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I Refuse to Let My Kid Believe in Santa

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Guest Blogger Grinchmommy: Do you let your children believe in Santa Claus? If so, SHAME ON YOU!

girl telling a secret about santa

One of parents' primary responsibilities is to teach their children to be honest and truthful individuals, something that is a little hard to enforce when you insist on the existence of a mythical creature with pet reindeer.

Allowing your kids believe in someone that doesn't exist not only sets them up for disappointment when they learn the truth, but it also sets you up to look like an untrustworthy liar. What sane, rational parent wants that? Not me! That's why I unveiled Santa's identity to my then two year-old daughter the first time she cast a curious eye toward the throned snow beast sitting inside the candy cane cottage at the local mall.

Now, at age six, my daughter is the only child in her kindergarten class who knows the truth about Santa. This didn't pose any problems ... until my daughter started enlightening her classmates. When reports trickled home that some of my daughter's classmates had taken the revelation particularly hard -- they cried -- I'm not ashamed to say that I didn't feel an ounce of guilt or regret. It's not my fault that some parents foster preposterous fantasies and it is definitely not my responsibility to protect them.

Another reason why Santa's identity should be unveiled once and for all has nothing to do with the poor rich kids whose dreams of flying reindeer and friendly elves are prematurely quashed, and everything to do with all of the unfortunate children in the world whom Santa routinely "forgets." It is simply cruel to coddle belief in a figure who purports to know every child by name, yet is discriminate in his gift-giving, showering some children's homes while skipping over others. While no one likes to be the source of his/her child's disappointment, it is far better in this case for the parent to take the blame for the absence of gifts on Christmas morning than St. Nick. As humans, we are subject to weaknesses, inadequacies, and failings that our child will eventually understand and overcome. Such understanding and acceptance may not be as easily earned from a figure who falls short of his promise to deliver a special gift to EVERY good girl and boy.

What do you think? Comment in the momlogic community.

next: Are Some Sports Too Risky For Kids?
118 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous December 8, 2008, 7:30 PM

I’m willing to bet imagination is nowhere in your home. Let me guess - the only books read in your home are non-fiction.

HIRH December 8, 2008, 7:31 PM

Seriously… you’re comparing explainging Santa to explaining sex. Sex is a fact of life, Santa is a fictional character made up by people. I think the belief in Santa is much more similar to the belief in God.

Oh, and I realized the “ta-ta” was actually saying “good-bye” but one of my friends used it as “no-no”… UGH!

Santa's Elves December 8, 2008, 7:44 PM

You shouldn’t have done that.Santa’s watching!

Lisa Maria Carroll December 8, 2008, 7:44 PM

It’s a choice. I never believed in giving Santa Claus credit for all my hard work, but I don’t fault or knock parents who do.

Santa's Elves December 8, 2008, 7:44 PM

You shouldn’t have done that.Santa’s watching!

Liz December 8, 2008, 7:55 PM

Is this mommy logic or Idiots Logic? Grinch-hag, I believed in Santa till I was about 6 when I asked my mom & that’s when she revealed to me the truth, I didn’t cry, it’s not like I lost a pet or someone dear to me! I don’t see the big idea in allowing kids to imagine (esp. a 2 yr old) & then there is a time to tell them how it really is… but 1st you should let them know how it should be. Grinch-hag there are people starving in America all the way to Africa & this world is a horrible place to live in with your logic I suggest you show your child photos of these starving people & how bad the world is so that your child can get a “heads up” & a slap in the face at an early age! Just because you turn a blind eye for a few years on imagination doesn’t make you a liar get over you self loathing & go spread some cheer.
keeping it real since 1981

Anonymous December 8, 2008, 7:56 PM

No I’m comparing Santa to sex but I am saying that If you are going to stand up on your high horse and say that you would NEVER lie to your children, then I hope that you don’t have anything in your life that you have done that you wouldn’t want to tell your kid about. I hate it when people say “I would never this or never that” but never is a big word and I don’t think you can use it and stick to it for everything in your life. What if your kid wasn’t bright or attractive, are you going to tell your kid the truth so they won’t be hurt when they realize it later in their life? What if your kid doesn’t have a lot of friends, are you gonna tell them that it’s probably their fault. I believe in being in telling my kids the truth at the right age and time but I don’t want to do it before I want to do it and to have someone expose it before I’m ready and being put on the spot to explain something doesn’t make me to happy. Just last month I had to explain to my 8 year old how a man can be pregant because it was all over the TV. Believe what you want to believe and I will believe what I want to believe and don’t have your kid tell mine that their no santa and I won’t have my kid tell your kid that their ugly, dumb or fill in the blank.

Love and Laughter,Amy December 8, 2008, 7:59 PM

My family is not Christian, we do not believe in a Christian God. We celebrate the American holiday of Christmas with family and friends. We exchange gifts and go to parties. My kids get their picture taken with Santa and have decided on their own to believe in a physical representation of the spirit of giving. I have always said that Santa is the spirit of giving. However, the holidays are a time for teaching our children about diversity of beliefs and tolerance. In our American culture it is simply not ok to go around pushing your beliefs or lack of beliefs on others, and I believe it is that way for good reason. From your post you sound like a person who is petty, who doesn’t take responsibility for your actions, and is intolerant of other peoples belief systems. I find it reprehensible that a parenting site would post such an indignant condemnation of peoples beliefs especially during the holidays.

beth December 8, 2008, 8:01 PM


to each’s own…

theres so many worse things to feel shame for if you’re gonna feel ashamed.

what a funny post. It ain’t that big of a deal. We do tell our kids about santa but they’ve observed the culture and ask questions. When it comes to the point where they want to know about Santa we will tell the the truth but it isn’t a goal of ours to clear it up right away, like I said “it ain’t that big of a deal.”
take care!

