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Hey Kid, Santa Doesn't Exist! Spread the Word!

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Guest Blogger Emily: After reading guest blogger GrinchMommy's post, I Refuse to Let My Kids Believe in Santa, I started to wonder if I was married to "Grinch Daddy."

Santa going inside fireplace

A few weeks ago, as my husband and I walked past a way-too-skinny Santa at the mall, I asked him if he would ever allow our son Jacob to take a picture with Santa. "No, we're Jewish," he said incredulously. "Santa's bullsh*t!" 

"Well, I grew up taking pictures with Santa at the mall, and I was never confused about what holiday we really celebrated," I said defensively.

"Yeah, but Santa's not even real. And I'm going to tell him that."

"What?! Why would you tell him that?"

"Because he should know. Why should he grow up believing that a fat guy in a red suit is going to climb down his chimney, let alone anyone's chimney, and deliver gifts?! That's ridiculous. Might as well tell him the truth now ... and tell him to spread the word."

WAIT. STOP. Is my normally festive, forward-thinking, and liberal-minded husband suggesting that we teach our son that good ol' Saint Nick -- a holiday icon for the majority of the world -- is fake, and that he's not even real for the kids whose religion actually embraces him??? I was floored.

I figured that as Jacob gets older, he will obviously hear about Santa and will want to know about him ... and I figured our game plan would be to tell them that Santa doesn't come to our house because we celebrate Hanukkah, BUT that on Christmas, he may go to his friend Blake's house or to our next door neighbor's house or get too drunk with Mrs. Claus and stay in for the night ... I don't know, something! But I had never intended on disclosing the real truth behind Santa. Why would I? Won't he grow up one day and figure it out on his own -- or be told by guest blogger Grinch's mean daughter that Santa's not real?! Why should our kid have to be the bearer of bad news?

When I was a kid, I can remember going to school one day after losing a tooth, and proudly exclaiming that the tooth fairy left me 50 cents under my pillow (btw, a ten spot would've been nice, mom). But when the girl who developed before anyone else told me: "The tooth fairy?! The tooth fairy's not real. DUH! It's your mom, stupid," my heart sank. What?! I was devastated and begged my mom to tell me the truth. But it was too late (and my mom was a terrible liar). My hopes and dreams that a little fairy that looked like Tinker Bell and carried around bags and bags of baby teeth from children around the world were ruined. With that image in mind, the thought of spoiling whatever fantasies and make-believe that swirl in my son's brain seems cruel.

Obviously we're Jewish, and obviously we don't "celebrate" Christmas, but that doesn't mean we have to put the kibosh on Santa ... He's not really even a religious figure at this point anyway! And sure, it'd be nice if the rest of the world glorified Hanukkah and made it as mainstream as Christmas. But the reality is, it probably never will be -- and little Timmy and Jane in bumblef*ck, Nebraska, aren't ever going to yearn for Hanukkah songs and dreidel games.

We will never hang stockings, or have a Christmas tree, or leave cookies out for Santa. But if Jacob wants to believe that Santa's busy at the neighbor's house, trying to stuff himself through the drain in the sink to get inside (which is what I imagined as a child, since no one I knew had chimneys), then so be it. Now the Easter Bunny, that's a whole different story ...

8 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jennifer December 21, 2009, 11:31 AM

I don’t get this trend. I have more and more friends that don’t want their kids to believe in Santa.

We love the Santa tradition at our house. My husband even has a Santa suit! I loved it as a kid and I want my son to love it too. I think it would be sad not to enjoy this tradition as a family.

It is one thing to not celebrate it but to ruin it for other families is just ridiculous.

chris December 21, 2009, 1:20 PM

Your husband SUCKS!!! I would never think of talking bad about another persons holiday or ruining another persons traditions. All kids figure it out on their own and I see no need to tell them before they do. My oldest son knows that “truth” and he is not allowed to tell his younger siblings. He now enjoys “playing santa” and helping us wrap presents and putting them under the tree xmas eve. I still tell him that the true meaning of santa is the gift of love from your heart to each people.

Anonymous December 21, 2009, 1:46 PM

What a jerk! It must be a blast growing up in your house.

Monica December 21, 2009, 1:50 PM

I believe in telling kids the truth. No matter what religious background you are. While I don’t believe it is up to someone else to ruin another kids belief in a fictional person, I believe it is up the parents to be truthful with their children. But I do remember when I was in the fourth grade how some kids and I were talking about Santa Claus and knowing that he was fictional I mentioned it and the teacher punished me for ruining it for this girl who was my bestfriend. Everyone else knew the truth but her and I got in trouble because all but her parents were truthful with their her about the fact that he wasn’t real. I think it sweetened the deal for the teacher because I didn’t and still don’t celebrate Christmas. But I was a kid and I didn’t realize that it was such a shocker for kids to find out the truth. I didn’t know anything about tact.

Rachel December 21, 2009, 3:30 PM

Maybe your husband will grow out of it once your kiddo is a bit older. My husband was hell bent on being honest with our kids when I was pregnant with our first, and throughout his first few months of life. Once our oldest was 11 months and coming upon his first Christmas, he had a change of heart. It’s a neat/special part of Christmas. I don’t get why people have to be such jerks about it. It’s not like others believing is going to hurt you. If you don’t want your kids to believe in Santa, don’t ever start. You don’t have to ruin it for others…

BB December 22, 2009, 9:12 AM

In my opinion, parents should be truthful with their child about Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, etc;

Kid do not need to believe that they are real to enjoy them, they are characters of the holiday, kids can enjoy the decorations and folklore about them.

pharmacy technician January 5, 2010, 1:56 AM

Amazing as always

Ten Tees January 9, 2011, 9:32 AM

Good post! Good reading. I have got one thing to give about tee shirts.

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