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Easter bunnies and leprechauns and Santa, oh my!

nizo (81281) writes | more than 6 years ago

Toys 9

Ok, so the kiddo got an easter basket today, with some candy and toys, that she believes was dropped off by the easter bunny. She got candy coins at school, supposedly left by a leprechaun, and of course she gets the usual mountain of gifts from Santa every xmas. Is it damaging for her to believe in this freakish array of pretend things??? She turns five in a few months, if that matters.

p.s. I so don't want to be the one who breaks the news to her that none of them are real.....

Ok, so the kiddo got an easter basket today, with some candy and toys, that she believes was dropped off by the easter bunny. She got candy coins at school, supposedly left by a leprechaun, and of course she gets the usual mountain of gifts from Santa every xmas. Is it damaging for her to believe in this freakish array of pretend things??? She turns five in a few months, if that matters.

p.s. I so don't want to be the one who breaks the news to her that none of them are real.....

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yeah (2, Interesting)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22837082)

when I told my oldest that Santa wasn't real she cried. But she kept asking very specific questions and I couldn't stand lying to her. It wasn't fun that evening but personally I'm glad I did it in the long term. She was probably 4 or so when that happened, she is 8 now.
 
We have to tell all our kids each year to be careful at school because they have classmates that believe in Santa and we don't want them to make those other kids upset. We have funny discussions where they come home and say things like, "So and so in my class believes in Santa."
 
We do decorate eggs for easter and do a hunt, but they've always known that we hide the eggs and never did buy into the easter bunny thing. And we are at church on Good Friday and Easter so they know the reason behind the holiday, etc. So Santa was the only big holiday myth that got busted.
 
I don't think it hurts the kids to have those fantasy things in their life. They make up all kinds of other stuff on their own. And they grow out of it naturally. So I don't think people have to tell their kids they don't exist, but in my case I'm glad I did. I think my kids still have plenty of fun on the holidays even without that component.

Re:yeah (1, Insightful)

nacturation (646836) | more than 6 years ago | (#22837888)

And we are at church on Good Friday and Easter so they know the reason behind the holiday, etc. So Santa was the only big holiday myth that got busted.
So you're waiting a few years to break the news to them about the religious myth? :)
 

Re:yeah (2, Interesting)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22839940)

Yeah.
 
It's interesting because while I don't have all the answers by any stretch, and I have to say "I don't know" to a lot of religious questions, this is the holiday that pretty much is the crux of my whole world view. I think Jesus Christ, a real person who claimed to be God, did rise from the dead. If not, I wouldn't be a Christian.
 
Since I believe it is real, I tell my kids so. Someday it will be up to them to decide if they want to make it their own or not.

Ways NOT to break the news ... (2, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22837162)

  1. Santa was killed when Global Warming melted his factory at the north pole ...
  2. Eco-nuts wouldn't allow culling of wolves, so they were SO hungry they ate the Easter Bunny - and Bambi.
  3. The "leprechauns" were really just a cover story for Area 51.
  4. The "tooth fairy" was an invention of the candy and dentistry industries - they reward you for eating junk food because it's in their best interests.
  5. Snow White really existed, and "you're too young to know what she was really doing with those 7 dwarves". Rent the video when you're over 18.
  6. The real reason Kermit the Frog always had a smile on his face - he liked being "fisted" on camera ...
  7. Flipper committed suicide.
  8. Dino from the Flintstones is extinct - your toothbrush's bristles and the vinyl cover of your school binder are made from what's left of his dead carcass,
  9. Tony the Tiger doesn't say "Frosted Flakes are greaaaAAATT!" He doesn't say anything. Kind of hard to talk when you've been made into a carpet.
  10. If you eat Count Chocula you'll become one of the undead. Look at what happened to Fruity Pebbles - 40 years old and she's still in training pants
  11. Does wearing Pampers Pull-Ups doesn't make you a "big kid now"? Depends ...
  12. McDonalds' hamburgers don't have worms - but you'll get so fat eating them, you'd wish they gave you tapeworm ... and Ronald McDonald just wants your money, which is why he's so buddybuddy with the HamBurglar
  13. Speaking of McDonalds, the real reason you'll always see a KFC beside a McDonalds - those "Chicken McNuggets" are made from the one part of the chicken you never see in a bucket of KFC.
  14. Never eat a hot dog made in china. They really do eat dogs. They have "farmers" who breed Beethovens for food.
  15. On Good Friday we celebrate Jesus' last hockey game - from when they really nailed him to the boards.
  16. Parents aren't perfect - but don't worry, you're not one of our mistakes. You really were adopted.
  17. A penny saved is a penny earned - minus the $3.95 monthly account fee, means an effective negative interest rate of 3,950 %. Quit while you're behind.
  18. The real reason they want you to say the pledge of allegience with your hand over your heart - because it makes it easier for them to pick your pockets.
  19. You see that monkey at the zoo behind the bars throwing sh*t at you? He has more freedom of expression than you ever will.
  20. The National Debt isn't a problem. It's your problem!
  21. The people who died in concentration camps also believed God was on their side. So did the people who put them in there. And the 9/11 terr'rirsts. And BushCheneyHalliBurton.
  22. The pope was a member of the Hitler Youth. His excuse - "everyone was." Remember that next time someone invites you to jump off a bridge or something else equally stupid because "everyone else is doing it".
  23. We are the next dinosaurs. If we're REALLY lucky, an asteroid will fix it so you don't have to live with the consequences of our actions.
  24. That music you "just discovered" that you think is "so cool?" It's from my generation.
  25. Your school teacher is probably stupider than you think ... the only reason most of them know the answers is because they have a "teachers buide" that came with the text book, so they have all the answers - some of which are wrong, and if you tell them so, they'll get mad at you.
  26. Further to the previous point - if you prove the official answer is wrong, be prepared to be classified as a "trouble-maker". The meek might inherit the earth, but until then, its the dummies who get along by going along.
  27. Unfortunately, one day you too will learn that "Prayer for dummies" is one of the most appropriate book titles ever.

