Christmas Jealousy


#1

We are in of some advice about what to do with our 10year old. She was very happy with what “Santa” brought her Christmas morning. We have been cutting back every year and not due to their behavior, they just have SOO much stuff. She was happy until she got with her other little friend in the neighborhood who got: TV, vcr, dvd player, gameboy ds + games, keyboard, and a dume buggy to ride around neighborhood (and other “little things”).
OK, my daughter, who is very good and does what she is told and helps out a lot, wants to know if Santa doesn’t like her?!! She also wants to know what things this little girl “did” to get all this stuff!!! Help. Has anyone ever been in this situation? Is she too old to still believe in Santa? :confused:


#2

So Santa is giving away fully-loaded entertainment centers now to ten year old girls! Lovely! :slight_smile:

Personally I would tell her the truth about Santa. I don’t know any ten year olds who genuinely still believe in Santa Claus anymore, though obviously they’re out there. My husband believed for quite awhile and had a hard time with what he felt was dishonesty from his parents for keeping the secret so long. Santa is supposed to enhance the mystery and joy of gift-giving for young children–not mess up their virtue with unnecessary jealousy and worrying about why they didn’t get material things in equal measure.

The only other thing I might add is that perhaps she needs a dose of what Christmas is really about–celebrating the birth of Jesus and giving to others (not taking inventory of gift acquisitions). If there is time over her Christmas break, perhaps you would like to volunteer as a family in some situation that would directly benefit another person or people.

Good luck!


#3

She needs to know the truth about possessions, not just Santa. I have to assume that you live a “less is more” lifestyle. It wasn’t just Santa who didn’t give her all that stuff. It was you. If you don’t want to break the news about Santa, you can always skirt the subject and say, “Do you think Santa would give someone something that her parents wouldn’t want her to have?” She needs to know that you give her less because you do love her. You don’t need to make that a bad reflection on her little friend’s parents. What they give their children, how they decide what is best for them, is their business and their responsibility to decide. As for you, you would not send her out into the world with appetites that you feel will only leave her hungrier and hungrier.

It is also important that she understand that it is a great gift in life to be able to be grateful for what one has while being not only sympathetic and generous to those who have less, but not begrudging those who have more. This isn’t an easy lesson, and it takes learning over and over… it is, in fact, a life-long temptation for many. But after all, there will always be those who have more and those who have less. How can anyone be happy, if those who have less are jealous or if those who have more are superior or ungrateful? To be content with what one has and to love others regardless of their possessions is what allows one to enjoy life and to be grateful for the gift of other people.


#4

I don’t mean to point fingers, but it looks like maybe the parents didn’t do their job in regards to getting the true meaning of Christmas across to their child all along. Yes, Santa does come on Christmas day, but what Christmas day really is, is Christ’s birthday. We have two children and we know it is our responsibility not to get caught up in the materialistic Christmas. Our children know that the reason they get a FEW gifts is because without Christ being born there would be no Santa. The true gift is the love that Christ brought to us and no amount of gifts can relay that message. One avenue you may be able to take, is her little friend “Catholic” or christian? Do they share the same belief about Christmas being Christ’s birthday or do they believe that Christmas is a time commercialism. YOU are responsible for raising your child in the likeness and image of Christ not in the likeness and image of your neighbor!


#5

Oops - not really helping here.

But in our home, Santa only brings DS one gift, on occasion has brought something for the family. And that is it. I have a roll of Santa paper that I have been using for a few years now ( none of our other wrapping has Santas)

DS gets his stockings filled by Dad & Mom.
And he gets 3 gifts from Dad and Mom (Jesus got 3 gifts).
I do not see why Santa has to get credit;)

This year at 6, he really questioned it as he said Santa filled his friend’s stockings, so… He also went to the question that the elves make mainly wooden toys … so?? I have always stuck to “If U do not believe - Santa will not come” line. He also wonders why we give toys to so many toy drives.

Well at 3 different parties/places, he wrote to Santa for a bouncy ball, so that is what Santa brought him attached to a board game.


#6

[quote=Gwyn]Oops - not really helping here.

But in our home, Santa only brings DS one gift, on occasion has brought something for the family. And that is it. I have a roll of Santa paper that I have been using for a few years now ( none of our other wrapping has Santas)

DS gets his stockings filled by Dad & Mom.
And he gets 3 gifts from Dad and Mom (Jesus got 3 gifts).
I do not see why Santa has to get credit;)

This year at 6, he really questioned it as he said Santa filled his friend’s stockings, so… He also went to the question that the elves make mainly wooden toys … so?? I have always stuck to “If U do not believe - Santa will not come” line. He also wonders why we give toys to so many toy drives.

