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!