This year my oldest child, my son, is four years old and quite possibly this will be the first Christmas he will actually remember and retain. Christmases before this aren't much of a memory for him because he was younger and less aware. Before this I wasn't sure I wanted Santa to be a part of our Christmas only due to the fact that I felt really uncomfortable telling my children lies about a man that breaks into our house. They already have specific anxieties from our family dynamic (divorce, etc.) and I feared this would be a hard concept to deal with. After a long discussion with my significant other about what we should do, we came to a mutual and specific conclusion that Santa Clause would not come to our house this year, or any year. With the rules that we could still watch Santa movies and use Santa themed decorations because in that sense, he really is just a cartoon character. And the kids know cartoon characters aren't real. We're also going to enjoy stockings because stuffing them is fun and who says they can't be from Mom & Dad. Recently I read this article online supporting reasons the author lets her kids believe in Santa, I feel I would like to share my own reasons why my kids will not celebrate a Christmas with the Santa figure.
5 Reasons Why I Won't Let My Kids Believe in Santa
1) The story of St. Nicholas may be true, but St. Patrick doesn't bring my kids presents on March 17th. It's a popular story and the legend varies depending on which origin you're researching. Most people agree though that St. Nicholas was a man that gave gifts to small children to cheer up poor villages. It's an adorable story but St. Patrick doesn't deliver gifts on March 17th. St. Valentine doesn't deliver gifts on February 14th. Martin Luther King Jr. doesn't deliver gifts on MLKJr day. It's just a story. I'll let my kids believe that St. Nick existed, sure, but the gifts are a bit much.
2) Because I believe that wonderment and magic should come from real life, not fantasies. My kids will have fun with exploding volcanoes and learning the science of why clouds exist and the reason we get rain. They'll learn about water disappearing into thin air through evaporation. This stuff is magical and fascinating and fun. And it's all real. Sure, I let them play make believe whenever they want, but again, these are things they know aren't real.
3) Because I believe in teaching my children good money values and that having money comes from hard work. If they see that all the gifts they get are from their parents and possibly grandparents or friends, they see that it takes hard work to buy or make something to give tangible gifts to the people they love.
4) Because Santa Claus doesn't have anything to do with Christmas. The legend of St. Nick wasn't based on a guy giving kids gifts for Christmas. It was about a guy who gave gifts to kids that were poor. That's really the simplicity of it. I don't know or care when Santa Claus was incorporated into the holiday, but he shouldn't even be part of it.
5) Because I believed in Santa growing up and I hated it. I grew up in a family that didn't make a lot of income. I always felt like Santa didn't like me as much as the other kids and what on earth did I do wrong? I was a well behaved child, I got good grades, I didn't back-talk my teacher and rarely to my parents. I did my chores and made my bed (most of the time.) So why did the kids that bullied me and called me a dork and made fun of my love of learning and reading all get new bikes and video game systems and I just got pajamas and a barbie doll. Didn't Santa see who was bad and good? The idea of him liking them more devastated me. I also was very frustrated when I realized that my parents had lied to me. I was relieved that the gifts were from my parents, but annoyed at the deceit. I love you Mom & Dad, but I'd have enjoyed those gifts as much or MORE if I'd originally known it was YOUR idea to buy me those books and dolls and that they were a product purchased out of YOUR love.
Feel free to comment and discuss your opinions.