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Customer Discussions > Parenting forum

Telling your kids the truth about Santa Claus


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Showing 101-125 of 208 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2010 12:54:52 PM PST
MommaMia, I am so sorry, and I'm glad your son recovered so nicely. That was our situation too, except that my son entered that year with a lot of concerns, so even though he had our support, he was vulnerable. My dad and our best friend had both just died, we'd just uprooted him and moved across country and I'd just had a baby ( thankfully, one he requested and was excited about). It was just too much to then deal with an ogre who talked trash.

I was also inexperienced and trusted my MIL who had been a K-1 teacher for 42 years. I did everything she told me to work my way through the system. I joined the PTA and was on the board. I became room mom and I ate in the lunchroom with the students 3 days a week. I found out that by law you only have to have kids in school 4 days a week, so I pulled him out every Thursday and took him to museums. I took my son to a psychologist who advised private school, which we could not afford. Meanwhile, I was trying to work with the school, but the assistant principal was the real ogre, the principal refused to see me and the superintendent wrote a drunken and aimless reply to my letter, along with his denial to transfer him. A week later he was fired ( for other incompetency, which made our county almost loose it's accreditation). The new one was too unfamiliar with what was going on and there was just too much water under the bridge by then to start over. I did have allies, especially in his counselor, but the principal promptly had her removed as his counselor and gave him someone who was not even trained. The teacher of the gifted program was 100% on his side and stuck her neck out, but she was abused too ( her peers called her the weirdo teacher of the weirdo class) and the county head of Spec ed was on our side but had no power in the schools. My son's class had a para pro who seemed kind, but did nothing. Years later she looked all the students from that class up to find out if they were okay, and told us she feared for her own life and that is why she never stepped forward. Instead she went home every day and prayed. Gee, thanks.

On the urging of a neighbor, I considered homeschooling, but was afraid, and also knew my MIL was uncomfortable with it. Then I got a call from the nurse that my son was sick, and she let me talk to him., He got on the phone and said "Mom, I'm not sick - I just had to get out of that place, and this was the only way I could think of to do it". My MIL was in agreement, but the whole thing threw her into a depression over how schools have changed. She quit teaching and gave in to the lupus she'd been fighting for years.

He was 6 when we pulled him - he'd started first grade, but without much improvement. When he was 9, the county begged me to try again, and said I could put him in any school in the county. We went for an interview at one and it was just as bad. What bothered my son the most was the way kids in special ed were treated. Their teachers didn't even pretend to respect them. When he saw a teacher yell and shove a kid who had Downs, his body went stiff and he stayed that way until we left. As soon as we were out the door, I bent down and said "Don't worry - I will NEVER put you in a place like this again" He looked up at me and said "Okay, but can we go around back and let the others out?" My heart sunk as I realized that simply pulling him out had not been enough. As long as others were still locked up, he was too. I think he felt that way until he was 14, when he helped a boy overcome his fear of water awhile teaching at a BSA camp. He wrote me that night that he had found a calling to be a teacher. He cites that incident as the single most important moment of his life. He's found a way to turn this into a positive and gets to devote his life to setting kids free. That has made him a happy person.

Physical abuse is nothing compared to mental abuse. In some schools mental abuse is systematic. Ours began each child's day with the accusation "Are you going to stay on your star today? If you don't, you won't get your reward" With that threat, few could, and the teacher got to keep all her trinkets - along with some of the kid's souls. Kids do not bounce back - like all of us they either internalize trauma or they work it out in some way. I'm glad to hear yours has done that.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2010 1:03:11 PM PST
MommaMia says:
Thankfully it was only one year for him that way. I would like to think I would have been strong enough if it had happened again to stand up to it. I have to say that the Principal was always very kind to me and seemed to be good to the children and staff. I think this one teacher was allowed to have her bad year before being asked to retire. That was wrong. She should have been forced to leave earlier. Glad to hear your son is on his way to helping other kids and to right some wrongs in the only way he can.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2010 2:47:59 PM PST
lilbitybit says:
@ jmgirl... lol!!!!! I laughed so hard after reading this. And I'm still laughing now. I say you shouldn't tell him anything as they grow and learn they begin to question everything and eventually they will question Santa. But that is just on the quest for knowledge and you should simply say that Santa is a Symbol for what is people should do not just around the holidays but everyday.. and you go from there on why you should share and so on so forth...

