Nov 19, 2018

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Background Info: My Negative Experience With Santa

When I was little, my parents would deny that Santa Claus wasn't real, even when I began to question it. This hurt and obviously had a lasting impression on me.

Also, Santa never brought what I asked for, which as a kid, your kind of told he would, but then he doesn't because well your parents don't want you to have a cat, and so they pretend Santa has "run out" or "knows your mom has allergies," or whatever excuse "he" can come up to write you each year. It kind of makes you hate "Santa," especially when another kid in your class gets a puppy.

Reading that, I probably sound like a spoiled brat, but those were my true feelings as a kid, and a result of all the lies I was told.

I, however, have no problem with fictional Santa Claus. I intend to share the movies and the stories with my own daughter, but my main problem is with how personified he is.

You can write letters to "Santa." You can sit on "Santa's" lap (which I will never understand why parents force their poor babies to do this when they are obviously terrified of the strange man!). You can see and talk to "Santa", and so on. It's like our whole society revolves around this lie that Santa Claus is a real person and somehow this is okay? To me this lie can be harmful as David Kyle Johnson Ph.D. wrote on Psychology Today:

"I'm simply saying that we should treat the Santa Claus story just like we treat all other stories—as a story. To do otherwise would be to cruelly take advantage of the child's naïveté and possibly hinder his/her intellectual development." (source)

I'm sure we will get a lot of backlash from others, claiming we are robbing our children of their childhood or that our children will ruin it for everyone else, but those are really lame excuses to make our daughter believe Santa is real.

As for the fear of my daughter telling everyone Santa isn't real, well that could be any kid! I remember being told Santa wasn't real in elementary school by other children. Some kids agreed, but others were not ready to accept the truth. It's like telling your kid there is no such thing as monsters, but yet they still think there is one under the bed, even though you have told them they don't exist for the 100th time. They will believe what they want to believe until they are ready to let it go or their parents finally tell them the truth.

Or what about religion? What about a kid telling your child God isn't real? It's never okay to force your beliefs on others, whether it be God or Santa Claus, just to spare you from the difficult conversation.

It is not like we are the only family that won't be visited by "Santa Claus." America is a melting pot, with many religions and cultures, and many of them don't celebrate Christmas or have Santa. It is not the end of the world if we choose to take Santa out of Christmas.

Here are some reasons why Santa Claus isn't a part of our Christmas:


1. Santa Claus Takes Away The True Meaning of Christmas

Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ. It is about God giving us his only child, and yes I know it's not accurate. Jesus was probably born in the summer; Christmas has pagan roots, but let's just let that go for now. Christians have decided to celebrate his birth on Christmas and so that's when we celebrate.

I want the holiday to be more centered around our religion and not around some holly jolly guy in a red suit.


2. Santa's Gifts Don't Add Up

Why did Susie get a Barbie Dream House, while Tommy only got a pair of socks? Sound familiar? Kids are going to compare their presents from Santa and they obviously aren't going to be fair as it would be far too difficult for all the parents in the world to be on the same page when it comes to gifts from "Santa."

Instead of our child thinking, Santa isn't fair, we want her to realize that the gifts come from mommy and daddy and that's what makes them special. I also don't want her thinking that Christmas is only about gifts, so taking Santa out of the picture will help with that as she won't be expecting a sleigh full of presents from a strange man with a cookie addiction.


3. Santa Himself Doesn't Add Up

I remember the first time I realized Santa wasn't real was when we were at my grandparents with family. Our parents told us Santa would still come, and sure enough, he did. However, my present and my sister's present was wrapped, but our cousin's presents weren't wrapped (obviously the parents didn't do a very good job of communicating beforehand). Apparently, in my cousins' family, Santa didn't wrap the presents he brought, but in our family, he always did.

Like presents, there are just too many different versions of Santa and when kids start talking there are going to be some questions.


4. Santa Doesn't Make A Happy Childhood

Santa was a negative part of my childhood, but I have heard people claim that by not doing Santa Claus, you are taking away from your child's childhood. Here's the thing, if your kid needs Santa to have a happy childhood, then you are doing something wrong.

