Santa is Fake

25 Nov

I’ve decided that I do not want to lie to my child. I will never tell her that Santa is real, because he isn’t. I don’t plan on being mean and saying something like “Zoey, Santa isn’t real so stop thinking it.” My intentions are to not say anything at all. I don’t have to tell her that Mickey Mouse is fake. She will just grow up knowing it because he is just a cartoon character that she watches on tv. The same with Santa. He is just a character that comes up around the holiday season. If she asks me if he is real, I will just be honest.

I know that other kids will believe in him, and I’m aware that I’ll have to let Zoey know. I know that I’ll have to explain to her that she can’t tell other kids that Santa isn’t real. I don’t have a map on how to do that yet, because I don’t know what her personality will be like yet. For example, if she is a sweet girl who hates when other people are sad, I could tell her that it would hurt their feelings and she wouldn’t want to hurt their feelings. You know? As time passes, I’ll have a clearer picture. I don’t know all of the answers. I’ll never pretend to know all of the answers. I only know what is right for my family. What’s right for my family may not be right for someone else’s family, just like what’s right for someone else’s family may not be right for ours.

I do not believe that she will be deprived of childhood happiness. I never believed in Santa, but it wasn’t a negative thing at all. I loved all of the Santa Claus stories. My favorite holiday classic is still “The Year Without a Santa Claus.” I can sing every single word of every single song in that movie. Growing up, we still had “presents from Santa” even though we knew he was fake. It was kind of part of a holiday game, I guess. We knew that our parents wrapped the presents and wrote from Santa on the label. It was just fun.

I’ve also discovered that there is a website you can sign up with that lets kids get “letters from Santa”. You log in and put in your child’s info, and “Santa” sends them letters. This is so deceitful. It is insulting to the kids’ intelligence. I don’t understand how anyone could be okay with going to this extreme to lie to their child. I don’t want to understand, either, so don’t try to explain it to me.

My kid is an intelligent human. I have no reason to deceive her with lies, only for her to find out later that I went out of my way to make her believe something that isn’t true. It wouldn’t be fun for her to lose trust in her mom, at such a young age. I don’t plan on lying to her and telling her that other things are real either. No tooth fairy, Easter bunny, Jesus, or leprechauns. The stories are fun, but there’s no need for me to lie to her. I feel like she’ll respect me more in the long run, and we won’t have to go through a period of time where she doubts the one person she is supposed to trust more than anyone.

I trust my kid to be smart. Too smart to believe in fake fairy tales. Smart enough to enjoy them, though.

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10 Responses to “Santa is Fake”

  1. Amy November 25, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

    We did the same thing, but my aunt sent the kids those letters and the kids enjoyed them. So, it’s not a big deal I think unless it has to be. Noah chose to “believe” in Santa even though we told him he was pretend – and it’s not belief so much as I can just tell he’s the sort of kid who likes magical things- as many kids do. So, I guess I just let him enjoy that while at the same time never encouraging or making it appear “real.” I eat Santa’s cookies and make a mess every Xmas and then pretend to throw a fit that Santa left a mess in the morning. Both kids _know_ it’s me and their dad, but being kids, especially Noah, they love pretending it’s Santa- same reason that they get excited about seeing Disney characters at Disneyworld (and frankly, same reason _I_ get excited about seeing characters at Disneyworld!). You feel a spark of joy. I cried when I saw Cinderella’s castle when we walked into the Magic Kingdom. I immediately felt the same joy you remember having as a kid. Same reason I cry when I see Santa in the Macy’s Day Parade. Few things give us simple, plain joy nowadays. 🙂

    I guess the point I’m attempting to make is that parenting comes down to knowing your child and knowing what they need. Noah needs to ‘believe’ in Santa, so we let him enjoy it without lying to him about it. I need to feel like a kid, so I cried when I saw Mickey and Pluto. 🙂 We all lie to ourselves a little bit I guess. The important thing is to never lie about the big things, and to always be the parent your kids can trust to be honest when they need it most.

    Also, I admittedly sent Julie a letter from Cinderella telling her she looked forward to seeing her when Julie was coming to Disneyworld. But then, wouldn’t you know it, Cinderella “remembered” she sent it when she saw Julie (who was 3) and told her she was so happy she came. And I cried, again.

