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s/o Santa and disappointment as kids...


How did your parents handle your Santa questions?  

1 member has voted

  1. 1. How did your parents handle your Santa questions?

    • I asked repeatedly, they told me wasn't real
      7
    • I asked repeatedly, they told me was real
      70
    • I asked once, they told me he wasn't real
      78
    • I asked once, they told me he was real
      42
    • AND I feel betrayed
      35
    • AND I don't feel betrayed
      189


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Poll to follow...

 

Sorry, just had to ask one question! Some have said in the other threads about how they were upset and hurt. They felt lied to and said they couldn't trust their parents as easily. I have actually never met anyone who shared those sentiments and wondered something.

 

Did those who say they felt betrayed ask many times and were told he is real? When I asked my parents at about 7 yrs old they told me the truth. When my dds asked about that same age, I told them the truth. I wasn't upset and neither were my dds. It's all been in fun and has been enjoyed. I received a "Santa" gift until I left home at 18 and looked forward to it. My dds still receive one and also look forward to that gift.

 

I'm just trying to figure out why some say it was such a betrayal since I didn't, and my dds don't, feel like it was any big deal.

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No, I don't remember asking many questions, and I held onto my belief probably a little longer than average. When I confronted my parents, I got the truth right away.

 

Nonetheless, I was absolutely devastated. I felt betrayed, lied to, humiliated. It definitely did damage my trust in my parents, and it made for a difficult couple of Christmases.

 

That is why we never did the Santa thing with our kids. We felt very strongly from the very beginning that our kids needed to be able to trust us absolutely. And we didn't want any road blocks in the way of that trust.

 

We've worked hard to create magic around the holidays, but it is a shared fantasy, a game we play. Our kids have always known that Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and all of their cohorts are pretend. It hasn't stopped them from carrying on correspondence with the Tooth Fairy and hasn't interfered with their joy on Christmas mornings.

 

Neither of my kids, who are now teens, plan to perpetuate the Santa myth with their own children.

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I didn't have any feelings of disappointment. For me, it was simply a transition from believing to "believing" with a wink-wink, nudge-nudge. My Mom's stock answer for someone not believing was, "Well, if you don't believe in Santa, he doesn't come." You didn't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out to play along. :lol: Just like you, I kept getting gifts from Santa.

 

One of my fondest memories is of my first Christmas with DH. I was his Santa and he was truly excited about it. His parents didn't play the game of Santa at all after they all figured it out. He was so happy to have the magic back. It had never occurred to him that you could keep doing it. I still play Santa for him. After 19 years, he still hasn't figured out how I do it because I always go to bed right with him, sometimes falling asleep before him. Yet we wake up at the same time and voila, presents! (Don't tell anyone my secret... A very large glass of water chugged directly before bed is sure to have you up in the middle of the night. ;))

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i loved santa as a child. i did not feel betrayed by my parents at all. i also believed in the tooth fairy. i have great memories of it all. my kids also believe in santa and the tooth fairy. well....actually, only my son does now. my daughter found out a few months ago that santa & the tooth fairy are not real. she is not upset with us at all & is enjoying playing along with her brother and younger kids that still believe.

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I was the 3rd of 6 kids, and I probably figured it out around age 7. I played with older kids, some of whom did the "you're a baby if you believe" thing. I wanted to believe. I'd go and ask my parents and they would remind me that Santa doesn't come for those who don't believe. So I would keep thinking about it, and finally the logic against Santa was just too much.

 

However, I still had younger siblings, and playing along was a different but equally wonderful kind of fun.

 

I never felt betrayed or as if my parents were liars. I felt the Santa fantasy was a normal part of life, like so many other mysteries that we eventually figure out. Like the hope that I'd find something I'd lost if I just kept looking, or that a band-aid on a toy would make it heal.

 

For that matter, should we all hate our parents for the lie that "a hug/kiss will make it better"? I mean, technically, . . . .

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I didn't have any feelings of disappointment. For me, it was simply a transition from believing to "believing" with a wink-wink, nudge-nudge. My Mom's stock answer for someone not believing was, "Well, if you don't believe in Santa, he doesn't come." You didn't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out to play along. :lol: Just like you, I kept getting gifts from Santa.