Our daughter will know of Santa. He will be a fun story, so it's not like we are removing him entirely from the picture. We just aren't going to lie and tell her he is a real man that can travel the world in one night to deliver toys to thousands of girls and boys. No, he will be a fun fictional character and if she wants to pretend, that's great! I will not mislead her though.


5. It's a Lie

Santa Claus is a lie and I am not comfortable with lying to my child. Kids are supposed to be able to trust us and each time you lie, a little bit of that trust is broken. Some may argue that some lies are okay and aren't harmful to children, but as someone who was lied to repeatedly, I find it hard to draw the line between okay lies and not okay ones. Personally, I don't think it is ever okay to lie, Santa included.

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There are many other good reasons to not have Santa Claus, but the ones I mentioned are more important to us.

I want to emphasize that these are reasons we choose not to do Santa. I am not saying you or that anyone else shouldn't. Santa may work for your family, but I believe it is wrong for others to force us and others to participate because they are afraid our child would ruin the fun. I don't force your children to believe in God, so don't force mine to believe in Santa.

We will do our best to teach our daughter to respect others traditions, cultures, religions, beliefs, etc, and to not ruin the "magic" for others.

If you need more convincing, need arguments to defend your choice, or are undecided about Santa Claus, you can read these articles for more reasons to skip Santa this holiday season:

Nov 18, 2018

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Nov 14, 2018

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Nov 11, 2018

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Nov 5, 2018

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A lot of news articles have been floating around about how happier people put up Christmas decorations early. However,  a lot falsely use the word "study," when there hasn't been a study done, or at least not one that I could find, or say "scientists," as if there were multiple people backing this up, when there are actually only two who have shared their opinions, which you can read below:

Psychoanalyst Steve McKeown said to UNILAD:

"Although there could be a number of symptomatic reasons why someone would want to obsessively put up decorations early, most commonly for nostalgic reasons either to relive the magic or to compensate for past neglect.

In a world full of stress and anxiety people like to associate to things that make them happy and Christmas decorations evoke those strong feelings of the childhood.


Psychotherapist Amy Morin, best-selling author of 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don't Do, told UNILAD:

"The holiday season stirs up a sense of nostalgia. Nostalgia helps link people to their personal past and it helps people understand their identity. For many putting up Christmas decorations early is a way for them to reconnect with their childhoods.

It may be a bittersweet feeling. Perhaps the holidays serve as a reminder of when a loved one was still alive. Or maybe looking at a Christmas tree reminds someone of what life was like when they still believed in Santa.

For people who have lost a loved one, the holidays may serve as a reminder of happy times they had with that person in the past. Decorating early may help them feel more connected with that individual."

Basically, it sounds like just putting up decorations, in general, makes one FEEL happy because of the memories and nostalgia that come with it. It doesn't really matter when you decorate, but doing it sooner may extend the excitement, and seeing the decorations probably will make you feel more cheerful.



However, just because I don't put my decorations up earlier, doesn't mean I am not a happy person and those who do put them up early aren't necessarily happier people. UNILAD even included at the bottom of their article (which no one probably read) that there are also dark reasons as to why people put decorations up early, such as using it as a form of escapism. So if that's the case I could make claims that depressed people put up decorations early (not true, just showing how these articles make false statements to get views).

Both scientists clearly explained why putting up Christmas decorations up earlier can make people FEEL happy or why seeing them up early makes them feel joy. It has nothing to with them being "happier people." Those are two different things, but the articles like to twist their words and make false claims in order to get views.

They also never clarify what "early" is. Are we talking about November? October? July? Technically the week before Christmas could still be early as it's not Christmas yet. It feels like someone is just trying to stir up unnecessary drama when it comes to decorating for the holidays.

The truth is it doesn't matter when you put your Christmas decorations up, you will probably feel happy when doing it. Whether it be July or the week before Christmas. Unless you really hate Christmas, you are probably going to feel happy when putting up and seeing your decorations.

Free free to share when you decorate for the holidays and leave your thoughts in the comments!

Sources


Extra

I did find one study that was done relating to Christmas decorations, but it's from 1989, and all it showed was that people who decorated their houses were seen as "friendlier" or "more inviting" by strangers. You can read that study here if you are interested.

Nov 1, 2018

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Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy, and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. The winner has 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.