    I’m a sap. 🙂

    Final thought: I feel the same way about going to mass sometimes (when I do)- I cry at times and feel strong emotions because I feel like I did as a kid there. I have happy memories. I don’t believe in the stories, but I do often need to believe there is a god there who loves me, and maybe I do, either way is fine with me and whoever is up there. I’ve come to be ok with that dichotomy, because it works. Do what works. If it doesn’t, you’ll figure it out. Love you. You’ll never be a perfect mom. But you’ll always be perfect for Zoe.

    • ContradictingKimmy November 25, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

      My little sister also chose to believe! We still had fun with the idea of Santa. The only thing my parents did “right” was Christmas, haha. I also get excited about certain characters (and tear up for Santa at the end of the parade, but don’t tell anyone), and I have no intention of spoiling any of that for Zoey. Just as you said, she can enjoy them just as well with the knowledge that they aren’t real as she would if she thought they were real. In fact, when I met the Ninja Turtles as a kid, I was terrified out of my mind because they were so big and I thought they were real. Fun fact. Heh.

  2. Joshua Delaughter November 25, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

    This could spark an interesting debate. I fully follow your logic, and I think that it would build a special kind of relationship between You, Mikey and Zoey. I always love how you hold such strong beliefs, but not enough to push them on others and tell people their’s are wrong. I grew up with the Santa theory. My uncle would dress up as Santa and go around the neighborhood (comprised of all family) and visit the children. I remember being terrified but excited at the same time. I don’t remember the exact time I found out he wasn’t real, but once I knew it was him I definitely felt more grown up. I felt like I had arisen from the group of saps that still believed and joined the ranks of my older cousins who all knew better.

    I’m not saying I feel one way or the other about the matter, I have no idea what I will want once I have children, I guess I just felt the need to share these nuggets with you to show you that you are being heard.

    • ContradictingKimmy November 25, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

      My beliefs may be strong, but they aren’t strong enough to not be swayed. I’m always open to learn more about this parenthood thing. If I hear someone else’s way of doing something and I like it, I’m always open to trying it out. I definitely plan on bringing her to the mall to take pictures with Santa. That will be so fun!

      I also don’t want to push my beliefs on anyone else because there’s no such thing as a correct belief. My beliefs work for my family. Someone else’s beliefs will work for their family. Being a mom has been a flurry of google searches and winging it. You learn as you go. Some things work and others don’t.

      Don’t worry about not knowing what you’ll tell your kids right now, we didn’t figure it out until we actually had one! You’ve got plenty of time once you have one, too, because they can’t talk for a while. Thanks for your response!

  3. schenardi v&ronique November 25, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    I think you’re right Kimmy, children are smart and it is better to make them aware very quickly of the reality of life, with age-appropriate words;
    Have you received the photos of my little Matteo was born Tuesday 22??
    kisses to Mike and Zoey
    Véro

  4. elishevasokolic November 27, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    I so agree! Why is it ever okay to lie to your kid? Surely xmas is about so much more than a fake guy with presents! Isnt it much more special to tell your kid that because of the meaning of xmas they get presents from family and friends who love them? The lie of santa just invites more lying when they start asking questions, (ie: how comes santa is at our local shopping centre and also grandmas? how does santa visit all the kids in one night? etc etc. And at some point u have to have a discussion about WHY u made it all up!

    Love this post.

  5. Lexie December 25, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    I think every child should have a chance to belive in Santa, i remember it myself, lying in bed and waiting to hear the hoofs on the roof (my parents with rocks) then the big scare of the thuds on the roof! after that i would run as fast as i could only to find lots of present under the tree and the milk and cookies to be gobbled up, i used to try and make my own thearyries of what had happened and how he got away!!!
    I understand the whole lyinto your kid thing but i think it is best to let the child have some magic in his or her life! Besides as i grew older i started to doubt it and when my mom told me he wasnt real after i begged her to tell me the truth she told me, it wasnt a big thing anyway, i still enjoy playing along with my sister and making up theoryies about how santa did it and lying in bed with her listing to every heartbeat of sound for a clue of santas arrivel!!
    So on the whole, let the child believe, its more heart shattering to find out when you are young!!!!
    LOVE LEXIE!!!!
    PS i think this lady is WROOONNNGGGG
    by the way im 13!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • ContradictingKimmy December 26, 2011 at 10:06 am #

      Lexie, it isn’t very polite to tell someone that their parenting style is wrong, especially when you don’t have any children of your own. I’m a very different person at 26 than I was when I was 13. The way you think right now may be completely different when you are older and have children. You were raised differently than I was, and that is ok. Everyone does things differently. I’m not going to tell your parents that they are wrong. I grew up not believing in Santa and I turned out just fine.

      By the way, “theories” is spelled like this.

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