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My 10 year old and Father Christmas

(94 Posts)
Lisalou Mon 27-Nov-17 07:35:16

Dear wise ladies!

I need advice. I have been expecting DD2 to cotton on (be told by school mates) that Father Christmas is not real. (Perish the thought, I believe in him)
My other two reacted by a) crying, being furious and announcing that Christmas was ruined (DD1) or b) taking it in stride and throwing himself into making it special for then baby sister (DS)
This one is made of sterner stuff - she told me her friends had made the preposterous statement that Father Christmas was not real, and that she had tried (unsuccessfully) to put them right. She was upset that her friends would tell her something so horrible, and declared that she believed in him - her upset was that her friends could be so misguided!
What to do? I didn't say anything at the time, as my jaw was hanging WIDE open - didn't expect that one!
On one hand, I would love her to believe forever, on the other hand, I am worried she will have problems with school friends, bullying, being called a baby, etc.
Should I sit her down, or just let it ride and let her work it out for herself? Her father and I don't have a clue what to do. Do you think I should let this year go, let her enjoy it all and break the news after Christmas?

Sorry about the length of this, but really flummoxed!

Liz46 Mon 27-Nov-17 07:40:21

How lovely that you have such a sweet and innocent little girl. I have a ten year old grand daughter and I have not had the discussion with her but am pretty sure she knows the truth! I must check with my daughter. It is a difficult one but, on balance, maybe it is time you had a chat over a bag of her favourite sweets!
Maybe other grans will be more help.

Humbertbear Mon 27-Nov-17 07:50:40

No one at school has ever spilled the beans to my GC. I think children gradually work it out for themselves. My oldest GD did but kept quiet so she still got the presents. Let it go. If she still believes let her enjoy another year. She’s probably indulging you.

annsixty Mon 27-Nov-17 08:08:21

My Dil has told her 9 year old this year as she knows a lot of his friends know and one in particular, a girl, would be the first to "blab" and would certainly tease him.
He is a very sensitive boy and would be upset by the teasing.
I was touched when he thanked me for arranging the letters sent to him each year by Father Christmas.

Newquay Mon 27-Nov-17 08:18:49

Oh dear, what a problem! We never told our own DDs about Father Christmas and now, in turn, we never talk about him to our DGC. They have all enjoyed Christmas and all eventually "cottoned on" themselves. They could never then accuse us of "lying" to them. We did this cos we're Christians and celebrate Christmas as when we celebrate Christ's birth-don't get me wrong we have a lovely jolly time enjoying celebrations, gifts etc. Personally I would want to tell this child myself. . . . so as to avoid bullying etc especially at 10. Our 9 year old DGS has apparently said to his Mum "that can't be true can it" but he hasn't mentioned it to us. Nor his younger sister either.

Nanabilly Mon 27-Nov-17 08:53:59

My 2 believed until aged 11 and we thought we were very lucky but have since found out they strung it out a year or 2 as they would get more presents if they still beieved.
If I were you I would say nothing , not even after Christmas or she may ,in later life say my mum and dad killed it for me when they told me Santa is not real . Let her do it for herself and see just how long you can string of out for . This may be the last year you can do it .
Our boys are mid and late 30's and still smile when they open a small gift with from Santa or Rudolph on the label.

Smithy Mon 27-Nov-17 09:10:05

My son is 5 years older than his sister and when she was about 9 he told me that she had "twigged" about 2 years previously but had gone along with it as she didn't want to spoil it for me! So nothing was said until she finally admitted that she knew. So different from yours but I'd agree with Nanabilly😉

BlueBelle Mon 27-Nov-17 09:12:24

I agree with you Newquay I think most children from about 8 work it out for themselves I don’t remember being traumatised or even how old I was I didn’t have any problems with my children they just transitioned from believing to not believing I ve no idea at what age it just happened Same seemed to happen with all the grandkids The last one s mum tried to keep it going and I swear she went along with it for a couple of years to please her Mum 😂
If she’s 10 maybe you can bring it into conversation gently as she is at an age when she may get mocked for being a baby and although it’s lovely for little ones she ll feel daft when she comes to realise it isn’t real and she’s been arguing it is It’s a hard one so much easier when they just gradually move on themselves one year believing and the next not

midgey Mon 27-Nov-17 09:13:26

My GD asked her mother outright outright, her mother explained carefully (she thought). After many tears GD said that some things were better left.

Liz46 Mon 27-Nov-17 09:29:23

It's hard one and I guessed we may have different opinions. Maybe it comes down to how kind (or not) her friends are? Are they likely to tease her? I know there was some bitchiness at a sleepover my grand daughter had with a bunch of friends. In the end, you know your daughter best.

maryeliza54 Mon 27-Nov-17 09:30:38

We decided when my dd was born we would not ‘big up’ Father Christmas. He just brought the stocking with sweets and small gifts and we left out sherry, mince pies and carrots to say thank you. There were no letters to him therefore and certainly no ‘what do you want for Christmas’. When she asked me about him eventually, I said he did exist in the sense that he was about all the love that people had for each other and how they showed that at Christmas by buying each other presents. So although he wasn’t ‘real’ what he stood for was very real. DD is bringing up the dgc in the same way. We all think it’s lovely - we hate grabby Christmas lists and ‘this year’s must have presents’. Instead it’s about showing your care/love for others. I was super proud of dgc yesterday as they told me all about the reverse advent calendar they were putting together for the food bank. DGC2 (7) even told me the % of children amongst the recipients locally.

