Seeing Santa in person

rob333December 16, 2008

So how much do your kids go? My son has gotten his picture taken twice total in nine years, seen him 7 times, and refused last year. The year before I "tricked" him, so when he wanted to email him, I let him. When santa came he only left him one toy and since he noticed he didn't have a tree (we were remodeling and couldn't really have one for long), he left him a tree with stocking stuffers tied to it. Which he loved. It just didn't faze him at all Santa only left one toy... yet, he still believes in him and wishes for him to bring them. So this year I asked and he managed to tell me he's scared of him. Well duh! Who isn't? So I may or may not try to get him near and see what happens. Do you have these times? I was thinking this would be his last year, but my good friend just told her 11 year old daughter, who was totally devastated that he doesn't "you know what" (in case kids are reading).

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My dd age 6 loves him. When she was 2 she was very afraid, but since then she wants to go every year, several times a year. She is absolutely enthralled with the guy in the red suit!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 6:55PM
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I never told my see there is a Santa. Santa lives our hearts. He/She appears when you put up an Angel on a tree for needy children. When you call up the name of the owner on a lost dogs tag. When you help someone and are not acknowledged...your children are watching and that's how they know there is a Santa...

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 10:08PM
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When DS#1 was about 3 he was curious but afraid of Santa. I had not really introduced him to "the real man," just waited for him to be ready. He never was, he would only wave from a distance. So my father came to our house dressed as Santa, thinking DS would be excited in his own home. Nope. He wasn't afraid, but he didn't care, he just kept asking "Grandma, why didn't you bring Grandpa?" LOL! DS was only really excited when he came back to the door as Grandpa!

After that, I just did not encourage or discourage the Santa game to any of my kids. If they talked about him, I asked if they wanted to see him, they would say no. When they made wishes to Santa, I played along, never just killed it for them. But it was never a big deal, we have no pictures and don't wait in line at the mall to see him. I still write from Santa on all their gifts under the tree. I don't put gifts under the tree or in the stocking until the wee hours of Christmas Eve. Why? I guess b/c that's what my parents did, so that's why I do. ;o)

Santa is just not a big part of our holiday. I don't know if my youngest ever believed, he is 6 now. When he was 4 I heard a friend's grandma ask him if he went to see Santa and DS told her "You know he's not a real person, don't you?" as if she was very confused. After that, I just focused on telling him not to say that to other kids. I had to remind him again this year that it's a fun game parents play and that it is not nice to ruin the game for other people.

I am not sad that my kids don't believe, it just does not matter to me. Creating the illusion never came naturally to me as a parent. If they picked it up from other people and joined it, I went along. If they asked me for the truth, I told them it's a game we play.

I could tell them the bit about Santa being in all of us when we give to others. Generosity and compassion are values I try to instill. It sounds good when other people say it. But it's not words that sound sincere when I say it.

I respect whatever others chose to do. But I cannot make sense of standing in line to put my kid on a stranger's lap or paying to have his picture taken with a stranger in a costume. I guess I don't suspend the disbelief well enough myself to play it up for my kids. It sounds fun when people leave cookies and make reindeer food and leave footprints... all the games to play it up. But I would feel silly doing it myself. I don't know if I'm coming across the right way, I'm afraid I sound like a Scrooge. I do not judge or scoff at families who get into the whole thing. It works for them, that's great. I just also think we're fine without it. High heels are very popular, too, but I feel silly as heck wearing those, too. ;o) I just can't dress up in something- clothes or ideas- that aren't me without feeling like I'm pretending to be someone I'm not.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 12:19AM
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Stray, that's exactly what I've been saying! Still saying, and always will. It's to supplement daddy's determination (and my respect of his wishes like you Stephanie) to do "Santa". I think I was more curious if I was alone in this. Guess not! What it think it boils down to is what Santa says in the movie Polar Express, he's a symbol of Christmas spirit. So yes, we all are Santa. Nothing more than all the of other symbols. And it's a fun way to increase the "magic" of the season. I know it's not like that for everyone, but it was and is in my family. Thanks for indulging my curiosity!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 8:43AM
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I've always been a little conflicted about Santa with my kids. Of course, I played along, told the stories, etc. However, I've also shared with them the story of St. Nicholas, where "santa" really originated. Our youngest is 5 and the only time we've been successful at getting Santa pictures of her was when she was an infant. She's been too scared otherwise. I asked her if she wanted to go see him at the mall...she said, "No, but I could send him a letter".

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 9:14AM
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i was devastated also, but i got over it, no harm done. i tried not to lie to my sons so when they asked i told the truth. didn't bother them at all, no tears. i think it would be horrible for your son's friends to see him in the mall on santa's lap. at his age.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 10:33AM
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Yep star, yep. That's why I have never really pushed it. But he still "believes" and I want to afford the opportunity to say, I'd rather email him than to regret never getting the chance. I'm ok with whatever he picks. Believing in the magic, not, seeing him in person, emailing him, whatever works for him. This is about whatever my little fellar (not really all that little, just MY baby. :) wants.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 10:54AM
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Rob, I'm a bit like you and Nicksmom, a bit conflicted but wanting to encourage the magic. Never fed my daughter the story, but she picked it up and believes, so I don't discourage nor encourage it. I try to talk about the spirit of the holidays rather than the "man".

I love Polar Express. Thank you for reminding me, I need to pull it out and watch it again!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 11:52AM
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