Well at 3 different parties/places, he wrote to Santa for a bouncy ball, so that is what Santa brought him attached to a board game.
[/quote]

Don’t use the line “if you don’t believe…” The reason is that once they stop believing then they will not come to you with questions. After all, you want them to ask, what the real Santa is all about. You don’t want to teach your child to hide things from you.

Besides, if your son discovers next year that Santa is not real or you going to stop playing Santa to him? I tell my kids about Santa when they are eight or nine and give them the choice as to whether they want Mom and Dad to bring the gifts or Santa. They always choose Santa, because even though they know that he is not real they like to pretend. I don’t know of any parent that once their child stops believing would stop giving them gifts from Santa if the child still wished to recieve them. So, in a way, when parents claim that Santa will stop coming if the child stops believing then aren’t they fibbing?


#7

[quote=deb1]Don’t use the line “if you don’t believe…” The reason is that once they stop believing then they will not come to you with questions. After all, you want them to ask, what the real Santa is all about. You don’t want to teach your child to hide things from you.

Besides, if your son discovers next year that Santa is not real or you going to stop playing Santa to him? I tell my kids about Santa when they are eight or nine and give them the choice as to whether they want Mom and Dad to bring the gifts or Santa. They always choose Santa, because even though they know that he is not real they like to pretend. I don’t know of any parent that once their child stops believing would stop giving them gifts from Santa if the child still wished to recieve them. So, in a way, when parents claim that Santa will stop coming if the child stops believing then aren’t they fibbing?
[/quote]

Thanks Deb for your advice. I always wonder how I will deal with it when my son finally stops to believe. And this year he has really been questioning, so …


#8

[quote=Princess_Abby]So Santa is giving away fully-loaded entertainment centers now to ten year old girls! Lovely! :slight_smile:

Personally I would tell her the truth about Santa. I don’t know any ten year olds who genuinely still believe in Santa Claus anymore, though obviously they’re out there. My husband believed for quite awhile and had a hard time with what he felt was dishonesty from his parents for keeping the secret so long. Santa is supposed to enhance the mystery and joy of gift-giving for young children–not mess up their virtue with unnecessary jealousy and worrying about why they didn’t get material things in equal measure.

The only other thing I might add is that perhaps she needs a dose of what Christmas is really about–celebrating the birth of Jesus and giving to others (not taking inventory of gift acquisitions). If there is time over her Christmas break, perhaps you would like to volunteer as a family in some situation that would directly benefit another person or people.

Good luck!
[/quote]

I second that…
Our kids get their main presents from dad and mom and the stuff that fits into the stockings is what “Santa” got them, my 12, 10 and 7 yr old all know that Santa is not real and they just like to play along and do this for the sake of their 2 yr old brother, I figured out Santa did not exsist when I was 5 yrs old, quite by accident and it did not take anything away from Christmas for me, time to tell your daughter the truth and she will then fully understand, won’t have feel bummed out and she can fully appreciate the TRUE meaning of Christmas, the Santa stuff is cute but lets not forget what this season is Really all about. :slight_smile:


#9

My 9 yo dd learned at 7 about Santa. With all the media, and other inconsistancies she began to question the whole Santa thing. And as we’ve always been straightforward with her questions on biology, etc, we didn’t think there was any reason to keep the info from her.

But one thing we didn’t want her to loose was the ‘magic’ of Christmas. That feeling of wonderment and joy as we celebrate the ultimate Gift. I’ve pointed out to her the extraordinary efforts of people to help one another out, and the awesome love shown by virtual strangers. That’s REAL Santa Claus right there.

His unmistakeable signature is on innumberable little Christmas Miracles. Maybe the person Santa Claus (St. Nicholas) isn’t still alive, but I believe God inspires us with his spirit a little more during this season.

Said dd got a little cynical this year about Santa… “I don’t know why people make such a big deal about Santa, he’s not even REAL…” (say that in your best 9 yo drama queen voice :rolleyes: )

So we have made a concerted effort to take that secular Santa from our celebration, and stick with the old Santa, and the spiritual Santa… along with the story of Jesus.

Even the decorations I had were of old-world Santas (who look less commercial and maybe a tad more impoverished), rustic decorations and items, and of course our Nativity set…

I thinked it helped all of us stay away from the commercial Christmas.

I guess we’re lucky, dd doesn’t have friends who have this level of ‘getting’ at Christmas and birthdays. We don’t really do the ‘only three presents’ thing… but I think it’s a great idea. And said dd has never really been the type of child who WANTS a lot of things.

