Posted by: chlost | November 29, 2010


Here’s the thing- I am not sure who reads this blog.

To my daughter-in-law: If you are reading this, I apologize in advance. I am not trying to tell you how to raise your children, I just don’t agree with everything that you do.  That does not mean that I think you are a bad mom, or that I don’t love you. I don’t and I do.


My grandchildren will be raised to not believe in Santa Claus.

I am having a problem with this. This is my problem. It doesn’t make it wrong. I just don’t agree.

But I believe that children should be able to have a little magic in their lives. I am not talking about making the holiday all about gifts, or toys, or Santa. I am not a big religious fanatic, and I can handle it that you are choosing no religious upbringing for them.

But this is a terrible world. They are little for such a short time. I wish that they would be able to have something wonderful to believe in, something that could be fun and special, and, yes-magical. Santa Claus is all of those. S o are fairies. You have told her about fairies, and she builds fairy houses in the woods. How is that different from Santa? I don’t understand.

What is wrong with kids having something fun and happy to believe in at one time of the year?  The real world will intrude on them soon enough. I had hoped that you would give them this.

In fact, I think it will put them in a very hard position to be one of only a few young children who does not believe in Santa. Once preschool begins in a day or so, H will know all about Santa. She will have to start out with these kids, either ignoring the other kids in order to not ruin things for them, or trying very hard not to tell anyone that she does not believe in Santa.  Almost every adult will be asking her about what she wants Santa to bring for Christmas… will she be able to tell an adult that it is all a lie? Or, is she to lie to the adult and act as though she does believe? Either one will be a hard thing for her to do. 

She is 3.  G is 2. Is it really so bad for them to have a magical time? Were you and their daddy harmed in some way from the Santa stories you were told? Was it so traumatic to find out when you were older that there wasn’t a Santa? I am just wondering how you guys have come to this decision.

I know……I am not their parent. And I am not saying that you need to raise them by my standards.

But I don’t agree.

And I will never tell you that.



  1. I agree — I remember long ago when the magic stopped and Santa didn’t come anymore and Christmas wasn’t fun anymore. I am sad for your grands.

    I still would like believe in Santa but several years of no presents/company have cured that. Sooooooo I buy myself a gift and do what I can to make others’ Christmas happier than mine.

    • Having the magic go away would be worse than never having it. I am sorry that you don’t receive gifts any more. But at least by buying one for yourself, there will be no need to return it!

  2. There is a middle ground here – as a Skeptic, I value highly the real world, reality, truth. When I was approached by Disney about doing another version of The Fairy Scientist, I told them I would not participate with any enterprise that tried to promote that fairies were “real”.

    On the other hand, scientists are still totally enthralled with fiction and fantasy as a gateway to creativity and imagination – elements totally compatible with science and reason. This is why professor Stephen Hawking has appeared in versions of Star Trek and why so many of the science fiction writer, such as Asimov, Bradbury and Clark have been avid scientists.

    There is charm and creativity and imagination in embracing Santa; which is different from promoting fantasy as reality. We need both in our lives as human beings.

    • The thought of Santa and the magic of it is what I would hope for for my grandchildren. You hit it right on the head. Thanks.

  3. I did Santa and the tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny with my kids when they were little. My older son claims that he will tell his kids the truth about Santa from the beginning. On the other hand, he thoroughly enjoys opening his stocking and gifts Christmas morning. But does it really matter if a kid believes or doesn’t? It’s about tradition and love and family – whether or not the family insists on a “real” Santa probably doesn’t make that big a difference. Even though I loved the pretense of it, I think it’s a legitimate choice to forgo all make-believe characters, including religious ones. That doesn’t mean the holiday can’t feel magical to them.

    • You’re right, and I am not necessarily saying that they need to promote Santa as “real”. I would love them to think of it as a magical thing….maybe he is…..maybe not……who knows? That is the magic. You are right that it is a choice. I hope it still is a magical time.

  4. Even as my older son claims he doesn’t believe in Santa anymore, we’re keeping it up anyway. A few years ago, we did a ‘Polar Express’ train ride on the Grand Canyon Railrood. It was even snowing that night (doesn’t snow in Phoenix) so it was even more magical. When Santa came on board and handed out the bells to each child, the looks on ther faces were….magical. Worth every penny we paid for the tickets.

    We love to watch the Polar Express movie every Christmas season too. I know they won’t believe forever, and other kids at school may tell them it’s a sham, but I’m going to go with it as long as I can 🙂

    • That sounds like a wonderful day. Do you think that they will feel bad in finding out that it was make believe?

  5. Oh, that’s just sad. I don’t think a little make believe ever hurt anyone. We live in Spain, so our kids believed in the Three Wise Men, and I think they got a lot of enjoyment out of it. And even though they are older now and know the truth, they still like to play the game and pretend that it’s the Three Wise Men who bring them their presents. But they aren’t your kids, so there’s not much you can do…pity.

    • It is interesting to know the traditions of other cultures. But you are exactly right. I can’t butt in. It is their decision as parents. Thanks for visiting!

      • With the joy of being a grandparent comes the pain. Even if our gkids are being raised well, we cannot help wanting them to experience what we gave their parents.
        A co-worker of mine got indignant when I asked about his kids being excited for Santa to come. He doesn’t approve of them being taught to believe in something that is not real. This man is an avid Christian and I had to mentally clap a hand over my mouth. Same action when he told me about their cute Halloween costumes. So wanted to point out to him the origins of that holiday.

      • You are right. The challenges of parenting do not end when your children become parents. The challenges just change.

  6. My whole family, including the wife and I, still get presents from “Santa”. I don’t know if your DIL belongs to a particular religion or not but my Brother and his wife are members of a strict religion where EVERYTHING Christmas is off-limits. He does not have any children but I feel so sad for the children of that religion, growing up observing NONE of the traditions of Christmas. You are so right on this post, in today’s world, children need a little magic and make-believe in their lives. It’s pretty good for us old folks as well. 🙂

    • Yes, I could use some magic right about now.

      • Magic can be a state of mind. Let go of the things you cannot change and embrace those that give you peace and magic.

      • I’m trying to change my state of mind.

  7. I read your blog, and I believe in magic.

  8. Chlost,
    I read your blog and I’m sorry about the lack of Santa in your grandchildren’s lives. You can’t undermine how parents want to raise their children but as their grandmother, you have the wonderful gift of making Christmas special and magical for them, even if it doesn’t have Santa.
    I believed as a kid and was disappointed when I found out–yes something was different after that but our trip to my grandparents was always special and is what I miss the most as an adult. I remember music, food, being read to, singing, listening to their Christmas stories, playing card games, going out in the snow. There’s nothing wrong with giving kids something fun and happy to hold on to for the rest of their lives and I think you’ll be able to do that for them.

    • This is my goal…..I want to have my granddaughters (and any future grandsons as well!) remember me with love. I loved my grandparents. I don’t know that they tried for that-it was a different time. But I had such fun at their house. My children remember their grandparents’ home very fondly as well. I think it is an important bond. I want to make it strong with love and fun. Thank you for reading my blog-I also read yours!

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