No Virginia, There’s No…You Know

For more on this, see my latest BlogHer post.

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7 responses to “No Virginia, There’s No…You Know

  1. Yes! We are going the same thing over here and its making some other parents I know upset. But I really don’t feel teaching my little girl that a big, old, white man is going to bring her gifts.

  2. We just dealt with this with my four year old. She’s okay with Santa being pretend but her teacher asked me to ask her to only discuss this with adults. I complied but it made me uneasy. Anyway, I’m glad to know some other parents see it the way I do.

  3. Would teachers/other parents insist Jewish children pretend to be Christians so as not to disturb the beliefs of the other children? It’s ridiculous. And seeing as Santa is tied quite directly to Christianity and a Christian holiday, it’s actually not such a far cry from that scenario.

  4. i agree on many points and think the same things about gods. I appreciate children being raised as critical thinkers!

  5. N believes in Santa. Chris and I grew up with different traditions — her parents felt that the Santa thing was lying, and didn’t do it. I believed in Santa, and even knowing the department-store ones were fakes didn’t bother me. For me, it was an easy transition from literal belief in Santa to a more symbolic belief… I think believing in Santa actually helped me believe in other things I can’t see. A friend of ours, in her capacity as a child development professional, insists that Santa is positive, especially for ex-foster kids who’ve had so many losses and can benefit from symbols of beneficent forces in the universe… she has almost won Chris over, but not quite.

  6. So no tooth fairy, or Easter Bunny, either? We perpetuate all those “lies” in our home, but here, but we see it as believing in magic – or, as they get older, play acting. When my daughter (she’s 12 now) was about 8, she said, Santa is really your parents, right? I said, Well, your parents help Santa, but I still believe in Santa, and she said, okay, I will, too! It was a coming of age milestone that we shared, and she loved being privy to it. She still loves to play along with her little brother who believes. I think it adds to the holiday for us, just like the Easter Bunny, etc. Childhood is full of magical things, faeries, aliens, talking animals, Santa, imaginary friends, those are the things we lose as we become cynical and “wise” adults. I certainly don’t criticize you for not playing along, but I can’t imagine childhood without believing in imaginary and magical beings.

  7. We are at the end of the Santa myth here, and there were a few hiccups at the end that made me (briefly) regret going down that path in the first place. Two kids figured it out on their own and were fine, one child was heartbroken but recovered. I didn’t experience Santa as a big old lie and that led me to feel that Santa was a safe choice for my kids. I certainly understand the counter-argument and there were times last spring when I wished we’d taken that path.
    In my experience, the Jewish and atheist kids at our school don’t accompany their “I don’t believe that” statements with “it’s a big old lie” follow-ups. So the analogy between that kind of multiculturalism and the Santa myth feels strained, to me.

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