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Author Topic: I believe in Santa  (Read 11317 times)
Melamphoros
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« Reply #15: December 16, 2010, 07:42:57 pm »

Yes, to all of this.  A big chunk of Santa Claus beliefs give him a helper who punishes (especially if Santa is figured as Saint Nicholas), or have Santa himself do so.  It's only really in the modern US that Santa DOESN'T punish -- that's not going to see more toys, people!

I have decided that on the unlikely chance I have kids, I'm going to teach them about the Krampus.  And if they're not good, he will beat you with sticks or rusty chains or even drag them to Hell.  Or I could probably go with the less psychologically scaring route and say "Sure Santa brings the gifts, but I can always take them away."

As for the Santa thing, I knew he wasn't real when I was old enough to recognize my mother's handwriting on the gift labels.
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« Reply #16: December 16, 2010, 08:29:37 pm »

And sometimes it just depends on the kid, I think.  When my mom told me, I felt like I'd been let in on a secret, almost like I'd been initiated into an adult Mystery (not that I could have expressed it that way at the time).  It *was* sort of club-ish, I guess, but it never really occurred to me to think of it in terms of "they've been lying to me".  I could guess at any number of reasons why I reacted that way, but... ultimately I think it might just be a case of "different kids react in different ways".
.

I had a similar reaction and I did the same thing with my older daughter.  Once I was in on the secret, I got to be santa's helper and load their stockings.  My daughter does the same. 

The tooth fairy was out of the bag when the fairy forgot to put the money in the shot glass where we put the teeth (long story), so we told the kid to go back upstairs, count to 100 and come back down, by which time the tooth fairy had got her act together and found the money.
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« Reply #17: December 16, 2010, 09:16:46 pm »

No, I really do! I think Santa May be the world's leading religion actually.

He's sacred in nearly every culture across the world.

No one hates Santa, mention him and everyone smiles.

We are taught as children to believe in him, and our parents are always sad the year we lose our faith in him.

Santa brings joy and presents to good little girls and boys.

But he doesn't "punish" people for being naughty, he just doesn't reward you for bad behavior.

You grow in the faith of Santa, from believer's as small children, to protector's of other small children's innocence when we are teen-agers, to acolytes of Santa who spread  joy and cheer in his name each year on his sacred day.

His sacred symbols are snowflakes and bells, his sacred animal, the reindeer, his sacred suit is more recognizable than the papal robes.

But even more importantly..
Deep down, we believe, not because we will go to hell, or die alone if we do not, but out of pure faith, the desire to believe in something awesome and magical and good. And if enough people believe... that gives a deity power. (otherwise what is magic anyway)

So I believe in Santa.. do you?




No.  I learnt early on, as many do, that Santa isn't real.  I see no virtue in attributing gifts to a work of fiction, rather than the parents who generally provide the gifts.


On the other hand, perhaps it is a good experience for children to learn that adults will lie to them.  For their own good, of course.
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« Reply #18: December 16, 2010, 09:25:05 pm »

No.  I learnt early on, as many do, that Santa isn't real.  I see no virtue in attributing gifts to a work of fiction, rather than the parents who generally provide the gifts.


On the other hand, perhaps it is a good experience for children to learn that adults will lie to them.  For their own good, of course.

Reminds me of "The GIver", when you get out of school and go into the 'apprenticeship' you get a new list of rules, including, 'you may lie'.

We've seen Santa as fun, fun to visit and have pictures with, if the child isn't afraid.  BUt I'm afraid in our house, since I have the memory of peahen at times, the cat escapes fairly early from the bag.  It's fun and folklore and that's all it is.
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« Reply #19: December 16, 2010, 09:30:18 pm »

Reminds me of "The GIver", when you get out of school and go into the 'apprenticeship' you get a new list of rules, including, 'you may lie'.

Hmm. I thought only the Receiver of Memory got that instruction, although it's been far too long since I've read this classic. Anyway, total derail, kudos to you for mentioning the book Cheesy
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« Reply #20: December 16, 2010, 09:49:58 pm »

Hmm. I thought only the Receiver of Memory got that instruction, although it's been far too long since I've read this classic. Anyway, total derail, kudos to you for mentioning the book Cheesy

The parents were allowed to lie, nobody actually talks about what releasing is, even though they might be asked about it.  Although we really don't know, since the only graduate rule list we see is the one the giver in training gets.
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« Reply #21: December 17, 2010, 02:14:43 am »

I have decided that on the unlikely chance I have kids, I'm going to teach them about the Krampus.  And if they're not good, he will beat you with sticks or rusty chains or even drag them to Hell.