Posted on Dec 9, 2010 8:04:33 AM PST
B. Allen says:
whats wrong in believing in santa. For when the kids do find out he is not real it is a learning process. For not trusting your parents for not telling you the truth at a young age (get over it) they were not trying to hurt you or intentionally being dishonest. They were trying to make christmas special.
Now if Santa can not afford to come to your house then I believe you should tell your kids the truth so that they do not wonder what they did wrong that santa will not come to there house.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 9, 2010 8:12:04 AM PST
MommaMia says:
I have to say that I NEVER doubted telling my kids there was a Santa....all this fuss over such a thing boggles my mind.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2010 9:46:10 AM PST
Shelia,
I totally agree. My daughter has "corrected" me when I've tried to explain to her that her favorite characters, i.e. Cinderella, aren't real. How could she possibly understand that Santa isn't real? We sing about him, he's all over the television, and he even sits in the mall...to a child under 7, what more evidence do they need?
To me, to DRIVE home that there's no Santa, causes children more conflict simply because they can't comprehend the "non-existence" of something that is so blatant, obvious, and heavily-promoted at Christmastime.
My daughter is 7 now, and has asked me if Santa is real. My reply was to ask her if she thought he was real, to which she answered yes. She didn't ask any more questions!
She has a wonderful imagination and loves to pretend, but I know eventually, reason will win over and she'll begin to ask me more questions.
We have always told her that the REASON Santa comes is because he's celebrating the birth of Jesus...not because she's been good. We celebrate the spirit of CHRISTmas...which includes celebrating the birth of Jesus, who is God's Son, born to be our Savior. In honor of that, we give gifts to others, since God gave us the best gift of all. To me, Santa is a tradition, based on St. Nicholas, who was giving gifts, since he, too, was inspired by the spirit of CHRISTmas!
So we do the Santa thing because it's FUN!!! When she is older, I will spell it out for her...not that we were lying, but that we are continuing the tradition. Mom and Dad are Santa. We are giving gifts because we love her, just like God gave us Jesus because of his love for us.
The spirit of CHRISTmas lives on!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2010 12:29:21 PM PST
"All the Jewish children in this world must not have "any" magic or fantasy in their lives since they don't believe in Santa. Poor kids..... hope they don't grow up to be serial killers." -- Evelyn Dejesus

Spoken like a true anti-semite!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2010 3:47:55 PM PST
E. DeJesus says:
It was a sarcastic response to those acting like a kid not having Santa in their life is somehow damaging. An anti-semite I am NOT.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 12, 2010 5:12:44 PM PST
xmas is not about christ for everyone on this planet.
or for everyone in America.
I "went along", sort of with santa until my 5 yr old asked if santy was real. I explained the spirt of giving, gifts of yore in handknit stockings, St.Nicholas in other countries, other cultures, reasons for the red woolen suit, and the beauty of the poem which speaks of wonder and sparks a child's fantasy of flying.
I fugure no sense in getting heavy about it, and I have a happy kid.
Happy Holidays. everyone.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2010 5:20:33 AM PST
MommaMia says:
Christmas is NOT about Christ for everyone on this planet? Well...that's a sad state, isn't it??? Considering that CHRISTmas is a celebration of CHRIST's birth...hmmm....how does a religious holiday become secular so easily....??? If it weren't for this celebration of Christ's birth...there wouldn't BE a Christmas. Or maybe I'm wrong...I think someone would have invented a version of Christmas somewhere along the way so that someone could be making money during cold winter months!

You can't take Christ out of Christmas,,,,just like you can't take America's celebration of it's independence out of the FOURTH OF JULY. That's what the 4th is about...or are we saying that the 4th isn't about America for everyone?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2010 10:42:42 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 13, 2010 10:46:05 AM PST
Actually. MommaMia, Christmas is NOT a Christian holiday and never was. It was appropriated from another religion, and from that point on, no matter what Christians do, it will remain a largely secular holiday - albeit wrapped in Christian rhetoric. Read any history of the holiday ( and of Easter as well) and you'll understand that why this struggle continues. It wasn't Christian to begin with, and to put it very simply, you can not have what is not yours. Not even after 2000 years.

I recently went to a Christmas party for my daughter's Scout troop, where the leader stood up and pontificated about how the tree represents the coming of Christ. Never mind that he was out of line to preach religion at a Scout meeting. It was a laughably ignorant speech, and my daughter and husband and I had a hard time keeping from laughing. I'm still shaking my head - if he only knew a little bit of history he'd know his speech could not be further from the truth.

