Need Xmas advice from other parents

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#1 Craig328  Icon User is offline

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Need Xmas advice from other parents

Posted 05 December 2013 - 07:54 AM

The Christmas season is here and I've been engaged in a debate with my wife over a cherished Christmas myth: the kids' belief in Santa Claus.

The background: I have a nearly 14 year old daughter and an 11 year old son. Every year we get a tree and as we purchase gifts for our kids we label them as being from so and so to so and so and they go under the tree. However, per my wife, we also have tended to withhold putting out the "big" gifts to the kids (you know...the new gaming console, the daughter's first cell phone a few years back...that kinda thing) until Christmas Eve until after they've gone to bed and are asleep and we label them as being "from Santa".

I don't believe my kids are any more gullible than any other kids and know that neither one actually believe in a physical Santa Claus who performs millions of break and enters Christmas Eve to leave stuff scattered under trees and in stockings worldwide. However, for whatever reason my wife wants to explicitly tell our youngest that Santa isn't real. I disagree with this.

Her argument (near as I can tell) is that we're "lying" to the kids by not telling them that Santa isn't real. While I can appreciate the veracity in that I also don't believe it needs to be "corrected". My opinion is that we're parents, they're kids and that no matter how old kids get, they like coming downstairs Christmas morning to discover what "Santa" has left them overnight. In other words, I'm totally okay with not clearing up a falsehood (especially when everyone knows that it is just that) because it serves as a reasonable excuse for our kids to still act like kids even when they're in the midst of those years when they want to grow up.

This is one of those moments where parents disagree on parenting. On this, we were in lockstep agreement until this year (and I don't know what's prompted this) but now I'm finding I need to discuss this. I like to believe I'm honest enough with myself that I know I may not be considering something I might should that could change my opinion...so I'm asking the great unwashed masses of DIC where they stand on this (particularly you DICs with kids).

Sit the kid down and tell him "Santa isn't real" or continue with the charade?

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Replies To: Need Xmas advice from other parents

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Need Xmas advice from other parents

Posted 05 December 2013 - 07:58 AM

While I may not like your phrasing I do agree with you - keep labeling the gifts 'from Santa'.
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#3 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Need Xmas advice from other parents

Posted 05 December 2013 - 08:01 AM

It's about the season. There is something magical about Christmas that fades with most adults. If they (your children) know Santa isn't real, I don't think that labeling 'from Santa' is lying to your children.
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#4 Craig328  Icon User is offline

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Re: Need Xmas advice from other parents

Posted 05 December 2013 - 08:02 AM

Yeah, I'm not sure I describe it properly but I hope I managed to relay the gist of it.

It's a tradition (albeit a small one) in a world where we seem to be excelling in ruining so many other things about childhood.

I'm thinking about adopting the Santa Claus Question version of "don't ask, don't tell".
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#5 belgarion262  Icon User is offline

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Re: Need Xmas advice from other parents

Posted 05 December 2013 - 08:03 AM

If the kid asks directly "Is Santa real" I'd advise the truth, but until he actually questions you about it you may as well let the situation stand.
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#6 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Need Xmas advice from other parents

Posted 05 December 2013 - 08:04 AM

*
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I don't have kids, but I'm still going to respond.

My parents put the big present under the tree x-mas eve and wrote 'from santa' on it until the day we moved out.

My parents never sat us down to tell us "santa ain't real".

By 11 we were pretty sure he wasn't, especially because the older kids told us so. But we still went along with it because it's fun. X-mas is about the fun and playfulness of it. Continuing that playfulness after you're well aware it's just fun and lies allows one to make a contrast between the childish ignorance and the adult knowledge of it and see why we still keep doing it even though it's a lie. It's evidence that lies aren't all bad... only the strangest of child is going to interpret "mommy and daddy lied about santa, so thusly I can lie about stealing money". I mean sure, if you think your child is having a hard time understanding different kinds of lies... well then certainly sit down and have a conversation, but I think that talk will have little to actually do about santa.

My last 2 cents...

With out santa it turns into an excuse to just give crap to your kids. An obvious excuse. It reminds me of my friends in high school who every year were given a "budget" of some sort and would then tell their parents exactly what they wanted that fit in that budget.

Ewww.

I'll take the magic any day.

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 05 December 2013 - 08:11 AM

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#7 DarenR  Icon User is offline

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Re: Need Xmas advice from other parents

Posted 05 December 2013 - 08:10 AM

Last year my now 11 year old told us he hasnt believed in santa since he was 8 but kept going along because he knew how much we loved being santa.