I was SO going to say this!!! I got in big trouble when I tried to regale my niece and nephews with tales of the Krampus. My sister said I was the bad aunt. *tries to look guilty*
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« Reply #22: December 17, 2010, 03:27:32 am »

I think a lot of it is how it's done, too.  I knew from a young age that "Santa" was really Mom, and ... I never felt disillusioned.  Hell, I still believe in Santa as a concept. Cheesy

Right now my son has learned that Santa hands out assignments to other people, too.  I'm working for Santa to make someone else happy and that's the COOLEST THING EVER.

But if Santa's used as a club .. or otherwise done in a way that it's a massive lie .. yeah, that can be ugly.

I have a very strong feeling that Elizabeth knows that Santa isn't real, but she loves playing along. Like Swuggy, she says that mummy works for Santa and gets money from him to buy her something for being a good girl, and I am perfectly happy with this. She also realises that the gifts that she gets are special, not because of how much they cost, but because someone loves her enough to think of something that she will like and to get it for her. She knows that things are expensive and lots of people don't have a lot of money, and she is always happy and very grateful no matter what she gets. But I'm trying to let her be a little girl for as long as she is one-she will grow up to be as cynical and jaded as the rest of us soon enough..... Wink
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« Reply #23: December 21, 2010, 02:17:11 am »

Reminds me of "The GIver", when you get out of school and go into the 'apprenticeship' you get a new list of rules, including, 'you may lie'.

We've seen Santa as fun, fun to visit and have pictures with, if the child isn't afraid.  BUt I'm afraid in our house, since I have the memory of peahen at times, the cat escapes fairly early from the bag.  It's fun and folklore and that's all it is.

I loved Santa.  Every year my grandpa would dress up as him and run around the house, only so that I caught a glimpse.  I figured out he was not real the year my grandpa died, and then Santa never came.  When I realized he was not real I did not get mad, I just sort of sighed and was like, "so I guess this means that the tooth fairy is not real either".
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« Reply #24: December 21, 2010, 03:23:10 am »

I have decided that on the unlikely chance I have kids, I'm going to teach them about the Krampus.  And if they're not good, he will beat you with sticks or rusty chains or even drag them to Hell.
You meanie,  Wink one of my university teachers came from Austria and told us his little brother wet himself because of the Krampus...
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« Reply #25: December 21, 2010, 03:26:41 am »

You're aware that you just skipped over every non-Western culture, right? There are a ton of cultures that don't celebrate Christmas, nevermind believe in Santa Claus. I'm in a Western country - the Netherlands - and Santa Claus has only started to become a bit of a thing here over the last decade or so. Traditionally, Sinterklaas - St. Nicholas - is a far more important figure here.
That's similarly to how it's in Germany. The traditional figures are the 'Nikolaus', the 'Christkind' and 'Knecht Ruprecht', Santa Claus just became popular the last decade or so.

I never really believed that the 'Christkind' brought the presents, I believed in it more in a spirit of Christmas kind of way.
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« Reply #26: December 21, 2010, 04:33:45 pm »

And sometimes it just depends on the kid, I think. 

I remember when I found out Santa was my parents. I couldn't sleep, because it was Christmas Eve and I was excited, and then I heard a noise out in the living room. I knew it was Santa, but I was too scared to go out and check by myself. So I went to wake up mom.

Mom wasn't in bed. And it clicked.

I wasn't terribly upset.


I also remember when I found out about the Tooth Fairy...in our house, the Tooth Fairy brought VHS tapes instead of money. This is how my Disney collection was built up. I remember looking in the pantry for something one day and seeing on the top shelf two VHS tapes. When I asked my dad about them he made up some BS answer that I knew wasn't real. The next time I put my teeth under the pillow, I woke up as my dad was creeping out of the room. And I said "Hey, dad, I know it's you." And he used some high pitched voice and said "No, it's me, the Tooth Fairy!" And I said "Then where are your wings?" And he flapped his arms and went "Right here! Bzzz bzzz bzzzz!" and then chuckled, said good night, and left the room.

Wasn't really upset about that one either. I mean, heck, he'd brought me Aladdin.


