1. Illinois
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    25 Dec '08 10:02
    My daughter is about to turn five. For the past five years I've made it very clear to her that Santa does not exist. I'm raising her to be a follower of Jesus Christ and figured it would be counterproductive to spend the majority of her childhood spinning white lies about a person who doesn't exist while simultaneously teaching her about a Person Who does. I want to build a rapport with her and I fear it might damage my credibility if she eventually sees me as a person prone to fabricate whole persons out of thin air (even going so far as to eat the cookies she leaves out on Christmas Eve).

    Santa is built up in kids' imaginations as the jolly fellow who mysteriously knows whether you've been naughty or nice, whether you're sleeping or awake, etc., basically he's imbued with a certain Godlike omniscience. Parents routinely fool their kids into believing, wholeheartedly in most instances, that this guy actually exists. Is there no effect upon these children when the rug is pulled out from underneath them and they find out Santa was a lie? Will they unconsciously identify adulthood with unbelief in an omniscient, caring Being who rewards or punishes us based on our behavior?

    Some food for thought.

    Anyway, I have the opposite problem this year. My daughter recently saw some schmo dressed as Santa at her cousin's house and is now absolutely convinced that he exists, no matter how hard I try to dissuade her. We watched the movie, "Elf," the other night and she began frowning at me because she now identifies me as one of those party poopers who doesn't have enough Christmas spirit to get Santa's sleigh off the ground. Good grief. Seeing is believing, I guess.

    Have a happy Jesus day!
  2. Joined
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    25 Dec '08 10:171 edit
    If she enjoys Santa, revel in it. Share in her joy. She'll soon enough discover that we all have our own Santas that we choose to believe in; things that are not real, but we believe nonetheless. She'll find out that Santa is not real, but you know what? It's one of those quirks that will not matter.

    My kids are 7 and 9. They know that Santa, per se, does not exist. They also know that, in effect, I am Santa. Displease me and you get nothing - seriously. I don't fool around. The same rules stand. You be naughty, you get nothing. I am watching. And I'm dead serious about it.

    I personally think that the idea of Santa is harmless. If I lie to my kids, then so what? If they posed the question of why I lied to them, I would tell them that it was my lesson to them to see things for what they are. If they ask me if I'm lying, then I'll tell them I am, and there's a heck of a lot of people in their life that won't be so candid. They will get fooled by a great many more important things than Santa in their lives.

    Please - be in and of your daughter. It won't matter that she's 5 or 17, it will be the same struggle. It's the same thing I do with my 9 year old daughter. She will appreciate a soft sell so much more than the harshness of the adult reality; after all, she is not an adult, so why should she engage as one?

    Oh - and Merry Christmas, epiphinehas.
  3. Joined
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    25 Dec '08 19:41
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    My daughter is about to turn five. For the past five years I've made it very clear to her that Santa does not exist. I'm raising her to be a follower of Jesus Christ and figured it would be counterproductive to spend the majority of her childhood spinning white lies about a person who doesn't exist while simultaneously teaching her about a Person Who d ...[text shortened]... f the ground. Good grief. Seeing is believing, I guess.

    Have a happy Jesus day!
    My son will be 6 in January. He knows there is no Santa even though I tease him that there is.

    I don't think you should pay any attention to the whole thing by trying to not lie to your children. I believed in Santa as a child, but when I discovered that there wasn't a Santa I didn't feel like I had been lied to.

    Children are told fairy tales all over the world. Hollywood has invented all kinds of talking animals and every other kind of imaginative thing there is.

    Children play and pretend and use their imaginations. Let them be children. We all grow up soon enough.

    I don't know who started it, or when the idea that telling the Santa Clause story to a child was lying, but that is a crock of dung.
  4. Joined
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    25 Dec '08 19:52
    I have mixed feelings about this. I felt betrayed when a friend told me there was no Santa Claus. I couldn't believe that my parents would lie to me. Daddy dressed up in the suit every Christmas Eve and brought the gifts in a gunnysack. I wrote an article about this revelation that appeared in a magazine some years ago. My mother explained it so beautifully to me and my entire attitude changed during a crisis that next Christmas Eve. I decided that I would tell my oldest child the truth as soon as she was a toddler. But, for some reason we allowed the other children to believe in Santa...probably because our second child was retarded and had a heart condition. It was just something to bring joy into his life. He still believed in Santa when he died at age 14 two weeks before Christmas....but he also believed in his Savior and that he had a home awaiting him in Heaven. My oldest girl chastised me when she got older, saying that I had deprived her of one of childhood's joys.
  5. Break-twitching
    Joined
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    25 Dec '08 20:54
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    My daughter is about to turn five. For the past five years I've made it very clear to her that Santa does not exist. I'm raising her to be a follower of Jesus Christ and figured it would be counterproductive to spend the majority of her childhood spinning white lies about a person who doesn't exist while simultaneously teaching her about a Person Who d ...[text shortened]... f the ground. Good grief. Seeing is believing, I guess.

