that my husband and I were liars!

Magno... MagnoliaQueen

We "believe" in Santa (I just feel uncomfortable saying we "do" Santa).  I really don't see the harm in letting children be children and experience fairy tale characters.  I did as a child, and like most others in my own time figured out they weren't real and, holy cow, I did not need therapy to recover, nor did I think my parents were evil for perpetuating the myth.  I honestly just don't think it's that big of a dea, they're children, let them be children. They have the rest of their lives to live the harsh realities of a world without Santa.   However; I have absolutely no issues with any family that chooses to do otherwise.  It's their family, their decision.   I would not even have an issue with my child hearing from someone else that he wasn't real, unless it was out of pure spite or meanness.   I would expect the same from my children. 

Chris Palmer

My grandmother explained to me that Santa wasn't real (or, to be more precise, that Santa was my parents) when I was young.


Her reasoning was sound. If Santa brings lots of toys to GOOD boys and girls and not to bad boys and girls, then, by that reasoning, all poor kids were bad and all rich kids were good and she didn't want me to think that.


We did do the Santa thing with our kids, but we took my grandmother's advice to heart. Each Christmas only one gift under the tree for each kid was from "Santa" and the rest were clearly from Mom and Dad. We winkingly did that well past the time when the kids believed in Santa.

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