My name is not Virginia, but I do wonder why we tell our children about Santa and then have to tell them the truth one day. My oldest brother cried for 4 hours when he was told and when he stopped crying he marched into the living room and said to my parents “I suppose there is no Easter Bunny too.” Back to his room to cry for another 4 hours.
That’s pitiful Poor little kids–they’re so trusting of their parents. My parents regretted teaching my brother and me about Santa. I think we’ll stick with St. Nick when teaching our little ones. I’ve also heard about a children’s book that reconciles the idea of Santa with St. Nicholas that I would be very interested in getting for my son when he’s a bit older. Anyone heard about it or know what it’s called?
I think the reason we teach our children about Santa Claus is partly from tradition and partly from the “spirit of love and giving” that our children can use to relate to the over commerciazation they are bombared with at the stores. The secular community has allowed us to keep Santa Claus, really from the Dutch “Sinter Claus (Klouse- phonitically)” which is really St. Nick. Well the fantasy and belief in someone who is doing all of this for everyone else to promote the idea of selflessness helps to correlate the children to God and the mysteries of our faith. To believe in something without having solid proof but his blessings and stories is very close to what we are trying to teach our children about faith. We want them to get excited by Christmas, and have that same excitement about our faith. We personally down play Santa Claus to Jesus birth and tell our children that Santa comes to remind us of Jesus’ gifts to us. We also celebrate St. Nick day, which is next week!!!
I must share that while I was searching for books at the library, I was looking into the fable and myths section of the children’s section I came across a book about St. Nick. I was a little upset because it had the Christmas sticker on it indicating it was suppose to be pulled for this time of the year, they tend to pull books for the monthly holidays and keep them in the front for easy access. But the book was placed in the Myths and fables section not in the religion section. ANyone else find this interesting?
Only 22 days until he comes down the chimney?
I never did believe in Santa Claus. My parents always waited to wrap our presents until Christmas Eve. They did this because we didn’t decorate until then. Since there were ten of us it usually took them nearly all night to finish the wrapping. There were plenty of other traditions that filled the space, and since I didn’t have any attachment to the commercially viable Santa Claus, I got to know and appreciate the real Saint Nick.
That’s what I intend to do with my children. I think the awe of the Incarnation is something that should take presidence, and so, with the help of God, it shall.
There are many ways of avoiding the “let down” of the knowledge that Santa isn’t real, or that the Easter Bunny isn’t real. Filling the season with celebrations worthy of its meaning and not focusing on the myths that will necessitate an explanation of “fraud” is one way.
[quote=CatholicSam] I’ve also heard about a children’s book that reconciles the idea of Santa with St. Nicholas that I would be very interested in getting for my son when he’s a bit older. Anyone heard about it or know what it’s called?
There is a wonderful book called " The True Story of Santa Claus" by Paul Prokop. It is a wonderful book.
But, I used it to help bridge the gap between Santa and St Nick. My son fully believed in Santa until last summer, and he had just turned 9. I was also raised to believe in Santa. There were no hours of tears for either of us. No big let down. No believing in Santa instead of Christ. He knows the real reason for Christmas and the focus is on Christ, not Santa. I think believing in Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy can be done in a way that everyone can be happy.
For those that don’t include Santa in their holidays, please tell your children not to ruin it for others. One of my sons friends found out in preschool, because his buddy told him. :tsktsk: He was four. Your choice may not be the choice of others, so make sure your kids keep it to themselves. You may have lots of parents very angry with you.
I learned that there was no Santa Claus when I was 7 or 8, but I had known before then. In fact, I always thought that Christmas was more fun when I was allowed to help with the wrapping, rather than to have to pretend that I didn’t know that Mom and Dad did it on Christmas Eve!
I am very tempted to teach our children from the very beginning that the gifts come from us, and from other people who love them, and give in the spirit of Christ and His Mother, who gave wholly of themselves, holding nothing back. Also, we may delay our family gift exchange until the feast of the epiphany, which is when the wise men offered their gifts to the Christchild. Any thoughts?
Oh-- about St. Nicholas, I think we might celebrate his feast day with the traditional treats and/or small gift in the shoe, but I don’t think we’ll try to make him seem connected to Christmas!
[quote=Rebecca New]My name is not Virginia, but I do wonder why we tell our children about Santa and then have to tell them the truth one day. My oldest brother cried for 4 hours when he was told and when he stopped crying he marched into the living room and said to my parents “I suppose there is no Easter Bunny too.” Back to his room to cry for another 4 hours.
I just do not get why this is a big trauma - and I am not casting aspertions on your parents. I know that I believed in Santa as a child, but I was also told that the Santa I saw in the stores and on TV was not Saint Nicholas. I was told the story of Santa, but as I grew older somehow my mother made the transition from there being an actual guy coming down the chimney to the idea that Santa Claus is the spirit of giving.
