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  #41  
Old 25 December 2017, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by dfresh View Post
Esprise Me, my wife never wanted to teach the kids about Santa, due to the idea of lying to the kids. (I didn't much care either way.) However, she did tell them about fairies, and magic, and decided that the kids believing in magic and wonder and a spirit who loved enough to spread joy everywhere was a very good thing, so the kids got to hear about Santa. Childhood can be a wonderful time if you make it so, and so we try to encourage that as long as possible. They will figure out the truth soon enough.
This is how my husband and I have always felt about Santa as well. For me the whole "my parents lied to me"attitude about finding out about Santa has always puzzled me. Did these people have no magic or fairy tales in their life other than Santa? Did their parents also lie when they read them Peter Rabbit? After all bunnies don't really wear clothes or drink camomile tea!
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  #42  
Old 25 December 2017, 09:39 PM
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Most parents don't try to convince their kids that Peter Rabbit was a true story.
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  #43  
Old 26 December 2017, 01:49 AM
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Most parents don't try to convince their kids that Peter Rabbit was a true story.
No but do they spend any time worrying that children will be scarred for life because for a few brief years they lived in a world where bears and rabbits talked and where witches and goblins and fairies held sway? Likely some do but most don't. Same with Santa. It's a magical story that makes a lot of kids, and their parents, happy. If it's not part of your family life that's fine but it's no worse, IMO than any other of the many magical, and untrue, stories we share with our children when they are small.
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  #44  
Old 26 December 2017, 05:47 AM
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In just two short posts you've moved from "my parents lied to me" to the strawman "scarred for life." Who said or implied anything about the latter? I'm the one who raised the question as to whether anyone felt "foolish, betrayed, or other negative emotions besides disappointed" upon learning the truth (each a far cry from "scarred"), and I haven't even gotten any takers. I also said that I "used to feel strongly that instilling the Santa story in young children was wrong, that it was a breach of trust and setting them up to believe in all kinds of pernicious nonsense," but acknowledged that my life experience since then had not supported that notion and even presented a possible counterargument.

You also haven't acknowledged crockoduck_hunter's point even though you quoted his post. I wonder how you would actually feel if a parent went to the lengths most parents go to in playing Santa in order to convince his children that witches and goblins were real?
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  #45  
Old 26 December 2017, 11:31 AM
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Somebody (who I know is / was a poster here but I can't remember their screen name any more so I don't know if they're posting in this thread!) made a point on Facebook about Santa, saying that - if you present the main presents as being from Santa - then a poorer child might wonder why his better-off friend got loads of expensive things from Santa while he got only a few cheap things. It would make it look like Santa was playing favourites.

That's not an aspect of it I'd even considered before, but it seems plausible, and another good reason to be careful with the idea!

The message went on to say that therefore it's best to label the main presents with who they're actually from, and only have some small presents from Santa - which is exactly what my parents did anyway. So I wouldn't have been on either end of that problem even if my parents had convinced me that Father Christmas was real.
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  #46  
Old 26 December 2017, 01:23 PM
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That's what we always did. Santa brought one present and filled the stockings everything else was from Mom and Dad.

And Eprise Me it's not a strawman is it when it's a sentiment you hear expressed time and time again?
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  #47  
Old 26 December 2017, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
Somebody (who I know is / was a poster here but I can't remember their screen name any more so I don't know if they're posting in this thread!) made a point on Facebook about Santa, saying that - if you present the main presents as being from Santa - then a poorer child might wonder why his better-off friend got loads of expensive things from Santa while he got only a few cheap things. It would make it look like Santa was playing favourites.

That's not an aspect of it I'd even considered before, but it seems plausible, and another good reason to be careful with the idea!

