Santa Claus

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Twilight1, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. Twilight1

    Twilight1 Well-Known Member

    7,603
    929
    113
    So for those parents who have tackled this issue, please help me...

    My son is 10 and he still believes in Santa. I know it will come that he will no longer believe in him and was wondering how others dealt with this issue? Did you just come out and tell your child that Santa isn't real? Did you wait for your child to come to you? Did your child know and not come forward and tell you?

    I was thinking about this for a few days now and have no idea on how to deal with this...
     
  2. Erica Lee

    Erica Lee New Member

    2,146
    304
    0
    I'm not a parent, but I still remember clearly my slow "discovery" that Santa wasn't real. As I grew older I started to have my doubts, and started to hear peers say that he wasn't real. At a certain age, I still *wanted* to believe (especially in the presence of a lot of younger cousins), even though my judgment was telling me otherwise. Eventually, I was 90% certain he wasn't real and I believe I came right out and asked my mom... and I appreciated her honesty. She also didn't just say, "you're right, he's fake", she pointed out other magical things about the season to give me reason not to be discouraged... charity, helping others, etc. At a certain age, Christmas is all about getting... and it slowly starts to become more about giving... I would say finding out that Santa wasn't real was the start of that shift for me.

    I don't think all kids are ready for that at the same time. I don't think there's any harm in letting a kid still believe if they still believe. I would probably have been devastated if my mom came right old and told me, unsolicited. I went to her when I was ready to know the truth and I really think being able to wrestle with and reconcile my own doubts before I actually approached her was an important part of the process.
     
  3. Grannyfan

    Grannyfan Active Member

    901
    108
    43
    I really can't remember how it was with my kids, but it seems like there comes a year when they know and you just know that they know. It wasn't a big traumatic thing with either of my kids. Your son may bring it up himself. Even after that, you can still continue your Santa traditions if you and your son want to.

    Christmas is never really the same, though.
     
  4. Twilight1

    Twilight1 Well-Known Member

    7,603
    929
    113
    I discovered the truth when I woke up on Xmas eve to go to the bathroom and I heard my parents putting the presents out under the tree. I was kind of devastated and had to talk to my older sister about it.

    The next Xmas, my parents put the presents under the tree as they bought them and didn't hide them from us like they had previous years. I guess they knew that I knew because of how deflated I was that Xmas morning.

    My son is sensitive to that kind of stuff like I am (was)...so I am at a complete loss because I don't want him to feel like I did.
     
  5. brina

    brina Well-Known Member

    3,228
    336
    83
    I think it's fine to wait. I got more and more observant of things that made me slowly realize that he wasn't real. I never had to ask, I just figured it out myself. I still got presents so it was ok with me. :)
     
  6. zhenya271

    zhenya271 Active Member

    768
    25
    28
    My ten year old son found out this year, I think around the beginning of fall. My almost 14 year old daughter tried to tell him the truth, he didn't believe her - she told him to google it! I'm fine with it. We tell him even if Santa isn't real the whole idea of Santa is still nice to believe and part of what makes Christmas so special.

    I found out when I was around four. I was in my parents room and somehow looking in their closet when I noticed some toys up on their high shelves. For some reason, I knew not to say anything and then on Christmas morning, I saw them unwrapped under the tree from Santa. I never said anything for a long time. I don't know why, though. Probably, just always secretive by nature! LOL!
     
  7. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

    18,175
    2,742
    113
    I like this idea.
     
  8. redonthehead

    redonthehead Well-Known Member

    4,077
    1,183
    113
    When my daughter was little, I always told her that Santa used to be real. That there was a man that gave out presents to kids for free. But as the world got bigger and had more people, that he couldn't afford to pay for all of their gifts. So I had to "pay" Santa and if she wasn't good then he just didn't bother to come leave the presents and get the money. She believed in him but this helped her not to be quite as upset when she found out he wasn't real.

    Then when she was in kindergarden, a kid told them that her mom said that Santa wasn't real and that parents just bought the gifts. She told her that she knew that parents paid Santa because he couldn't afford to give all kids free gifts. But that Santa was real because sometimes she got stuff that she didn't tell me about! When she told me what they said I just told her that as long as she believes then there is a Santa and we just help him out.