 

Much the same here. "If you don't believe, you won't receive," worked for a year or two, then was met with "If I don't get any presents from Santa, my little brother will be upset and I know you're not going to do that!" Thus I transitioned to "wink, wink, nudge, nudge" and we kept playing along. Eventually my little brother asked, and I fobbed him off with "what do you think?" as my mother had. When he sounded decisive enough, I agreed it was all pretend.

 

The only traumatised person was our mother. We were all in our teens and had to sit her down and explain that since none of us believed in Santa any more one present was quite sufficient. :lol:

 

Rosie

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Other.

 

My parents didn't do the Santa thing.

 

It didn't matter either way, but I've always appreciated the fact that I could ask my parents a question and get an honest answer.

 

It doesn't matter to me if you do the Santa thing or not but I think if your kid is old enough to ask the question, they are old enough to be told it is "make-believe."

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I didn't vote because you didn't have my option there - I never asked my parents if he was real - I figured it out myself and never said anything to them.

 

Yes I was disappointed when I found out -it took the magic out of Christmas for me but I don't remember thinking I was lied to at all or feeling betrayed.

 

I just hated on the fact I had to grow up and know the truth.

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I remember realizing that my parents had lied to me. I had asked if Santa was real more than once, and they told me he was. Those were outright lies. Since they lied to me about Santa (and also the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy), I didn't trust them at all for a very long time. Actually, I have always had some measure of wondering if anything they said was true. I never simply believed them after that. If my parents had told me the truth the first time I asked, I think it would have been fine. But since they repeatedly lied to me, there was a breach of trust.

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I hate to be the odd man out but none of the choices applied to me.

 

I never asked.

 

Just at some point I realized on my own that he wasn't real (I think it was when I could recognize my mother's handwriting).

 

I did NOT feel betrayed AT ALL. I have wonderful memories of waking up and running downstairs to see if "Santa" had come.

 

Even now, it is a running family joke that if you don't "believe" then Santa won't bring you a present. :tongue_smilie: Sometimes I will mention to my mom some item I am interested in and she will say "Maybe Santa Claus will get it for you!" :lol:

 

My oldest ds now knows he isn't real and has suffered no betrayal or trauma and my middle ds is figuring it out.

 

It is a sweet family tradition for us. Not a "lie".

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Santa was used in a bad way in my father's house. You'd get coal if you were bad kind of thing. I suspected at age 3 that there was a flaw in the Santa logic. My father or Santa actually only gave me coal for my 11th Christmas and not as a gag, I got nothing else, not from anyone that year. I never spent another Christmas with my father after that.

 

But at my mother's house Santa was real and good and nice. My brothers told me to play along as mom would be very sad to know I didn't believe. Mom was emotionally unstable. So I never was told by my parents and I never asked. With my mom I got gifts from Santa our last Christmas together at 19.

 

I never felt betrayed by their fib.

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I don't recall asking. I figured it out on my own and never told them because I didn't want the presents to stop coming. And I was not upset.

 

Same here. My parents never pushed Santa on us or told us he was real. They just allowed us to believe. Not hard to do with all the mall santas, Christmas songs, specials and everything. The presents that magically appeared Christmas eve didn't have anything written in the from colum so we just assumed they came from Santa until we no longer believed and then we knew they came from our parents. I don't wether or not my brothers ever asked them about it or not.

 

This is pretty much the approach DH and I took with our kiddies and it doesn't seemed to have caused them any big trauma.

 

Santa was used in a bad way in my father's house. You'd get coal if you were bad kind of thing. I suspected at age 3 that there was a flaw in the Santa logic. My father or Santa actually only gave me coal for my 11th Christmas and not as a gag, I got nothing else, not from anyone that year. I never spent another Christmas with my father after that.

 

That's just awful.

 

One part of the Santa myth I never liked was the whole naughty or nice thing. The idea that he can see you all the time is just creepy. We avoided that idea.

Edited by akmommy
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I don't remember asking, nor my parents telling me either way. I don't even remember if I actually believed there was a literal Santa Claus. I just remember that, at some point around late middle school, there were no gifts from Santa anymore and no one seemed bothered by it.