Divina December 8, 2008, 8:03 PM

I am 30 years old and I believe in Santa.

beth December 8, 2008, 8:05 PM

er that was we don’t tell our kids about santa necessarily…

Jan December 8, 2008, 8:06 PM

Oh, for heaven’s sake. It is such a fun tradition. We actually like the mystery and fantasy of Santa, elves, reindeer. I have never seen a child with trust issues after learning of it. It’s a sweet tradition and I, for one, do not feel guilty about fostering it in my child or my grandchildren.

Liz December 8, 2008, 8:10 PM

I read the article one more time & it blows my mind how self righteous & loathing the person who wrote this, who doesn’t even have enough courage to say who they are seems to be. You seem to want to the rid the world of santa but your narrow minded attitude & negativity is what I would like to rid the world of… & no hard feelings but in the words of Eddie Murphy Have a coke & a smile & STFU!

chris December 8, 2008, 8:24 PM

Shame on me…Shame on you. Santa may not be a real person but if the thought of santa brings happiness and joy and a little magic for one day of the year, then I say bring it on. Here’s to the happy, fat, jolly man in the red suit. Please don’t forget me.

Erin December 8, 2008, 9:25 PM

We don’t do Santa in our house either. I must say that when my daughter came home telling me her best friend thought there was a Santa, I took that opportunity to explain to her that people have different beliefs. We, as Christians, need to respect those beliefs not “correct” others way of believing. To steal a line from Veggie Tales God makes us different but he loves us all very much.

BSTF December 8, 2008, 9:57 PM

My mother didnt tell me until i was 8 that santa was not real- did i mistrust her afterwards? no. When she told me that he wasent real, she also explained to me the original story of st nicholas which was actually kind of cool and brought some perspective into my life. After she told me this I still opened up my stockings, only with a more grown up truth in the back of my mind. The toothfairy is also another good myth. As a kid, it helped me look forward to (instead of dreading and crying over)having a bloody tooth come out of my mouth. It made something disgusting and unpleasent into something fun. Sometimes white lies are a good thing and I dont care if you resent me for it my kids are still going to go to bed early on christmas so that they might wake up to stockings full of presents.

M.L. December 8, 2008, 10:39 PM

We don’t let our kids believe in Santa either, we believe it takes away from the true meaning of Christmas!! Santa has nothing to do with what Christmas is supposed to be about!!!

Christmas geek December 8, 2008, 11:33 PM

How very sad that one day a year you cannot allow your children to believe in the magic of Christmas. My kids range in age from 22-6yrs. old and my 22 year old makes sure he does all he can to continue the idea of Santa for his younger siblings. He loves the idea of Christmas and all its charms, and he is also a very loving and giving person who was raised believing in Santa, and that life is about what you give not what you get. So I will sleep well tonight knowing my children, although not perfect by any means, will not wilfully be going to school tomorrow intent on making other children miserable.I hope my kids will treasure their memories of this holiday, and instill in their children the wonderful traditions my parents gave me. I’ll read them the Polar Express, and recite Twas the Night Before Christmas, and read to them about the birth of Jesus, and it may not be a perfect Christmas or a perfect season, but I’ll give it my all! Santa may be a lie to you, but I still believe. Isn’t life tough enough, shouldn’t we all have a little “spirit” in us all….Good luck with all that reality…I live it too, but mine is sprinkled with a bit of tinsel and the smell of cinnamon. Merry Christmas, from the Christmas Geek (mom of three, one a US soldier, now that is reality, and guess what Santa lives in his heart)

Dot December 8, 2008, 11:43 PM

I’m so glad I’m not the only one who values honest relationships over tradition and societal expectations! I taught my two year old daughter this year that the “Santa” we met at the mall is a man in a costume, just like we wore costumes on Halloween. Why is it so hard to tell the truth? I want my kids to grow up respecting me and I don’t think disillusioning them with fantasy or flat out lies will accomplish that. Why in the world would we hide our past from our kids? Did you learn even one thing from your mistakes? Don’t you think they might too? It seems cruel to me to be so self conscious about your image as a parent that you sacrifice your relationship with your children and many opportunities to teach them from your mistakes. Admit to them that you’re human, they already know you’ve made mistakes in your life and they’ll respect you a whole lot more when you can be honest with them.

Marquita December 9, 2008, 12:24 AM

WHAT!!!!!THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SANTA CLAUS??? IM JUST FINDING THIS OUT!!!…..Seriously, next year when my son is two, we will tell him about Santa. It gives children an imagination. Honestly, when I was about 10, i still believed in Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Sand Man until I had “The Talk” and it was not the sex talk lol…ok i was a bit naive, but I was a girly-girl in fairy land.

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