Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Homeschooling Moms Homeschooling Moms

How do you keep Santa secrets from young children while being with them all day?

Posted by   + Show Post

My parents were sneaky Santa Clauses. I tried to stay up until 2 or 4 AM, but I never caught them. When I woke up, beautifully wrapped presents magically appeared by my pillow every year. I'm embarrassed a little, but I believed in Santa until almost 12 years old. Then my thoughtful neighbor girl, 10, told me one day, "Please don't tell my youngest sister about Santa. She still believes in him. But I don't understand why anyone wouldn't notice that he is our parents." Within a split second, all the wonders made sense and I managed to reply, "Yeah, neither do I." 

Even after I told my mom what I had learned that day, my parents continued the tradition until I was out of the house. When I visit them during Christmas, they still do it.

Now I want to do the same to my children, but being a homeschooling mom, I'm finding this task a little more difficult than I anticipated. I remembered what my children said they wanted from the stores we went; took my husband there on a date night and asked for his opinions; and we are still discussing what we should get. My husband didn't complain, but this was more of a chore than what he wanted to do on a date night: Watch a movie and relax.

I sometimes feel like giving in by telling my children so that I could buy what they want in front of them, wrap them in our wrapping paper to save money, and give them out without secrets. But I cannot undo the effect, so we're still hanging on. I thought of buying things online, but then my children will see the UPS coming and wonder why Mommy doesn't open packages with them only in December. I could do this during summer, but then their Christmas presents may not be what they want at the time. I thought of sending them to my relatives, but they don't like keeping extra stuff in their houses.

Wrapping presents in secret is another hard task. I have been doing it every year, but I may start asking my husband to just measure the presents and go buy bags. Last year, I wrapped them in our wrapping paper and our oldest daughter asked why Santa and we had the same papers. Epic fail. I told her that Santa wanted to borrow our wrapping paper. Horrible, I know. I'm not a good lier. But she wants to believe in Santa, so she is still believing. So I need to be extra careful this year. I don't want them to hear the sound of bags either, so my husband will have to bag them in his car. But then they may stay up and see my husband bringing in presents to the house. I could ask him to put them in a black plastic bag, but that looks suspicious too.

How do you guys do it? Did you already tell them who Santa was? If so, how old were they? I have 4 children and the oldest is 8 years old.

by on Nov. 28, 2013 at 9:38 AM
Replies (21-30):
Jasmine424
by on Nov. 29, 2013 at 9:56 PM
1 mom liked this

You sound like you have a great relative support. My MIL doesn't come until after Christmas every year... Yes, a different wrapping paper is a must... I really like that you write handwritten personalized notes for each child. What a creative way to show appreciation for each of them. I love and cherish your mom's explanation. I'd like to pass that on once our children discover who Santa is. Thank you for sharing.

Quoting TJandKarasMom:

Also, when my kids do figure it out and ask, I give them the answer my mom gave me which I think is awesome....that I believe there is a Santa out there, but he helps kids and families that really need it. Since we can afford presents, we buy them. But this is also why we buy for a family even though we don't have a lot ourselves..we are Santa to them. There really is the magic of Santa out there, even if he's not just one man with a sleigh and a bunch of elves!



Jasmine424
by on Nov. 29, 2013 at 10:45 PM
1 mom liked this

I totally agree. We should be appreciating who we have, not a magical person. It's convenient for parents to say, "You have to be good, or Santa won't come," but you are right; this may give them a wrong idea that only good kids get presents on Christmas. Thank you for pointing that out! And I cannot appreciate enough of you and your family's service and sacrifice to keep this country safe.

Quoting lovelylady83:

We don't do Santa.  My kids know my husband works and gets paid for the time he spends away from us in the military... its only fair they know who buys the toys ... especially when dad's not here to spend time with them... not to mention that some kids don't get anything and its not cause they were bad ... its cause parents don't all have money... So we celebrate eachother and people and happy times... we give each other gifts that are thoughtfully picked for each member and the others know it.... Honesty and Reality is the best policy.... we teach are kids to stay away from strangers... then send them off to sit in strange mens laps and take there pictures.... while telling them the deepest hopes for the holidays... in hopes some magical being will break in on christmas eve and leave it under the tree..... that is the magic of christmas!



Jasmine424
by on Nov. 29, 2013 at 10:48 PM
1 mom liked this

What a logical smart boy! My husband never believed in Santa either. He says he had a fine childhood :)

Quoting chotovec82:

I agree. We have never perpetuated the Santa myth. I'm glad to because reading this post stressed me out. Also my son would have never believed in him. When he was three we went to a veterans day parade that my husband was in. There was a man in a shark costume for the Marine Squadran marching in the parade. My son says to me, "Mommy Mommy that's so silly." I said, "what's so silly?" He says, "the shark; they don't live on land they live in water. That's just a man in a shark outfit!"


Quoting lovelylady83:

We don't do Santa.  My kids know my husband works and gets paid for the time he spends away from us in the military... its only fair they know who buys the toys ... especially when dad's not here to spend time with them... not to mention that some kids don't get anything and its not cause they were bad ... its cause parents don't all have money... So we celebrate eachother and people and happy times... we give each other gifts that are thoughtfully picked for each member and the others know it.... Honesty and Reality is the best policy.... we teach are kids to stay away from strangers... then send them off to sit in strange mens laps and take there pictures.... while telling them the deepest hopes for the holidays... in hopes some magical being will break in on christmas eve and leave it under the tree..... that is the magic of christmas!




