December 11, 2015

Why We Won't Do Santa

We are still trying to conceive, but with the holidays coming up, I thought this would be an appropriate time to write this post.

We won't be doing Santa Claus when we have kids, and here is why:

When I was little, my parents would deny that he wasn't real, even when I began to question it. This hurt and obviously had a lasting impression on me. To me, Santa is just a lie. There was no magic or excitement. He never brought what I asked for, which as a kid, your kind of told he would, but then he doesn't because well your parents don't want you to have a cat, and so they pretend Santa has "run out" or "knows your mom has allergies," or whatever excuse "he" can come up to write you each year. It kind of makes you hate "Santa" and well, I think I would have been better off not believing such a person existed.

I have no problem with fictional Santa. I intend to share the movies and the stories, but my problem is with how personified he is. You can write letters to "Santa," you can sit on "Santa's" lap (which I will never understand why parents force their poor babies to do this when they are obviously terrified of the strange man!), you can see and talk to "Santa", etc. It's like our whole society revolves around this lie that Santa is real and somehow this is okay? To me this lie is harmful.
"I'm simply saying that we should treat the Santa Claus story just like we treat all other stories—as a story. To do otherwise would be to cruelly take advantage of the child's naïveté and possibly hinder his/her intellectual development." (source)
I'm sure we will get a lot of backlash from our families, claiming we are robbing our children of their childhood or that our children will ruin it for everyone, but those are really lame excuses to make our kids believe Santa is real.

If your kid needs Santa to have a happy childhood, then there is something wrong with their childhood. Our kids will know of Santa, he will be a fun story, so it's not like we are removing him entirely from the picture. We just aren't going to lie and say he is a real man that can travel the world in one night to deliver toys to thousands of girls and boys.

Our kids will have trips to the park, toys to play with, books to read, etc. You don't need Santa to have a good childhood. Having Santa was actually a bad experience for me, so that's proof that Santa doesn't always make for a happy childhood. What made my childhood happy was having a big backyard to play in, walks to the creek, playing with kittens at Grandma's, etc. I did not need Santa and I am sure my kids won't either.

As for the fear of my kids telling everyone Santa isn't real, well that could be any kid! I remember being told Santa wasn't real in elementary school. Some kids agreed, but others were not ready to accept the truth. It's like telling your kid there is no such thing as monsters, but yet they still think there is one under the bed, even though you have told them they don't exist for the 100th time. They will believe what they want to believe until they are ready to let it go.

And it is not like we're the only family that won't have Santa. America is a melting pot, with many religions and cultures, and many of them don't celebrate Christmas or have Santa. It is not the end of the world if we choose to take Santa out of Christmas.

Besides, Christmas isn't about Santa or presents (at least for us). Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ. It is about God giving us his only child, and yes I know it's not accurate. Jesus was probably born in the summer; Christmas has pagan roots, but let's just let that go for now. Christians have decided to celebrate his birth on Christmas and so that's when we celebrate.

So how do we plan to celebrate Christmas? Well, I make gingerbread men every year, and I would like to continue that with my kids. We plan to have a real tree, something we don't do now since we are always going to visit others, but with a baby, we're staying put so others will have to come to us for a change!

There will be stockings and presents. I plan on coming up with some kind of present rule, like 1 book, 1 thing to wear and 1 want, then put another surprise in the stocking like a movie or smaller toy, something that won't melt since we do use our fireplace.

I would like to teach them to give as well, so have them take an old toy or two that they don't play with anymore and donate it. And of course watching the Christmas classics as a family, those are always fun. So you see, we don't need Santa. There are many ways to celebrate Christmas.

There are many other good reasons to not do Santa, but the ones I mentioned are more important to us. If you need more convincing, need arguments to defend your choice, or are undecided about Santa, you can read these articles for more reasons to skip Santa Claus:

Attribution: Image used in blog post photo does not belong to me and was found on Pexels.


  1. I totally agree with you, I'm thinking about it since the beginning of this year's Christmas. We watched old family videos and it reminded me how weird was this whole santa thing for me, and how disappointed and cheated I felt when I found out it was a lie. I definitely don't want my future kids to feel that way, so I'll give up on Santa, just like you :)

  2. Interesting take on the matter. Do you have kids? Your opinion on life changes quite a bit after. Good luck with parenting.

    1. I wrote this before we had our daughter, but my thoughts and opinions have not changed, if anything having her has strengthened them. I will no lie to my daughter. I don't really intend to mention Santa at all, but if my child asks me if he is real, I will definitely not lie to her as that can cause huge trust issues later on.

      My daughter's birthday happens to also be Christmas Eve, so Christmas will also most likely be put on the back burner as her birthday is more important.

  3. You raise some very interesting points - lying to children about Santa does come with ethical considerations. We all have our own experiences about how we learned santa wasn't real. I'd had an ides for a long time and was really pleased with myself when I confronted my parents and they revealed the truth. I didn't feel deceived at all. Perhaps because it seemed like a riddle I'd solved. As for whether we'll keep the myth of Santa going with our son (16 mo), we're still undecided, but your post has raised quite the debate in this house!

    1. I am sure you will do whatever you feel is right. I believe children can have Santa and be okay in the long run, but it really depends on how you go about it.

  4. I don't celebrate Christmas personally because I am a Muslim, but I do go visiting on christmas day to celebrate with my Christian friends. I understand your point, and I believe you are making the best decision for your family.

  5. I have to agree on most of what you wrote, as I think the idea of Santa has become part of the commercialism of our society. It's a push to buy more for under the tree. I love the story of the original Saint Nicholas, and plan to make the season more about that for my two year old daughter. It's tough, because our kids still have to interact with other kids...I don't lie to my daughter, but I also don't want her to be that kid ruining every other kid's Christmas. I think it's a fine line, and I appreciate that you aren't totally cutting the idea out, but instead just don't plan on stringing her along.

    1. Kids will believe what they want to believe, so even they told another kid "he's not real," it's not like they will believe her. It's like when you tell them there isn't a monster in the closet, but they still want to crawl into bed with you in the middle of the night.

      You also have to remember, that there are many religions and cultures that don't have Santa, so if it's not your kid, someone else is probably going to mention it at some point, so there really is no way around it.

  6. I understand and appriciate your decision.
    I think every parents have a method to teach about religion and belive to their son.
    Thank you for sharing :)