The message went on to say that therefore it's best to label the main presents with who they're actually from, and only have some small presents from Santa - which is exactly what my parents did anyway. So I wouldn't have been on either end of that problem even if my parents had convinced me that Father Christmas was real.
Trevor Noah mentioned something similar in his book Born a Crime. When he grew up in South Africa under Apartheid, only white people believed in Santa. A poor black father was not going to let some fat white guy take credit for the presents he'd worked hard to buy for his kids.
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  #48  
Old 26 December 2017, 04:59 PM
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And Eprise Me it's not a strawman is it when it's a sentiment you hear expressed time and time again?
Have you heard it time and time again? Anyplace you can link to? I'm highly skeptical because I looked for years for others who had any negative feelings whatsoever about the Santa ruse and came up nearly empty-handed, to my surprise. If you've heard multiple people claiming to have been scarred for life, I wonder if your sarcasm meter might be in need of recalibration.
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  #49  
Old 26 December 2017, 05:23 PM
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IIRC, there have been threads on these boards where multiple people claimed that it was damaging or had damaged them personally. Am I mis-remembering?
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  #50  
Old 26 December 2017, 05:46 PM
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I do think you are misremembering.

The first big arguments I ever had on this board were about this issue. Even though I said probably 50 times - OK an exaggeration but literally at least a dozen - that I was not at all suggesting that the tradition was harmful (but that I thought it was fine and not bad for an adult or child to deny the reality of Santa to a child who believes), and that I gladly did the tradition in my own house - I was repeatedly accused of saying that it was harmful and I wasn't the only one. I don't think I've ever heard anyone here say it was harmful even though several questioned its wisdom or its ethics yet we were accused of that repeatedly.

So I think if you asked some of the people in those very threads five seconds later they would have "misremembered" it that way. (FTR, I love childhood myths. I love the Santa myth. I just don't mind people denying them or not participating in them. I think that's both part of the fun and their right as well.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Esprise Me View Post
I wonder how you would actually feel if a parent went to the lengths most parents go to in playing Santa in order to convince his children that witches and goblins were real?
Not to answer for anyone but jumping off of this point: That kind of thing is not that uncommon in traditions. I don't know how I feel about it. There are parents here who chase away oni with beans every Feb 3. Not too many who go all the way with a costume or the fear factor but I don't think all that many people would think it cruel because they show it on TV sometimes. It makes me uncomfortable when the kids cry (slightly redeemed when the kids chase them out) but I can't say we've been that much better with handling various tooth fairies and spirits of things, etc.

Even though my dad denied to us from the start that Santa was the literal gift giver on Christmas, he did send me - and all his children - St Nick greetings on Dec 6 every year, even after I had an adult child of my own, often with the Santa motif, not 12th century iconography. Seems almost as real as it gets.

I'm OK saying "I don't know" to kids about some things - actually, many things. I might tell them there are no goblins and ghosts to ease their mind when they're afraid, or as a philosophical argument, though. I might tell them angels are watching them to comfort them or there are no angels as an argument as well. We usually wouldn't tell our kids "such-and-such isn't real" because we don't necessarily know.

Last edited by ganzfeld; 26 December 2017 at 05:57 PM.
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  #51  
Old 26 December 2017, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
IIRC, there have been threads on these boards where multiple people claimed that it was damaging or had damaged them personally. Am I mis-remembering?
Those are the threads I was remembering with regard to this board. But of course the sentiments aren't exclusive to snopes. Somehow when people in their 30s and upwards are using words like lying, liars, betrayal and so on to discuss something that happened in their childhood I am feeling somewhat comfortable in asserting that they are claiming to have been negatively affected by that experience.
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  #52  
Old 27 December 2017, 12:39 AM
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One of the assumptions that I recall from Christmas 2005 on the ULMB (though obviously I could have false memories as well) was that saying something was a betrayal or lying meant that they necessarily felt betrayed or that anyone felt betrayed for that matter. Yet not all betrayals or lies are considered betrayals or lies to the people who experience them. (Here perhaps there is a difference of opinion as well. Some people may feel that if no one ever feels betrayed then it canít possibly be a betrayal. But the other opinion is valid.)

Another issue is that there are, IMO, people who did feel betrayed at the time but nevertheless admitted that they didnít think it was harmful or bad; they (for example) just didnít personally think it should be done. As I recall, this also got lumped in with the Santa haters.

There may have been one or two people who said it was bad as well. We do have members who say ďa lie is a lie and lies are harmfulĒ. (Holiday greetings to Joe!) Not a very controversial statement but when it comes to Santa, people seem to get extremely defensive to the point that take that as an exclusive attack on Santa.