Jenn8604
by Member on Nov. 29, 2013 at 10:52 PM
Maybe you should ask your wonderful mother. I bet she has the best secrets around.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Jasmine424
by on Nov. 29, 2013 at 10:55 PM

I like your approach that this can be a teaching moment of generosity. It's true that Santa's presents don't have to come to the pillows or under the tree. Door step may be enough. I wonder if Santa can realistically catch up with technology and use Amazon gift wrap option... 

Quoting debramommyof4:

My oldest turns 8 two days after Christmas. We usually wrap Christmas Eve. The kids go shopping with us and we get stuff for all our "friends kids". Thank goodness they are about the same age.

Santa brings our Christmas tree and he has since my oldest was two. We were not going to have a tree that year because we did not have money for presents and she asked for a tree so we told her Santa might bring it. He did along with a ton of toys that showed up that year on our door step already wrapped. The girls had an amazing Christmas that year. Even though I saw who dropped it of, my embarrassing secret is I still believe in Santa and I am 29.

Every year no matter how broke we are the spirit of Christmas has been there and seen us through. If they ever decide Santa is not real that is fine. And I expect they will figure out Santa is not one man that goes around the world in a single night. But I hope that does not cause them to loose the magic and spirit of giving that created that man.



Jasmine424
by on Nov. 29, 2013 at 11:33 PM

That sounds ideal. I used to do big birthday parties, but when I stopped, it was way more relaxing and enjoyable. I'm starting to think that I should stop this Christmas frenzy too...

Quoting 2chillins4me:

My children are 12, 6, 3, and 1.  They all know Santa doesn't bring gifts.  We tell them the truth and go from there.  We enjoy the togetherness of the season.  We don't focus on the gifts at all.  They get 4 a piece and no one complains.  It makes for a very relaxing season, instead of over stressing.



kmath
by Silver Member on Nov. 29, 2013 at 11:34 PM

I order stuff online and just tell him that he can't open them because there are presents in there.  He never knows that there are Santa gifts mixed in with gifts from mom.  I tend to wrap them as I get them and then put them up in boxes in my closet.  D knows better than to go snooping in there.  If I happen to use a wrapping paper for Santa that D knows is mine I just say we must both have good taste in wrapping paper.  I think it is great you want to keep the magic alive for them but you are way overthinking this and making it much more stressful than it has to be.   

ambcortez
by Member on Nov. 29, 2013 at 11:39 PM

I keep all the gifts in my closet. They aren't allowed in there since I have a lot of boxes stacked high and don't want them knocking any over and getting hurt, so it's a "safe zone". I don't wrap them until Christmas Eve after they've gone to bed.

They believe in Santa and are 7 and 4. 

ETA: I like the idea of leaving something out from Santa, unwrapped. Also, our Elf on the Shelf is on stocking duty.

Jasmine424
by on Nov. 29, 2013 at 11:52 PM

My 6 y/o sometimes says she doesn't believe in Santa, but other times she does, so I don't know if I should give up and tell her now. One year, my husband and I "went to bed;" he snuk out of bathroom window, dressed up in a Santa costume, came in the house with presents, ate cookies from our children, and stuffed our stockings. Our children were asleep, but I took pictures of him waving at them from outside and eating cookies. My children say he looks like Daddt, but he just says, "Hey, I'm not that round!"

I like your mom's strategy too. It sounds beautiful. After I read all these posts, I'm torn. I know Christmas will be still enjoyable and maybe more truthful, but I cannot go back and make them believe in Santa again. I think it's cute and innocent when my children still believe in Santa Claus and tooth fairy.

Quoting Jinx-Troublex3:

I let it slip for DD (10yo) last year. She had heen hinting she knew and I thought she was asleep and was talkimg to DS1 about what people were getting.

I was like OP, my parents were so freaking sneaky, I dont think I figured it out till I was 12! We went to my Grandma's house each Christmas eve and I always helped them take all the family's wrapped presents from under the tree and there was nothimg under the tree when we left amd yet when I walked in after church the tree would be loaded, lights on, beautiful! It took years till I realized.Mom always had to run back on "for Aumts so-n-so's gift she didnt see in the car!" Or some other excuse...lol

I was never that creative! I did use different paper and would print To/From Santa tags on the computer. We never made a huge deal of it though.



Jasmine424
by on Nov. 29, 2013 at 11:59 PM

I totally hear the credit part! I have told my mom that Santa got what I wanted, but she wouldn't. I feel really bad about that now, but what did I know? I really wish I could buy what they really want when they want it. I've even thought of buying them now and letting them play with them during all Christmas season. Do we really have to wait to open presents until Christmas? Christmas items are at CostCo from August; didn't our kids wait long enough? Let's get my materialism done and over with and focus on spiritual side of Christmas on Christmas...

Quoting paganbaby:

This is what we do too. The kids each get one santa gift, either wrapped in special paper or just unwrapped, along with their stocking. Hey, I want at least some of the credit for presents,lol.

Quoting usmom3:

My children all know that Santa is not real now. But back when they still believed him to be real we would buy the Santa gift (there was always just one a piece) when we shopped for all the other things (the children are not with us when we Christmas shop, plus I shop online a lot). We never wrapped Santa gifts they where always under the tree unwrapped & ready to be played with along with their stockings filled by Santa.




Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN