MONEY MORAL DILEMMA: What's more important - MoneySaving or Santa?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Money Saving Polls
111 replies 18.5K views


  • ZeldazogZeldazog Forumite
    288 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    My son is 9 in January, and still firmly believes in Santa just yet, but I know this is probably the last year.

    A few years ago, when he was probably four or five, I told him that Santa only gets one or two presents for him - I told him this for several reasons - so that he could accept that Santa's present supply is not limitless (he understands that if he had a lot of stuff from Santa, that another child somewhere would be deprived, and he certainly wouldn't want that).

    - but I also wanted him to understand that other people, including myself buy him gifts.

    This way, he knows that he won't get everything he'd like for Christmas, as he already understands that I can't afford a lot. He is also very appreciative of the gifts that he gets from me and other people, as well as Santa.

    He is quite happy with not getting everything he would like for Christmas because of money, and isn't at all greedy.

    By doing it this way, he still gets to enjoy the magical side of Christmas, whilst still understanding that money, therefore his present pile, is not limitless. He gets a lot less than many of his schoolfriends for both Xmas and birthdays, or pocket money but probably gets more excited because it means so much more.

    He is turning out to be a boy with a very generoous spirit and heart, he isn't greedy and genuinely, appreciates even the smallest of presents he receives, both birthdays and christmas, because he knows that someone has bought that specially for him.

    So, I am fortunate that I don't have to make that decision. For now, Christmas remains a magical time, for him and me!
  • I truly believe that children should be told the truth, I know that I am an extreme case BUT I did believe in Santa because my mother has said it existed so, when I was told at school that I was silly and that it did NOt exist I swore that this was not possible because I trusted my mother completely. I then asked her and she admitted that it did not exist. Do you know the hurt was awful and I never completely trusted her ever again? I was about six then and I am seventy three.... but I still remember it as if it was yesterday.:rolleyes:
  • We are telling our older daughter (3 tomorrow) that we buy the presents and send them to Santa for him to deliver on christmas day.

    We have already taken her shopping to get her sisters presents.

    I remember as a child selecting the mince pie or jam tart, the glass of sherry and carrot that we would leave out for Santa and Rudolph. The carrot was always left with a bite mark in it, the others I assume were eaten/drunk or went back into the tin or bottle. I do like the idea that Santa leaves a very small, nominal gift for the child himself and this idea will be taken forward.

    I have spent a long time shopping this year in the sales/£1 shops as I know that the rest of the family like to buy large items so I will let them. :rotfl:
  • cpucpu Forumite
    392 Posts
    I think there are two separate questions here. (1) Believing in Santa or being told the truth, .....and (2) how much 'Santa' should be expected to supply.

    Personally I feel childhood is pretty much the only time in life where you can freely experience such intense feelings of wonder, excitement and awe without questioning or rationalising as perhaps you would in adulthood. I think it's a shame some children are denied this experience although I fully accept the parents right to do as they see fit for their children. We are all thrown quick enough into a world where we soon realise there is a a lot of negativity and badness and cruel reality and I think it does no harm for children to be allowed to live in a bubble of magical and excited feelings for a short while.

    Children are a different species to us jaded adults. Give them as many happy memories to look back on as you can. A family picnic or trip to the zoo might well be fun but there's nothing very magical about it.

    As for the cost, I agree with those who tell their kids Santa brings a small gift or small amount of gifts because he has so many children to go round, and all other presents are from friends and family. That way children are not under the impression Santa has a never ending supply of PS3's.

    Btw, Santa stops visiting to those who stop believing. So that's why he stops visiting when children get older. Shame on all you disbelievers. ;)
  • I dont know how or why I decided to post this but I have had more than one Christmas in my 20 years of being a Mum that Ive had sometimes only £50 to split between 3 children....and this is what I did.. I explained that Although Santa brought the presents for them Santa didnt buy them, it was I who had to send Santa the money.
    Harsh maybe but I always believed the fantasy of Santa for a child was the fact that Santa brought them their presents NOT bought them!!

