The Santa Controversy

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by jen12, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Dec 2, 2012

    Once again we've come to the time of year when you try to do a holiday read-aloud and the cries come up about Santa...

    "Santa isn't real!"
    "Santa is your mom and dad!"

    And my personal favorite....."Santa is DEAD!!!!"

    How do you deal with this? Do you focus on holiday books that don't involve Santa? Do you just ignore the conversation and say that for the sake of the story, Santa is a character like any other character in the book?

    It drives me crazy and for me it takes a huge part of the fun out of the holiday season when first graders are arguing about it.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dec 2, 2012

    Wow...first grade...really?

    I just tell kids that every one has a right to believe what they do, but it's not ok to tell someone their belief is wrong.
     
  4. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Dec 2, 2012

    I tell my kids that "if you believe, you receive," and in my house, I believe, and my stocking gets filled, and I don't fill it! I also tell them that it's okay if they don't believe, but (1) they are not allowed to "step on" other kids beliefs and (2) we all can enjoy a good book!
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Kids will then ask, "Do YOU believe in Santa?" I don't, and I won't say I do...so I just avoid it completely.
     
  6. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Dec 2, 2012

    I'm in HS so I don't deal with this in the classroom, but my daughter is in 3rd grade so I'm just waiting for the question to come up with her...Right now she still believes.
     
  7. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Dec 2, 2012

    We're not allowed to discuss holidays, so I would simply tell them that. At my previous school I had the kids write letters to Santa OR to their mom and dad. I told them I didn't want to hear any discussions about it. I would never discuss "believing" because if you have kids in your class that know it's not real, they see their teacher lying to the class. I figured it out the summer after Kindergarten. I don't think it's that unusual- I was a logical kid and I just knew it didn't make sense.
     
  8. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    Dec 2, 2012

    Surprisingly enough, I don't think I've ever had kids arguing about it. But I've always taught 3rd grade and above, so they're a little older. They were usually excited about doing Santa crafts and didn't really talk about it whether he was real or not.
     
  9. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Dec 2, 2012

    My theme in December is snowmen and that helps keep the focus away from the "Santa controversy". If it comes up I do a little lesson on how everyone can believe different things.

    Something to quiet the nay-sayers: www.reindeercam.com It's a live reindeer cam and Santa feeds them 3 times a day. They aren't sure what to believe after they see it!
     
  10. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Dec 2, 2012

    UGH, that's so annoying. I understand that some parents don't want their children to believe in Santa, but why not tell them NOT to ruin it for other children? Like when I was little my parents would tell me certain things were "family business" (like when mom was using Slim Fast). If I decided to tell my child the truth about Santa, I would tell them it's a family business that we don't share with other people.

    Anyway, as soon as a kid tries to interject there's no Santa I cut them off and in a stern voice say "If you believe in Santa he's real." Then I say no more discussion
     
  11. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Dec 2, 2012

    This made me :lol:!
     
  12. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Dec 2, 2012

    This is why I loved working for agencies that did not celebrate holidays!
     
  13. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Dec 3, 2012

    LOL, glad you enjoyed that. :p I was quite the blabber mouth as a kiddo
     
  14. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Dec 3, 2012

    This just reminded me of my daughter coming to the conclusion that there is no Santa. when she was in 8th grade (barely 13) I got her a hamster for Christmas. I had to hide it in the small storage room there is behind her bathroom. That bathroom is downstairs, next to the kitchen. I was cooking Christmas dinner and along with all the cooking and baking, I had to guard the door to the bathroom, because if she went in there she would have heard the hamster running on the her wheel (it was very squeeky)

    It was crazy, but thinking back, it was funny. She didn't understand why she couldn't go in and suspected that something was up. So we 'survived' Christmas Eve with the secret, although she kept asking what the weird noise was. She didn't figure it out, or at least pretended not to.
    Then a few months later she declared she knew there was no more Santa.

    The funny thing was that she wasn't happy that I had been lying to her all this time. I had to confess about our cat and her laptop coming from me, and not Santa. The look on her face was priceless. :)
     
  15. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Dec 3, 2012

    You have to see Christmas Eve when Santa drives off in a sleigh with the reindeer...it is so cool!!!!
     
  16. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Dec 4, 2012

    But I do believe in Santa!!!
     
  17. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Dec 5, 2012

    As I had a line of kids standing in front of me waiting for me to sharpen their pencils they started discussing Santa. One boy proudly said, "Santa's not real." I told him to keep that to himself. The other kids went back to talking and he said, "My mom told me she buys my stuff not Santa."

    I shushed him then pulled him aside and said, "Some things we don't share. Some kids believe in Santa and it makes them sad if you say he's not real."

    He looked surprised, then like he felt bad and said okay.

    I then said that we don't have to share EVERYTHING and just like he wouldn't talk about using the bathroom in front of everyone because that's a private thing, he shouldn't talk about not believing in Santa because that's a private thing too.

    I don't know if that was the right way to handle it but what can you do?
     
  18. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Dec 5, 2012

    I think you handled it just fine.

    I really don't get this movement toward not letting kids believe. When they hear it from older siblilngs or kids who have grown out of it, it's one thing, but I don't understand this need parents have to kill the mystery and wonder. I get that some people have hangups and some displaced anger at their parents for...what? Betraying them by trying to create a fun mythology as part of their childhood?

    My mom always told us that Santa sent her the bills for our gifts. I think it was her way of helping us understand that stuff still wasn't free, even special things still cost money and there were limits. That's one thing, but completely destroying what seems a mainstay of childhood just seems mean to me.
     
  19. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Dec 5, 2012

    It's not a "hang-up" and I certainly don't have "displaced anger" from my childhood. It's just a different belief than your own.
     

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