To Santa, or not to Santa? That is the question.

When I was little, Santa was definitely part of our Christmas celebration. While we did center our holiday on Christ, Santa filled our stockings and left presents for each (and sometimes all) of us. He even used different wrapping paper than my mom, although their handwriting was similar. In later years he got lazy and used decorative Christmas boxes to do his wrapping, but somehow he always got them back after Christmas.

I don't remember when I found out the "truth" about Santa, but I don't remember being traumatized. And he even still gave me presents.

As far as I know, Tom was also raised with Santa in his Christmas, but he's not so sure about introducing him to our kids. In his mind there is little point in lying to our children about some being who has nothing to do with the real meaning of Christmas, when they would get just as many presents, and be just as happy without him.

And I can see his point. How do you introduce the Santa concept without blatantly lying to your children? It's one thing to continue/encourage an erroneous belief, but another to instill it in the first place.

But on the other hand, come on, it's SANTA for crying out loud. I don't think that believing in Santa ever hurt anybody, and it's only for fun, and I don't want my kindergartener to be the one ruining everyone else's delusions.

This is the first year that we've had a child old enough to really get the whole Santa concept. Before this, all presents have just been from us, and we haven't really talked about the issue. But if we're going to do Santa, then we have to start now, and if we're not...

What were your Santa beliefs growing up? How did you introduce it to your children? Or did you? What are the pros and cons in your mind? Please share!


Mandee said...

I say YES to Santa- a HUGE, happy, spirited, fun "yes"!

Jennifer said...

I'm still on the fence about this one too, and I HAVE a kindergartener! We go get Santa pictures every year and watch movies with Santa in them, but I don't think my kids get it or really care. I have a feeling this year will be worse for us, but I still don't know what we're gonna do about it. I've never really planted the Santa seed, but I've also never dismissed it entirely. Who knows? I don't remember being traumatized either. I think I'm just gonna play it by ear. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

You probably weren't aware that we had this same debate many moons ago - only I was the one that was not wanting to tell my kids something that wasn't true! I could easily see it tying over to God and Jesus and you not believing my words there either - that was not okay with me. Your Dad was determined to keep the magic of Santa there and had a way of answering your questions in a way that wasn't a lie at all, it was always fascinating to me how he could do that - so I always sent you kids to him when there was a question about him. He'd probably still answer you in similar ways if you were to ask him about Santa now!

Hol said...

My mom told us when we were old enough to know the truth that Santa is not just a person but more like the spirit of giving. I like the Santa Claus movies or Elf. I think that Santa is a good thing. I agree with Mandee YES on Santa!

Elisabeth said...

my aunt chose not to ever have Santa as a part of Christmas. My brother and I still get a gift or two every year from him :) My cousins later told us that they were sort of disappointed that they never got to do the whole Santa thing. Even though they knew he wasn't real and that the rest of us were believing in something that was fake, they were sorry to have missed out on the fun of it. I think your kids will be just fine either way, since they have such a great family, but my feeling is, "why not?" I think as long as you are honest with them when the time comes and they either find out from someone else, or are very doubtful, it will not be traumatic. If you don't ever have Santa around, it may be important to not ever mention if he is real or not, and to encourage them not to ruin it for other children that do believe. But, I am not yet a mommy, so my two cents may not be as helpful :)