    That's the same thing she told her brother when he came home from school asking if Santa is real.

    My kids still get "Santa" stuff. They are 18 and 14. They of course now know that we bought the stuff all along and it's not quite the same. But seeing their faces when they get something they didn't expect or ask for is still priceless.
     
  9. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

    6,648
    1,119
    113
    At 10, I think he may very well know. He may be thinking that if he doesn't pretend to believe, something bad might happen or that you might be upset. Might be a good idea to do a little gentle probing so that you can reassure him that it's fine either way.
     
  10. Twilight1

    Twilight1 Well-Known Member

    7,603
    929
    113
    Aceon6- Oh no he believes in him still. I was about the same age as him when I found out though. Not to say he doesn't have questions about how a man can get all around the world in one night to give presents to kids lol...
     
  11. Clarice

    Clarice Active Member

    668
    129
    43
    When my oldest son was about that age, he devised a plan to prove whether or not Santa was real. He intended to booby trap the doors with noisemakers (we don't have a chimney) so he could be alerted when/if Santa came and catch the old guy in the act. Fortunately, he told me about his clever plan. So my husband and I took the kids out driving to look at Christmas lights that Christmas Eve while some good friends let themselves in to our house and put the gifts under the tree for us. When we got home, Santa had already been and gone (we must have been his first stop that year!). My son was absolutely flabbergasted, and drove himself crazy trying to figure out how we'd done it, since he was pretty sure from talking to friends that we were behind the whole thing. I let him in on the trick the next day, and recruited him to help make the magic happen for his little brother and sister in the future, which he happily did. A couple of years later, we had a priest friend come over dressed as Santa so our then 4-year-old daughter could get a personal visit. He was the police chaplain for our town, too, and we were all surprised when Santa showed up in a squad car! Our daughter was dazzled, and her big brothers, who were both in on the secret by then, enjoyed the whole thing as much as we did.
     
  12. rvi5

    rvi5 Active Member

    557
    57
    28
    The art of illusion. I wonder what Christmas must be like at David Copperfield's house. :lol:
     
  13. Castlerock

    Castlerock Member

    108
    9
    18
    My 10 year old daughter came home from school yesterday and said that the kids at school told her it was the parents who bought the presents. I said something like parents can't buy all those presents (her 6 year old brother was listening to us!). She seemed ok with that.

    They do know that the Santa at the mall isn't the real one, he's just helping the real Santa who is busy at the North Pole. I do put one gift under the tree from Santa for Mom and Dad. They also like to watch the Polar Express movie, which kind of stresses that children believe but parents don't.

    If they would come out directly and ask I might tell them, but it is kind of fun to watch them believe.
     
  14. Veronika

    Veronika gold dust woman

    4,146
    1,134
    113
    I found out in 2nd grade and I felt very betrayed by my parents. (But that's part of my personality, I guess.) My parents made such a big deal out of honesty and not lying about things, so I found the whole thing a little hypocritical.

    I'm not sure what I will do about Santa when I have children...I'd rather not lie to them, and let them hear it from other people (and not me.)
     
  15. millyskate

    millyskate Well-Known Member

    9,112
    1,478
    113
    I think at that age, I'd most definitely let them know the truth. Not necessarily confront them with it, to avoid them feeling stupid, but maybe bring them out shopping for presents for other family members so they "get it".

    In my family we always had presents from each other, and santa was a story. My parents weren't "anti santa" either, we just never talked about him as "real". So when I was 5, I was the one to inform all my friends it wasn't true... It was out of smugness, I was just completely baffled that they didn't know.

    I'm quite astonished there are some 10 year olds who haven't been informed by their friends yet. I'd be a bit worried they'd get picked on at school if someone found out.

    Twillight, I very strongly suspect your 10 year old knows already and hasn't told you :)
     
  16. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    6,485
    524
    113
    I was ten or eleven, and my parents kind of tactfully brought it up in a roundabout way (conveniently, I'd asked for a particular Breyer model that, unbenknownst to me, had been discontinued, meaning they couldn't find one.)
     
