Did you and do your kids believe in Santa?

Some of the discussion in this thread got me wondering.

How old were you when you stopped believing in Santa? If you have kids, do they believe?

My parents wouldn’t allow us to believe in Santa, so no. Actually, it was that when my older brother was six or so, he started to compare Santa to Jesus, and they couldn’t have that. They told him and my oldest sister to not tell us younger kids but you know how well that goes, so I learned the truth before I was old enough to have memories.

My kids are 7 and 5. The younger, our son, really believes in it. It’s Christmas morning here, and he was so excited. He came into my room shouting, “Santa came! Santa came!” The proof was that the juice and cookies they had left out for him were eaten and there was a thank you note.

My daughter was a little cooler. She is a little more aware of things so she may not really believe.

Christmas for me growing up in an abusive household were always a really mixed affair. Some parts good, some bad. I could never just relax and enjoy it, so I’m really happy now that our kids can.

Yah I totally believed. My parents went all out with sleigh bells outside the window and everything. I stopped believing when I was ten I think. My daughter is seven and she still believes. My brother’s kids don’t believe though. Their mother is an ex-Jehovah’s witness so we’re lucky she’s even doing Christmas. Though she said she didn’t want to lie to her children which I thought was a bit dramatic but whatever lol

Three or four maybe. And my belief wasn’t so much in the magical aspect as some guy who came with gifts every year. It was like this strange relative you rarely saw to my way of thinking. By the time I understood the “magic” I already pretty much knew it was just make-believe.

My parents told us the truth right from the get-go. My sibs and I were never lied to, never misled, never deceived.

I feel a bit sorry for a dear friend of mine (now deceased) who learned the truth from reading a Superman comic book, while in a children’s receiving home when his parents were declared unfit to care for him.

Imagine: it’s Christmas, and guys in uniform take you away from your screaming mother and shouting father, and put you in a place that has all the cheer and warmth of a prison. There is (among other choices) a comic book to read. And in the comic book, someone accuses Superman of being fictional, just like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

That’s how he received the news. Nasty.

Not to hijack the thread but for the people like Trinopus and my sister in law who consider the Santa tradition lying and deceiving, did you believe on him? It seems to me the people who consider it like some great travesty to ‘lie’ to your kids about Santa never believed in him growing up. I mean, it wasn’t devastating to find out the truth and most kids figure it out themselves. I think the joy and wonder you get from believing in him as a kid greatly outweighs any consequence of a parent leading a kid into believing something untrue.

I was raised Jewish and my husband was raised Muslim, so we never believed in Santa. We’re both atheists now, but if we had kids they’d definitely believe in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, etc. Kids need to use their imagination and sense of wonder.

We were one of the few Jewish families in a mostly-Christian neighborhood. My parents didn’t want us to feel left out, so we celebrated both Hanukkah and Christmas, receiving presents for both holidays. One year my father dressed as Santa. Of course we knew who he really was, so we laughed at him. He got mad (which was his wont), and spent the rest of the day storming around, cursing and slamming doors. I guess we weren’t grateful and appreciative.

I apologize for sounding harsh… But, yes, I hold it to be a lie, and a bad one. Kids can enjoy the myth as a myth, without being tricked into thinking it’s true. Kids can enjoy the legend of Santa, just as they can enjoy the legend of King Arthur or even the Tooth Fairy. Kids know how to “make pretend.” That should be encouraged.

So, yes, sure, leave out the cookies and milk for Santa. But don’t tell them that Santa will actually come and eat them; make it understood that it’s just a game.

Not only did I believe in Santa, but I was absolutely, 100% certain I heard him on the roof when I was 6. As you get older, you gradually figure it out. No trauma ensued.

Same here. When I was five, I got a Barbie house, and I remember hearing my parents putting it together downstairs. The next morning when I saw it I was like, “Mommy, Daddy, I heard Santa putting it together last night!”

When I found out the truth about Santa I cried for maybe two or three minutes, then asked what we were having for dinner. (I wasn’t upset about being “lied to”, but more because, “wait, Santa isn’t real? That sucks!”). I forgot about it later that evening. My mother made me promise not to tell my sister. No big deal.

Yeesh people, get over it.

What’s the point of having kids if you can’t screw around with their minds and make up things for them to believe in? A big part of growing up is figuring out that adults are full of shit.

As an atheist, I think the process of figuring out the truth about Santa provides an invaluable lesson in critical thinking and in concentrating on the evidence rather than believing what everyone else assures you is true. I certainly wasn’t upset or injured by learning the truth about Santa, but I believe it planted a seed of scepticism in me, and that’s a good thing.

At the same time, I have wonderful memories of those few years when I wholeheartedly believed in magic, and I want my children to experience that too. I go even further, with the whole Elf on the Shelf thing. Their delight delights me, and makes for more fun memories.

I was raised to believe.

Unfortunately for my (more or less) Christian parents, once I figured out Santa, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny (that one never was really believed, anyway), the dominoes started falling, and God and Jesus fell along with the rest.

For those who really, really want their kids to believe in deities, why clutter the field with figures you know are going to be discovered false?

(no kids of my own - and all are better off this way)

I was raised to believe and my mother and I played that game until I was 25, and it only stopped then because she died. Every year Santa filled my stocking and brought a gift. It was just a silly thing we did, but when my 10 year old (11 day after tomorrow!) told me a few days ago that she knew I was Santa I have felt really sad. Those days are over now.

Of course I believed in Santa. Our girls did too and at 11 and 10 still claim too but of course. Ow they’re just playing along.

I find the “it’s a terrible lie” line of thinking so bizarrely at odds with actual facts it’s almost hard for me to believe THOSE people exist.

I never remember believing in Santa Claus. The Easter Bunny was another guy there ain’t no of.

I also didn’t believe in Columbus.

I still ain’t made up my mind about Cleveland.

On this MB? That is something I find it very easy to believe (hah!). But then again, you said “almost”, so maybe you’re thinking along the same lines…

Related polls.

6 here, when I idly was playing with a globe and noted that there is no land at the North Pole. Any castle built there will either sink through the ice, or get slowly torn apart by it. Ran downstairs and announced this to my shocked parents.

My parents never said a word to us about Santa (or about religion for that matter) and my wife and I never said a word about him to our kids. So by the time we knew about Santa, it seemed obviously some fiction.

One day, when my daughter was six, she handed my wife an irate message that was ostensibly addressed to the tooth fairy. “Oh Tooth Fairy, you forgot.” Did she actually believe in him? I rather doubt it.

We never lied to the kids.

I’m old enough to remember when Santa’s workshop was in Lappland.