How do you know what to get your child? Do you ask him/her what they want? Do you read the letter they wrote to Santa before you mail it? Or do you over hear them sitting on Santa's lap?
If your child does not get everything on his/her Christmas list what do you tell him/her?
Update: If your child is not Caucasian, did your child question that Santa is Caucasian and not your race?
How do you explain the mall Santa's? Do you call them his "helpers"?
I have the photocopies hidden away in my desk along with her baby teeth. I don't want her to know I have that stuff.
Where do you save the letters? In her Baby Book?
My dd writes her list to Santa and I photocopy it before sending it. I love it, that way I have her handwriting every year, it's cute.
by MomofSCMJJANovember 15, 2012 at 3:45 AM
My kids have never believed in Santa. While some families read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" on Christmas Eve, we read "Annie and Willie's Prayer". Some kids get presents from Santa, ours get one each from St. Nicholas-and we read the story "The Boy Who Became Santa". The rest of their presents are from whoever they are from so the kids can show their thanks to the giver-which they wouldn't be able to do if they thought Santa brought them all. We also don't go wild with the gifts: Each child gets three gifts from us-just like baby Jesus got three gifts from the wise men. As to knowing what to get them, I just pay attention. I know what they are into and buy gifts for them that I know they would enjoy. Of course they will occasionally ask "Can I have that for Christmas?" when they see something they would like and I will make a mental note of it, but I don't encourage them to beg for presents. Other family members will ask me what to get them and I will give them ideas based on what I know they would like.
Now birthdays are different and I ask for a list because this is THEIR day. Christmas is to celebrate Jesus' birthday, not just a time to get stuff. We focus on celebrating the season in many ways and downplay the "I want to get..." and focus on "What do you want to give..." We sit down and make our Christmas lists...of what they want to make or buy for each family member. I encourage them to think about that person and what they enjoy and to try to pick a gift that that person would really like.
It always makes me sad when I see how whiney and demanding kids get at Christmas. I see them going through the stores listing off loads of toys and stuff that they want, then they are disappointed that they didn't get everything they asked for instead of grateful for what they did get. Their parents are stressed out and end up with credit card bills in January for things that are already broken or tossed aside. We have a budget for each kid of $10 per year ($90 for the 9 year old, $140 for the 14 year old etc). Only rarely do we go over budget-for example one of the kids got an iPod for her birthday and it was stolen at a school function. We are replacing it for Christmas even though it will put her over budget and she is okay with only getting the one present this year so she will not have to wait for her birthday in June.
So each kid gets three gifts (not exceeding a total of $10 per year), plus one "St Nicholas" gift, plus one small spiritual item (a devotional book, a piece of jewelry, a decorative item etc) that they open on Christmas Eve when we return home from Mass. They also each have a stocking filled with small trinkets, candy, and (the teaser) batteries for anything they are getting that needs them. By the time you add in the sibling gifts and grandparent gifts they get plenty. My siblings and I exchange family gifts (a board game or a new video or something) since I have 6 kids and each of my sisters only have 2. It becomes a financial burden for each of my sisters to have to buy a gift for each of my kids.
The best part is that we never have to dread opening credit card bills in January since we will not go into debt to buy gifts. I shop well in advance so that I can spread it out across several paydays.
My kids are 11 and 8 and have been asking questions. My daughter (very proudly) informed me a few weeks ago that "all of her friends" say their parents are really Santa. My son asked about a year ago after his friend told him. I just asked him what he thought, listened, and told him that certain people believe different things. Not everyone believes in thing they can't see, like Santa or God, and they can believe what they want. I did tell him that if you believe in Santa, then he won't bring you anything. My 12 year old nephew has known for years, and I know he's told my son. My son has been great about coming to the conclusion slowly, and deciding for himself what he believes. My daughter is just happy to know the "secret" and wants me to tell her she's right. I'm going to see how it goes over the next few weeks.
Fo the last couple of years, I've had "Santa" write a letter back to them, about how he and the elves are working very hard to make all the toys for the children, and that they need to do their best in school and be nice to each other so they'll be on the good list. I am VERY sorry to have to stop doing that, because it WORKED!
I'm going to ask if they want to write letters to Santa this year. I think they may decide not to. They begged me not to make them sit on Santa's lap anymore- last year, and I promised that was the last time -sigh.
We always leave out milk and cookies for Santa, and carrots for the reindeer. I leave crumbs so they can ltell it was really eaten. I'm not sure if we'll be doing that this year or not.
November 16, 2012 at 1:49 AM
we still do that stuff but this will probably be the last year since dd is 6 and in school she is going to find out soon anyway but we mail letters to the north pole she gets her pic taken on santas lap I tell her to only ask for one gift from santa since other children need toys more than her and its greedy to ask for more than one she gets spoiled from all her family she has a huge family on her fathers side and on my side she is the last grandchild so my parents are going nuts over her so she has more than enough. As for mall santas i tell her some are helpers but maybe one of them are the real thing and that we will never know and she has asked why santa has white skin and not brown skin like her and I just tell her I dont know who the real santa is cause i have never seen him and that maybe there is more than one maybe each child has their own individual santa. Last year was the first year she seen a black santa we went shopping at the Oakland mall and she was so shocked she said I bet he is my own personal santa <3
Thank you everyone for your answers. Very interesting. I guess all the stuff in movies is not true, lol... sitting on Santa's lap, making a list and mailing it to the North Pole. I guess families don't do that stuff anymore, if they even did.
My grandfather was a minister before he retired. When my parents were kids Christmas was all about the birth of Jesus, and when my husband and I were children, the same thing. We continue the tradition with our children.
Let's see-santa is pretty big here. They are 9 and still believe.
1. For the letters. When they were little I got a book called letter to Santa that came with pretty stationary. The story tells them to put it in their stocking. So I just retrieve it and I have the list
2. Mall santas are helpers
3. They have been taught to be grateful for the gifts they get. So there is no disappointment. They have always been happy. A cell phone is probably the only thing they want but won't get. I explained Santa doesn't bring stuff that has a monthly bill
We ask them what they want and know what they would like. If they ask for something, we will say we have to write that on your list. We have a list and will write it down if we feel they need it or would really like it.
They get things that are on there list and ont on there list. They have never complained about it. If they did, we would talk about that.
by mammabear413November 28, 2012 at 9:16 AM
well my son is young but when iwas little my parnets helped us write our list or wass always with us when we wrote it out, i knew santa couldnt get me everything but i usally got big ticket items on my list. we dont go to the mall we go somewhere esle now and ill explain santa comes to visit for a few days .
my brothers kids dont belive in santa from day one they get 3 presents which is cool.
by mommaFruFruNovember 28, 2012 at 9:19 AMWe don't make a list, and we don't go out if our way to visit Santa. Santa is *magic* he already knows what you want :)
by lovelife350November 28, 2012 at 9:43 AM
my son is too little to believe in santa yet. only six weeks old but He is going to santa on friday though, just because i want a photo haha. but the santa at our mall could pass as the real thing. he has the real beard,round, jolly, he even has the rosey cheeks, very nice guy. he been playing santa there for 15 years.
by ThelmamaNovember 28, 2012 at 9:44 AM
Pretty much this:
We sort of halfway do Santa. He's not a big deal here, but we don't discourage the belief. We don't go visit him at the mall and we don't write letters. They make a Christmas list and we get the stuff. Usually the one big thing that we can't wrap is from Santa, the rest is from us.