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  1. #1
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    Default Santa Claus vs Jesus. Hang with me....

    We're having a really good discussion about religion on another thread and this isn't intended to be yet another. But as a spinoff...

    It just came up about explaining things to kids scientifically and scaring them vs with something else.

    Example: Thunder(scientific) vs Thunder (angels moving furniture)

    Now...my question is this. Is it unfair of us to talk about Santa delivering presents knowing full well that virtually no kid after 12 or 13 will believe in this, knows it's not true, and it's part of the "growing up process" to learn that it's really Mom or Dad or both?

    I don't know many kids who have been harmed by the tooth fairy, santa, easter bunny.

    Is it okay to explain things to kids one way (that's untrue) then transition them to reality? Or is that unkind?

    I could take this to a religious perspective, but I won't. Let's avoid that maybe....
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  2. #2
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    Default

    Well, I was disallusioned about the existence of Santa at the tender age of 4. I spent years trying to believe but my analytical mind told me it just wasn't so.

    I have no problem telling a kid Santa is real. At the appropriate age they will begin to understand that it is the spirit of Santa that is very real.


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  3. #3
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    Default

    I never said that Santa brought gifts. Problem solved.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


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  4. #4
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    I don't think there is any harm in letting a kid believe Santa is real. I did when I was little, and after many years of therapy when I found out he wasn't I am ok!

    Just kidding. But seriously, it's just something that makes life a little more magical and fun for kids. Soon enough they'll realize the truths of bill-paying, etc. So let them believe things like Santa are possible when they can.
    *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05



  5. #5
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    Default

    Our school had a Saint Nicklaus day, 12/6, when someone dressed in a big long robe, carrying a burlap sack full of oranges, apples and nuts, the biggest, longest book you ever saw and a big brush broom would knock on the door of each classroom.
    He would come in, sit where the teacher sat, open the book and call names and tell things on that kid, some times bad, some good and give all an apple or orange and threatened to use the broom on those that didn't straighten up.

    That Saint Nicklaus always knew too much about me!
    I was terrified of him.
    He quit coming after the 4th grade and later I found those years it was my father who was Saint Nick, no wonder he knew so much about me.

    Kids are too impressionable to play too good a trick on them, I think.



  6. #6
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    Oct. 1, 2004
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    Default

    I think the story of the historical St. Nick is very good to share. He saw needs in his community and gave generously. But Santa... meh.

    My parents had two reasons why they never made Santa part of our Christmas. From my mom's perspective, she didn't want us to doubt Jesus if she lied about Santa. From my dad's perspective, he wanted us to experience the gratitude of knowing where each of gifts came from. He had grown up poor, and his parents could not justify why Santa brought lavish gifts to some kids but could bring no gifts to him and his brothers. So they didn't do Santa.

    Having married into a Santa tradition, I'm in agreement with my dad. My stepson is all smiles and hugs toward people who give him stuff, but when it comes to Santa.... If he doesn't get what he asked for, he's in tears. He doesn't understand. Why didn't Santa bring it? Why wasn't he good enough? Why isn't there more? It seriously kills Christmas for me. The best part of the holiday for me, the most fun, is picking a gift I know will be enjoyed and seeing a smile. The tears and entitlement suck all the fun out of it to the extent that, while I was indifferent on Santa before, I freaking hate Santa Claus now. Call me Grinch or whatever. If I ever have my own kids, Santa will not be part of their Christmas.

    With regard to my mom's reasoning, I think whether the kids hold a grudge against "lying" or start to doubt their parents has to do with how you tell them. My DH wasn't sure how to explain Santa to my stepdaughter when she asked if he was real. I told her yes and no. No, he is not the fat man in a red suit with flying reindeer and elves. But yes, there was a person on whom he is based, and today Santa is me, her dad, her... anyone who gives the gifts freely with no regard for themselves other to receive a smile in return. She didn't feel lied to and has since had more fun being Santa than she ever had waiting for Santa.
    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals, and you know it." - Agent K, MIB


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  7. #7
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    Default

    My sister told me about some letter she read online that some parents wrote to their daughter when she asked if Santa was real. They said "well, Santa isn't real in that he's not ONE person. He's everyone making Christmas special for little kids. 'Santa' is a team, and now that you're older you're on the Santa team."
    "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

    Phoenix Animal Rescue


    6 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
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    If a kid cries because Santa didn't bring him something, he clearly asked for too much. We were allowed to ask Santa for ONE thing, not a laundry list, and we'd probably have gotten spanked but good if we'd whined about not getting enough stuff. Dude's bringing you *A* gift, be grateful. (And we found out about Santa the year I inadvertently asked for a Breyer model that had been discontinued and my parents just "casually" brought it up over dinner.) I was a lot more likely to resent 'wrong' presents from people I knew, as even as a kid I was judging it against what *I* gave them and usually it came up wanting. When people bothered at all; I hated school gift exchanges and 'white elephant' games and things like that as I inevitably got a lot less than I gave and just ended up feeling miserable and ripped off. Santa was giving you something without you having to give him more than cookies and a carrot for the reindeer.

    I think letting little kids believe in fun things is relatively harmless. Teaching them to be nice and giving to their peer group, on the other hand, just sets them up early for finding out what miserable things ordinary humans tend to be. Which is probably a more useful life lesson, but not much fun at Christmas.


