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How do you explain to your children that Santa brings less to poor children?


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#1 Broxie

Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:42 AM

So a bit of a recurrent theme in the Christmas thread is children asking about why charitable giving is necessary if Santa brings the presents. DS is too young to ask about this but I was thinking of an explanation along the lines of; Santa still brings presents to them but his options are limited. For example, he may not be able to bring an iTunes voucher because the family can't afford an iPod, and can't bring the iPod because they can't afford iTunes, or may not have electricity to recharge the iPod.
Santa might not be able to bring a bike because they may not have a mum and dad to take them to the bike park.

Anyone have any other ideas?

To the anti-santa brigade- I am aware that some people choose not to do Santa. I have decided I will and am happy with this decision. There are impoverished people in the world. Sad but true. My son doesn't need to miss out on Santa because of that. We do what we can to help. There are starving children too but I don't feel the need to deprive my son of food.

#2 Natttmumm

Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:51 AM

My DD asked whether Santa comes to everyone. I said that I think so, but its nice to give the charitable presents just in case.

She was happy with that answer. I am all for Santa but I am also careful to say that I "think" he is real and "i Hope" he will come. When they get the presents I say "maybe it was santa".

My DD is already questioning if we made up santa so I dot want to be too concrete about it as sure enough she will find out soon.



#3 casime

Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:55 AM

Depending on his age, could you say that while he gets presents from Santa and mummy and daddy and grandma, etc that some families don't have very much money and it makes them sad that they can't buy a present for their child at christmas, so by donating we get to help mummies and daddies feel better so that they can give a gift to their child too.   Take the focus off Santa and put it on to the family side of things.

#4 Futureself

Posted 30 November 2012 - 06:58 AM

I have to admit that I always thought that once my child was astute enough to be pointing out those flaws in the Santa system, then it would be time to come clean.

#5 FluffyOscar

Posted 30 November 2012 - 07:01 AM

If my children asked that, I'd probably leave Santa out of it altogether. I'd say that charity giving is to help poor parents give something to their children, that Santa doesn't discriminate. But this won't work in a household where Santa lavishes lots of gifts, ours only get 1 small present from Santa, like a DVD or something, irrespective of our financial position.

#6 Razman

Posted 30 November 2012 - 07:02 AM

QUOTE (casime @ 30/11/2012, 07:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Depending on his age, could you say that while he gets presents from Santa and mummy and daddy and grandma, etc that some families don't have very much money and it makes them sad that they can't buy a present for their child at christmas, so by donating we get to help mummies and daddies feel better so that they can give a gift to their child too. Take the focus off Santa and put it on to the family side of things.
Nice explanation

#7 Expelliarmus

Posted 30 November 2012 - 07:08 AM

Because Santa might come but they won't have presents from mummy and daddy and manna nanna like you do. It's to help mummies and daddies and bananas nannas.

ETA: damn you auto correct!

Edited by howdo, 30 November 2012 - 06:13 PM.


#8 cesca

Posted 30 November 2012 - 07:13 AM

I've always been a bit vague about Santa when it comes to the kids' questions (at the ages of 9 and 10 I think they're only now just figuring it all out) but I've always maintained that I (and DH) buy the presents.  We then pass them on to Santa, and he will only deliver them if the kids are good.  biggrin.gif

i.e. so in the case of poor kids, it's easily explained why their parents couldn't pass on as many things to Santa.

Edited by cesca, 30 November 2012 - 07:14 AM.


#9 GoneWithTheWhinge

Posted 30 November 2012 - 07:25 AM

Nothing to do with Santa, he only does small gifts here. Anything significant (size or $$ wise rather than some colouring pencils/hair ties/bubble bath) comes from us so its explained that some families don't have spare money to buy the children a present so we help them out so their children can be as excited about getting a present at Christmas as what you are.

#10 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 30 November 2012 - 07:46 AM

That's a really big question to do with the problem of evil.  Same as "if god is all-powerful and all-knowing why do bad things happen?"  I think if the child has got to the point of asking searching questions like that, they deserve a true answer.  

