Dealing with Santa

Discussion in 'Family Forum' started by CatherineL, Dec 5, 2009.

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  1. CatherineL

    CatherineL Puritan Board Freshman

    For those who have or had little ones and didn't "do" the traditional Santa Claus thing (i.e. telling the kids that Santa is real and all the rest), could you share how you explained this to your kids. Do you ban all things Santa, or do you talk about it as a game? How do you handle your kids interacting with kids who believe Santa is really real? Dh and I would appreciate any advice, thanks!
  2. CIT

    CIT Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    You could have them watch this video.


    I found it cute.
  3. Reformed Thomist

    Reformed Thomist Puritan Board Sophomore

    Hold on just a second... Santa isn't real?

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 5, 2009
  4. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    I've always told my daughter that I don't believe in Santa and don't think he exists. She didn't believe me on this point, but I wasn't going to be put in a position of lying to her.

    I'm sure others here have been much more diligent in their teaching, and would certainly not advocate what I have done as being adequate.
  5. AThornquist

    AThornquist Puritan Board Doctor

    It's actually easier for the kids to believe in Santa. Then, have a neighbor dress up as him and make a great commotion one early Christmas morning. Have dad holding a baseball bat over Santa as he lies motionless on the floor. Dad should stomp around and yell a few times, and then have mom call the kids to see what's going on since it must be something exciting like a new dog. Oh no! It wasn't a dog! DADDY KILLED SANTA! Then dad drags the limp body out of the house and the parents sit down with the children and explain that they must never, ever, EVER mention Santa again.

    And they won't. Until they are 33 and seek counseling. Problem solved. :pilgrim:
  6. Southern Presbyterian

    Southern Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    We told our kids the truth, plain and simple. They took it all in stride, but were always confused as to why some kid's parents would want to lie to them.

    They did "spill the beans" to a few of their friends but we explained to the parents involved that we do not lie to our children and do not expect them to lie. We never had anyone get really upset -- but a couple did insist to their children that our kids were just "confused."
  7. Rich Koster

    Rich Koster Puritan Board Post-Graduate

  8. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    Explain that he is just like a cartoon, bugs bunny, it is fake and for some people it is fun, but it is a lie, hoax.

    Be as honest as possible and don't lie to your child. :)
  9. PresbyDane

    PresbyDane Puritanboard Doctor

    Well tell them about the REAL Santa

    St. Nicholaus one of the bishops that participated in the niceancounsil and during that counsil knocked one of the other bishops out cold, during a debate because the other bishop said that Jesus was not fully God.
    This made Santa so angry, because as he said, how can you say this and thus claim all our brothers have died in vain.
    So he jumped from his seat, crossed the floor entered the other side and knocked the guy cold for saying Jesus was not fully God.

    Later he became the patron saint for sailors and children, and that is how the myth of santa started, because he gave money and gifts to children in the town where he was a bishop.

    The above is my favorite santa story, and not only that, this one is true!
    So tell them that!
    I bet they will like that santa better.
  10. AThornquist

    AThornquist Puritan Board Doctor

    Wow, really?
  11. MMasztal

    MMasztal Puritan Board Sophomore

    When we adopted our boys, they were 5 1/2. When Christmas rolled around a few months later, we didn't bring up Santa until they asked. We told them Santa wasn't real and he was for people who didn't believe in Jesus. They shared that with several other kids along with the Gospel when the opportunities arose, but we never got any complaints. The sad part is that many Christians continue to do the "Santa thing". As the "Santa" kids grow up, might they think that Jesus is another fairy tale their parents told them about as Santa was?
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2009
  12. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    Way I heard the story, St. Nick knocked out Arius himself.
  13. PresbyDane

    PresbyDane Puritanboard Doctor

    Yes! Really.
  14. AThornquist

    AThornquist Puritan Board Doctor

    Whoa. That is too cool :wow:
  15. Southern Presbyterian

    Southern Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    This is exactly what happened with a friend of mine from High School. His testimony was that if Santa and the Easter Bunny are lies then so must be God. He would never listen to any attempts I ever made to share the Gospel with him. I made up my mind back then that I would never lie to my children about Santa or anything else.
  16. CatherineL

    CatherineL Puritan Board Freshman

    Do you tell them not to tell other children? So far we've just told our almost 5 year old just not to bring it up, that some parents play the "Santa game" and some kids think that Santa is really real, but that we don't play that game because it distracts us from Jesus.

    We've talked a little about the St. Nicholas legend (former RC here, we always put our shoes outside our classrooms around this time in Dec to get a candy cane stuck in them on St. Nick's feast day in Catholic school).

    I guess I'm looking for specific practicalities - like what do you teach your child to say to the well meaning people at the store who say to your kids "are you excited about Santa?" That sort of thing. I don't want her to come off as some little holier-than-thou, especially to a non-believer.
  17. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    We told them some families like to pretend Santa is real, and many kids even believe it, but he's actually make believe. Our first priority was not to lie to them. What would they think about the Bible stories we tell if they found we lied about Santa?

    We also tried to avoid being disparaging of people who do pretend Santa is real. We told our kids it isn't nice to ruin those people's fun.

    Finally, we told them the true story of St. Nicholas. But this led to my daughter, when she was about three, explaining to a friend that Santa was dead. Not a popular move.
  18. Kevin

    Kevin Puritan Board Doctor

    I talk about the real story of St Nick & how the ledgends grew up around him. Stockings by the fire gold foil coins, Santa on the roof, the whole story.

    I have found that kids love these stories, don't feel "lied to".

