Are you going to teach him about Santa?

Santa Claus and kids

Before I start, let me just say that I try to be open-minded about all parenting approaches.  Variety is great, I embrace it and as long as you are confident that you can produce a reasonable and well-rounded adult at the end of it that is fine. But sometimes, very rarely, I hear things that make me want to push them over the edge and just send them off to Looneyville on the spot.

The discussion went along these lines.  “Yes, we’ve been reading Christmas books for months so that he knows what Christmas is”

“Oh, we’re not going to”

“Neither are we” (That’s right, there are 2 people of the 3 in this conversation who agree!)

“Sorry, what?”

(cutting a long story very short…) “We don’t want to lie to baby, I mean if baby asks we’ll probably go along with it but we’re not going to teach baby”

“Yeah, we thought that if baby asks us ‘When is Santa coming?’, we’ll just say ‘Well, when do you think he’s coming?’ and not actually confirm his existence”

Let me pause here for a moment and give you all a moment to retrieve your jaws from the floor.  I am not one to start a conflict when I disagree, I’ll normally just stay quiet. But here I could not. They went on to talk about how they didn’t think it was right to lie to their little ones about Santa!!! I couldn’t help but exclaim that I thought they were living on a different planet and that we have a special Santa key as we don’t have a chimney so that Santa’s elves will slip through the letterbox to get it and let him in, and that next year I’m already thinking about getting 2 elves to sit on the fireplace and watch over my little man so that one of them can go and let Santa know if he’s not been good enough to go on the nice list.

You should have seen the looks that I got in return… like I was the one who wasn’t right in the head! I felt like I was the one being judged.

I love Christmas … the sparkles, the twinkling lights, the warm fuzzy feeling…the magic! After they left, I really started thinking. Can you have the magic of Christmas without Santa? Isn’t that what creates those beautiful feelings that we have during the festive period?  And also, if those children are not going to learn about Santa at home, will they have stockings? Presumably not.  How will the parents control what they learn once they start school? Do they want them to be the odd bods in the playground who don’t believe in magic and Christmas miracles?

The magic of Christmas is about possibilities, adventure, imagination, allowing their creativity to run wild.  It is all about the joy of freedom and that’s what childhood is about.  Their ideas just made me feel sad.  They are taking away those chances.  They are forcing them to see the harsh realities of the world far before their time. Life is far more interesting and exciting when you believe in possibilities.

I kind of understand it from a Christian point of view, Christmas is not about Santa.  It is actually about the birth of Jesus and that’s why we celebrate.  But Christmas has become much more than that and has brought together many different traditions and beliefs.  I know a lot of people believe that whilst there is not a big jolly rosy-cheeked man shimmying down our chimneys once a year, the character has some basis in reality.

And as for not lying to their kids…Hands up if you have honestly never ever lied to your children?! Not even an “All gone, you ate them all!” when clearly you ate half the packet of chocolate buttons?! Perhaps not lying and being honest is a bold intention and sounds fantastic.  But I can’t help that once those little ones start moving and talking, things might change.

When are they going to explain that animals don’t talk? That wizards/pirates/monsters/princesses/talking trains/(insert other fantasy creatures) don’t exist either.  If it’s wrong to tell them that Santa is real, then it must be wrong to let them believe that all of these things are real too? It’s going to leave them with a very limited range of reading material when they visit the library.  Is it really wrong to let our children believe in good, inspiring, fun characters to let them stretch their minds and imaginations and encourage them to develop positive traits?!

Is this a ‘thing’? Being honest to our kids to the point that we don’t teach them about Santa? If this is a ‘thing’, it is not a ‘thing’ that I want any part of (I’m tempted to start hunting down inappropriate Santa based presents for them both). Or am I in the wrong here? Am I the one that doesn’t understand how best to support my child?  Either way, I am totally confused.

And yes, I will most definitely be teaching my little man about Santa. And the tooth fairy. And the Easter bunny. And about wizards, fairies and monsters with 3 heads. And about talking trains.