Otherwise why doesn't Santa get the electricity sorted out or make their mum come home?

I plan to go with what my parents said once I asked which was that maybe once apon a time Santa was true, and we wish he was still true, so we pretend that he is, and did I want to keep pretending for a while?  

Do you believe in God in your family OP.  Maybe you could say that Santa can only do little things like toys, but the big things like poverty and war God wants people to sort out for themselves by being kind and loving.  





#11 Broxie

Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:03 AM

Nope, no God in this house, and Santa brings the good stuff while we do the 'stocking stuffers'. I like Casime's explanation as DS does get gifts from Aunt, Uncle, Grandparents, my friends...

#12 baddmammajamma

Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:10 AM

QUOTE (futureself @ 30/11/2012, 07:58 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have to admit that I always thought that once my child was astute enough to be pointing out those flaws in the Santa system, then it would be time to come clean.


Clearly, many of us have different approaches re Santa, but I'm with futureself on this one. My daughter (7) was a very early non-believer, but I've just had "the conversation" with my 5 year old son, who was starting to ask a lot about gifts and poor children.

Santa is not a person in our household -- Santa is a spirit that makes people feel like giving to others.

#13 tle

Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:26 AM

We have 2 explanations in our house.

1.  Now that toys are so expensive Santa needs a bit of help to pay for the materials the elves need to make them. So, the parents help Santa out by giving him some money towards the costs (which is also why the parents get to say no to certain gifts like motorbikes, horses etc). Not all families can afford to do this so we help them out with donations and gifts under the wishing trees. We came up with this excuse to explain that even though their friend didn't get as many gifts as them it wasn't because they were not as well behaved.

2.  We also send gifts overseas (e.g. Operation Christmas Child) because in some countries, due to wars etc it's not safe for Santa to land there.

baddmammajamma, I love your idea about Santa being a spirit not a person. I may start using that one myself.

#14 ChunkyChook

Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:37 AM

Santa brings presents to every child. Those presents are for the children who wouldnt otherwise get a present from their parents. Santa doesn't bring those presents.



#15 RichardParker

Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:51 AM

Because Santa is an a*s*hole.

#16 steppy

Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:54 AM

QUOTE (*Greenbag* @ 30/11/2012, 09:51 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Because Santa is an a*s*hole.


biggrin.gif

#17 Country (deci)Mel

Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:06 AM

QUOTE (howdo @ 30/11/2012, 08:08 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Because Santa might come but they won't have presents from mummy and daddy and manna like you do. It's to help mummies and daddies and bananas.


Is this your auto correct howdo?

If so I think I am a little bit in love with it!



For Santa's disparities I remember becoming highly suspicious of the dude in the red suit at quite a young age when I would take note of the amount of presents my VERY NAUGHTY cousins would receive compared to myself ('Mummy's little angel without wings' at least for November/December!) it just didn't make sense...

My initial suspicion was that my Auntie and Uncle had supplied then themselves to make up for the fact that Father Christmas had left them nothing (not only were they naughty but they were very spoiled - it was the kind of thing that my Auntie would do!)... but when I worked out the whole ruse I was a bit relieved to tell the truth!




*edit angle to angel.... I was anything but angular at that age... or now!

Edited by countrymel, 30 November 2012 - 09:28 AM.


#18 BetteBoop

Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:19 AM

QUOTE (Madame Catty @ 30/11/2012, 08:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You wouldn't seriously extend the lie so far as to tell your kid some people don't have electricity so Santa won't bring them an IPod?

Think about it.  Sit down for 5 minutes and just think about it.  You don't see anything wrong with that?

The Santa lie is one thing, but digging a hole deeper and deeper to continue the lie?  When does it end?  If your child is smart enough to ask these questions, it's time to 'fess up about Santa.


People are so offended when the Santa thing is called a lie.