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  9. #9
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    Dec. 13, 2012
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    I always loved Santa as a kid. I lived with my grandparents for many years, and they somehow did the Santa thing quite well despite us being very poor. I remember the intense excitement and watching the sky all night hoping I’d see Rudolph’s red nose. But, I also had a significant amount of trauma related to my parents who, unfortunately, were still in the picture during my childhood. This always got amped up 10 fold around Christmas, and I could never understand why Santa couldn’t take the “bad things” away.

    Fastforward a number of years, and I still enjoy the magical element of Santa. It’s a lot of fun to pass that on to my SO’s 6yo son. It just seems to make things more special. His aunt sent him an Elf On The Shelf as well, which I could hardly tell him about without laughing. I would have seen through it easily at his age, but I suppose things are a bit different when you still believe in the magical element of Christmas. As others have pointed out, however, the entitlement/"Santa should bring me EVERYTHING" thing is rather annoying. I addressed it before Christmas, pointing out that there are a zillion children in the world, and Santa has to make sure there is enough to go around. Discussing the importance of sharing, and having him collect some old toys to give donate helped a good bit as well.

    I don’t think I was harmed by believing. It gave me a lot of joy and hope, and made Christmas so very fun. Finding out Santa wasn’t real wasn’t traumatic (or surprising, really). And I’ve always enjoyed being able to watch the children bursting with excitement over their Santa-fun. They’ll figure out the financial side of things soon enough as is. Might as well let ‘em revel in the excitement and magic for as long as they can.



  10. #10
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    I am still mildly traumatized by finding out Santa is not real. My little sister is also as well as shocked that He-Man isn't really camped out on our roof listening for good and bad behavior. My younger brother has entered a life of excess booze and weed because of his emotional void left after not finding He-Man or Santa to be real. If He-Man was not watching then he isn't going to be behaving!!

    Although I am scarred for life, my recent salvation through following Jesus has helped me forgive those who lied and carried out this lack of integrity against me as a child, and that of my sister and brother too.

    Just wait until all those kids with the freaky Elf on the Shelf get it figured out!
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.



  11. #11
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    Am I the only one who wants to see Saint Nick and Jesus beat the crap out of one another?
    SPACE FOR RENT


    2 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    I was a lot more likely to resent 'wrong' presents from people I knew, as even as a kid I was judging it against what *I* gave them and usually it came up wanting. When people bothered at all; I hated school gift exchanges and 'white elephant' games and things like that as I inevitably got a lot less than I gave and just ended up feeling miserable and ripped off. Santa was giving you something without you having to give him more than cookies and a carrot for the reindeer.

    I think letting little kids believe in fun things is relatively harmless. Teaching them to be nice and giving to their peer group, on the other hand, just sets them up early for finding out what miserable things ordinary humans tend to be. Which is probably a more useful life lesson, but not much fun at Christmas.
    Funny, I've never resented a gift, and never thought it was a transaction. I gave a gift because I enjoyed giving it, not because I expected something equal or better in return.

    Heck, my favorite Christmas memory was giving my grandmother rose water hand lotion (this was the woman who had everything she wanted). She was extraordinarily happy with it...if I remember correctly, it cost about 5 or 10 cents. I have no clue what she gave me in return...mostly money for my savings account, I'm sure.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by LexInVA View Post
    Am I the only one who wants to see Saint Nick and Jesus beat the crap out of one another?
    probably...
    But St Nick has a stick...so would it be fair?
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alagirl View Post
    probably...
    But St Nick has a stick...so would it be fair?

    Yes, Jesus created all the sticks.
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by twotrudoc View Post
    Yes, Jesus created all the sticks.
    nuh-uh....he made wine, not sticks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  16. #16
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    Jesus made bread from sticks, hence the creation of the bread-stick.
    SPACE FOR RENT


    2 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
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    And there you have it. And Jesus knows who has been drinking all the wine, Alagirl!
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.



  18. #18
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    I remember being very upset as a child when I found out that Santa wasn't real. Not because he wasn't real, but because with that came the realization that my mother had lied to me, and for no discernible reason other than her own amusement. Even as a child I knew that Santa delivering all those gifts made no rational sense, but in my little kid mind, it had to be true somehow, because my mother wouldn't lie to me.

    Anyhow, I remember my trust in my parents dropped several notches after that. And I'm sure I'll manage to find all sorts of ways to let my son down without adding fuel to the fire, so I've been very honest with him about Santa, thunder, euthanizing pets, and all sorts of things.

    Of course, life being what it is, he'll probably decide that I took all the fun out of childhood and go completely the other way. Who knows? But personally, I felt a lot more comfortable being honest with him, and teaching him to evaluate statements as logically and scientifically as possible.

    He's still allowed to have his own beliefs, though. I'm an atheist, I've explained that to him, but he believes in God(s). No organized religion, but he's leaning more towards polytheism than monotheism.
    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
    -Edward Hoagland



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by twotrudoc View Post
    And there you have it. And Jesus knows who has been drinking all the wine, Alagirl!
    that would be Santa...
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alagirl View Post
    that would be Santa...

    He knows when you are drinking all the wine, he knows when you've been bad and lying!
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.



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