Granny23 Mon 27-Nov-17 09:34:59

My 10yo DGS has just announced that Santa has a rubbish business plan (they are doing a bit about economics in maths) and will surely go bankrupt any day soon. I countered by pointing out the vast sums that Santa must earn from copyright, adverts and personal appearances.

Last year DGD2 (aged 7 going on 70) confided that 'You don't have to BELIEVE in Santa but you must PRETEND for the little ones'.

annodomini Mon 27-Nov-17 09:52:08

Christmas lists can be dangerous in raising expectations. DGS, then aged 8, had a meltdown when he discovered that Santa had not left him a laptop. Imagine if billions of children worldwide had the same expectations. I do hope that now he is 10, he will be more realistic. Surely the talk in the playground will be of the non-existence of Santa!

NanaandGrampy Mon 27-Nov-17 10:04:09

We resolved a similar issue with our now 11 year old granddaughter by explaining not everyone believes and that’s ok , but we believe and that’s all that matters . We also explained that it’s not about the jolly old chap in red , it’s about believing in the spirit of Christmas . That’s the important thing.

We do Christmas lists and all that stuff but our little ones know what they ask for are wishes and no-one gets everything they wish for.

I love the whole magic of the season and we do it here with gusto. No one seems too traumatised yet 🎅🏻🎅🏻🎅🏻

humptydumpty Mon 27-Nov-17 10:16:06

My DD was just like this! I found it hard to believe at the time, I remeber - but I let it ride, and it wall worked out in the end. Let her go on believing!

Luckygirl Mon 27-Nov-17 10:19:32

My DD told her oldest boy during the summer before he went to secondary school as she thought he might get teased. He seemed very old to still be believing in FC - mine certainly knew much younger.

It sounds as though your DD is determined to hang on to FC! If I were you I would let it ride this year, then find a moment to put her right during 2018.

I worked it out when I was about 5 or 6 as I found some material in a drawer that matched something I had been given by FC - my mother sat me down and explained the whole thing. My reaction was to say I had thought it was a bit weird that we gave Mum and Dad presents, but they did not give us any! - so that explained their meanness!

DJW Mon 27-Nov-17 10:23:20

I told my daughter one year that Father Christmas no longer covered her age group and that he concentrated on younger children. This was, of course, a selfish ploy as I had a bought a great present that I didn't want Father Christmas to take the credit for!

kwest Mon 27-Nov-17 10:31:16

On holiday last summer my daughter decided to take a walk along the beach with her 10 year old daughter and take the opportunity to tell her about 'periods'. She explained that it was all part of growing up like understanding that Santa wasn't real. My GD said " What.......? That's two horrible things you have told me in the past five minutes!!!

Jaycee5 Mon 27-Nov-17 10:34:49

Nanabilly I did that too. My mother said 'you don't still believe in Christmas do you' and I said 'of course I do' and she went along with it but we both knew really.

silverlining48 Mon 27-Nov-17 10:36:21

My girls were horrified at the age of 18 or so when i let it drop in conversation that there was not a fc. Am still not sure if they were winding me up....they are both good actresses. Or should that be actors, gender non specific. So they probably were...

Julieertz Mon 27-Nov-17 10:43:55

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Misha14 Mon 27-Nov-17 10:45:08

We never told our kids that there was a Father Christmas. We still had lots of presents on Christmas Eve and stockings on Christmas Day and it never caused any problems. I didn't tell them about FC because I had been so shocked and disappointed when I found out as a child.

Linbrikat Mon 27-Nov-17 10:45:27

What? Father Christmas isn't real? Who's been leaving me presents for the last 65 years then?

Skweek1 Mon 27-Nov-17 10:49:27

While I pretend to believe that there is no FC, in my heart of hearts I know that he does exist! Too little magic in the world. Let her have her innocence and childhood dreams while she can. The magic will die too soon.

RAF Mon 27-Nov-17 10:51:22

Our 8 year old GD is facing this at school. She desperately wants to believe, but is writing a letter to Santa that she won't let her parents see 'as a test'. Apparently she did leave this on the table when distracted, and her mother spotted that apart from a Fitbit, she wanted an end to all wars, no more world poverty, and various other altruistic impossibles! She says she is going to email this to Granny (me) so I can send it off without her parents knowing what is in it. We have obviously explained that Father Christmas could not possibly give everyone everything they asked for.

I suppose I could say I forgot to post the letter, when she checks the news on Christmas Day!

I didn't have this problem with her mum and my other children, I told them the truth as soon as the very first questions started, in their case around 4! I said to them that there was a Father Christmas who lived a long time ago, he was called St Nicholas, and in the days when children used to leaved their muddy shoes outside the door, he would go round at night and fill them with sweets. He died a long time ago, but the desire to make children happy at Christmas time lives on in all of us, and we carry on the tradition in our own houses with stockings.

I was concerned that if left too late, there would be a 'baby and bathwater' situation, where if Father Christmas wasn't real, then they would not believe in the real Christmas story either, which for us is the real cause of joy on Dec 25th!