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How do you handle the tooth fairy, Easter Bunny, Santa, etc

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  • How do you handle the tooth fairy, Easter Bunny, Santa, etc

    Hi attached mama's,

    So we have embraced the legend of Santa, the Easter Squirrel, the tooth fairy, the leprachauns, forest fairies, etc in the Ames house. We love stories and fantasy. However, my older kids are, well, getting older and I worry how they might feel when they find out its a lie - its just mom and dad.

    How have you handled this transition in your family, or have you never embraced any of these make-believe characters in your family?

    Just curious what you all have experienced.

    Thanks,

  • #2
    Holiday habits

    Funny you should ask this question...

    Growing up I never believed in Santa. My dad hated the cold, so every winter break, we packed up the Winnebago and headed south to Florida. I saw my mom put the presents in the compartments, and I knew they were bought by my parents. I never felt cheated by not believing in Santa. So I figured when I had kids, I wouldn't make a big deal of Santa and that way I wouldn't have to cover up a lie. Same for the Easter Bunny and etc.

    However, my son changed all that! Actually it was the preschools fault! I'm not upset really, just a little caught in the middle.

    I didn't go all out decorating my entire house green for St. Patrick's Day, even though we are Irish. My son was devastated that the Lepprecons didn't mess up our house or leave green toilet water.

    I hid 50 Easter eggs all over the back yard, but my son noticed that they were all empty! (Darn, I was hoping the joy of finding eggs would be enough.) And I had to wait until he was a sleep because the year before he was with me when I bought the Easter candy and he became upset that the Easter Bunny didn't bring him anything. "You gave me this basket Mommy, not the Easter Bunny!"

    As for Santa, we weren't going to go there, but how can we avoid it. So we waited for our son to be asleep and then my husband assembled an air hockey table. Now I'm worried Santa set the bar too high and next year he will have to buy another doozy!

    So for all of the moms and dads worried that they did their children a disservice by fibbing about legendary holiday figures, don't fret. Let your kids enjoy it while it lasts. They may be upset later when they find out their fantasys aren't real, but they will have had the joy of experiencing them while they lasted.

    Jen
    Richmond, VA

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    • #3
      How do you handle the tooth fairy, Easter Bunny, Santa, etc

      Jen,

      Thanks for the stories and for the kind words.

      I know as a child I was very imaginative and I love letting my mind wander and believing in possibilities. I believed in Santa till after my parents divorced and I had to, at age 13, help my dad put together the presents from Santa to my younger siblings. I remember feeling so sad finally knowing the truth but still waking up at 430 AM to head down and claim my present from Santa!

      I still believe in forest fairies and I like to think there is a wee-little Irishman who sneaks in on St Patricks Day morn' to eat our green sugar cookies and tear apart our leprechaun trap.

      Be weLLL,

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      • #4
        Great post Jen! I LOL'd on setting the bar high - we thought we did that in 2006 but the kids didn't mind when things weren't so extravagant in 2007. hehe

        Marianne - Santa visited our house until I graduated from high school. I posted in my diary around the age of 8 that I'd figured out Santa wasn't legit but having a younger sister I kept up the ruse. I was never upset when I received confirmation that he wasn't.

        I know of a mom on another message board who was so upset when she found out that Santa wasn't real that she gets mean around the holidays when those of us who do participate in the ritual talk about it. She chastises and demeans us. Finally this last Christmas she just didn't come around.

        I definitely believe in to each their own but don't chastise me for my decisions, ya know? We are a Santa Claus, Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy house. My dad dresses up as Santa and comes to our house on New Year's Eve - does the same for my nephews (who are 7 and 10). The 10 year old hasn't figured out it is my dad yet hehe.

        Ava was a bit miffed that she didn't get to see the Easter Bunny - at 4.5 she got the idea this year. She said "where da bunny?". When I told her the Bunny came by when she was asleep she furrowed her brow hehe. Then I reminded her that we live in the middle of the desert and she can see bunnies every night munching on the plants in our yard.

        The tooth fairy just came around for the first time on 3/11 as my son had a tooth extraction.

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        • #5
          Oh yes, at our house, we're all about Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy (3 visits so far) and the Halloween Cat - who takes all the candy and leaves a present on Halloween night.

          I have nothing but good memories of my own Santa days when I was young, and don't even remember finding out the truth - so it obviously wasn't a traumatic event for me!

          I have no qualms about doing the same for my kids, even after they find out the truth. My DH's mom stopped doing Santa etc when her kids were old enough to know the truth, which I always thought was a major bummer. My mom did Santa even when we were home from college! She lives for that stuff! LOL

          I intend to do Santa, Bunny, Cat, and Fairy for the next 15 or 20 years! (my kids are 6 and 3.)

