Why We Don’t Do Santa

2 Dec

I have nothing against Santa.  J~ & I decided when E~ was pretty little that we weren’t going to make a big deal about Santa.

J~ & I were hoping to instill in our kids that Christmas isn’t about presents & toys but about the gift of our Savior.  We decided we would limit the gifts we give our kids to just a few categories: a toy, a book, & pajamas.  Our theory was that we’d keep the gimmie’s to a minimum & eventually we’d get to the point where the kids could bargain for gifts.  You know, ‘I only want this thing & it’s $$$ so instead of 3 gifts, I just want one big one.’  Or we’d do a family gift instead of individual gifts.  And during the Santa years, the kids would get one thing, a game or something small, from Santa.

It’s actually worked better than our original plan.

E~’s first few Christmas’s were easy, he was too little to understand & we bought him things he needed.  Then he developed this crazy fear of all things costumed.  He also had an irrational fear of those blowup lawn decorations.  Then when E~ was 3 we moved to our larger Rural City home which had a fireplace.  He was terrified at the thought of some strange costumed, possibly blow-up, man entering into our home while we were sleeping so we told him Santa wasn’t real.

He seemed relieved.

When E~ started preschool we talked to him about how Santa was a secret for some families & he wasn’t to ruin the surprise for his friends.  He’s followed the rules pretty well.  G~ struggles a little more.  We talk to them about what to say to people who ask about their wish list for Santa; they’re supposed to name something they’d like for Christmas.  If an adult asks, E~ will usually launch into an explanation that we don’t do Santa at our house & then I’d get the stink eye from whomever it was that had asked.

The awkward questions are one down side & the other is I don’t have Santa’s Naughty/Nice List to use as leverage.

The plus sides are we don’t spend the month hearing about the latest toy they are dying to own or making lists for things they can’t live without.  And they are appreciative of what they get because most things are a surprise since I don’t usually ask them for input on what to get them.  Of course, with fall birthday’s just finishing, I have a pretty good idea of what they’d like anyway.

I think it works pretty well for our family.  I don’t think the lack of Santa detracts from Christmas morning – there’s still plenty of excitement & anticipation.  Maybe as adults the kids will feel they’ve missed out on some childhood right of passage, but I figure it’s just one more way to support their future therapists 😉



4 Responses to “Why We Don’t Do Santa”

  1. Julie M. December 2, 2009 at 6:40 pm #

    I remember Ethan’s fear of costumes. Remember in playgroup he was terrified of Creal wearing some mask/costume. Poor kid!

  2. Sarah F. December 3, 2009 at 9:31 pm #

    We never did Santa growing up and I think my sisters and I turned out okay! Good job on putting the emphasis on what Christmas is really all about!

  3. beorganizedsavemoney December 10, 2009 at 8:07 pm #

    It’s so nice to hear that somebody else shares my view of Santa! All of my friends hate that we’ve made this choice, I think they’re afraid our kids will blow the whistle… but my kids aren’t the ones screaming “I want that!” in the store.

  4. Cassie November 3, 2010 at 2:11 pm #

    I know this post is a year old but I so appreciate it right now. We made the decision to not “do” the whole Santa thing too. I am in the process of writing a blog post about it now…and I’m a little nervous about it! People just never react very well when we tell them that Santa doesn’t come to our house. Hopefully my blog post will be somewhat well received…it’s nice to know we aren’t the only ones leaving Santa out of Christmas!

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