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Santa... If you have children or have plans for having children in the future, how are you handling Santa?

To me, the "fun" of Santa was lost as I left religion, as I just see another lie which facilitates this idea that you can make something real by believing in it. It's entirely counter to critical thinking. So I don't participate in perpetuating the lie.

However, I do see it as an opportunity to build those critical thinking skills by leaving the question open-ended and encouraging my child to figure it out for himself. We still, of course, do presents, and if he wants to we write a letter to Santa and visit one of the mall Santa's for a picture, but I don't do anything "extra" to make it look like Santa came to the house and I encourage him to think of ways he can test the "Santa claims".

Falcopex 4 Dec 18

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I looked up this thread because I was discussing it with a friend with a small child. I was one of those kids who felt betrayed when I found out my parents had lied to me about Santa. With my son, we treated it like a game. He knew from the time he was small that Santa, Easter bunny, tooth fairy were fun things to pretend. “Santa” was about giving presents without taking credit. And he grew into a young man who enjoys giving more than receiving.


I think it’s incredibly foolish to perpetuate a lie that not only takes away credit from hardworking parents, but will ultimately sow seeds of distrust in their children when they find out that Santa isn’t real.


I think age is the greatest tool a parent has. Until an age they figure it out or society, school, television pushes them in to the truth, their imagination should be free this truth.


If I were ever so fortunate as to have kids I’d tell them the whole truth from day one: it’s play-acting, and plays can be fun! And I’d make sure that the Santa play wasn’t the only seasonal production around our house. We’d play Halloween, and Easter and Thanksgiving and all the rest.

skado Level 9 Dec 18, 2017

We did not raise our children in church and we did Santa. The Christmas Season in America has evolved to encompass all religions and levels of Society. The Santa legend has been morphed by Hollywood and time to be a fun and exciting character that children from everywhere should be able to enjoy. I don't say "Merry Christmas" anymore. I say Happy Holidays or Happy Santa Day. Santa, Rudolf, Frosty the Snowman, Elf on a's all about fun and sharing experiences.


We made Santa an imaginary figure from the start and all played along. The kids had fun with it even though they never thought he was "real".


I always told my daughter Santa got her one present. I didn't want him getting all the glory : ) How do you deal with parents of your kid's friends who want them to believe?

For me, this hasn't been an issue as my son isn't really outwardly vocal about it. He doesn't go around telling all the other kids Santa isn't real, so its no big deal.

Probably the only difficulty is my mother who wants very much to maintain the "magic" and wonder. But she's also the one most upset over the fact that both I and my son are atheists, and she'll ocassionally make conversational interjections to try and bring us "back into the fold".

@Falcopex My mom baptized my daughter in her living room


@Falcopex -- I avoid handling Santa. I can't afford the legal costs the harassment suit would bring.

Lol, well if "Santa" happens to be your significant other, and the handling doesn't occur in public, you wouldn't have anything to worry about.

Not so sure about that in today's climate.


I am a single parent of a 11 yr old and a 14 yr old. Santa was part of our Christmas routine until a couple of years ago when my kids naturally figured out 'the deal'. I always had a bit of guilt thinking I was harming them emotionally by continuing to perpetrate this fraud, but that wasn't the case. Things worked out fine. There is a sense of lost innocence though now that Santa is no longer real. =(


When my children were old enough to ask if he was real, I figured they were old enough to be told no. I believe it's detrimental to a child to find out they were lied to; after all what else have the parents lied about.


I don't think there is anything wrong with stories and fantasies. Especially for children. If they are enjoying it, I would enhance it as much as possible. Get a sleigh and some reindeer if you can...there is no reason to take the fun out of something so you can indoctrinate the child into their more than likely 9-5 reality at such a young age. Hell, I even used voices when reading my boyo bed time stories. Reality will bite them in the ass soon enough...haha

I DO enjoy my stories and fantasies, but there's this difference, I think, between your typical fairy tale story and Santa, as children are expected to believe he is real and often shamed for being skeptical or telling their peers he isn't. And there are a lot of children who experience a strong sense of betrayal on finding out their parents were lyimg to them and that everyone around them was in on perpetuating this ruse. Or instead of eventually figuring out "the lie", they continue later in life to look for ways to make it all make sense and continue believing, just like they do with religion.

So, if its actually treated like nothing more than a story, I can certainly enjoy it and have fun with it, but I would want to make sure its clear that its all make-believe.

@Falcopex as a parent, perceived betrayal is a part of the job...haha. I think I missed the Santa complex in college...not to be mean, but, I don't think that's a thing....I doubt too many therapy sessions have 'it all started with the LIE THAT IS SANTA!!'...fantasy and creativity are very closely related. It is safe to believe in santa as a child, and I would even hazard to say, healthy...but not everything is for everyone. I doubt there is a 'anti-santi complex' either...hehe

@JohnnyThorazine You'd be surprised! I've spoken with a fair number of people who have gone both ways - bitter and angry over the lies and betrayal or unable to distinguish fairy tale from reality. I think for the majority it never becomes an issue, but there are plenty ill affected over the way Santa was handled by their families.


Santa is very secular these days. I don't have a problem with the guy in the red suit.

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