    Have a happy Jesus day!
    Good for you! It's never too early to educate children that the world, for the most part, is a sham. I never believed in santa, and for that reason I have a healthy dose of skepticism when it comes to trusting 'establishment' figures or entities, i.e. political figures, the gov't, santa clause, priests, educators, lawyers, and doctors. Your teaching your daighter about the real meaning of Christmas is what Christmas is all about.
  6. Standard membercaissad4
    Child of the Novelty
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    25 Dec '08 21:00
    Have you bothered to tell your daughter that Jecus was NOT even born in December. Late September was more likely.
    The God Mithras was born of a virgin on Christmas day and arose into the heavens. December 25 was stolen by Christians.
    "Unless you eat of my flesh and drimk of my blood you will not be with me in the next world" Mithras
    (part of the Vatican was a Mithran temple)
    Christians are quick to point out myths except their own.
  7. Break-twitching
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    25 Dec '08 21:09
    Originally posted by caissad4
    Have you bothered to tell your daughter that Jecus was NOT even born in December. Late September was more likely.
    The God Mithras was born of a virgin on Christmas day and arose into the heavens. December 25 was stolen by Christians.
    "Unless you eat of my flesh and drimk of my blood you will not be with me in the next world" Mithras
    (part of the Vatican was a Mithran temple)
    Christians are quick to point out myths except their own.
    Nobody stole December 25th! Christians began observing December 25th as the birth of Christ simply because it was convenient, nothing more. The birth of Christ is far less important than the death and resurrection of Jesus. Who is this god mithras? Is this a new-age entity? Jesus was the ONLY person born of a virgin. One doesn't literally eat of the flesh and drink of the blood of Jesus; we Christians symbolically reflect the Last Supper during Communion by partaking of leaven bread and grape jiuce (or wine, if one is a purist). There are NO myths in Christianity unless, of course one refuses to believe, then it's all a myth. Jesus will reveal Himself soon, as we are in the last days.
  8. Donationkirksey957
    Outkast
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    25 Dec '08 21:21
    Originally posted by dystoniac
    Nobody stole December 25th! Christians began observing December 25th as the birth of Christ simply because it was convenient, nothing more. The birth of Christ is far less important than the death and resurrection of Jesus. Who is this god mithras? Is this a new-age entity? Jesus was the ONLY person born of a virgin. One doesn't literally eat of the ...[text shortened]... to believe, then it's all a myth. Jesus will reveal Himself soon, as we are in the last days.
    You talk about myths as something that is untrue. Myths are actually tales that are full of universal truths.
  9. Break-twitching
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    25 Dec '08 21:40
    Originally posted by kirksey957
    You talk about myths as something that is untrue. Myths are actually tales that are full of universal truths.
    You are correct, but I was using the word in the context that caissa4 was using it. A myth is a legendary story passed down through generations and usually is concerened with deities and demigods; a story that attemps to express or explain a basic truth. There is no need to utilize myths in explaining the story of Jesus. There needs to be NO attempt to express the story of Jesus, as the Bible does that for us.

    On the other hand, we have to lie, or use mythology, out the sides of our heads in order to explain sata clause to kids, and that, to me, sets a bad precedent.
  10. Joined
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    25 Dec '08 21:592 edits
    I started another thread in the debate column about Christmas. What disturbs me the most as a Christian is that it has been secularized to a large extent and worse, society has placed such a high value on that particular day in terms of family/presents etc, that when we may fall short depression and often suicide enters the picture. So I guess on the one side the holiday may be an opportunity to share my faith but conversely, it is a holiday notorious for people jumping off buildings and bridges because they long for what they once may have had or longed for. This is due to the high expectations society places on the holiday when the world thinks that one should give at least one day out of the year. LOL.