Do you put up a tree or other decorations? Do you serve a big meal? Do you give gifts or do seasonal volunteer work? Do you laugh or in any way make merry this time of year? If you do, then you're not celebrating Christ's birth but the Winter Solstice. I hate to tell you this, but you're making generations of Christians turn over in their graves by doing so. The Christian way of celebrating is having a somber church meeting, with no feast, no gifts, no decorations and no do-gooding. This is how it was celebrated in the US (mandated by law in some places) until Northern Europeans (especially Germans) immigrated here and refused to leave their trees and other ancient traditions behind. Christmas as we know it began to be celebrated about 1850 but didn't really take hold here until after 1900 (except in regions with a large German population). That is only 100 years, out of the 2000 that the Winter solstice has been called Christmas. The way we celebrate now is a modern version of how it was celebrated over 2000 years ago, so we have actually gone back to our roots.

The tree not only doesn't represent Christ, it is more accurately a symbol of rebellion against the Christian religion. The majority of ornaments, to this day, represent nature - the balls are berries and all the fruit, nut and animal ones represent the things that were cherished by pagans and other early religions. The very first tree decorations were gifts left in trees for animals on trees so they could find food even when it snowed. It was likely one of the first acts of volunteerism.

The concept of the "Reason for the Season" point of view is a nice sounding idea, but it has no reason behind it. It's irrational wishful thinking. If Christians REALLY want their own holiday, I suggest they look at summer, when historians estimate Christ was born. If they can't build it from scratch, why not try taking over that 4th of July you mentioned.. Oh, wait - you suggest that that would really antagonize people who are already using it to celebrate something else. Well, since you understand that, surely you can understand why, after 2000 years, the world still refuses to give the Winter solstice to the Christians? We'll share, yes, and we even gave in to using the Christian name for the holiday, but it's been take take take and no give, hasn't it? I think it is time for a little gratitude instead of this arrogant view that if everyone doesn't believe in the Christian deity the world is in a sad state. It's anti-thecal to the true (giving) spirit of the holiday.

That is how a religious holiday became secular - not easily, as you say, but over centuries, by the persistent hammering by Christians who stole it from another religion and then expected everyone to go along with their beliefs, lock stock and barrel. That is a pretty big sense of entitlement, don't you think? They got the obvious result - a large number opted for no religion at all. This also happened during slavery when slave holders banned African religions and gave slaves a twisted version of Christianity, where they were given stern lectures on behaving according to their holder's wishes and were told they'd get a great reward when they died. Some fell for the con and others turned their backs on religion altogether. I expect that is pretty much what happened when Christianity began, too.

I was orphaned young and have spent Christmas with many different families over my 57 years. The warmest and most loving of all was with a Jewish family that celebrated both Hanukkah and Christmas in high (secular, in respect to the Christmas half) style, and the coldest and least loving was with a Christian family that, despite the wonderful qualities each individual had, could only muster guilt and misery when they gathered. I've spent one with a couple who had AIDS and were too sad to celebrate until I showed up with a tree and got a huge gift - great big smiles on two guys who were able to forget their misery for a day. That is my kind of Christmas miracle, and it is one each and every one of us can perform. I've had small family Christmases, large group ones where few attendees were related and I've also been alone on Christmas. I've learned there is only one true way to celebrate and capture the feeling people call Christmas. That is to do whatever you do with a good and generous heart. Nothing else matters, and if you think it does, I think you are the one who is missing the point.

Posted on Dec 13, 2010 10:51:35 AM PST
MommaMia says:
CHRISTMAS is the celebration of Christ's Birth...it may very well have been that other religions celebrated (winter solstice on the 21st, as an example) other things...but it was never called CHRISTMAS until the celebration of Christ's birth was formalized by the founders of the Christian church.

I am not a Christian in the traditional sense of the word...I know all about solstice...and all the other celebrations that Pagans celebrate...as I count myself among them as well as a Christian. It may seem odd, I know...but it's me and that's that.

Winter Solstice is just that...it's NOT Christmas. They are two seperate things. I respect both days and celebrate both.

I am missing nothing. I get the point. Of course whatever you do with a generous heart, no matter how you worship, is the main thing. If you knew me, you would know that I'm well aware of that fact. Most Christians I know are narrow minded and rigid in their thinking. They think they know it all. They think we are all going to hell and they are not. WRONG.

But...and I get back to what I originally said...if it's called CHRISTMAS...then it is meant to be a CELEBRATION OF THE BIRTH OF CHRIST. Just that simple.

Posted on Dec 13, 2010 11:32:39 AM PST
Momma Mia, my intention was not to anger you, and I'm sorry if you took it that way. By you, I didn't mean you singular, but plural, and I prefaced with "if" because I'm not assuming any particular individual puts deity worship ahead of kindness, though I know many do. My inlaws were fundamentalist Christians who once told me that behavior is completely immaterial - only believing in God matters. 20 years later I'm still trying to get my head around that one and their attitude that they were above doing things for strangers.