Re:Ways NOT to break the news ... (1, Interesting)

RM6f9 (825298) | more than 6 years ago | (#22837302)

Irony indeed: The quote from the bottom of the page when I read this: "It is a profitable thing, if one is wise, to seem foolish." -- Aeschylus
Further irony - capcha code to reply while signing in: "sacred"

Belief (2, Interesting)

Dannon (142147) | more than 6 years ago | (#22838132)

Damaging them? Quite the opposite, I'd say.

If you've never read (or watched) Pratchett's Hogfather, I recommend it. There's a conversation at the end between Death and his granddaughter, Susan:

HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.
"Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little--"
YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.
"So we can believe the big ones?"
YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.
"They're not the same at all!"
YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET... YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.


See, I actually think that parents do a great disservice to their kids in just how their kids learn about Santa Claus. I don't have kids yet... but when I do, I think I may do just this: First, of course, they'll learn about "Santa Claus". Then, they'll learn about the historic Saint Nicholaus, the patron saint of anonymous giving, and especially how he is part of certain East European and Eastern Orthodox traditions. The final task is, I think, to teach them to be Santa Claus. To be the anonymous giver.

See, I'm just a bit too old now to believe in a man in a red suit who flies around the world. And yet, I've still never really given up on Santa Claus. And, y'know, I think he's going to have some stockings for my parents this year, now that my siblings and I are all grown up. (Of course, they know it yet.)

Don't ask me yet how I'm gonna handle the Bunny, though. I figure if I can handle Santa, the Bunny should be a breeze.

Nice (1, Funny)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22838312)

And me out of friends slots...

Well, I'm going against the grain (1)

plover (150551) | more than 6 years ago | (#22843766)

My wife told him when he was very little that if he didn't believe in Santa, Santa wouldn't bring him any presents. If he asked questions about Santa, that was the standard reply. (It also helped that we were extremely consistent parents -- he knew from age two that if he was given the consequences of his actions that they would occur.) So he never pressed the issue, and by the time he was perhaps six he already knew the truth, and it just became a family joke that got trotted out every December 24th.

He's 20 now, and one of the most well adjusted young man you'd ever care to meet. (OK, perhaps I'm a bit biased, but not by much.) It turns out that being fed a lifelong lie by mommy and daddy didn't permanently scar his psyche, and that he was able to sort out truth and lies all by himself.

If nothing else, it prepared him to deal with religious issues in a socially responsible manner -- if it's completely illogical, and so patently absurd that a six-year old can identify the lies at its very foundation, yet it somehow remains very important to some people, just shut up, nod your head, and let them keep believing, whether it be Santa Claus, Jesus, or the Easter Bunny.

Some of you may be sputtering right now that "he hasn't learned to stand up for his convictions!" I believe *in certain contexts* that's a very foolish choice. There is nothing to be gained from arguing about religion ever, and that's especially true with family. (My wife's side is descended from missionaries, which is even worse.) If he were to proclaim loudly that he didn't believe, and if he were to argue at the prayer before every meal, he'd have aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, etc., all constantly praying for his damned soul, and he'd be ostracized by the family. That's not exactly how a kid needs to grow up. I think learning that he has the option to pick and choose his ideological battles is a better lesson.

waiting for the day (1)

The Fun Guy (21791) | more than 6 years ago | (#22844294)

My nine year old still believes in them all - Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, the whole fantasy world. Sometimes I wonder if he just acts as if he believes, in a willful suspension of disbelief. My wife and I are very watchful for signs that it's time to break it to him. We don't want him to spill the beans and take it all away from the younger kids (7, 5 & 4).

Probably next Christmas will be the time to take him aside and let him help be Santa Claus. He's old enough to learn how to give, and not just to receive.
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