I don't know, it's weird. I wasn't terribly upset when I found out about Santa and the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny (we used to bake a carrot cake for him every year), but when my dad made up OTHER stories, I'd get upset, either from the content or finding out they weren't real. And some stories I've never stopped believing in: the Sasquatch, the Ogopogo, Sinterklaas (mom and I are Dutch and I grew up celebrating that as well as Christmas), Nessie, Atlantis. Even if it's just as a story. It's still real to me. (This is the same category as my feelings for characters from books, etc: they're real, in their own universe, that we can't interact with except to view it. Or they're real, they just haven't been born yet, in the case of future-set fiction.)

It's like I knew, deep down, that Santa and the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy were all just cultural myths that played a part of childhood. I don't think I could have articulated it at that age, but, yeah.



As for my own kids...well, for them, Santa really will exist. My boyfriend looks just like him. Cheesy
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« Reply #27: December 21, 2010, 04:35:23 pm »

No, I really do! I think Santa May be the world's leading religion actually.

He's sacred in nearly every culture across the world.

No one hates Santa, mention him and everyone smiles.

We are taught as children to believe in him, and our parents are always sad the year we lose our faith in him.

Santa brings joy and presents to good little girls and boys.

But he doesn't "punish" people for being naughty, he just doesn't reward you for bad behavior.

You grow in the faith of Santa, from believer's as small children, to protector's of other small children's innocence when we are teen-agers, to acolytes of Santa who spread  joy and cheer in his name each year on his sacred day.

His sacred symbols are snowflakes and bells, his sacred animal, the reindeer, his sacred suit is more recognizable than the papal robes.

But even more importantly..
Deep down, we believe, not because we will go to hell, or die alone if we do not, but out of pure faith, the desire to believe in something awesome and magical and good. And if enough people believe... that gives a deity power. (otherwise what is magic anyway)

So I believe in Santa.. do you?




Isn't this an email that gets circulated every year? It looks very familiar.
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« Reply #28: December 27, 2010, 10:09:55 pm »

I remember when I found out Santa was my parents. I couldn't sleep, because it was Christmas Eve and I was excited, and then I heard a noise out in the living room. I knew it was Santa, but I was too scared to go out and check by myself. So I went to wake up mom.

Mom wasn't in bed. And it clicked.

I wasn't terribly upset.


I also remember when I found out about the Tooth Fairy...in our house, the Tooth Fairy brought VHS tapes instead of money. This is how my Disney collection was built up. I remember looking in the pantry for something one day and seeing on the top shelf two VHS tapes. When I asked my dad about them he made up some BS answer that I knew wasn't real. The next time I put my teeth under the pillow, I woke up as my dad was creeping out of the room. And I said "Hey, dad, I know it's you." And he used some high pitched voice and said "No, it's me, the Tooth Fairy!" And I said "Then where are your wings?" And he flapped his arms and went "Right here! Bzzz bzzz bzzzz!" and then chuckled, said good night, and left the room.

Wasn't really upset about that one either. I mean, heck, he'd brought me Aladdin.


I don't know, it's weird. I wasn't terribly upset when I found out about Santa and the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny (we used to bake a carrot cake for him every year), but when my dad made up OTHER stories, I'd get upset, either from the content or finding out they weren't real. And some stories I've never stopped believing in: the Sasquatch, the Ogopogo, Sinterklaas (mom and I are Dutch and I grew up celebrating that as well as Christmas), Nessie, Atlantis. Even if it's just as a story. It's still real to me. (This is the same category as my feelings for characters from books, etc: they're real, in their own universe, that we can't interact with except to view it. Or they're real, they just haven't been born yet, in the case of future-set fiction.)

It's like I knew, deep down, that Santa and the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy were all just cultural myths that played a part of childhood. I don't think I could have articulated it at that age, but, yeah.



As for my own kids...well, for them, Santa really will exist. My boyfriend looks just like him. Cheesy

I was never a Santa believer. Well, not the kind of belief my parents wanted. I thought he was a scary fat red clown that lived in Woolworth's, who smelled like ear wax. I knew that it would please my parents to get a holiday photo op with the scary clown so I sat in his lap. Yeah, I did my time.

However, I am 45 years old and I DO believe in the Tooth Fairy. She is real. It happened and I will be in awe of her till they put the toe tag on me.
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« Reply #29: December 29, 2010, 04:04:27 pm »


Wasn't really upset about that one either. I mean, heck, he'd brought me Aladdin.

DOOD, I never heard of the Tooth Fairy bringing presents... just pocket change! Smiley
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