Maybe these are my memoryís straw men but my frustration during the argument was real. Iím confident that accusation of harm was assumed even when it wasnít being suggested by that particular person.

Last edited by ganzfeld; 27 December 2017 at 12:44 AM.
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  #53  
Old 27 December 2017, 12:48 AM
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Sue, I'm less inclined to trust the accuracy of your recollection if you really don't see the difference between "lied to" and "scarred." (Or if you think a 30-year-old who recalls feeling betrayed as a child is the same thing as a 30-year-old characterizing an ordinary childhood experience as a betrayal.) If anyone can find these threads, I'd be interested to see them.

ETA: largely spanked by ganz. I guess that post took me a while to compose.
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  #54  
Old 27 December 2017, 07:37 PM
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I have this link saved from a decade ago before the board changed if you want to go searching.
http://msgboard.snopes.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi
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  #55  
Old 28 December 2017, 04:15 AM
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I stayed up all night for the Christmas when I was six. I camped out on the living room couch.

My parents finally got fed up and carried me to my room at about 7 am and "Santa" came.

I wasn't scarred. I came to believing Santa wasn't plausible on my own, but I still really enjoyed the local news reports about a sleigh on the radar, etc. I still enjoy them.

My cousin still believed in Santa when he was 8 and his peers at school tortured him about it. His mom eventually told him about the spirit of Santa, and holiday wishes, but that no, a fat guy did not literally launch himself down the chimney. He wasn't scarred, either.
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  #56  
Old 28 December 2017, 09:56 AM
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I don't understand your point of saying you and your cousin weren't scarred, Plurabelle. I'm certain no one has suggested it's a scarring experience in general. (I don't think anyone has claimed they personally were scarred either but that's one of the questions that's been raised.)
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  #57  
Old 28 December 2017, 02:58 PM
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This thread itself is a pretty good illustration of how people might have acquired false memories of others claiming to have been traumatized.
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  #58  
Old 28 December 2017, 03:15 PM
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I "remember" that thread so long ago. I recall that some posters were angry and bitter about being lied to and the Santa myth. Perhaps I have false memories of it, and I can't pin point who said what or when. I know it was a long torturous thread, and I don't think anyone came away the winner or loser. It is simply a difference in pov and life experience. Perhaps "scarred" is a bit of hyperbole, but my recollection right or wrong indicated resentment and bitterness. YMMV of course.

I don't remember when I knew Santa wasn't real (in a way I'll always believe in him). I remember Christmases when I believed and remember when I didn't, but I don't remember some "ah ha!" moment. I remember my dad opening the chimney door in the basement so Santa could get in, and telling me Santa magic let him fit. I remember laying awake listening for sleigh bells and my 7 years old sister telling me he wouldn't come until I was asleep. I remember those things very fondly.

My kids, because DH and I were very dedicated and through, were on board until middle school. They just never told their friends, so they weren't embarrassed or teased. They figured they had the right of it and their friends were just misinformed. I've asked and my kids and they all say they enjoyed it to the end and still do. I still won't say there is no Santa.
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  #59  
Old 28 December 2017, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
This thread. You had to have known someone was going to do that.
I'm With GenYus. You mean he's NOT real?

For me, I remember it being plainly obvious when I was exploring around the house (I hunted a lot when I was a kid) and I found my presents (the bigger ones at least) under my parent's bed. I still remember it being a Lego Castle (I loved Lego too) and Mario Paint for the SNES. I kinda already knew it wasn't a thing by then but finding presents spoiled the whole thing and I had to pretend until my parents felt I was old enough to start getting presents for them and my brother.
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  #60  
Old 28 December 2017, 05:19 PM
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Someone brought up scarred, so I mentioned that I was not. That's all.

The Santa myth is fun, and one I'm happy to contribute to. My niece and nephews all still believe in Santa (oldest is 7) and we do everything we can to perpetuate it -- footprints outside, half eaten cookies and milk - this year I even printed a plausible reindeer hoofprint.
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