Mind you my 11 year old isnt the typical 11 year old-- his mind is that of a 20 year old and have been told that by many many many people.

so then he goes on to tell us if we wanted him too he would still act suprised at christmas....

my 15 year old belived until he was 12
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#8 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Need Xmas advice from other parents

Posted 05 December 2013 - 08:12 AM

Sounds to me that your 15 year old told your 11 year old when your 15 year old found out at 12. (4 year difference, found out at 12, other found out at 8)
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#9 DarenR  Icon User is offline

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Re: Need Xmas advice from other parents

Posted 05 December 2013 - 08:17 AM

View Postlordofduct, on 05 December 2013 - 11:12 AM, said:

Sounds to me that your 15 year old told your 11 year old when your 15 year old found out at 12. (4 year difference, found out at 12, other found out at 8)



i would mostly agree with this but the 15 year old to this date still says he never told my younger and my younger says he figured it out by himself.

mind you this 11 year old is a kid who can go into a store to find an item and come out with the best possible deal with combination of items. The school he goes to has commented how advanced he is in the math department and is taking courses well above his stage.
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#10 Craig328  Icon User is offline

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Re: Need Xmas advice from other parents

Posted 05 December 2013 - 08:18 AM

@LOD: There is one other aspect of Christmas that me and the Mrs have occasionally disagreed on: asking what someone wanted. While I'm happy to consider what someone would like to receive, there are times when it's made out to be more like a shopping list...and I don't care for that at all.

It's always been my opinion/impression that a gift is a reflection of what you think that person would like/need. For myself, I don't tend to get myself luxuries (the nicest pair of shoes, the expensive coat, etc) so when I receive things like that for Xmas the people who give it know it's appreciated and know it's something I like but minus their gift would be something I'd probably not have. That's for me.

For instance, the girl is nearly 14 and she is every stereotype of the 8th grade cheerleader teenaged girl that you can think of. Of late, she's discovered (much to my better half's consternation) that most of what my wife owns fits her. She wears boots, shoes and selected blouses (I've been told they're not "shirts"), uses the wife's cosmetics, brushes and such even when she has her own. It sometimes pisses the lady of the house off but I see an aspect there of her wanting to be more like her mom (which, I'm sure, she'd rather die than admit to). Anyway, this makes gift giving for her stupid easy this year. See what she likes to raid from the wife's closet and try and locate similar items. If I were to ask her what she'd like to receive it would all be smart phone related or it would be "gift cards" (which she will assuredly receive anyway).

Anyhow, with her, it's more of knowing something about her and finding a gift that fits her rather than simply order taking and fulfillment.
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#11 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: Need Xmas advice from other parents

Posted 05 December 2013 - 08:28 AM

I just had this shit come up with my kids a month ago.

My oldest - now in 7th grade - FINALLY confessed that she no longer believes. I've suspected for years, but didn't confront her, I just let it ride. Apparently she stopped believing when she was 8, but was afraid to fess up for fear of getting fewer presents.

When I asked her if her younger sister believed, she decided to be smart, marched into the poor kid's room and asked her point blank if she believed in Santa. The response, "YOU told me he wasn't real two years ago!" They apparently have no concept of the idea of someone being in earshot.. because they've both gone on acting as though that conversation didn't happen and insisting that the 10-year-old has a deep and abiding belief in the jolly fat man.

So I'll indulge it until I get a confession.

It's a little piece of Christmas magic that disappears too quickly as it is. As long as it's still magical for them, why ruin it? They'll have plenty of time for "it just doesn't feel like Christmas" Christmases in their adult lives, let them have their rainbows and glitter for now.
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#12 Apokio  Icon User is offline

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Re: Need Xmas advice from other parents

Posted 05 December 2013 - 08:35 AM

My kids are 7 and 4 so they both still believe. My wife even got one of those elf on the shelf things that "watch" them for Santa. Like everyone else said it is all about fun. I don't think my parents ever told me Santa wasn't real but I do remember them telling me if I didn't tell them I believe I wouldn't get a gift from him. I believe in the spirit of Santa and the gift giving is fun and all in the spirit of the season. I know people who have told their children Santa wasn't real and I just don't see the point. To me it would just take something magical away from this time of year.
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#13 Craig328  Icon User is offline

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Re: Need Xmas advice from other parents

Posted 05 December 2013 - 08:42 AM

Sweet jebus, we do that Elf on a Shelf thing too. Last year, I posed him half hanging over the seat of the toilet in our downstairs bathroom with an empty bottle of tequila on the floor next to him. The wife was scandalized but laughed her ass off. Not so scandalized as to pass up posing him throttling the very top of the Xmas tree when our Godzilla sized Golden Retriever managed to knock it over in the middle of the night however.

I'm quietly searching around to see if the girl has any leftover Barbie dolls. If so, our elf is gonna have one hell of a great time this Xmas.
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#14 Apokio  Icon User is offline

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Re: Need Xmas advice from other parents

Posted 05 December 2013 - 09:00 AM

My daughter brings her Barbies out and sits them next to him. I told her she couldn't bribe him into telling Santa she has been good. She didn't get it. My wife won't let me pose him with an empty beer bottle, or anything mildly inappropriate, maybe in a couple years. The eyes on that thing do creep me out, though.
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#15 laytonsdad  Icon User is offline

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Re: Need Xmas advice from other parents

Posted 05 December 2013 - 09:07 AM

IMO it is best to wait for a child to tell you Santa does not exist. It is OK to have an imagination during development. Not knowing Santa is imaginary is not a problem.
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