Debate and Discussion

Magic versus Honesty
ayesinback at 10:02AM, Dec. 10, 2011
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My sister has announced her intention to never lie to her kids– erego:  no Santa for them.
 
Frankly, I believe there is more than just wanting her 3-yr old, 1-1/2 year old and six-month old to believe she is the Rock Of Truth, but that aside, I simply disagree with her.
 
There are ways to participate in the Santa fun without supporting every facet of the mythology, certainly without purporting that every detail is hardcore truth.  My parents rather presented the situation along the lines of neithering confirming/denying.  They simply said the presents were from Santa;  the cookies are for Santa.  They never presented me with a dossier of WHO Santa is.  I knew the rest about Santa because I heard the stories; I saw the cartoons.
 
I was in kindergarden when I was hipped by another five year old.  I went home and confronted my Mom, who confirmed and told me not to spoil it for my siblings.  One of whom is this same sister.  Can't remember her Ever complaining about feeling duped.
 
But one of my kids Did feel lied to when the truth about Santa was revealed.  That there is a worldwide adult conspiracy with the sole aim of fooling naive children.
 
So:  
under new management
ozoneocean at 11:00AM, Dec. 10, 2011
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Well I don't have kids so I just haven't got a realistic perspective here, but from my experience growing up… well it didn't hurt me to believe in Father Christmas!
 
Kids believe all sorts of stupid crap anyway, like that their parents are sooooper tall and that their dad is an amazing superhero, you know, whatever, they believe cartoonised exaggerated simplistic versions of everything, sticking Santa in there isn't going to hurt anything at all, in fact it helps them by keeping them socialised with all the other kids that also subscribe to the Santa mythology, as well as all the mountains of popculture stuff that seasonally focussed on it!
 
When I was little I was way more upset when I learned that Elvis wasn't really still alive… I remember crying and telling my dad that he MUST be because he was still in all those great movies I used to watch on Saturday mornings.
True story ^_^
 
gullas at 11:58AM, Dec. 10, 2011
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I was raised with the idea that the Yule Lads(the icelandic version of santa, but 13 of them and more like rascals rahter than ‘ol saint Nick) came and gave children something in their stocking(or if they were naughty, a potato) those nights before christmas. So it wasn’t untill when I turned 9-10 that I started to get doubts, mostly due to discussions between the kids at school. So when I confronted my parents about it they came clean with it, explaining that this was a tradition.

So would I go and tell my children that santa or in my case that the Yule Lads weren't real? I'm a bit of a traditionalist so I would try keep that specific one with my children because it's silly and fun. But if they started questioning it, I would come clean and tell them the truth because kids see things more simply than we do. 
last edited on Dec. 10, 2011 12:04PM
Hawk at 2:36PM, Dec. 10, 2011
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This is sometbhing I've thought about on several occasions.  I remember there being a few times where I wished I hadn't fallen for the Santa thing, only because I wished I could have given my parents credit for all the presents I got in my early years.  But lately, looking at it from a grown-up perspective, I realize that  giving your children presents isn't really about getting a “thank you”, it's more about seeing them happy.  And you get that even if they think Santa gave those presents.
 
Plus there's that slim chance of the kids actually behaving better when they think it's going to influence how many presents they get.  I remember trying to be extra good around Christmas.  Funny how I didn't think about the concept of a fat, hairy old man watching me at all times, even in my sleep.
 
When I figured it all out (after sneaking a peek at my parents setting out the presents at midnight on Christmas Eve) I didn't feel angry or betrayed, I actually felt clever.  So while I wouldn't raise a fuss about somebody raising their kids differently, I feel like there's no real harm in having Santa.
Genejoke at 2:50AM, Dec. 12, 2011
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When I figured it all out (after sneaking a peek at my parents setting out the presents at midnight on Christmas Eve) I didn't feel angry or betrayed, I actually felt clever.  So while I wouldn't raise a fuss about somebody raising their kids differently, I feel like there's no real harm in having Santa.
I tried so hard to catch my parents out but always feel asleep too early.  I pretty much knew there wasn't a santa from a young afge but I needed to catch them putting the presents out.
Banes at 11:37AM, Dec. 13, 2011
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I was pretty upset when I learned the truth….hipped to it by a kid at school as well. (though I was quite a bit past kindergarten. Probably one of the older kids to still believe in the man. When we heard truth at school, my brother and I went to our mom to confirm it, which she did.



I remember denying being upset about it when my mom asked. But I was.



However, there was no anger directed at her, or hurt at being deceived. And it didn't affect my image of my mom as a very, sometimes painfully, honest person. I trust her implicitly despite the clause.


My ex was raised without the myth, and she never missed it, despite all those around her believing it.


I still believe in ghosts and lots of unseen things…so the revelation of the truth took none of the magic or crazy superstition out of me…

 
bravo1102 at 2:11AM, Dec. 16, 2011
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Being the youngest by five years I never really had a chance to believe in Santa.  By the time I was into believing my brother was 10 and into bursting my innocent balloons of belief.
 
So Santa Claus became a story like fairy tales and nursery rhymes and not history like my favorite books on Arthur of Britain, Robin Hood or Pocahontas and George Washington and my big white book of Bible Stories.
ozoneocean at 6:20AM, Dec. 16, 2011
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Hawk wrote:
This is sometbhing I've thought about on several occasions.  I remember there being a few times where I wished I hadn't fallen for the Santa thing, only because I wished I could have given my parents credit for all the presents I got in my early years.  But lately, looking at it from a grown-up perspective, I realize that  giving your children presents isn't really about getting a “thank you”, it's more about seeing them happy.  And you get that even if they think Santa gave those presents.
    
That is quite beautiful and poignant!
bravo1102 wrote:
my big white book of Bible Stories.
   
That got me thinking!
I remember that believing the Father Christmas myth was pretty harmless for me. It just got me participating in all the fun that surrounds the season, sitting on his knee and asking for presents, waiting for him to bring a sack of presents on Christas eve and always falling asleep before he came, being excited about seeing the fat old bearded white haired men in beautiful red, fur trimmed suits… Hahaha!
And then just naturally growing out of that belief at an appropriate age
 
Far more harmful for me was the belief in the real existence of Jesus as a living character in heaven/space somewhere etc… That did a lot to retard my early understanding of logic, reality, science, the nature of existence and history!
-I'm NOT trying to attack Christianity here, because I hate it when Atheists do that; people are entiteled to their religions. It's just that when teaching kids about something like Christianity, its WAY better to keep things more obviously allegorical and historical.
 
last edited on Dec. 16, 2011 6:22AM
gecko200 at 4:35PM, Dec. 16, 2011
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I don't know if this is a diservice to the kids or to the parents. I do however believe that in a world where death , and misery and pain is reality even in a child's life that we should  shield our kids from these sad truths as long as we reasonably can. Heck if you really wanna be honest tell em' Christmas really stresses most adults out and it put most of us  in debt for a lot longer in the new year  than we wanted .As for me I say  give  kids a little harmless fantasy and let them nurture their imaginations by believing a jolly old gent brings toys to kids the world over on Dec. 25th.
last edited on Dec. 16, 2011 6:11PM
Mystic Hand at 8:25PM, Dec. 19, 2011
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