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Tell me about your Non Santa believing Christmas.
I want to hear from 'we don't do Santa' families please

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24 replies to this topic

#1 mandarins

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:06 PM

Lots of threads about what santa should bring their kids of what age they still believe and so on but I would love to hear from people who celebrate xmas without Santa or with Santa but your kids have always known its just a big fun made up story (sorry if I have broken the news to some of you - but its true!  wink.gif  ).

Also, I'd be keen to hear from anyone who dont celebrate christmas in a traditional sense too!

#2 Mitis angelam

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:11 PM

We've decided not to "do" Santa.  DD's still a bit little this year, but we've agreed to tell her that Santa started with a guy named St. Nicholas who was generous to poor people, and to use St. Nicholas' day (conveniently located in the build up to Christmas) as a day for giving things to other people/helping people in need type stuff.

Is that the sort of thing you were asking about?

#3 PatG

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:15 PM

Our non-santa Christmas is exactly the same as if we did do santa, except no-one gets presents fro santa.  I guess if I was serious about it I would purposely avoid sending cards with any santa theme (reindeer, elves etc) but I don't.

#4 mandarins

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:18 PM

Thanks Ange Vert - yes any examples of how people do christmas is what I would like. I'd really like to hear from people whos children are older but grown up either with no Santa or knowing as your child will that Santa is a fun thing that happens at Christmas time but its all pretend etc. One of my kids was asking why does Santa wear red and I didnt have the heart to tell them the real reason. But then I felt a bit bad for leading them along this path of lies... especially as my child is scared of all the men in red suits that have been around lately.

#5 Bluenomi

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:23 PM

QUOTE (PatG @ 17/12/2012, 02:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Our non-santa Christmas is exactly the same as if we did do santa, except no-one gets presents fro santa.  I guess if I was serious about it I would purposely avoid sending cards with any santa theme (reindeer, elves etc) but I don't.

Same here. All presents are from us and everything else is standard Christmas stuff. We don't visit Santa at the shops (can't say I missing doing that!)

We don't make a big deal about it, Santa went to DD"s daycare party and she got a present from him as did all the kids but that will be it for Santa for her.

Now I just have to convince my MIL to not ask DD what Santa brought her on Christmas day. She knows we don't do Santa but said she's going to ask anyway  mad.gif

#6 Etta

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:25 PM

When is St Nicholas' day? DS used to call Santa 'St Nick' because we used to read 'The Night Before Christmas' just about every night in the lead up to Christmas. Now that he is at school it is 'Santa' rather than St Nick, but it would be good to celebrate his day by giving to others - if we haven't missed it.

#7 EBeditor

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:28 PM

We've actually just published an article on Essential Kids about parents who don't 'do' Santa, quoting some forum members:

#8 PrincessPeach

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:34 PM

QUOTE (Etta @ 17/12/2012, 01:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When is St Nicholas' day? DS used to call Santa 'St Nick' because we used to read 'The Night Before Christmas' just about every night in the lead up to Christmas. Now that he is at school it is 'Santa' rather than St Nick, but it would be good to celebrate his day by giving to others - if we haven't missed it.

I think it's December 6th.

#9 Mitis angelam

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:34 PM

St. Nicholas' day is December 6.

#10 baddmammajamma

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:34 PM

There was a similar thread to this one a few weeks ago...and as I shared in that thread, and many others, we stopped the pretense of Santa when our oldest (then 3.5) figured it out on her own. My kids are now 5 & 7.

We went from being a "hadn't given much thought to how to handle Santa" family to a "non believing in Santa" family in one swoop, and I don't think our kids have "suffered" one iota without Santa.

We still do our favorite holiday things -- going to see Christmas lights, singing cheesy Christmas carols in the car, decorating the tree in unconventional manners, giving the kids a few gifts that they are particularly excited to receive, and heading out to the beach on Christmas morning. We also share with theme the noble origins of Santa Claus (in the form of St. Nicholas) -- and we have fun counting how many Santa Knock Offs we see in the various shops and malls.

Being together in a relaxed way is the best part about Christmas. Unless Santa is willing to clean my kitchen, we really don't have a need for him!

Edited by baddmammajamma, 17 December 2012 - 01:36 PM.