  17. purple skates

    purple skates Shadow dancing

    16,845
    4,708
    113
    Santa isn't real? :fragile:
     
    jamesy and (deleted member) like this.
  18. Bev Johnston

    Bev Johnston Well-Known Member

    1,169
    81
    48
    I'm not and I wouldn't be worried about him getting picked on. I think while a lot of kids stop believing around 10 or so, there are still quite a few who believe or want to believe. I'm sure he's not the only one.

    When my daughter was four, she asked me, "Is Santa real or make-believe?" I answered that of course he was real. In her usual wise-beyond-her-years manner, she said, "Oh, really? Because I always thought he was make-believe." We still laugh about that one. Her theory was proved correct when she was about seven and she saw her brother's new bike a few days before Christmas. She didn't seem angry or traumatized at all, just kind "Aha! I knew it!!" My son just came up to me one day (around 10 or 11) and said, "I know Santa isn't real."
     
  19. Satellitegirl

    Satellitegirl New Member

    8,070
    742
    0
    I was around 7 or 8 when I figured it out. My parents still kept putting packages out that said "From Santa" though, because they had fun doing it, even though they knew I knew.

    If you want to tell him, I'd just tell him that Santa represents the spirit of giving and love around the holidays. Santa exists, but it's a state of mind and wonder during the holidays :)

    Personally, I wouldn't tell him until he was ready to go to middle school, or until he came to you with questions. Let him be the one to broach the subject, IMO.

    Any smart kid would pretend they still believed......more presents that way :D
     
  20. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

    2,062
    200
    0
    That's what I thought, too. Oh ye of little faith...

    When they asked, I told all of my kids that if you don't believe in Saint Nicholas/Santa Claus, you won't get any presents other than the ones their el-cheapo parents are willing to buy. If they're willing to settle for lesser gifts, it's their choice.

    That solved the dilemma for them.

    FWIW, I think that the world works in strange ways. I remember one Christmas when we couldn't really afford more than a token gift for each kid. I was sad, but I bought some stuff at a dollar store so that there would be a few things for them to open and I sewed a dress for each of them for Christmas.

    Later that day, we received an email from our credit card company reminding us that we had "points" available that could be redeemed for gift cards. We didn't know we had any points on that card since we had stopped using credit cards entirely. The gift cards allowed us to buy some nice clothes for the kids (which they needed) and an inexpensive family gift from Santa.

    So, I believe in the Spirit of Christmas and Santa Claus!
     
  21. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

    10,836
    2,051
    113
    I was the oldest child in my family, so I believed in Santa until I was 8 or 9. I remember finding out the truth one Sunday when my mother sent me to call Dad to dinner. I opened the door to the basement, and there he was in his workshop, putting the finishing touches on the doll beds that my sisters and I had asked Santa to bring. It was quite a significant shock, because I don't remember having any doubts/questions before that ... I also realized at that moment that the Easter bunny and the tooth fairy were also Mom and Dad.

    I didn't say anything to my sisters and brother, but someone told my youngest sister when she was in kindergarten and she told my baby brother when he was only 4. :( Her own children had questions at an fairly early age (my nephew was in a car pool with kids several years older than him). When they asked, she never was completely sure whether they were really wanting "the truth" so she would ask them, "What do you think?" and then respond to their answers. She was sure that my nephew no longer believed Santa was real when he was 7 -- until one evening just before Christmas when he looked at her and said that he heard something on the roof, and "maybe it was reindeer." My niece never would go up to a store Santa, unlike my nephew, but I remember one Christmas Eve when she laid out a large yarn "snare" in front of the fireplace in the hopes of "trapping" Santa. :lol:
     
  22. Asli

    Asli Well-Known Member

    10,107
    1,739
    113
    My younger sister pretended she still believed for two years after she had found out, because she thought it would somehow hurt my parents' feelings if she didn't. I'm not saying this is your son's case, but it is a possibility.
     
  23. JasperBoy

    JasperBoy Heading for Helsinki

    3,125
    513
    113
    I don't think my kids ever believed that Santa was a real person. We always said he was "Magic". That carried them through to when they were old enough to understand the abstract concepts of generosity and goodwill.

