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

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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 (31-40):
Jasmine424
by on Nov. 30, 2013 at 12:56 AM

Yes, a different paper is a must. I wish I could go back and re-do it... I haven't decided if I would stop doing Santa business even after they learn the truth. It was still fun to receive something while I slept... But I don't know yet.

Quoting SassyMom25:

Santa only brings our kids one gift...something from their list and we do everything else. Never been an issue...and always used different wrapping paper. Our kids are 11, 7 and 2. The oldest I'm sure is figuring it out. We talked about it a few years ago and told him only those who believe get presents from Santa...part if his magic.



Jasmine424
by on Nov. 30, 2013 at 12:57 AM

I love your reason. That sounds so doable and believable :)

Quoting Liastele:

Order presents online, have them delivered, say its supplies for next semester and shrug and stick it in your room. Order paper online as well. 



Jasmine424
by on Nov. 30, 2013 at 1:01 AM

Phew, you had to sweat there! That's funny that your child thought Santa was a personal shopper. I love how children understand these magical figures.

Quoting firefay:

My oldest's birthday is the day after Christmas, and she is so excited about Santa coming to visit her and her little sisters. :) DH doesn't do much with holidays, but I do. I make it simple. The one time Santa was mentioned, my dad and one of my brothers were visting from out of town and told my oldest (almost 3 then) that she had to go to bed so Santa could visit. DH wasn't sure what to do, and neither was I. Making the magic happen takes planning...lol... It's not something you do on a whim. Thankfully, when I asked my daughter who she thought helped get her and her one sister then's nice presents, she said Santa Claus. :) Santa was a personal shopper...lol... My babies are almost 5, 3, and almost 17 months old.



Jasmine424
by on Nov. 30, 2013 at 1:04 AM
1 mom liked this

That's true while she is still alive. I don't know if I want to know all the secrets - you know some magic tricks are disappointing when you hear the answers, but I'll ask her for some tips ;)

Quoting Jenn8604:

Maybe you should ask your wonderful mother. I bet she has the best secrets around.



Jasmine424
by on Nov. 30, 2013 at 1:07 AM
1 mom liked this

"We both have good taste in wrapping paper." :D I got some great tips here on how and what to say, so I think I can make this much simpler this year. Thank you!

Quoting kmath:

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.   



Jasmine424
by on Nov. 30, 2013 at 2:07 AM
1 mom liked this

We've been keeping presents in the trunk of my husband's commute car because that's the safest spot. Our closets don't have doors for easy access. I keep them orgazied and pretty to look at, though. I'm glad you are keeping the magic going too!

Quoting ambcortez:

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.



monkeybunns
by on Nov. 30, 2013 at 11:08 AM
Mine are almost 3 and 5.5 going on 15 and very inquisitive and notice packages come but I regularly am busy year round and don't open them immediately especially ones from my family because they always have treats in them and I don't just give them treats when a package arrives. I think you are over thinking. If I can't get something online (where I live basically everything is cheaper online) then I go on a weekend to the store when hubby can be home with the kids. I keep everything in a box on a high shelf. This year DS1 is getting a telescope and a couple books to go with. When it arrived I could barely get the box through the door. We have zero storage and barely closets so we asked a neighbor if they could hold the box until Christmas. DS asked about it and I said the mail carrier delivered it to the wrong place-even though he's inquisitive he dropped it.
ballerina.2006
by on Nov. 30, 2013 at 11:23 AM
It's cold here so I hide gifts under coats or the baby's blanket in the store lol. I have no problem staying up late and wrapping either. My oldest is almost 8 so I still have hopefully one more year. A lot of stuff has come in via UPS for Christmas this year and I just put the box on my bed and deal with it later. I just tell my kids it's mine and I'll open it when I have time.

Another thing that helps is: something you want, something you need, something you'll wear and something to read. Then 1-2 Santa gifts and a couple stocking stuffers. Santa gifts are normally big shared items or big ticket items period (play kitchen, bikes, mini trampoline, etc) Stocking gifts are small items (hot wheels, barbie, teething toys, etc)
paganbaby
by Silver Member on Nov. 30, 2013 at 11:25 AM
1 mom liked this

I think tha sounds like a fine idea.

Quoting Jasmine424:

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.





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Jasmine424
by on Nov. 30, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Hahahaha, I love your reasoning! I was wondering how this story was going to turn out, but that's funny.

I live in countryside and have only 1 neighbor household. We've lived here for 8 years, but my children and I have never met the wife in person who lives there every day. We've been to their house a few times, but the husband and sons answer the door and the wife wasn't there or didn't come out. They are wonderful people; they are very cooperative when we have to decide on something together and willing to help us out. I'm 100% sure they would help me on Santa business, but we try to leave each other alone unless we absolutely need their help. 

I saw a post asking for an idea for educational toys, but yours will be perfect. A telescope! Your son has very thoughtful parents!

Quoting monkeybunns:

Mine are almost 3 and 5.5 going on 15 and very inquisitive and notice packages come but I regularly am busy year round and don't open them immediately especially ones from my family because they always have treats in them and I don't just give them treats when a package arrives. I think you are over thinking. If I can't get something online (where I live basically everything is cheaper online) then I go on a weekend to the store when hubby can be home with the kids. I keep everything in a box on a high shelf. This year DS1 is getting a telescope and a couple books to go with. When it arrived I could barely get the box through the door. We have zero storage and barely closets so we asked a neighbor if they could hold the box until Christmas. DS asked about it and I said the mail carrier delivered it to the wrong place-even though he's inquisitive he dropped it.



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