#11 RichardParker

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:39 PM

My parents did Santa but came clean as soon as any child asked outright.  I think I was about four when I asked, and was told the truth but that it was still a fun game to play.  Playing the game still had me thinking that he 'might' be real for a bit longer.  There was certainly no elaborate stories about how, exactly, Santa manages to defy the laws of physics and we still got presents from "Santa".  Now as adults we still give each other presents under Santa's name.  

I just don't think you have to insist that the myth is real for the game to be fun or for Christmas to be magical.

#12 mandarins

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:48 PM

QUOTE (*Greenbag* @ 17/12/2012, 02:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I just don't think you have to insist that the myth is real for the game to be fun or for Christmas to be magical.

Yes, this is what I have been wondering about.

#13 Zephie Chugger

Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:56 PM


Edited by Zephie Chugger, 17 December 2012 - 04:24 PM.

#14 Fright bat

Posted 17 December 2012 - 02:00 PM

DS1 has worked it out at 3. I never wanted to 'do' Santa anyway, but it's been taken out of my hands. His paternal grandparents are horrified, LOL!

Anyway, this year we've gone into the city, visited 'Santa', DS1 decorated our Christmas tree all by himself (and he is proud as punch about it!), has helped choose and wrap presents, and was thrilled to find presents with his name on them under the tree which he has thus far picked up, shook, stroked, smelled, listened to etc to try and guess what's inside. He knows he can't open them until Christmas which is when 'the chocolate runs out' (in the advent calendar his favourite uncle bought him). We went to the ILs extended family Christmas last weekend and will be decorating Christmas cookies with his friends on Friday. We have bought and wrapped charity presents for those who aren't as lucky as him. And we'll spend Christmas Day with our best friends and Boxing Day with his paternal grandparents and cousins, both big Christmas meals/events.

To see the excitement and fun DS is having, I honestly don't think Santa would have added anything.

#15 Expelliarmus

Posted 17 December 2012 - 02:09 PM

Although we do Santa, it's such a small part of things that I assumed those who didn't Santa simply omitted putting out food for Santa and hanging a sack/stocking? When I was 12 that's what happened at our house. It was identical except I didn't unpack a sack of school supplies and lollies at 6am Tounge1.gif

After all we currently do three simple things:
Get Santa Photo
Feed Reindeer and leave bikkies and milk
'Hang' a Sack

Apart from that it's the same.

(P.S. None of them still think he's real, they are all pretending. We'll do it for a few more years until DS is about 12 I suspect)

Edited by howdo, 17 December 2012 - 02:11 PM.

#16 Angelina Ballerina

Posted 17 December 2012 - 02:15 PM

It's pretty much the same. We told DS 3.5 that Santa is imaginary and we pretend about Santa because it's fun.
To be honest, I'm pretty sure he's forgotten that Santa is pretend.

#17 roses99

Posted 17 December 2012 - 02:15 PM

As DH and I both grew up in families where we didn't 'do' Santa, it was natural for us to continue the non-Santa tradition.

As a child, I still remember putting out our Santa sacks and we may have put out reindeer food too, but we always knew it was make believe. For me growing up the most wonderful thing about Christmas was putting on plays with my cousins on Christmas Eve and staying up late chatting excitedly. We'd watch the Carols on TV etc and then on Christmas morning, we'd open our presents and then go to church.

We're not anti-Santa with our kids, and we're perfectly happy for them to visit Santa at the shops, receive a present from Santa at daycare etc. But we don't tell them that Santa is real.

Our focus for Christmas is on giving more than receiving. Specifically that 'it is better to give than to receive'. We do the Samaritan's Purse shoeboxes and the KMart Wishing Tree, along with gifts for our sponsor children and other things.

Tradition-wise, we have a spectacular Christmas lights display throughout our town's botanical gardens, so we always do that several times. We go to Carols by Candlelight and we go to church on Christmas morning or Christmas Eve. On Christmas morning, the kids follow a long streamer that's been tied at one end to the end of their bed. The streamer weaves through the house (sometimes you need several streamers!) to their main present. DH grew up with that tradition and we've kept it for our kids.

If I think hard about it, I actually don't like the karmic nature of Santa. The whole idea of having to be good to be worthy of presents is contrary to what we try to teach our kids about grace and forgiveness. But that's not why we don't 'do' Santa.