But it's not just one tiny lie. It often relies on a whole web of bullsh*t to stop the kid from independent thoughts. Sounds magical to me.

#19 BadCat

Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:39 AM

QUOTE (howdo @ 30/11/2012, 08:08 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Because Santa might come but they won't have presents from mummy and daddy and manna like you do. It's to help mummies and daddies and bananas.


This is what I would have said.

Except for the bananas.  original.gif

And BB, of course Santa is a lie.  And he requires lies to prop him up.  Some people are cool with that.  I know I am.  I don't lie about important stuff but Santa is not important.  Nothing to do with independennt thought either.  You make it sound like kids who are fed the Santa myth don't think for themselves.  This is untrue.  Just like every other person on earth, they think about what they choose to think about and let the rest slide.  For example, when was the last time you sat and pondered the nature of infinity?

#20 Broxie

Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:34 AM

QUOTE (Madame Catty @ 30/11/2012, 09:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You wouldn't seriously extend the lie so far as to tell your kid some people don't have electricity so Santa won't bring them an IPod?

Think about it.  Sit down for 5 minutes and just think about it.  You don't see anything wrong with that?

The Santa lie is one thing, but digging a hole deeper and deeper to continue the lie?  When does it end?  If your child is smart enough to ask these questions, it's time to 'fess up about Santa.


Well I wouldn't put an iPod under the wishing tree for that reason so... Yea, I'd tell him that

#21 JustBeige

Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:46 AM

We have always told them that Santa only brings the santa sack stuff - ie: colouring books; pencils etc.

So for the poor people, its simply that their families cant afford anything else, so thats why we donate something to help.


Now that they know santa is me, they still think the same way and this year are actually donating something from their own money for the wishing tree (well community run one)

#22 Broxie

Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:56 AM

Btw- this would depend how old he was when he asked. If he was 7 or 8 of course I'd tell him the truth. If he was 3 I'd try to keep it going a bit longer.

I never asked these types of questions. I was a pretty lackadaisical child and just kind of accepted what I was told without question. I figured it out around 8 years old I think. So DS may never even ask, just wanted to be prepared in case.

#23 FeralLIfeHacker

Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:10 AM

QUOTE (*Greenbag* @ 30/11/2012, 09:51 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Because Santa is an a*s*hole.




and elfs are evil.


Not a big deal here, we have always told the kids that parents work in conjunction with Santa, Santa needs help too, Mums and Dad sometimes need help with giving presents, some families and children need food, that's why it's important to donate to charities.

#24 Chocolate Addict

Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:23 AM

What Howdo said, but without the bananas! wink.gif

I told my son that Santa might find them but their mums or dads might not have any money to buy presents. Not everyone is lucky like you to get lots of presents off their parents so we need to help out a little.

We gave a few presents via the kmart wishing tree so that is how I explained it.

I have also told him,even Santa can't give him everything he wants because then other kids will miss out.


#25 Feral_Pooks

Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:46 AM

If they are asking those sorts of questions, it is game over. I'd no sooner tell them crap like kids have no electricity, then I would tell them Dorothy the dinosaur was the result of extensive scientific research into cloning from fossils.

When I started asking Dad along those lines, he asked me what I thought. My seven year old self decided that either Santa is a jerk, or he's not real. Dad told me I was very clever, and explained about Saint Nicholas leaving secret gifts, and how the tradition led to the Sintersklaas stuff we did on December 5/6, and the Santa stuff for Christmas, and they had other stories around the world too. He explained about the Christian story of the wise men, and said he thought people liked to remember about giving gifts and being generous so they used these traditions to do it. He said that it was fun for kids, so now I knew I had to help the grown ups keep the fun going for the kids who haven't worked it out yet.

I think he handled it beautifully. I had a cry, and then when I realized my parents had bought all those gifts I was so apologetic for never saying thank you, and so surprised they had found the money for them, but he said they enjoyed seeing us enjoy the gifts and it wasn't about the thanks. That was the point.

So that's what I suggest, OP.




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