Not lying to my kids about Santa Claus....

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jonathan Burk, Dec 16, 2002.

  1. Jonathan Burk

    Jonathan Burk Second Unit

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    As a father of two kids (5&3), I had to decide a few years ago what I would "teach" them about Santa. For some reason, I didn't feel comfortable fostering the belief that there is a real man who wears a red suit and comes down the Chimney to leave presents.

    So I decided to relegate Santa Clause to the level of fantasy currently occupied by Luke Skywalker, Lilo, Dorothy and her friends, and Mickey Mouse. I talk about the Santa Clause "story", and my kids enjoy seeing him at Christmas time, much as they enjoy seeing Mickey and co. when we visit Disneyland. But when it all comes down to it, if you ask my 5 year old if Santa is real, or just a fun story, he replies that he's a "fun story". There are no presents "from Santa" under our tree. I've taught them that this is our secret, and they shouldn't let the other kids know.

    My wife doesn't agree with this approach, and thinks we should nurture a belief in St. Nick for as long as possible. I just don't think I should spend energy to lie to my kids for years on end for absolutely no purpose. I've already forsaken the bribe/punishment model of parenting, so using Santa's graces as a bargaining chip isn't appealing to me.

    So are there any other parents here that are doing the same? Or are there any good reasons I've overlooked for teaching my kids that Santa is real?
     
  2. JamieD

    JamieD Supporting Actor

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    Not as far as I can tell. Though I'm sure some will tell you "you're taking the mystery and magic from their life", I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing.

    However, I doubt I'm qualified, as I have no children yet, and it looks more like I will never want to.
     
  3. Aaron Copeland

    Aaron Copeland Second Unit

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    I think it's harmless either way you go.
     
  4. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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    I think it's best to tell them it's just a story, but I don't think it makes that much difference. When I was young my parents told me that Santa was 'real'.
    Many years later they began to get worried because I didn't seem to figure out the truth as early as my peers. One day they came to me very solemnly to "explain" Santa...
    And I had to confess.
    I knew it was just a story for years and years, but by pretending to believe I could ask 'Santa' for the really expensive presents and in general get way more loot than I would otherwise. So much for the magic and mystery! [​IMG]
     
  5. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    And it certainly saves you a lot of headaches, especially when they ask Santa for something you can't find anywhere and they throw a temper tantrum on Christmas morning when Santa "forgot" to leave this special thing.
     
  6. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    We're sticking with the "Santa is real" thing so far. Not so much because we think that's the best way, but because we think it's more fun that way.
    But my 6-year-old son doesn't "ask" Santa for presents, he "orders" them from Santa. [​IMG]
    Our conversation the other day:
    Son: I'm getting 8 presents this year.
    Me: What makes you think you're getting 8?
    Son: Because I ordered 8 from Santa.
    Me: (Laughing) Oh, I see. And what makes you think Santa's going to deliver everything you "ordered"? [​IMG]
    I don't know how much longer this will last for him though.
     
  7. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    I follow in the wise words of my grandfather: "I leave my children every morning to work my ass off so I can afford to buy them nice things, and you want me to tell them that some fat f*** in a red suit just dropped all this stuff off?"

    In other words: There is no Santa. He's just a silly story. You get nice things on Christmas because Daddy works hard to provide them, and because you're a good kid and we love you. End of story.

    (Of course, there's the religious aspect - we talk about that, too)
     
  8. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  9. Kenneth

    Kenneth Supporting Actor

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    I also think it is harmless either way. However, I think the concept of Santa (before it got over commercialized) represents a nice sense of giving and looking beyond one's self interests. Even though I'm an engineer and firmly grounded in reality it is still nice to imagine a world where Santa and other fantasy figures have some semblence of reality. As another aside, here is a link to the famous Virginia Santa Claus letter:
    http://www.kidsdomain.com/holiday/xmas/stories/yes.html
    Cheers,
    Kenneth
     
  10. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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  11. Jay Taylor

    Jay Taylor Supporting Actor

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    I can understand why there are split decisions on this one.

    We prefer to tell them there is a Santa Clause. For a few years the enchanting myth brings magic to the child as well as to older members of the family that relive the wonder years of their youth through the child.

    I doubt if very many kids are upset for very long that their parents lied to them about the existence of Santa Claus. After all, as Julie pointed out, they frequently rake in more gifts thanks to the myth.

    There will be plenty of time later for them to deal with the less enchanting realities of the world.

    Jay Taylor
     
  12. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I’m not sure that it matters all that much. Most children figure out what going on and choose to retain belief for a variety of reasons (only some of which have to do with increase presents).

    I would however, urge you to retain a sense of mystery and magic in your child’s life no matter the option you choose. I think that encouraging an imagination and exercising the fanciful is highly beneficial, not only for our sense of the mystery, but also for our well-being.

    Some of my most satisfying times as a parent remain reading ‘Alice in Wonderland’, ‘Pooh’, and the Tolkien stories (among many others) to my young son.
     
  13. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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  14. Jay Taylor

    Jay Taylor Supporting Actor

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    My cousin may have set a record by still believing in Santa Claus at age 12.
    I was 13 when I said something to him about Santa not being real and he about went into a fit saying "He is too a real man!"
    I let it go but I wonder how he managed to make it to junior high school without getting his ass kicked on the subject. Had I known he was going to turn out to be an attorney I would have spilled the beans on the whole thing.
    [​IMG]
    Jay Taylor
     
  15. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    I have a daughter, 5. My wife and I both talked about this as well as the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and the like before it was time to tell her. We both concluded to tell her that their real. Linda and I both have great memories of the holiday's, Santa and all, so we wanted to keep that alive. Elise loves it and seeing her with her friends all talking about it is just awesome. Of course, she (my daughter) does know the real meaning of Christmas as associated with The Holy Bible. I'll say no more.
    Peace Out~[​IMG]
     
  16. D. Scott MacDonald

    D. Scott MacDonald Supporting Actor

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    We decided to keep the Santa Clauss myth alive in our family just because my wife and I had such a fun time believing when we were kids. My oldest daughter figured it out when she was 4 (oddly enough during the month of May, which I never thought of as a time to ponder Santa Clauss). She approached my wife and asked if she was right and was delighted to learn the truth, simply because she figured it out on her own. She never for one minute was mad at us, and this year has asked if she could help be Santa for our almost 4 year old son.
     
  17. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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  18. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Wow, nobody else even commenting on the real historical figure of Nicholas that the "myth" is based on.... Interesting.
     
  19. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Probably because they see the subject treads too closely on religious issues and themes. From your own post:

     
  20. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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