#18 No girls here

Posted 17 December 2012 - 02:18 PM

We still have presents in a Santa sack, waiting for them when they get up, but they just know they're not from Santa.  Honestly the only thing that is different from when they did believe in Santa is that we no longer put out food for Santa the night before.

DS1 is a very logical thinker (maths/science type) and not arty at all, and he has mentioned that he's glad he knows Santa isn't real than pretend something that isn't true.  I wonder if more creative personalities might value the "magic" of the whole Santa thing more?

#19 mandarins

Posted 17 December 2012 - 02:37 PM

QUOTE (No girls here @ 17/12/2012, 03:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
DS1 is a very logical thinker (maths/science type) and not arty at all, and he has mentioned that he's glad he knows Santa isn't real than pretend something that isn't true.  I wonder if more creative personalities might value the "magic" of the whole Santa thing more?

That is a very good point. One of my children is very arty and has a very wonderful imagination. I don't know if its good to encourage the belief in fairies and santa etc or not. Is it good for  creativity or is it setting them up for false expectations of life?
A whole other post could be discussed about this.

#20 cameo

Posted 17 December 2012 - 03:48 PM

Our parents never did Santa for my brother and sister and I.  They didn't want to lie to us so never did it at all.

Christmas was still completely magical and gorgeous and meant to me, lots of presents, and family celebrations and food and playing with my cousins.  Mum made us all buy presents for our cousins and Aunts and Uncles too so that was a big deal for us.

As I had never done Santa as a child, I never really did it for DS.  I half heartedly put cookies out, showed him Santa at the shops but never took him to one, put up stockings but only put little presents in.

DD is really into Santa and anything Christmas so I have done it more for her.  Santa photo, stockings the works.  She loves it and is swept away by the magic of it.

So I am very happy to indulge her in that, and I love her face when she sees and Santa, it'c completely gorgeous and it feels very Christmassy to me with Santa.

#21 BetteBoop

Posted 17 December 2012 - 03:55 PM

We just don't lie about Santa being real. We still do everything else the same way, including leaving things out for the reindeers.

Today we found a Santa Claus flower and we had loads of fun talking about how to send it on its way to the North Pole. DD added a kiss that would explode all over the elves when it arrived.

The magic of playing pretend shouldn't be underestimated.

#22 asdf89

Posted 17 December 2012 - 03:57 PM

Once I (as the youngest) asked Mum if Santa was real and the jig was up, we did a Christmas scavenger hunt type thing.

Mum would hide a present for us, and we had to follow a series of clues (which led us all over the house, yard, paddock) to find them. It kept us busy for quite a while on Xmas morning and got us siblings to work to together to figure out some clues (we even used the World Books for some - pre-internet!)

Once we all moved out, this stopped and we just get presents under the tree.

#23 MsFeralPerthFembo

Posted 23 December 2012 - 04:46 PM

QUOTE (BetteBoop @ 17/12/2012, 02:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We just don't lie about Santa being real. We still do everything else the same way, including leaving things out for the reindeers.

The magic of playing pretend shouldn't be underestimated.

DD is only 20m but this is our plan. We still will have all the Santa things, photos, letters, leaving food out for the reindeer etc. But when she is old enough to learn that some things are real and some things are pretend (like most people do with dragons/fairies etc) she will learn Santa is pretend too and a fun game to play that makes people happy.

I've never understood why Santa has to be "real" to be fun.

Edited by JBaby, 23 December 2012 - 04:47 PM.

#24 ubermum

Posted 23 December 2012 - 04:55 PM

Many people in our church don't do Santa. They still do everything the same, just the gifts are from each other rather than Santa. They also tell the kids that we exchange gifts to celebrate the awesome gift that God gave the world at Christmas- Jesus Christ.

We do Santa, but only half heartedly. We prefer to focus on the meaning of Christmas rather than the fat man.

#25 KatakaGeoGirl

Posted 23 December 2012 - 05:16 PM

Our not doing Santa probably mostly came out of the fact that both my girls were extremely scared of any dressed up figures from a very early age. So I had to explain from an early age to calm them down that it was just someone dressed up. I didn't want them to live a life of fear.

FWIW they DO believe in fairies - almost to the point of obsession. I let them have that fantasy.

Oh and despite not doing 'Santa' they still have always loved Christmas, as do we.

Edited by Katakacpk, 23 December 2012 - 05:17 PM.

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