I do disagree with your claim that because it's called Christmas we all need to view it as a celebration of Christ's birth. A name, as Shakespeare famously informed us, is not what makes a thing what it is. In this case that is doubly true because it was an appropriated holiday and come Hell and high water, a lot of people have never let go of the original reason for the season. As I said before, you (plural) can't claim what you never had to begin with.

Besides that, I could just as easily argue that because we celebrate with a tree, it should never include Christ at all, but be about volunteerism, gift giving and kindness to animals. Actions, after all, do speak louder than words.

Posted on Dec 13, 2010 11:45:52 AM PST
MommaMia says:
Shakespeare said alot of things...he was an interesting guy. Quite a writer of fiction and lovely prose.

Why if we celebrate with a tree should it not include Christ at all? I realize, again, that the symbol originated as a pagan one...and also a tradition in Germany. The presence of the tree at Christmas celebrations should not elminate Christ...it is in ADDITION to, not to replace.

You seem to have had a bad experience with Fundamentalists...who hasn't? Behavior doesn't matter? You are right...try to wrap your head around that and it would make you dizzy! That's a pile of...well...it's ridiculous!

You can't claim what you never had? Hmmm....yes, it was "appropriated"...I have been told by folks who claim to know the bible backward and forward (as if that were some great skill) that Christ was actually born in summer...but surely the founders of the religion realized that in order to ease Christianity into the Pagan communities, they would have to place their holidays and celebrations strategically in the calender. Not sure how I feel about that, but it was done.

However....AGAIN....I say that whether we celebrate Christ's birth in winter or summer...we would be calling it CHRISTMAS, not Solstice or Beltane or whatever...and it would be, a celebration of Christ's birth...not a celebration of nature, volunteerism, gift giving or kindness to animals, large and small. Those are all great things, of course...but they ARE not Christmas as what it was meant to be when established as an official CHURCH holiday by the Christians.

You may not like what Christians did by trying to convert Pagans or Indians or whoever...I have doubts about the wisdom of trying to convert anyone! Christians may have disappointed you in many ways...but Christmas is THEIR holiday in THEIR church....certainly everyone has jumped on the Christmas bandwagon, toy makers, car dealers, I can't think of anyone who hasn't made some money off this holiday. I bet if these same people thought they could make a buck off of the Solstice, they would jump on that too...but it would still be what it is. Can't change what Beltane is, what Samhain is...just like you can't call Christmas anything else than what it is.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2010 12:11:07 PM PST
It's not what I or anyone else 'likes' - it is what it is - a hybrid. At this point, trying to distill it to any one holiday would be fruitless. It was obviously fruitless for Christians to try to make it a Christian only holiday and would be fruitless for a bunch of druids to come back from the dead and try to take it back. Though that WOULD make an interesting Christmas movie, LOL.

My comment about trees was to show the absurdity of claiming Christmas is only Christian, especially while using a key element of celebration ( the decorated tree), which Christians tried very hard to get rid of for centuries.

It was historians who surmised Christ was born in the summer and is based on what was mentioned in the bible as growing at that time of year.

It cracks me up, when people claim to know the bible backward and forward. To me, such a statement highlights how unread and ignorant they are, if they only know one book. If people read widely and then come back and tell me what they believe and I might trust their conviction, but if they read only one book they're just brainwashed.

Names for things have always evolved. I remember when my son. a big fan of the Dr Dolittle books, asked why such a kind man would use such derogatory language in reference to some races. I explained that the language was not, in and of itself, derogatory at the time but language evolves, and often does so to move away from something distasteful. In the case of racial references we've changed the word numerous times, and you'd think we'd learn eventually that changing the word does not change how people think or act. I used that conversation to teach him to look past words and look at how people think and act.

In the case of Christmas, it is simply a number game. When there is a crusade going on, you don't knit pick over what to call a holiday. If the guy with the ax wants me to call my own birthday Monkey day, by golly, Monkey day it is. Actually, I just thought of something. My actual birthday does have another name - Gay Pride day. Does that mean it's any less my birthday or that I should celebrate with a parade instead of a cake? Of course not, though I may choose to parade, because it is mine, to do as I wish with.

Posted on Dec 13, 2010 12:15:38 PM PST
MommaMia says:
If the guy with the ax wants me to call my own birthday Monkey Day, by golly, Monkey day it is! HAHAHAHAHA

Good one Laurel...

You're alright, even if I never agree with you!

