November 19, 2018

5 Reasons Why We Don't Do Santa Claus


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.

*****

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:

24 comments:

  1. I totally agree with you, I'm thinking about it since the beginning of this year's Christmas. We watched old family videos and it reminded me how weird was this whole santa thing for me, and how disappointed and cheated I felt when I found out it was a lie. I definitely don't want my future kids to feel that way, so I'll give up on Santa, just like you :)
    ~Laura

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  2. Interesting take on the matter. Do you have kids? Your opinion on life changes quite a bit after. Good luck with parenting.

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    1. I wrote this before we had our daughter, but my thoughts and opinions have not changed, if anything having her has strengthened them. I will no lie to my daughter. I don't really intend to mention Santa at all, but if my child asks me if he is real, I will definitely not lie to her as that can cause huge trust issues later on.

      My daughter's birthday happens to also be Christmas Eve, so Christmas will also most likely be put on the back burner as her birthday is more important.

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  3. You raise some very interesting points - lying to children about Santa does come with ethical considerations. We all have our own experiences about how we learned santa wasn't real. I'd had an ides for a long time and was really pleased with myself when I confronted my parents and they revealed the truth. I didn't feel deceived at all. Perhaps because it seemed like a riddle I'd solved. As for whether we'll keep the myth of Santa going with our son (16 mo), we're still undecided, but your post has raised quite the debate in this house!

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    1. I am sure you will do whatever you feel is right. I believe children can have Santa and be okay in the long run, but it really depends on how you go about it.

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  4. I don't celebrate Christmas personally because I am a Muslim, but I do go visiting on christmas day to celebrate with my Christian friends. I understand your point, and I believe you are making the best decision for your family.

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  5. I have to agree on most of what you wrote, as I think the idea of Santa has become part of the commercialism of our society. It's a push to buy more for under the tree. I love the story of the original Saint Nicholas, and plan to make the season more about that for my two year old daughter. It's tough, because our kids still have to interact with other kids...I don't lie to my daughter, but I also don't want her to be that kid ruining every other kid's Christmas. I think it's a fine line, and I appreciate that you aren't totally cutting the idea out, but instead just don't plan on stringing her along.

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    1. Kids will believe what they want to believe, so even they told another kid "he's not real," it's not like they will believe her. It's like when you tell them there isn't a monster in the closet, but they still want to crawl into bed with you in the middle of the night.

      You also have to remember, that there are many religions and cultures that don't have Santa, so if it's not your kid, someone else is probably going to mention it at some point, so there really is no way around it.

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  6. I understand and appriciate your decision.
    I think every parents have a method to teach about religion and belive to their son.
    Thank you for sharing :)

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  7. When we became pregnant we often discussed our options on this topic. She's about two now and we still aren't sure what to do.

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  8. Hey, you gotta do what's best for your family. If anyone gives you a hard time about it, then that's their problem.

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  9. I love this and we recently began to do the same with our kids!

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  10. My son isn't quite old enough yet to fully understand who is giving the gifts, but I am thinking about cutting Santa out as well.

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  11. You do what you think is good for your family:) I love Santa idea and see how kids are excited but I understand your point of view

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  12. We don't do Santa either :) It sounds like we have a lot of the same reasons!

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  13. Interesting take...personally, I don't believe that kids just choose to believe what they want. it comes to influence. Just how you don't want to influence your child to believe, they can turn around and influence others to stop believing. And one non-believing kid can, and does, ruin Christmas for others when they spill the beans about Santa. So my son will be taught that Santa is a character that some people believe in, just like the tooth fairy...and a host of other things we have no solid proof of. If he chooses to join in the fun, great. When he finds out that there isn't a Santa, we will teach him that the ones who find out the truth then BECOME Santa and make Christmas magical for others! It's one thing for y kid to not believe, but I don't want him to ruin it for everyone else....

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    1. Well I think it's wrong to force others to participate just because your afraid they will ruin it for your kid. To me that's the same as trying to force someone to believe that God is real. I think people get uptight about Santa because they know it's a lie and they hate getting caught whereas if you are religious and someone said God isn't real to your child, they would easily tell them that he is.

      I don't think any parent intends for their child to tell other kids that Santa isn't real, but parents can't always control their kids and sometimes things slip out, especially when in school.

      What about the kids who brag about all the presents they got from Santa? To me, that's worse and only makes others feel bad.

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  14. I can kind of see your point. I strongly believe that it is important to be honest with children. We do Santa at our house... but if one of our children question us, then we tell him/her the truth. (We also have talks about not spoiling it for other children because it is a parent's job to tell their own children.)

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  15. I sort of see it but no. Santa was so magical to me as a little girl. We all have our own views and I respect that. With that being said " Happy Holidays".

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  16. I definitely agree with you! My husband had a really great experience and was older than anyone I know when he stopped believing so it’s realky important to him. If it was up to me we wouldn’t do it either. I also don’t like the inconsistency with Santa gifts and know it can upset kids who are in different financial situations.

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  17. We never did Santa either. I am Christian now and so Jesus is a factor but when my kids were born I was not Christian so that wasn't apart of the original decision. I too had a bad experience as a kid. I believed in Santa until 12. Every time I said I had doubts they assured me he was real so when I finally figured it out, I felt stupid as I had argued with other kids saying that my parents said he was real and they would never lie to me. So I looked stupid in front of them and worse, I had to go back and say, "you were right." My kids have never "ruined it" for anyone else. My kids are 12, 11, 7 and 4 and they don't feel like they were jipped out of anything. We have great Christmases and best of all, I can ask my kids for ideas for Christmas directly.

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  18. This was a very interesting post and I agree with the a lot . Personally I've done my research on Christmas and I choose not to celebrate it just because I believe that it is not the right date that Christ was born on . That is a completely different topic you have brought up some really good points here though that I wish more parents realize expressione the part about lying to your kids. Well put together

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  19. We don’t do Santa either. Getting so caught up in the commercialism and gifts makes kids focus only in the presents or lack thereof. As a story, sure, why not? Not as a real person though

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