 

I don't feel "betrayed."

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I never asked my mom if Santa was real or not. I don't feel disappointed.

 

My mom told me all sorts of crazy things when I was a kid. She told me she had named all the 1,000+ almond trees in the orchard (I believed her and would test her). She told me the reason cows didn't roll down hills was because they have shorter legs on one side. She also had a puppet baby and she had me thinking it was a real baby, I loved it when the baby would come for a visit. LOL :001_smile:

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We just always played along. I don't know if I believed or not. Santa was part of tradition of holidays for us. Never felt lied to or betrayed.

 

My parents did the Santa thing until we were all teens. I love the magic of Christmas morning. Nothing was under the tree before everyone went to bed and when you wake up presents are there and stockings are filled.

Edited by lynn
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I never asked. And when I found out I was embarrassed and felt really stupid. I did feel betrayed.

 

I asked several times and was told he existed. I share the sentiments expressed here.

 

I remember reading an article that included interviews form several prominent psychologists about how kids deal with the Santa myth. All of them said that the majority of kids deal with it by convincing themselves that they are oh-so-very-adult now, to hide their true feelings.

 

Why lie? How can anyone call it a "game" if the person you're "playing" with thinks it is real? Kids looooove things like Star Wars, Disney films, etc. and it doesn't decrease their enjoyment of fictional entertainment one bit that the Force isn't real or whatever. Telling children that Santa is real is actually a pretty recent cultural phenomenon, and I can't wait until it becomes a tiny but strange footnote in history.

 

Oh, and my DH has a story about Santa that's relevant to this thread. He and his best friend believed in Santa. They were 7 and 8 years old. His friend didn't receive much from "Santa" because his family was poor, while my DH received enough presents to fill an aisle at Toys R Us. When they got together to talk about what Santa brought them, both of them were very confused about why Santa would give my DH so much and his friend so little. DH's friend was devastated, thinking he must have been really bad in the past year to deserve so little. He was too ashamed of his (imagined) bad behavior to ask his parents about it. My DH tried to console him and tell him that he didn't think his friend had been that bad and there must have been some mistake -- or Santa was being unfair for some reason. The friend remained unconvinced.

 

Tell me that child didn't feel betrayed when he finally learned the truth. Give me one good reason why any child should feel that way over such a stupid lie. If thinking about that kid -- and all the kids out there like him who have wondered the same thing -- doesn't change your mind about the "harmless" nature of telling kids Santa is REAL, I don't know what else will.

Edited by Skadi
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I only voted that I didn't feel betrayed. I remember the excitement and fun of leaving cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer, and opening our stockings, but no sense of sadness or disappointment.

 

I don't remember ever asking. I do remember hiding around the corner giggling and watching my parents fill my stocking. I was 9, my sister was 8. Mom said years later that they knew we were there. :) It's a lovely and fun memory. "Santa" still filled our stockings every year.

 

My sister and I had quite a sense of fantasy and make-believe. We'd pretend about fairies and dress up as princesses and build houses for the flowers. Mom would tell us stories about elves in the woodshed and fairies in the milk, and we knew that they probably weren't real, but we believed in them anyway. We stopped believing when we were ready to stop. Santa was no different; we believed until we were ready to stop.

 

Cat

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As children, we were told from the beginning that Santa and his cronies -- not only the elves but also the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, etc. -- were not real. It sounds awful to say this, but I found it disappointing. Maybe that's because it wasn't replaced with anything. God wasn't real either....

 

When I had my twins, my husband and I talked about what to do about the Santa thing, and I just couldn't bear the thought of having them figure out one day that I'd lied to them. So, I told them Santa was pretend, but it was okay to have fun with it. So we left cookies for Santa (his favorite are chocolate chip, I don't care what anybody says) and left food on the lawn for the reindeer (but all of us were freaked out by the Santa at the mall, so we avoided him). When they were three years old, one of them came to me and asked me if I was sure Santa was pretend. I said that, yes, I was sure. She stood there pondering and then said, "I'm going to have to disagree with you."

