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46

It's absolutely possible to give kids presents on Christmas without bringing Santa into the picture. (Indeed, even in families whose holiday tradition includes Santa, there are almost always presents where the tag says "From Grandma" or "From Uncle Tim", not "From Santa".) Interestingly, even if you don't tell your kids about Santa, it's possible they will ...


39

As the other answers suggested, it's very likely that whatever you put will come of as weird. Still, it's an honest and reasonable sentiment, so it's kind of frustrating that it can't be expressed as such. Here's my best effort (to be placed in relatively small print at the bottom of the invitation): Gifts are welcome, but not necessary. If you would like ...


36

Is lying worse than the good aspects? Aren't the negative things it brings (telling them the truth eventually) worse than the good things? No. Children experience the world differently than adults, due to their incomplete knowledge. It may, in fact, be harder for some children to understand that my daily departure from home for many hours is what ...


33

There is no need to lie. Telling the "Jedi truth" is a different matter. I remember, back in college, turning on the TV and listening to some bible-thumper tell me that we shouldn't tell our children about Santa Claus, because we're eventually going to have to tell them that he's fake. And then...maybe Jesus is fake?!? I'm Christian, so this really got ...


25

I somewhat like Pratchett's take on the question "You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable." REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. 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 ...


24

In particular, we are wondering about the benefits of dolls. Helps develop coordination, motor skills, social skills, and imagination. Allows the child to act out different roles. Dressing, grooming, feeding skills are reinforced with doll play. Coordination when carefully carrying the doll, rocking, or pushing in a stroller. Helps add to the ...


24

I don't think you can really tactfully put it on the invitation. In fact, many would say the invitation shouldn't refer to gifts at all. Registries are quite often communicated by family members and not the invitation - although I find that silly, personally, and certainly would add it to mine. However, what I would typically do is ask your parents or ...


21

I personally don't think it's polite to invite people to a celebration while telling them how they should and shouldn't gift you. While I am not an atheist, I would still be somewhat taken aback by that kind of announcement on an invitation. The gifts at celebrations are certainly appreciated, and baby showers in particular are supposed to be oriented ...


14

Giving a doll to a child who would obviously love it isn't reinforcing a stereotype. Giving a doll to a girl who you know doesn't like dolls is. That's an important distinction. What you should worry about is avoiding letting her love of dolls blind you to her other interests and talents which you might also support. My 5 year-old daughter loves dolls, ...


11

The sample behaviors you describe seem to concern different issues, not all of which I would perceive as materialistic behavior. I would suggest that you explore your feelings of discomfort to find out what is going on with you, what your values are and how you respond to the possibility that your daughter may not share them. It can be hard, I know. In the ...


8

If you have a registry, I assume that you will simply not include religious items on it. If people mostly buy from the registry, problem solved. I think it would be rude to say you don't want a certain type of gift, whether that is religious or whatever. Like if you said, "Please, no orange shirts, because I hate the color orange", I think that would be ...


8

The title of your post "How can I..." asks a slightly different question from the content, "should we say..." I will answer the latter. In a word, no. You should not mention it. Look at your fundamental motivation. You want to avoid causing your friends and family to waste money. That is an admirable desire, but how your extended family does or doesn't ...


8

My experience was a bit different from most. I found out, at age seven, on a bus full of other kids on the way to school the day after Christmas vacation ended. I remember a burning sense of shame, and of betrayal. Shame for being so "stupid" as to have believed a lie, and betrayal toward parents who had put me in the situation where I had half a bus full ...


6

Part of a child's reaction upon finding out that Santa isn't real depends on how you talk about him. If you talk about him with using a lot of fantasy and whimsey and a kind of wink in your eye, they'll figure it out soon enough, because in real life, reindeer don't fly any better than pigs. If you also read other mythological stories, for example, we read ...


6

The benefit of a factory doll versus a made-up doll is, generally, more anatomically correct and potentially safer because it's (allegedly) designed for safety versus a (glass?) jar of pickles. Anatomically correct is certainly in the eye of the beholder, but generally speaking it matters for practical applications, especially in the fine motor skills ...


