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Jennifer

Sorry you are dealing with Santa phobia. We have always told our kids that Santa is just a story like Frosty, the tooth fairy etc. They still get the "magic" of Christmas, but they are aware that they are stories, no lying involved.

Bean

We don't lie about Santa Claus here, or any other imaginary creatures (tooth fairy, etc)

I don't think there's anything "magical" about lying to your children. I was terrified of Santa Claus too, and I'll be honest with you and tell you that I have never trusted my mother the same way after I found out that it was her.

That being said, we DO have gifts on Christmas morning, that we give to each other in the spirit of St. Nick. Our family also helps a lot with organizing a gift tree for local kids in need, and we play Santa for them too. There is plenty of magic in our holiday, without the lies.

I posted a little bit about the same subject last year, and there are a couple of great links in my post: http://coyotecraft.blogspot.com/2008/12/where-treetops-glisten.html

Tammy  Monson

Santa...Derek and I had very different experiences growing up. He never did the Santa thing and was pretty determined when Abby came along that we would not be pretending that Santa was a real person today sneaking down our chimney, eating a plate of cookies. It absolutely shocked some of my family and they think we have almost tortured the girls. (I can confidently say both have wild imaginations and don't seem to be too damaged from it all.)That being said, whatever you decide will come with someone on the other side of the fence. We chose to tell the girls from the get go that Saint Nicholas really was a man that lived long ago, we have a fantastic children's book that tells the story. I believe the title is "Santa Clause Are You For Real?" Our first born has no desire in believing or pretending about Santa, but our second born gets so excited and pretends that Santa is really coming even though she has heard the real story a thousands times. When it comes to gift giving we try to focus on the importance of generosity as we have been blessed with much. Maybe telling them the truth will help them overcome their fear...both girls really wanted to sit on Santa's lap last year even though Abby stood in line and asked out loud for all to hear, "Who is in the costume mom?"

Amy

I haven't thought of this moment in a very long time, but with a 4 yr old and 2 yr old myself. I know the moment is coming.

When I was young.. how young I don't actually remember. I brought my concerns about Santa to my father and he told me this:

He said.. yes.. There is no 'real' Santa.. all the ones at the mall are really somebody’s Grandpa and movies are just movies. BUT my father explained that he still believed in Santa’s spirit. He told me that different cultures and religions have folklore that depicts a patron saint etc.. And so it's still ok to have Christmas Spirit and not appropriate to tell anyone that there is no Santa. (Especially my little brother). It seemed to be a really good answer and has stuck with me to this day.

Not sure if this would fly in your home.. but I might give it a go in mine:)

mkpoggie

If a child is scared of it, I have always suggested to my students parents that they explain that Santa is a character just like the ones we read about in story books. Which is how I have always thought of the modern incarnation of Santa (so I guess I don't see it as lying anymore than I see talk of the Cat in the Hat as lying). Then again, I never even sort of believed in Santa when I was little...although I faked it beyond an age that was appropriate because I was afraid Christmas would be ruined. My parents had "the talk" with me so many times, I think they thought I was a bit cracked.

Jes

I have always gone by the simple rule that if my child is old enough to ask the question they are old enough to know the answer (an age appropriate answer of course). My daughter was just over 3 when she asked if Santa was real. I told her that some people believe that Santa is real but that I didn't and that she could believe or not if she wanted. Of course this set off a whole bunch of other conversations with the inlaws and friends as the in laws were suddenly terrified my child would 'ruin' Xmas for theirs (to the point where they didn't let us visit and didn't come over at all that year even though I had talked it over with my daughter and she agreed not to tell her cousin)... Personally I think providing them with the option to believe when they ask is a healthy option.

Kari

I also strongly believe in being honest with my kids. I started out talking like this: "When I was little, my parents told me that Santa..." (So it is the truth - it is what my parents told me!) We don't really talk about Santa much, but they absorb it from the world around them. If they ask me something, I just reply "what do you think?" It is kind of a weird compromise because I am allowing them to believe it and kind of getting out of lying by a technicality. But that is what we are doing right now!

I have heard of people being shocked and losing trust in their parents after finding out that Santa is not real. Though most of the time I think that is when the Santa thing was really perpetuated too much (to an older age or the parents insisting he is real even when their child expresses doubt). I guess I'll find out how we did in a few years! :)

BTW - I love the princess and the pea! How adorable.

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