    As for the whole Santa issue, I see nothing wrong with letting kids imagination run wild about stories about Santa Clause. When they get older, however, they should be told the real story about Santa. On the one hand I don't think the myth should be pushed but, on the other hand, I don't think being a kill joy is the answer either.
  11. Break-twitching
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    25 Dec '08 22:10
    Originally posted by whodey
    I started another thread in the debate column about Christmas. What disturbs me the most as a Christian is that it has been secularized to a large extent and worse, society has placed such a high value on that particular day in terms of family/presents etc, that when we may fall short depression and often suicide enters the picture. So I guess on the one si ...[text shortened]... should be pushed but, on the other hand, I don't think being a kill joy is the answer either.
    Your explanation sounds balance, so I'll buy off on it. The reason people kill themselve during Christmas is because of the material aspects of the holiday and their lack of living up to it. Christmas has the unintentional ability to cause many people to realize their shortcomings and thus the inability to face reality. Sad
  12. Joined
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    25 Dec '08 22:312 edits
    Originally posted by dystoniac
    Your explanation sounds balance, so I'll buy off on it. The reason people kill themselve during Christmas is because of the material aspects of the holiday and their lack of living up to it. Christmas has the unintentional ability to cause many people to realize their shortcomings and thus the inability to face reality. Sad
    I guess the whole idea struck me the other day when I was watching the Grinch. The whole premise of the story was that the Grinch hated Christmas which seemed partially to do with the materialism of the holiday. So to counter it he goes in and swipes all their presents/food/decorations etc. However, as he goes to dispose of those items to destroy their Christmas he does not hear sounds of protest, rather, the continue with the Christmas season as if the materialism did not matter at all. He then has a change of heart regarding the season and is converted to loving Christmas because he falsely assessed that it was a quest for pure materialism and nothing more. Of course, the whole premise is based somewhat upon a lie because if you did the same to any family or community you would hear anything BUT Christmas cheer. In large part, it would most assuredly ruin their holiday.

    I would just like to add to my comment about Santa, the story is based upon a Christian man who was known for his giving. In a way, it is a testament to those of the Christian faith. I would tell children that with any myth, there is truth surrounding such stories and it is their job to flush out truth from fiction. For example, the truth about the birth of Jesus should also be addressed. It is not on December 25th. The early church did not even celebrate his birth originally. Much of what we recognize as Christmas today is a result of the church turning pagan holidays into Christian ones in the hopes of converting them. Of course, I am not making a judgment of such actions, rather, I am merely pointing out the facts. I think that when children get older they will find out the truth eventually, so why not have them hear it from you first?
  13. The sky
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    26 Dec '08 01:27
    Originally posted by whodey
    So I guess on the one side the holiday may be an opportunity to share my faith but conversely, it is a holiday notorious for people jumping off buildings and bridges because they long for what they once may have had or longed for.
    That's false notoriety though: http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/suicide.asp
  14. tinyurl.com/ywohm
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    26 Dec '08 01:52
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    My daughter is about to turn five. For the past five years I've made it very clear to her that Santa does not exist. I'm raising her to be a follower of Jesus Christ and figured it would be counterproductive to spend the majority of her childhood spinning white lies about a person who doesn't exist while simultaneously teaching her about a Person Who d ...[text shortened]... f the ground. Good grief. Seeing is believing, I guess.

    Have a happy Jesus day!
    Santa Claus is a part of our cultural mythology. Every culture has a few -- La Llorona http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_llorona is popular with my students. Not my place to say that she's not real, the Easter Bunny isn't, the Tooth Fairy, Santa, La Befana, Uncle Sam, Paul Bunyan, Russ -- OK, I do believe in Russ -- cultures have iconic myths for a reason. It is not parents lying so much as an entire culture, in a way. Most children stop believing between second and fourth grade, and rather feeling devastated, most feel grown-up as they're now a part of the grown-up world because they're in on the secret. That's why most older siblings still keep the magic alive for their younger siblings.

    If you're TOTALLY against it, then I'm sure you don't do gifts on Christmas. To be TOTALLY following your beliefs, if you did them at all it'd be on the feast of the Three Kings in January, or not at all.

    You can easily use St. Nicholas and his legend as a future springboard for spiritual education. Compare the omniscience of the Santa character's to God's. Compare the limited gifts we receive and the excitement that brings to the more vast "gifts" we receive from God and awaiting us when it's our turn for eternity. Or listen to her wisdom. Ask her why she believes. Ask her how she'll feel when she doesn't believe. She hasn't hit the age of reason yet, so the world is still a magical place to her, but especially if you have all the other trappings of the holiday like a tree, red and green decorations, wrapped presents, etc. It's not reasonable to expect her to see that you have the entire package except one part and then say that part doesn't count.
  15. Joined
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    26 Dec '08 04:081 edit
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    My daughter is about to turn five. For the past five years I've made it very clear to her that Santa does not exist. I'm raising her to be a follower of Jesus Christ and figured it would be counterproductive to spend the majority of her childhood spinning white lies about a person who doesn't exist while simultaneously teaching her about a Person Who d f the ground. Good grief. Seeing is believing, I guess.

    Have a happy Jesus day!
    Epi,

    I have been through this with two kids who are now adults in their late twenties.

    We never celebrated Christmas (Saturnalia). But we tried to do something so that they didn't feel left out. We never had a tree or the other things associated with Christmas.

    We did sometimes do something for them in the way of a gift or two just so they would not feel left out among other kids.
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