Posted on Dec 13, 2010 3:24:02 PM PST
You *never* agree with me? Gee Willikers, I thought we agreed in spirit, if not in form. Now I'm going to have to take you off my Monkey Day guest list.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2010 3:50:59 PM PST
Momof3 says:
Sheila you took the words right out of my mouth. Well said!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2010 5:32:35 AM PST
MommaMia says:
Operative word here Laurel is IF. I said IF I never agree with you...never say never, I always say!

Oh, and let me say Happy Monkey Day to you, if I should forget and miss your special day!

;-)

Have a great day....

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2010 6:20:35 AM PST
Thanks, Momma Mia. Same to you and more of it!

Posted on Dec 15, 2010 4:00:32 PM PST
magj0y says:
Dec. 25th is not winter solstice.. therefore it is not a pagan holiday.
The declaration wasn't fully signed on July 4th, yet we celebrate it THAT day. We can chose to celebrate an important event when we as a collective feel like it.
It was decided centuries ago that we would celebrate the birth of christ on this day. It's a Christian day FOR CHRISTIANS and for those who feel compelled to celebrate with us. Are there some pagan influences in the way we celebrate? Sure, just like there is a cuban influence in the Chinese food in S. FL.

It doesn't matter when we celebrate, but we are. And Laurel F.. *YOU* don't get to decide when a collective group can and should celebrate something.
It's not up to you. Just like it's not up to Christians when Hannuka (or even Easter, for that matter) is celebrated!

The winter solstice is one day. and on that day some celebrate it and some don't. Just because I laugh on that day, serve a big meal or volunteer doesn't indicate what I am (or am not) celebrating. Lots of people laugh and get together on dec. 25th, doesn't make them a Christian!

Posted on Dec 18, 2010 8:43:14 AM PST
KathleenJean says:
Hello, I just read many of the comments, but finally ran out of time to read them all. It certainly turned into a philosophical discussion.

I feel happy, though, after reading a few pages of the comments with how I handled this potentially 'life altering' turning point in childhood with my daughter many moons ago. I didn't have any guidelines when it happened; I just winged it!! And I did wonder about it. (I loved and love the whole Santa aspect of Christmas and it doesn't lessen my appreciation of the religious feelings that anchor the season for me.)

When my daughter first asked me if I believed in Santa Claus, I think she was about 5 years old, before answering her question I asked her back if she did (believe in Santa Claus). She said she did and then left the room happily. Sometime later, I don't recall how long it was, it may have been months or the next year, she asked if her dad and I were Santa Claus, and I asked her what she thought. She said she thought that we were. For some reason it was very hard for me to say that we were but I didn't want to lie at that point either, of course. I pointed out to her how much fun 'pretending' was. Kids play pretend all the time, and they know it's pretend, but still the 'pretends' are wonderfully real in that magical way. We talked about that briefly and then I said that was how it was with Santa, only everyone was 'pretending' together and all enjoying the 'pretend' and having fun sharing that together. We also talked about giving, etc. and its relationship to Christmas and why this particular 'pretend' started. This totally satisfied her, and we continued 'pretending' and continue 'pretending' in a way to this day, only now we all contribute to each others stockings when the others are not looking. And gifts still magically appear under the tree before Christmas morning. My daughter is 24 and my son is 28 now, and interestingly enough, I do not recall having this discussion with my son. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit this. I'm sure he figured it out on his own and continued the 'game' too. I am going to ask him how he found out.

I remember how I found out. My cousin, who was a few years older than I, told me. My biggest concern was how disappointed my mom would be if she knew that I knew about Santa Claus, so I kept up the pretense and do not recall when she found out or how she found out that I knew. I don't think it caused her psychological damage! ;-) One Christmas, before I found out she was Santa, I left a note on Christmas Eve asking Santa to bring skates for my mom because she had been a good girl too. My sister and I had asked for skates. Fortunately for my mom, she had bought skates for all of us, so they were also put under the tree with the other skates before my sister and I got up that Christmas morning. I must have been at least 6 years old as I wrote my own note to Santa.

Merry Christmas to all of you in this Discussion and a Happy New Year!!
Kathleen

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2010 4:55:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 18, 2010 7:33:44 PM PST
spookiewon says:
"[Mother Teresa], your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, [Mother Teresa], whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, [Mother Teresa], there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no [Mother Teresa]s. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, [Mother Teresa], in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, [Mother Teresa], nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood."

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2010 5:10:00 PM PST
spookiewon says:
Exactly. Santa is the very essence of selfless giving. Exactly like Jesus.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2010 5:16:43 PM PST
spookiewon says:
Um...Santa Claus was NOT created by Coca Cola, and magic is, by definition, not factual. Study history, science and philosophy.
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