    They still got presents from Santa. He was Magic, after all! Even today, everyone in the family still gets a stocking from Santa, no matter how old they are.

    I was surprised to learn that my 6 & 7 yr old grandsons seem to believe in Santa as a real person. I didn't pursue the idea with them, not wanting to mess up whatever their parents have told them. The kids concern had to do with the fact that their parents had separated during the year, and Santa needed to know where to bring their gifts. Apparently my daughter had gone through some big explanation about writing a letter to Santa to explain it all. Well, I guess they had had a rough year already, no point to telling them that there was no such thing as Santa, too.

    All that aside, I think 10 years old is a really good age to learn about the concept behind gift giving, etc. They are really open to the world at that age and love to understand how they can play a part in the society around them. That includes donations to charities and helping with the festive events. They can exhibit the spirit of Christmas themselves, and be one of Santa's helpers.
     
  24. Twilight1

    Twilight1 Well-Known Member

    7,603
    929
    113
    Well I have to say if he knows that makes things much easier lol
     
  25. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    20,818
    2,371
    113
    I don't remember ever asking my parents or anything. This might be a really fun conversation to have on Christmas day as we eat our dinner! I just know I heard rumblings at school from classmates and that got me thinking about it. I don't ever remember catching my parents putting presents under the tree or anything, though. I guess I just believed what I heard at school because I am the biggest cynic I know! :lol:
     
  26. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

    6,648
    1,119
    113
    Your post reminded me of a family tradition. Santa doesn't wrap. As explained by my s-i-l to her kids when they believed... "How the heck would the big guy have time to put wrap and decorations on the bazillion presents he leaves?" Needless to say, Santa doesn't wrap saves a lot of time in our family.
     
  27. Bostonfan

    Bostonfan Well-Known Member

    3,407
    692
    113
    I learned the truth from the newspaper when I was 7 year old. I used to do part of my brother's paper route (back when kids delivered newspapers - I don't see it anymore). I was really slow because I would read the paper as I delivered what amounted to maybe a dozen homes in the immedate vicinity of my house. (I feel bad now about the last person on the route because the newspaper was always disheveled from my reading it).

    Anyway I read a Dear Abby column from a reader asking this very same question. I have 4 older siblings, so I confronted them about it and they confirmed it. Strangely, I didn't feel all that upset by it. I was more excited that I knew something that my little sister didn't know. And I enjoyed keeping the illusion up for her benefit.
     
  28. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

    10,836
    2,051
    113
    Santa didn't wrap in my house either -- which made things just a bit easier for my parents, because iirc from my youngest years, Santa also brought the tree! :eek: I have no idea how my parents managed to put up and decorate the tree in addition to getting the presents under it in the proper "piles" for each child, but I do remember it being absolutely magical to come into the living room on Christmas morning and find it so transformed. :respec: to them for doing all that. Of course, when I was a bit older, I remember that tradition was no more, so perhaps it was more a function of my father's traveling a lot and being a major procrastinator. :)
     
  29. deltask8er

    deltask8er Well-Known Member

    10,067
    2,034
    113
    I was about 7. Santa made his big appearance on Christmas Eve at our house, when everyone unwraps gifts. Several relatives were in attendance watching Santa taking the gifts out of his large bag. My 2-year-old brother suddenly asked "Where's Dad?". Santa responded, "uhhhh, I think your father is in the bathroom :shuffle: ". I sat there and realized "Ohhh, that's how that works :lol: ." Don't know when my brother figured it out.

    My 6-year-old niece and nephew started to wonder last year about the logistics of Santa going around the world in one day, in and out of millions of chimneys. "I mean, it takes us 5 hours to drive to Grandma and Grandpa's house!", one of them noticed. But, they still stay home for Christmas. Otherwise, Santa wouldn't know where to drop off the gifts if they stayed with relatives for Christmas.
     
  30. bobalina77

    bobalina77 Duck Hunter

    7,061
    382
    0
    I don't remember when I figured it out.. so it couldn't have been overly traumatic lol. I had a younger brother though and had to keep up the charade for him. We still get stockings at Christmas and up until a few years ago got presents from him as well. It's a fun tradition that makes Christmas that much more special I think. Who doesn't want to believe in magic?