Either I was an incredibly thick kid or my Mom is an incredibly wonderful mom but there was just not a big deal about somehow, very gradually, explaining that Santa was not a real MAN but that he is a real IDEA.
I’ve told my sons’ story before on this forum. He believed in Santa Claus. He knew the “guy at the store” was not the REAL Santa – the REAL Santa lived at the North Pole, etc. etc. My son quickly came to the conclusion on his own that I was one of Santa’s Helpers and after he fell asleep at night, mom went to the North Pole to work (remember, I am a dwarf so, I kinda fit the visual image).
Yes, I kept some presents held back that “appeared” under the tree on Christmas morning (or the morning before we traveled to grandma’s)… I had a co-worker (she had amazing penmanship) answer his letters to Santa.
Because his mom was moonlighting for Santa, DS held on to his fantasy a bit longer than most kids. In kindergarten and 1st grade, he would be patronizing to the kids who said there was no Santa – since he was felt he had the “inside scoop”.
When DS was in 2nd grade, we sat outside the Church in the car, he was going for Pageant rehearsal (he was a wise man). He looked at me and said “mom, Santa is not an actual person – is he?” I answered “No”. DS said “Okay” – went into practice and never batted an eye.
Today, that son is 15 and towers over me. He has a vibrant imagination, writes some pretty good fiction, and reads like a fiend. I can stand here and tell you that believing in Santa did nothing to harm is faith in his parents or his Lord.
BTW – maybe the OP’s memory is playing some tricks - I cannot imagine any parent letting a child cry for 8 hours! I cannot imagine a child being physically able to cry for 8 hours…
I think your wonderful son reacted like I did and like my brother did - and we had Santa come to our house one year as a very special treat. Our Uncle Joe dressed up like Santa in a very, very realistic costume and came into the house right before Christmas. My brother was about 2 and I was maybe 7…it was just wonderful…and when he and the rest of the relatives showed up about 30 minutes after Santa left, it never dawned on me that it was a coincidence.
That man died when I was in college. He gave us a wonderful gift that year - none of the family had much money, but we had our own Santa!
My family has never had a problem transitioning from the belief in Santa. I don’t even remember how or when I found out or came to the conclusion-- I just know that I had believed in Santa Claus, and then at some point I knew the truth. I don’t think my brother or sisters had a problem with it, either. I know their children haven’t been especially upset, either. My youngest sister has 2 kids, one 9 and the other 4. I was visiting them at Thanksgiving, and talking to my older niece about something, and she just leaned in real close and whispered to me, “Aunt Judy, I know Santa’s not a real person, but I pretend because Jessica [the 4 year old] still believes.” She whispered it because Jessica might have been in the next room, and she didn’t want her to overhear. No muss, no fuss-- just “I know the truth, but let’s pretend because it makes my sister happy to still believe.”
I never understood all the fuss over worrying about “lying” to your kids. I believed in Santa as a child, and when I did figure it out, I got the “don’t you dare spoil it for your little sister” lecture. LOL I never felt lied to, or deceived, or any of that.
I think believing in Santa is something fun for kids, and he is someone we have definitely introduced to our child.
Surely you jest…
Hey, our kids are in college, and we tell them when they stop believing in Santa, he stops bringing presents. They still believe!
Let our children be children always…we have in our house the little figurine of Santa visiting the Christ child in the manger. That’s how we link the stories…and they know that Jesus is the Reason for the Season always
What do ya’ll mean there’s no Santa?!?
You’re all crazy!
I think I will teach my kids about St. Nicholas because I have a real soft heart and it would break my heart to tell them that there is no Santa I will even tell them who he was when they get older I will tell them all about St. Nicholas
I’m very partial to the half-hour animated “Nicholas: The Boy Who Became Santa”.
So, the costumed guy who is credited with gift-giving is acting in honor of the real person, but I emphasize the story of the real man St. Nicholas and do nothing to encourage belief in the commercial Santa Claus character.
I actually remember the time that I discovered that there was no Santa as being a very positive moment in my life.
I was around nine and I asked my stepdad if there was really a Santa. He sat me down on the edge of the bed and had a very long talk with me. I felt very adult. He explained that when we are little children, a human traveling around the world in a single night is believable but as we get older we question the logic of Santa’s existence. He told me the story of how he stopped believing in Santa. Then he said that I shouldn’t ruin it for my siblings. It is still a positive memory for me.
Perhaps we could compare the reasons why some of us have neutral or positive memories of discovering that Santa was fiction and why some have negative memories. What was the difference in how we all found out? What did our parents do differently in each of our cases?
I am not doubting the OP’s memory but I have to ask, what were your parents doing for eight hours? That is a long crying jag.
[quote=pira114]What do ya’ll mean there’s no Santa?!?
You’re all crazy!
Yey! I think I saw him on a motorcycle just today!