 

My twins are 19 now, and we still laugh about that. And we still love leaving cookies for Santa and food for the reindeer (and we still avoid the Santa at the mall).

 

Sandy

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I was the youngest in our family. The others made sure I knew there was no jolly fat man by the time I was old enough - I'm not even sure when. :glare:

 

With mine I have a different philosophy and when we moved away from the myth we moved into the reality of Santa Claus, meaning, that it is a word for unconditional giving. It's the one bit of magic: there's no gratitude or thanks or recognition required from the recipient. It's how we approach it when we do the Angel tree and other secret giving, so by the time a child is old enough to not believe in the myth, they have the secret knowledge that they were "Santa Claused" by those who love them.:)

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I couldn't answer the top part because I honestly don't remember if I asked my parents or not. I remember I learned that Santa wasn't real from friends at school somewhere around 2nd grade, and at the time, my sister still believed (3rd grade), but that's all I remember.

 

I certainly never felt betrayed from the fun tradition!

 

My kids (college sophomore, hs senior, public school sophomore) still believe. It MIGHT have something to do with the fact that hubby and I mentioned when they stop believing, Santa stops bringing their present (singular) and stocking. ;)

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I found out about age 4 or 5 and did not feel betrayed at all. My parents were never big on Santa but they didn't say much about him and put out of a few gifts labeled "from Santa" under the tree.

 

But I grew up in Africa and it was not too hard to see that Santa didn't come to any of the poor homes, which made no sense to me. It wasn't too hard to figure out that Santa was not real.

 

Dawn

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I was told that Santa existed and wouldn't come if I didn't believe. I found out in 2nd grade at the school lunch table and felt pretty stupid and embarrassed. I wouldn't say I feel traumatized about it, but it bothered me enough that, though we started Santa with our kids, almost as soon as DD9 was old enough to internalize the story, I regretted having done it. I also hated lying to the kids. It was important to DH though, so I let it go (Santa just filled our stockings anyway), and when I had a good opportunity two Christmases ago, I did away with Santa :tongue_smilie: Neither kid felt traumatized by it, maybe because it came from me directly?

 

I have no problem at all with the Santa story and other people telling their kids, and even with perpetuating the story for them. It just didn't work for me. I think it depends a lot on the child's personality too. I'm still someone who goes to great pains to avoid being embarrassed or be seen as silly, so I think it hit me hard. Lots of other kids obviously have no problem with finding out the truth!

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However, I still had younger siblings, and playing along was a different but equally wonderful kind of fun.

 

I never felt betrayed or as if my parents were liars. I felt the Santa fantasy was a normal part of life, like so many other mysteries that we eventually figure out. Like the hope that I'd find something I'd lost if I just kept looking, or that a band-aid on a toy would make it heal..

 

I found out when I was five but I had a younger brother who never suspected and in fifth grade we told him. The first words out of his mouth were "Mom and Dad lied to me."

 

Big time feelings of betrayal.

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When they were three years old, one of them came to me and asked me if I was sure Santa was pretend. I said that, yes, I was sure. She stood there pondering and then said, "I'm going to have to disagree with you."

 

:lol::lol::lol: Honestly, parents just cannot win!

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Most of my kids made the transition from believing to not believing fairly easily however, I still don't know that the 18 year old has recovered. It was the biggest train wreck of drama I have ever seen and I believe that the child still does not trust us today because of it. Dear God, please do not let anyone break the news to her that Harry Potter is not real either. ;)

 

My mother did Santa but it seems to me that I never really believed. I have known for as long as I can remember.

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Other, and not traumatized. I asked my Mom. She said we'd talk about it when we got home. She got sick and missed Christmas entirely that year. 39 years later, and I'm still waiting...

 

:grouphug::grouphug: Did you lose your mom that year, or did she just use the opportunity of being ill to put off the discussion?