    My youngest stopped beleiving in Santa the Christmas he was 9, with an older brother of 11 and older sister of 17 at the time, no one spoilt that fantasy and my kids never really asked for anything or more than they knew I could afford.

    Today I get to spend a little more on my children and it usually consists of one expensive present (which i consider to be about £70-£80) each and about £20 on small presents. None of them have ever given me a hard time they all are always gratefull. They also dont have the benefit of other family, they dont get any other presents other than from me.

    The nicest thing though is that they look after what they have been given, and recently as they are now older sold a lot of there things they got when they were small and made back almost what I paid for it, so they get double the value of almost everything they get!
  • I thought I'd stir the pot.

    Basically, parents know Xmas exists and that children will expect presents. Even if Santa exists or not, that's the lay of the land. Most people know what consoles will be out about 6 months previous (I sure do, and I'm not a kid) or what generic gifts can be purchased (ie, trainers, bikes, PC enhancements, phones, etc)

    Parents - save up for the whole year. That's what banks are for. if you can't afford your mortgage payment, bills, food and the odd present for your kids - then you really need to consider downsizing your life because when college/Uni comes, it'd be good if mummy and daddy could help Little Suzie if she wanted to proceed in higher education (or other such expenditure)

    Kids cost. Don't make them resent you buy giving them the old crud, "When I was little, we had a tangerine for Xmas and we liked it!" No you didn't. You wanted a pony and you got a very small orange that looked yummy but when you peeled it was like cardboard.

    Therefore: So should they explain Santa doesn't exist and they can't afford the toy or go into debt to keep the myth alive?

    Don't burst their bubble. Manage your money better and plan ahead. It's not like Christmas comes on a different date every year and you can pretend you forgot.

    *Dusts hands off*

    I'm done.
  • I think there are some wonderful ideas on here, but just wanted to add my cautionary tale for parents to Monteil's...
    My parents always told me that Santa was real, and I believed them fully until I found out the truth at school when I was about 7. When I asked about this, my parents were so upset by the whole "end of childhood" thing that I felt obliged to continue pretending I thought Santa was real, which I found excrutiating. Even now (I'm 29), I still get presents from "Santa".
    I think it's nice for litle kids to believe, but as parents I think we should be careful not to make Xmas about what we want and need, rather than what our kids want and need...
    He who binds himself to a joy
    Does the winged life destroy.
    But he who kisses the joy as it flies
    Lives in eternity's sunrise :j
  • Monteil wrote:
    I truly believe that children should be told the truth

    Yup. And while you sit them down and tell them that some cool myth that has lasted years is false, maybe you can tell them that the ozone layer is depleting at a rapid rate, there will be no fish in 40 years, all the oil on the planet is drying up and get them down to a zoo quick, because once those tigers die, there won't be any more to replace them.

    Conclusion: Don't let your kids grow up too fast. Let them have fun.
  • My kids (4) have always understood that that all gifts are purchased by us and delivered by santa, gifts have always been labeled from the recipients, never from Santa so they understand the amount of money we have decides the value of there gifts. As for telling the kids whether santa is real, it's never come up although i have caught the older 2 rolling there eyes when I mention him but they are 13 and 14 lol. Think there scared to say out loud that he doesn't exist in case that means they don't get anything. Its like they have automatically entered into the conspiracy for the sake of the younger 2 without been told. Even moody teenagers get caught up in the magic of christmas.
    £2 coin savers club = £288
  • minimini Forumite
    833 Posts
    The idea of Father Christmas is much more exciting than me telling them they have lots of presents stashed away until the 25th. We say we have to pay for the presents and they are good without any prompting this year they have written their list & that they'd like something off the list not everything.

    I still remember hearing Martin say about Christmas being on the same day each year - I was so surprised, seriously! money wise it always seemed to sneak up on us! Of course now I am super organised:o
This discussion has been closed.

Cheap Train Tickets

Hidden fares, split tickets and how to beat booking fees

MSE Guides