Saturday, December 13, 2008

Is There? Is There Not?

No Virginia, there’s not a Santa Claus.

At least that’s true in a classroom in Britain.

Parents have flooded a British primary school with complaints after a teacher told a room of tearful seven-year-olds that “it’s your parents who leave out presents on Christmas Day,” The Daily Mail reported.

Outraged parents were sent a letter saying the substitute teacher at Blackshaw Lane Primary School in Royton, Greater Manchester, had been disciplined.

The class of 25 allegedly became rowdy talking about Santa Claus and the teacher blurted out that he did not exist in an effort to calm them down, The Mail reported.

“My son came home and said that his substitute teacher had told the class that Santa doesn’t exist,” one father told The Mail. “I thought it was wrong. He was distraught about it. He’s only seven-years-old and it’s part of the magic of Christmas to him.”

What do you think? Was the substitute wrong for what he/she did?

What should parents tell children about Santa?

Are the rules any different for Christ followers?

What did you tell your children?

If you could share any wisdom with me about Santa, now having a 10-month-old son, what would it be?


  1. Was the sub wrong? I think so. Especially her motivation behind it. It wasn't that she felt she needed to deliver the truth -- her class was out of control. Bad idea.

    What should parents tell their kids? Whatever they want to. :P I used to thing it was more "righteous" to not do any Santa at all on Christmas. And, perhaps it is, but it isn't as much fun. I enjoy all aspects of Christmas.

    Rules different? I assume you mean about Santa. I don't see why. I guess if you got bare bones about it, it is technically lying to them, but so is telling them their eyes will stick that way if they keep crossing them.

    We told Travis (and Kristi) that there isn't a Santa Claus but that not every little boy and girl know that, so they are not to tell others. It's never been a big deal. They know "what" Santa is, and after Santa Claus, the escape Clause like 45 times, they have a pretty good grasp of the Santa story/idea/purpose.

  2. You mean there is no Santa Claus? I am crushed! Here all along I thought it was true. I finally find out at 56. I even have a Mrs. Claus. Bummer. Anyway...I do think that sub was wrong. It is not up to someone else in authority to do what is a natural happening as they get older or the parent's personal preference. Do I think it is wrong to teach them of SC? No. We didn't emphasize it(him) but it is hard to deny when they are everywhere. We put presents out as they are wrapped so that sort of gave it away but it sure made it fun watching them trying to guess what they got! Would I change anything? Probably not. I am not in the school that believes your kids will think you lie to them all the time and won't trust you if you tell them there is one. If they do, you have bigger trust issues. That is my .02 worth.

  3. Sub was wrong. Yes. Should be left up to parent's discretion as most things in life should.

    Santa? We don't lie to our kids. It is a lie. Just like the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. But we treat Santa like Mickey Mouse. The kids have been told he's fictional, but truly right now they act like Mickey is real so in their minds they might think Santa is too? I'm not sure and since we don't emphasize him I won't ask either. They are 4 and 2. In a few years, we'll see how it all plays out. We will remain honest so as to not confuse them and we won't be giving them gifts from Santa.

    I saw a letter Brianna did in school instigated by her teacher. The whole class did one. It was a "Dear Santa" letter about what they all want for Christmas. It didn't upset me. I thought what she wanted was downright cute. She even included a ball for her brother because "I love him and he likes balls". Awwww. Other kids did cute letters too. One kid wrote "Christmas isn't all about the toys, Santa. It's about the birth of Jesus..." His mom was so proud of him (it's a Christian preschool).

    You'll be able to gauge your decision better as Evan gets older and his personality evolves. Brianna is reserved and very sensitive. We are encountering lying right now. She gets in less trouble if she tells the truth than if she lies. It's very important that we are truthful with her -- even when she asks the hard questions. Jeremy is outgoing yet sensitive. He's not sure what lying is, but his big sister is a very large influence on him and he copies what she does. He tried to lie to us the other day (which was actually cute b/c it was so obvious and he doesn't get the whole sneaky action of it yet) and he was punished for it. Now he talks about lying all the time. What hypocrites we would be to punish them for lying about spilling the cereal in the pantry when we lie about much bigger things like SC -- and then keep lying to keep from having to tell them the truth. Not cool.

    Having said all of that -- I do feel it's a conviction and something parents need to prayerfully consider. There is passion on either side even in the Christian community. It's like Halloween. Carlos on Ragamuffin Soul blogged about it and quite a few rude comments were thrown. Pete on WithoutWax blogged about it and I only saw one rude comment.

    I wrote you a booooook. Ha!!


  4. Definitely believe the sub was wrong.


    Only you and Tonya, as Christ-followers and as Evan's parents, can decide about how to handle Christmas and the whole to "Ho-Ho" or to not "Ho-Ho" or to only be part "Ho"...

    All I can tell you from our personal experiences as parents to Austin, Travis, and Parker.. we'd take this Christmas over the first couple when they were little and there was a little Santa mixed in than all the presents in the world.

  5. How in the world do you answer a child that's been indoctronited by TV, their school, and even the church they attend that there is a Santa?
    I guess that Karma's way is pretty good - telling her kids that there really isn't a Santa but the other kids don't know it.

    I guess that we have to expect that the lies will get truer and truer as time goes on.

    Sorry about your heart thing, Steve. I pray that God will bless you in it and possibly to use it for the kingdom - somehow.

  6. Steve, I don't have kids but I thought the way my parents handled it was pretty cool. We had a few gifts that were left unwrapped every year. Looking back is it coincidence that Santa always brought the "hard to wrap" items? :-) It was never a big deal in our house.

    But, my parents had made a promise to themselves that they would never lie to their children. So, when I was around 6 and asked if Santa was real, they told me no, that mommy and daddy were Santa Claus. My logical brain responded "so I guess you're the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy too." My parents were sensitive enough to tell me that my little sister and other children still might believe in Santa so I couldn't spill the beans.

  7. IMHO, Angie hit the nail on the head - if they ask, don't lie.

    We gave one "santa" present to each child and the rest were from us. My wife goes to EXTREMES to keep the presents balanced in both count and value - which is really challenging with a 7yr age gap - the price/size ratio of teenager gifts is way out of whack when compared to the ratio for little people gifts. But I digress...

    The same situation is true of the EB and TF, but if anything, my kids enjoyed the "game" of hiding the teeth under the pillow, egg hunts, and opening their santa presents - even more AFTER knowing it was us.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I can't wait to read what you have written.