The Santa issue
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13-11-2013, 05:13 PM
The Santa issue
Hello, I'm new to TTA forums and I find this subject interesting because I'm a lifelong atheist, who is also a lifelong Christmas celebrator, and a lifelong Santa advocate.

Here I will share my experiences with Santa, and I hope others share theirs, especially in regards to how they have/plan to deal with the subject with their children or future children.

First, I'll share the most interesting Santa related story I know, what happened to my mom.
When my mom was in 8th grade, she got in a huge argument at school with one of her classmates (And I think there were less than 50 kids in her entire school). The subject of this argument? Santa's existence! My mom valiantly defended Santa, telling her classmates that Santa is real! She went home that night and told her mom (my grandma) about this fight, and my grandma came clean to her that night. She Told my mom that Santa was not real, and where the presents came from and all. My mom felt incredibly betrayed, angry, and embarassed. She lost some trust in her parents over that. My mom says because of that experience, she promised herself that she would never lie to her kids about Santa. And that may even have to do with why she started questioning catholicism in the first place.

Now, we didn't live a life without Santa growing up. That was part of the Christmas tradition! However, my mom made a point to never push Santa as a fact. She did however suggest Santa by telling the story. And our presents (to this day, and I'm in my 20s) are signed "from santa". Basically Santa is part of the tradition and "magic" of Christmas. I never believed it was real, but that isn't important. That doesn't mean it isn't fun!

In the future I plan to do something similar with my kids. That is, telling the story of Santa, and staging magical Santa events (cookies, maybe reigndeer tracks, and presents from santa), but I will never insist that he is real. I'll let my kids figure it out.

How do you guys handle Santa with your kids? Please share!
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13-11-2013, 06:13 PM
RE: The Santa issue
1. "Never accept gifts from strangers".

2. "Ask your mother".

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13-11-2013, 06:17 PM
RE: The Santa issue
My kid believes in Santa. I never say outright that Santa exists or doesn't exist. I say some people choose to believe in Santa, what do you think.

As far as I'm concerned there's no harm in the belief as it has a bearing in reality, no doctrine, and the belief always ends unless there is a mental instability issue.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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13-11-2013, 06:43 PM
RE: The Santa issue
I told my kids too early and got an awkward phone call from the teacher.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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13-11-2013, 06:53 PM
RE: The Santa issue
My kids believed forever. Lol.

When they discovered the truth (I told them) it wasn't a big deal for them. The older kid was included in the after hours fun on Christmas eve and when my younger child was old enough we'd leave beer and sausage out for Dad (Santa)


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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13-11-2013, 07:15 PM
RE: The Santa issue
I lie to my young kids about lots of things, sometimes obvious things, sometimes not so obvious. My kids are learning very quickly that people (even dad) lie and that they need to be skeptical and find ways to validate what they are being told.
I think my kids are very smart.
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13-11-2013, 09:03 PM
RE: The Santa issue
(13-11-2013 07:15 PM)Stevil Wrote:  I lie to my young kids about lots of things, sometimes obvious things, sometimes not so obvious. My kids are learning very quickly that people (even dad) lie and that they need to be skeptical and find ways to validate what they are being told.
I think my kids are very smart.

Parenting advice from Stevil: just lie about it.
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13-11-2013, 09:17 PM
RE: The Santa issue
My kids have never believed in Santa. My mother hates it. Sometimes I think it's a funny coincidence that the two most important things for my kids to learn (in her mind) are god and Santa.

Swing with me a while, we can listen to the birds call, we can keep each other warm.
Swing with me forever, we can count up every flower, we can weather every storm.
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13-11-2013, 09:24 PM
RE: The Santa issue
I never wanted to "lie to my kids" about Santa. I felt like it was pointless. And since I didn't believe in any religious beliefs, I felt like it seemed the same way in that I would be a parent telling my children that there IS a magical being who does things, but you don't ever actually see him. I have also always celebrated Christmas, but I use the time of year to go all crazy getting awesomely planned gifts for my loved ones. (And the family time and yummy food is an obvious reason.)

And then I had my baby. And then he got older. And he started understanding that the holidays meant he gets presents and all that good stuff. I was at a point in my parenting life where I had to seriously consider bringing up the "Santa issue." (Yes. I totally called it that, too!) He already heard some stories from his cousins about Santa by that time and so I gave in and casually mentioned that "Santa brings you presents, too."

He was skeptical because he's mama's 'lil atheist Big Grin But I could see he thought that was just fantastical and magical and COOL! So, since he's been about 4, I leave a present from Santa under the tree. But I take credit for the really awesome gifts! We also leave cookies for the fat dude. I even left a note one year posing as Santa and thanking him for the treats.

I can't help it! THERE IS SOMETHING AWESOME ABOUT MY BABY'S EYES LIGHTING UP WITH WONDER. Sue me if you think it's not cool. I want my son's childhood to be memorable. And I know he will just learn about it when he's in school one day like most other kids and he'll be fine. I won't let him believe for too long.

Besides, if he has questions like, "My friend said Santa isn't real. Is that true?" I just say, "What do YOU think?" And he told me that he believes in him and I'm okay with that.

*I also have a hilarious story about a mall Santa, but I'll post in a different comment because this one ended up being so long.*

"It was life, often unsatisfying, frequently cruel, usually boring, sometimes beautiful, once in awhile exhilarating." -Stephen King
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13-11-2013, 10:52 PM
RE: The Santa issue
We don't advocate the belief part of it, but we certainly enjoy ourselves "playing" Santa and enjoying the fantastical story. The deception never sat right in my gut.

Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived. - Isaac Asimov
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