* The writer of this post does not want to be named. I am simply hosting for them. *

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13 Comments

  1. November 12, 2014 / 8:07 pm

    I don’t know a single person who is emotionally scarred from the fact that they used to believe in Santa then they found out he isn’t real! I am excited about Toby enjoying the magic of Christmas when he’s a bit older xx
    Hannah Budding Smiles recently posted…Toby at Four Months OldMy Profile

  2. November 12, 2014 / 8:29 pm

    I think it’s good for a child to believe in the magic of Santa. I don’t believe for 1 second that parents would NEVER ‘lie’ to their child — so why not go along with one that brings happiness and excitment and Xmas time? 🙂

  3. November 12, 2014 / 8:48 pm

    One of my girls still totally believes in Santa….My eldest doesn’t but totally gets why we’ve lied to her all these years….She understands the magic of Santa was special….It’s done her no harm!
    Kim Carberry recently posted…Ellie the Elephant. #wickedwednesdaysMy Profile

  4. November 12, 2014 / 9:03 pm

    I am a Christian and yet Emma “believes” in Santa.
    I have given it a lot of thought once Emma started to understand about these things and I decided to introduce him as God’s friend to her. Yeah, that’s right, Santa is God’s friend who gets sent by God to give her some presents at Christmas because of Jesus.
    I want to achieve a number of things with this approach:
    1. let my child be a child and as you say, allow her imagination develop and thrive.
    2. teach her that all good things come from God.
    3. teach her to only accept presents when they are given with a reason. This will hopefully protect her in the future from predators and people who will want to take advantage of her. There is always a reason behind a gift: God’s at Christmas is because he is celebrating his son’s birthday.
    I get annoyed with Christians and bigotism and the acceptance of “truths” fed without questioning. Is Santa a bad thing and the acronym of Satan, as I heard Christians say?
    Only if you let it be!
    I could find your MagicMoments post, sorry for the long comment in probably the wring place.xx
    oana79 recently posted…Jamie Oliver’s carrot cakeMy Profile

  5. November 12, 2014 / 9:35 pm

    I’m not in the least bit worried about the impact of believing in Santa will have on my children, I love the excitement and thrill of Santa coming and the visit to santa, the writing of the letters, we are hoping to do a lot of goodwill this year and just generally having a lot of fun throughout December, that is what its all about for me.
    I was more worried about how to explain to them about Santa but after browsing pinterest I came across this – http://www.pinterest.com/pin/279012139390036254/ – and I think it is an amazing way to look at it 🙂
    Helen recently posted…Wicked WednesdayMy Profile

  6. November 12, 2014 / 9:36 pm

    Oh me, I am telling Molly about Santa and she is only 9 months. We started talking about santa when she was till in my tummy. This year she is too young but next year I can not wait for.
    I don’t remember finding out about Santa being real or not but I do remember being so excited about him coming when I did believe. Which memory is stronger and happier? The lie and in a good way.

  7. November 13, 2014 / 7:15 am

    Sorry if there’s any typos in this comment but I’m writing over my jaw which is still on the floor!!! There’s so little magic left in the world so Christmas is the one time where we can all ensure that kids act like kids. I love watching Lucas get so excited about Santa visiting. He leaves out mincepies, milk, a carrot and even some Haribo(!). It’s such a fun time. Personally, Lucas will be believing in Santa for as long as possible coz there’s going to come a time when he won’t be bothered and I don’t like that idea xx #MMWBH

  8. November 13, 2014 / 7:16 am

    The Mothers say – We couldn’t show Grace & Lucas this post as they are firm believers in Santa and we LOVE that they are. Great post and we’ll keep on believing for as long as we can xx #MMWBH
    kidGLloves recently posted…Mini Creations Wednesday 12th November 2014My Profile

  9. November 13, 2014 / 11:38 am

    We didnt even gave my son this idea and he just learned Santa from other kids and some TV programs. I will let him be because Santa inspire him in so many ways. Stories in his head about how he gives gifts to all kids at the same time. I dont want to cut the creativity short. I think that in due time he will learn that he is not real but the fun that Santa gave him IS =) #mmwbh
    Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk) recently posted…Thoughts on MotherhoodMy Profile

  10. November 13, 2014 / 2:27 pm

    Children should believe it magic and mystical things. It’s the best part of being a child. My little one has picked up the idea of Santa from her big brothers, but we have read about him and about fairies and magic. I love it and to be honest I still believe magic is out there x
    Susan Mann recently posted…Yellow – The Gallery 208My Profile

  11. November 13, 2014 / 3:26 pm

    I’m really excited about seeing Baby M excited about christmas and everything that goes along with that, including Santa. Whether they hear about Santa from their parents or not they will hear about it from other kids. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the idea of Santa nor do I think it’s a lie that will scar them. xx #mmwbh
    Mummy Melton recently posted…Blogging PanicMy Profile

  12. November 20, 2014 / 9:28 pm

    Santa is for magic and believing, my son is 10 now and still believes his big sister (19) went along with us to help him have the magic she had, what happens when this child goes to school do they burst the dreams and magic for the whole class? x
    Cakesphotoslife (Angie) recently posted…Do you have a Kodak Moment? #GiveawayMy Profile

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