 

Nicole

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I was the youngest in our family. The others made sure I knew there was no jolly fat man by the time I was old enough - I'm not even sure when. :glare:

 

With mine I have a different philosophy and when we moved away from the myth we moved into the reality of Santa Claus, meaning, that it is a word for unconditional giving. It's the one bit of magic: there's no gratitude or thanks or recognition required from the recipient. It's how we approach it when we do the Angel tree and other secret giving, so by the time a child is old enough to not believe in the myth, they have the secret knowledge that they were "Santa Claused" by those who love them.:)

 

We are more in this camp. I am 36 and I still believe in Santa. I believe that at Christmas time, parents, friends, and people in general are overcome with a spirit of generosity. They fill stockings for their children, buy gifts for children who aren't as fortunate, adopt needy families, donate to charities etc... In our family we chose to call that Santa. ds9 has asked me once this year, just last week. I told him that Santa was real, I would like one more Christmas with both of my kids fully believing in all the magic. If he asks again I will explain that Santa is not an actual man in a red suit living at the North Pole, but a myth perpetuated by a very generous man, St. Nicholas. That because the spirit of generosity was so strong with him, that at Christmas time we call that Spirit of Generosity Santa Clause in America (Father Christmas in England etc...).

 

My mother also still tells me if I behave myself Santa might get me something. In fact, Santa has already struck this year. I have been wanting to get laser hair removal on my underarms for ages, my mom paid for it and babysat for my first appointment. I told her it was to much, and she looked me straight in the eye and told me to take it up with santa clause, and to get moving or I would be late. I do not feel betrayed at all.

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My parents had always told me not to lie, and then it turned out Santa and everything else was a lie.

 

I felt extremely betrayed. I had other issues with my parents as a kid as far as trust goes, so maybe that just made it worse.

 

I still can't reconcile it in my head. Why you would lie to your kids like that, but obviously every situation is different. It probably comes down to different situations, different personalities.

 

We were very open with dd from day one that Santa was a fun story like Barney or Elmo.

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My parents never lied to me, nor I to my kids. We've always "played" Santa, and I chose to "believe" as a kid and so have my kids, but there's never been any lying and thus never any chance to feel betrayed. I didn't answer the poll, because the options didn't really apply. If I asked my mom who put stuff in my stocking as a child, she would say, "Someone who loves you." ... And yet, I remember my brother and I trying to stay up late on Christmas Eve to "catch" Santa. ;) For my own kids, we've always celebrated Saint Nicholas day and they've always known that we enjoy playing "Santa" based on the legends about a man who actually lived (and died).

 

Letting them in on the secret from the beginning hasn't taken away any of the wonder/delight/magic of Christmas though. And, in fact, they've always loved playing Santa for each other from time to time. Even at four or five, they might see something in a shop and whisper to me, "[so-and-so] really likes that. Maybe 'Santa' should leave it in his/her stocking!" or they've brought me some trinket of their own that they would like to go into the other's stocking. For my brother and me, it was great fun when we graduated to filling each other's stockings (with a small budget provided by Mom -- and she would slip in some last minute additions as well)...

 

I would be uncomfortable with "lying" to my kids. About Santa or Tooth Fairy, etc. But a winkwinknudgenudge and giggling and delightful presents? Absolutely.

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I don't remember asking, but then again, I don't think I found out in a nice way. My big sister told me. She said and did many mean things to me. As an adult, she told me that she did those things because she was jealous and it just made her feel good to see me hurt. I don't even remember how my mom handled that situation. I definitely felt betrayed though. My sister egged that on too by telling me I was a baby for falling for the lies. But she also used to do things like tell me I was adopted and that my parents didn't love me as much as they loved her. So yeah, I didn't find out in some way that left me feeling positive about Santa or Christmas. And therefore I never perpetuated the myth with my own children. I always told them that Santa was the jolly embodiment of Christmas but never did I talk about him as a real person.

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Not that I am judging just really wondering...Those of you who feel betrayed and all that, could there be some deeper family issue? I just cannot see grown adults having this wonderful family everything is peaches and when they find out Santa is not real growing up angry at their parents.

 

Santa, tooth fairy, Easter bunny all those things was just an innocent part of childhood. Like believing in magic and fairy tales. I hold alot of anger against my parents. Drinking, abuse I mean other than s3xualy abused you name it I dealt with it growing up, but never never have I held it against them about silliness over santa.

 

It seems so unforgiving and petty.

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