    Santa is not a myth. He was a real historical figure that is the source of many legends. These stories are a valuable part of our history & culture. Properly told they connect us to our past & can be a teaching tool.
  19. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

    obviously I do not know your friend or any of his background, but am I the only one who finds his argument ridiculous? No kids of my own yet, but I determined a loooong time ago that I would never feed them the lie of santa. I determined not to do the whole santa thing because I refuse to sin and lie to my kids, but I never really thought someone would come to the conclusion, "oh santa isn't real, so God must not be".
  20. AThornquist

    AThornquist Puritan Board Doctor

    I agree, Andrew. It sounds like a lame excuse from a hardened heart.
  21. reformedminister

    reformedminister Puritan Board Sophomore

    My daughter asked me last year about Santa Claus. She was in kindergarten. I told her about the real Santa Claus, St. Nicholas. Our first public gathering was the following thanksgiving (last year). She told her cousins that Santa was "dead". I have told her not to tell other kids who "believe" in Santa Claus, but we are still working on that. She is a little confused why other kids believe. This is our second year with her understanding of "the truth": easter bunny, Santa, tooth fairy - not real; Jesus - real. I think things are setting in. I am just working it out as you are. I was in third grade when I found out there was no Easter bunny! Just be honest with your kids.
  22. Southern Presbyterian

    Southern Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    Name me any excuse that isn't lame.

    You do know the definition of an excuse, don't you?

    An excuse is the skin of a reason stuffed with a lie.

    Still, I don't want to provide any "skins" for the excuse makers to "stuff". That's all I'm saying.

    And, unfortunately back in High School I was not so mature and sophisticated in my thinking as to come to my decision to not lie to my future children based solely on Biblical principles. After all, I was a teenage independent fundy super broad evangelical back in those days. ;)
  23. Grillsy

    Grillsy Puritan Board Junior

    Anyone have any links to how the legends grew around St. Nick?
  24. Dao

    Dao Puritan Board Freshman

    Of course he's real. Don't listen to them.
  25. Montanablue

    Montanablue Puritan Board Doctor

    I actually don't really have a problem with the Santa myth - I view it the same way as I view the tooth fairy. It does seem to take on a life of its own though, so I rather doubt that I would do it with my children. I also think its almost more special for kids to receive gifts from parents and other family members than from this mythical man that they've never interacted with.

    I like the way my parents handled it. They told us that Santa was a game that some parents played with their children for fun. They said that we didn't play the game, but that we shouldn't ruin other people's fun by spoiling the surprise of Santa - that it was the parents' job to tell their children, not ours. I would probably do the same with my children. I find it pretty irritating, actually, when self-righteous 5 year olds are marching up to their peers and disabusing them of their belief in Santa...
  26. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member


    I have told this story a few times on the PB but will cut and paste it again. It still cracks me up.

    Before I was married I purposed in my heart to never lie to kids about St. Nicholaus. My reasoning was if I told them a lie about Santa who is to say that I am not lying about Jesus. So when I started having children I told them the truth. St. Nick was dead but that he lived in heaven with Jesus. I told them about the fables and myths and said it was wrong to make Santa Claus have characteristics that only God has.

    Well, one Christmas we were in a department store and the cashier asked my two boys (probably around 6years old) if they were good and if Santa was going to come to their house. To which my oldest looked at her and said, "No, Santa is dead." You should have seen the look of horror on that ladies face. It was great. I then explained to her that we believe that the real St. Nick is alive in heaven with Jesus because Jesus died for the Bishops' sin, and that we wanted our son's to know that their parents always told them the truth. They could trust us when we said Jesus was real.

    It is a great witness.
  27. AThornquist

    AThornquist Puritan Board Doctor

    I LOVE it. :handshake:
  28. TKarrer

    TKarrer Puritan Board Freshman

    I'm perplexed by your attitude about this matter Montanablue.

    I think its glorious when a child is taught well enough to share the truth with their friends; makes for good future habit. Should they do so snidely or without compassion? Of course not. But we dont tell our kids that other parents like to play the self-righteous game; where they tell their kids they are good little kids, and have no concern in the world besides worldly attainment; and that we shouldnt rain on their we? I respect those who just dont want their kids to expose the falsehood of santa clause; but to critisize kids who are enlightened enough to know the real significance of this time of year, because they maybe are not mature enough to express it as they should, seems harsh and unreasonable.

    Telling kids the real story of St. Nicholas, and more importantly, that the substance of this festive time is the Gospel narrative, seems much more Christian than does the mythical, Christ-less approach so many "Christians" take today. And I wouldnt worry too much about the kids telling others of the truth either. Can it be embarassing? Sure it can. So is unveiling the deception of sin. I think its ok to ask your kids to politely avoid referencing the non-existence of today's "Santa"; but its also good to teach them how best to communicate reality, in a way that centers upon Jesus.
  29. tellville

    tellville Puritan Board Junior

    I lived in a apartment building growing up most of my life. Also, my parents put gifts under the tree before Christmas (they had too, no place to hide gifts, and hiding wrapped gifts is dumb). I figured things out pretty quickly. Actually, I can't ever remember a time where I thought Santa was real. I just thought he was a cool fictional character who had catchy music. My parents didn't ever really say Santa wasn't real (though I think they said it once or twice in passing) - they just set things up so it was obvious that he wasn't.
  30. AThornquist

    AThornquist Puritan Board Doctor

    Santa's works-based righteousness is insidious. And I actually don't mean this sarcastically. If only good little boys and girls get presents from Santa and somehow every little boy and girl who has parents with at least a little money gets presents, that means we are teaching children that they are "good" even while they sin. How then can we be surprised when they grow up and as adults believe this exact same thing? "Well yeah I've made mistakes but that doesn't make me a bad person! God should still give me ___________ ."
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