Thank God…


#10

[quote=H Opey]We are in of some advice about what to do with our 10year old. She was very happy with what “Santa” brought her Christmas morning. We have been cutting back every year and not due to their behavior, they just have SOO much stuff. She was happy until she got with her other little friend in the neighborhood who got: TV, vcr, dvd player, gameboy ds + games, keyboard, and a dume buggy to ride around neighborhood (and other “little things”).
OK, my daughter, who is very good and does what she is told and helps out a lot, wants to know if Santa doesn’t like her?!! She also wants to know what things this little girl “did” to get all this stuff!!! Help. Has anyone ever been in this situation? Is she too old to still believe in Santa? :confused:
[/quote]

This is just my opinion, but I would start to explain to her that Santa is the ‘spirit of giving’. I would also start to the explainations that how a person feels about another person is NEVER expressed in the number of gifts or the cost of those gifts, and that not only is she loved by you and by Jesus and Mary, but that the other kids in the neighborhood get things not only from Santa but from their families, and some families get more stuff than others…it’s neither bad, nor good, it just is what it is…

We’ve talked about the ‘belief in Santa’ stuff on the forum before and some people went through a horrible childhood trauma over the issue. I spoke with my Mom about what she remembered doing with my brother John and I. She told me that from about the age of six (which was when my Dad left us, interestingly enough) she began to suggest to me that Santa represented St. Nicholas…she showed me his story in the Book of Saints, she showed me the story of how the American Santa came to life, that sort of thing…we would talk about how Santa was the spirit of giving in all of us, and how Jesus wanted us to give not just ‘stuff’ but love and help to other people.

We were the poor kids in our neighborhood growing up, because Mom had to work her butt off to keep the house and keep us in Catholic School. Sometimes I would be jealous - but most of the time, I knew my Mom did the best she could with what she had…and I know you can guide your little girl to appreciate you and her daddy the same way!


#11

It is not too late to put a lump of coal in a stocking :slight_smile:


#12

[quote=Daniel Marsh]It is not too late to put a lump of coal in a stocking :slight_smile:
[/quote]

:rotfl:


#13

If your kids get past the age of five and still believe in Santa, it is time to move them into the spirit of giving secretly. It not only gets them off of their own wish list, but it also makes the whole thing more fun. Our kids (age 6) were totally into Santa this year, but also very excited about Christmas secrets… shopping for and hiding the present for Dad, secretly making presents for each other, and so on. They also enjoyed getting tags from the parish giving tree for kids their age and going to the toy store to pick out gifts for other kids, much more than in previous years. (I told them that these were kids whose moms and dads were having a really hard time this year and wouldn’t be able to get gifts for their own kids if we didn’t help out.)

When the time comes, I’ll let them know that St. Nicholas is the patron saint of anyone who gives gifts in secret, and Santa Claus is just the local popular rendition of St. Nicholas. They will not move down a notch from getting presents from Santa, they’ll get to move up a notch and join in the action of being Santa for others. I think this will also help to keep them from ruining the secret for other kids who still believe. Imitation of the saints, after all, is just a particular way of imitating Christ.


#14

I have so many people to buy for family, friends, co-workers, etc. that “Santa” brings one or two gifts to DS and DD, and mommy and daddy gets them one thing they really want. I figure they get so much stuff from other people that I don’t have to go overboard. It is quite sad that some people go bonkers buying gifts for their children.

After rushing around shopping one day before Christmas and seriously thinking of leaving town for the next one I asked my son who’s six if he knew what Christmas was really about. “Jesus!” he answered. It made me feel much better. :slight_smile:


#15

This was a problem in my hubby’s family growing up. Christmas was mishandled.

The tree “magically” appeared on Christams eve. Santa made dreams come true etc. etc.

All very nice, except mom never paid ANY other bills Dec or Jan to pay for it all, and when grandparents got too old to make tree magically appear after kiddies were in bed…

And that year when sister (16) had a fit because she saw her brothers unloading stereo system from the car and now her holiday was ruined because there would be no surprise from Santa. And the next year it wasn’t fair because Santa gave her sister a trip to Hawaii and all she got was the new Laura Ashly bedroom set she wanted…

I put my foot down day one. Santa only filled stockings, and stockings are only filled with stocking stuffers. Nothing over a buck of two ever shows up in a stocking. NEVER!!!

Gifts come from one another. And some years we can afford bigger gifts, and some not. End of story.

Christmas is what we make it together. Food, trees, decorations, gifts do not magically appear. We create them out of the spirit of joy in our hearts. It is no one person’s job to create christmas for anyone else.

We will not not pay a bill to meet a Christmas budget. Christ came to clear our debt, not add to it.

Gifts are just that,gifts. Not a duty or a right that we have coming to us. No one “owes” us a gift. We do not “owe” anyone a gift. This really has made giving and receiving more fun. Everyone does not get a gift from everyone every year. And we have all survived!

My kids are all teens. And we have never had a hissy fit yet over gifts.