          I lost my last baby tooth when I was 20, (yes, 20!) and I mailed it home to my mom, and she sent me back $5 and told me she put the tooth under my pillow and "look what was left!" LOL


          Sarah

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          • #6
            I struggle with this one a little bit. We do all the characters, but I don't like to say anything that is an actual "lie". So I try to explain it in ways that our daughter could substitute "Mommy and Daddy" for the character and it would be true. So, for example, I'm all about Santa coming on Christmas Eve. Santa does come on Christmas Eve - in the sense that my dh is living the legend of St Nicholas as he places the presents. But I get a little uncomfortable when my dh starts talking about elves making gifts in the workshop at the North Pole - because that isn't true at all.

            She was terrified of the idea of anyone coming into our house while she was asleep until just this last year, we asked Santa to just leave the presents on the porch and Daddy would bring them inside. We put this in a letter and gave it to Daddy to make sure that Santa got it.

            When our daughter asks questions like, "Is the Easter Bunny big like the character at the mall or a real bunny?", I try to respond with a "I'm not sure - he always comes after we're in bed. What do you think?" and just say, "I bet you're right" or "that sounds reasonable" to whatever she comes up with. The more my husband hears me say things like this, the more he seems to be doing the same. We still disagree on the 'North Pole', though. When my daughter asks me if it's true, I do my usual, "I've never been to the North Pole. What do you think?"

            I don't think she'll feel lied to or misled. I didn't when I found out. But if it were used as more of a punitive thing ("Be good or else Santa won't come"), I can see how it would sting more to find out it wasn't true.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mahogny View Post
              Oh yes, at our house, we're all about Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy (3 visits so far) and the Halloween Cat - who takes all the candy and leaves a present on Halloween night.
              Ooh! A Halloween cat! What a great way to rid the house of all the candy. I hope I can remember that one for this Halloween. What a great idea! Thanks!

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              • #8
                seasonal stories

                I love the Halloween Cat idea!!! My brother expected and my mom obliged to send him Easter baskets to California when he was in his 30's. My mom has since passed the batton to his wife and sends ideas and treats to put in the basket. I chalk it up to ritual which is a part of life for many people. We have approached it from a "story" standpoint. As my kids get older and begin to really question whether any of it is real, I ask if they have enjoyed the stories over the years and if they think their little sister or brother enjoys the stories. I ask if they can help be "keepers of the magic" (not my original idea) even if their thoughts on it have changed. This has worked well for us. We also touch on some of the history behind how traditions have been started and maintained but only to a point. I love the magic of it all and don't want to pick it apart too much. I get much enjoyment out of holidays, festivals and the like so it is a big part of our lives.

                best

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                • #9
                  I can't remember how I found out, but my mom says someone told me at school that Santa wasn't real and so... I remember myself talking to my mom, asking if this was true. My mom sighed and sat, and invited me by her side. Then she explained that the whole human kind played an incredible game, and every person belonged to either one team: those who believed, and those who guarded the secret.

                  By finding out, I had just switched to the other team, she explained, and gained a great responsability. "Do you remember how happy you were every time you wrote a letter for Santa, every time you thought you heard "something"? This team's responsability is to keep this happiness alive for your sister and other children, as a grattitude act for the happiness you received."

                  I felt SOOO important! My mom didnt lie to me, she was playing by the rules of the game... and now I was to be a member of the Adult Team! WOW!

                  Later in time, I shared this story with DH. He found out in a rougher way, but agreed we would tell this same story to our children when they find out.

                  Hope it's useful...

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                  • #10
                    My daughter isn't old enough to believe or not believe yet, but I wanted to let you know how I was raised.

                    I never believed in Santa, Easter Bunny, etc. I was told from the beginning that it was a fun game we all play. I've always been a creative person & have the ability to suspend disbelief easily. I had a lot of fun playing the game & as far as I remember, I never "ruined it" for other kids because I assumed they were playing the game & played along. We still play it too.

                    I'm actually pagan, so we don't celebrate Christmas, but do Yule instead. I have some friends who also celebrate Yule & they have each present from a different God or Goddess & they talk about who that God or Goddess is & what they do, etc. They also sometimes have the presents be from fun characters (last year their daughter got a bathtub pirate ship & it came from "A scurvy pirate").

                    I have another friend who does celebrate Christmas & does the whole Santa deal, but also has 1 present for each person come from Darth Vader. Their youngest loved Darth Vader as a child so they started having presents be from him.

                    I LOVE the idea of presents coming from other characters & talking about those characters. I feel it adds to the game & makes it more fun. Of course, other kids might feel left out, my friend's daughter always brags that "Darth Vader comes to OUR house, not just Santa."

                    I always giggle when I think about a kid coming home & saying "Mom, how come Darth Vader doesn't come to our house & leave us presents?" Maybe we're starting a trend! Hee!

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