6

Don't lie to your children about Santa. Just don't. You won't destroy the "magic of christmas". Kids can have lots of fun with make-pretend without being lied to that its real. My brother and I were raised in a Christmas-lie free household. We got presents, and Easter eggs, and all the other fun parts, and we knew they came from our parents or assorted ...


5

"No religious gifts thanks!" I don't know what your friends are like, but I think many religious people would not be offended by knowing your preferences.


5

In addition to the great answers covering how you portray Santa, I'll add something related that's worth thinking about, regardless of when you address the reality. How you handle the revelation is very important, also. Be aware of your child's personality, and be prepared for several different eventualities. If your child is a "rules" child - teacher's ...


4

I was dubious about getting my little girl a doll as I also did not want to enforce stereo types onto her but she got one for Christmas last year. At first she wasn't interested but recently has started to play with it a lot, she has a little doll's pram and blanket and little bottle and spoon and dish and she loves to feed her "baba" and put her in her ...


4

Possibly something along the lines of: Gift are welcome, but not necessary. If you do wish to bring a gift, please consider something from our Baby Shower Registry or a contribution to the baby college fund.


4

My own childhood experience may illustrate a way that the figure of Father Christmas (as we would call him in the UK) can be introduced to children without the necessity of telling untruths (for any value of untruth). In my family we have a tradition of leaving stockings (very large ones) at the end of the bed on Christmas Eve and then having them filled in ...


3

A dozen different answers an a dozen different opinions. I have two kids who believed in Santa until about ages 8 and 7 (younger one got hints from the older one) and all I can say is that they were just thrilled with the idea when they believed and were not disappointed at all when they found out the truth. It was more like a funny teasing. There were ...


3

This sounds very familiar. Our 8 year old always had a very hard time dealing with particular kinds of situations - territoriality, sharing, letting go of things (but I may use it for arts and crafts!), etc. Our approach revolves around several principles: Acknowledge and validate her feelings: yes it can be upsetting when siblings touch your stuff, yes ...


3

Hmm, if you have to have things for a baby, I would recommend a gift list for the baby, along with the following : Donations to baby college fund A donation to a hospital of gifts for newborns and moms in need. All gift-givers can either get gifts from the gift list , or even donate to the fund, since the child would want to get to a good college one ...


3

Money to start the college fund is a simple gesture that crosses all of the boundaries and leaves everyone unoffended. Not to mention, it is always the perfect size, regardless of who and where it comes from.


3

A great way not to offend religious attendees would be to adopt a religion yourself, preferably one that isn't culturally compatible with theirs. This might help others refrain from procuring gifts of their own religion, whilst not offending them all the same: My wife and I would like to thank you for attending. We would like to use this opportunity to ...


3

Letting children play with dolls when they want to is not limiting their creativity, it allows them yet another dimension. My dolls were pirates and divers and firemen and spacemen... Another thing no-one here mentioned; since we had no cash for doll-accessories, my sister and I made stuff for our dolls - vehicles, tools, furniture, and later on clothes - ...


3

I have no idea of the actual magnitude of the effect of lying to offspring about Santa Claus. It's almost certainly impossible to figure, and to me the magnitude of any given lie was irrelevant. What concerned me originally, within a few months after my daughter's birth, was the simple realization that a good portion of things commonly told to children by ...


3

If you earnestly lie to your children about Santa, you are lieing. Don't lie to your kids. If you have a make-believe game with them about Santa, you are playing with them in the way that they are perfectly accustomed to playing all the time. Let's play trucks, lets play cowboys and indians (OK, that's not PC anymore these days), let's play ... ...


2

Dolls are very useful for encouraging role play. Some children naturally play at random with anything they have - my older (3yo) son does this, but didn't earlier in life. My twenty month old son, however, has a doll and loves it; he hugs it like a baby and very obviously begins to role play with it at a younger age than his older brother did (who had ...



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