It is not the gifts, but the insane expectations concerning the holidays that cause the grief. By keeping Christmas manageable, and the expectations reasonable, we are able to meet them and enjoy the holiday each year.

I have gone out of my way to NOT let Christmas become giftmas. Saving uber gifts for Christmas puts the wrong emphasis. If my kid wants a bike, I will save for a bike, and they are just as thrilled to get it on June 7 or Oct 9 as they would be on Dec 25.

cheddar


#16

My husband and I are really grateful for the advice.
We were in need. :slight_smile:

Our DD came home today from a friend’s house with all the “stuff” and started to complain AGAIN about not getting all this and that. We talked aobut the meaning of Christmas, about Jesus, St. Nick and how mommy and daddy “step in” and give the gifts anmys. She then proceeded to tell me how much our gifts"sucked" this year and why didn’t we just go ahead and get her what she wanted! Well. I was very proud of myself because I wanted to yank her head off her shoulders, but I didn’t. In a calm voice I asked her to please bring me all the presents that “santa” brought to which I have put away for now. She still was fumming when her daddy called tonight (he works offshore 2 weeks at a time) and he spoke with her about grattitude. I just don’t get it. We homeschool. We pray the rosary together. We attend daily mass together. She has mentioned she wants to be a nun. WHAT’s going ON! :confused:


#17

Have you thought about taking your daughter to volunteer somewhere helping those less fortunate? Somewhere that she can see adults and children who have very little. You might suggest that if she does not like her gifts maybe she could give them to these children?
Don’t beat yourself up about your daughters attitude.
I grew up in a family where my father was a priest. We went through some very hard times where we had next to nothing. We wore second hand clothing, had lots of second hand books and toys etc My sisters and I did complain to my parents when we saw our friends getting more than we did. We were simply too immature to understand the sacrifices they made. This changed for two of us as we got older but we still have one very ungrateful sister. In the end parents can do their best but you cannot completely control how your child will turn out. Some of it is their attitude and decisions.

Cadence


#18

Yes, we had wanted to volunteer this year at the local stew pot but our 18 month old got very sick and everything was put on hold. We will PLAN on doing this very soon.
Was your father a Catholic priest? It must have been very special to have your father a priest.
Thanks


#19

I just REALLY like the idea of three gifts because Jesus got three!!!:thumbsup: :yup:

My granddaughter is six, and “figured out” that Nonny was Santa. She wrote me a thank you note for things very clearly wrapped in Santa paper, with Santa’s sticker and seal on them.

After we had a talk (origins of Santa, etc.), I did the same thing I did to her mother and uncle: “Enrolled” her in the St. Nicholas Guild, Local 145. Don’t search the Net. It’s not there. I invented it. The first is a promise to keep the Santa secret from younger kids and those who still believe. The second is that from now on, she will learn to bring Jesus to others through the patronage of St. Nick (easier words, but that’s what it is). She gets to help with all the secret preparations of Christmas during Advent; she gets to help with the St. Nick Run, which is where we act for St. Nick on St. Nicholas Day by depositing unmarked presents at certain places (only a card with a picture of St. Nick); and she gets to help with Twelfth Night.


#20

[quote=H Opey]My husband and I are really grateful for the advice.
We were in need. :slight_smile:

Our DD came home today from a friend’s house with all the “stuff” and started to complain AGAIN about not getting all this and that. We talked aobut the meaning of Christmas, about Jesus, St. Nick and how mommy and daddy “step in” and give the gifts anmys. She then proceeded to tell me how much our gifts"sucked" this year and why didn’t we just go ahead and get her what she wanted! Well. I was very proud of myself because I wanted to yank her head off her shoulders, but I didn’t. In a calm voice I asked her to please bring me all the presents that “santa” brought to which I have put away for now. She still was fumming when her daddy called tonight (he works offshore 2 weeks at a time) and he spoke with her about grattitude. I just don’t get it. We homeschool. We pray the rosary together. We attend daily mass together. She has mentioned she wants to be a nun. WHAT’s going ON! :confused:
[/quote]

Even future nuns covet. Even future nuns wants to be like everybody else when they are kids, and think the way to do that is through “stuff”. In short, she is being a kid, and as a kid, she needs guidance.

Kudos to you for not yanking her head off her shoulders.

You did absolutely the right thing in putting the “Santa” gifts aside until later. I would make “later” when she is in a better humor, possibly after everybody else has headed to school.

The pouting and fuming is supposed to make you feel sorry for your poor little girl who already is so beknighted that she cannot have a full entertainment center that would be the envy of some adults, and now she has non-permissive parents who will not meet her every whim. Don’t rise to the bait.

You might also point out to your little person who is certainly of that age, that covetness is a sin, and she might want to mention it in confession next time (along with not honoring parents by browbeating them when they are doing their best).


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