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Old 4th December 2017, 07:01 PM   #1
SOdhner
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Santa Claus

My skeptic parenting has paid off. My son has thought about the whole Santa thing and, based on the fact that I've told him magic isn't real, he has realized that there can't really be flying reindeer - and so Santa must have a jet pack.

Baby steps.
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Old 4th December 2017, 09:20 PM   #2
BobTheCoward
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Originally Posted by SOdhner View Post
My skeptic parenting has paid off. My son has thought about the whole Santa thing and, based on the fact that I've told him magic isn't real, he has realized that there can't really be flying reindeer - and so Santa must have a jet pack.

Baby steps.
I'm so excited when my kid is older to tell her santa Claus has been real this whole time. That this human concept of giving without receiving is beautifully powerful and we manifest it as a loving person to help children see what is magical about it.
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Old 5th December 2017, 01:31 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by SOdhner View Post
My skeptic parenting has paid off. My son has thought about the whole Santa thing and, based on the fact that I've told him magic isn't real, he has realized that there can't really be flying reindeer - and so Santa must have a jet pack.

Baby steps.
What!!? Santa isn't real!!?

Devastated I am...devastated!!
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Old 5th December 2017, 01:40 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
What!!? Santa isn't real!!?

Devastated I am...devastated!!
I thought you were smartcooky?
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Old 5th December 2017, 02:24 AM   #5
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Not another annual "Santa is an evil influence on kids, let's ban this unskeptical custom" thread.

We did the Santa thing for many years for our seven kids and it hasn't harmed the skeptical and athiest bunch. We are doing the same with our grandkids.
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Old 5th December 2017, 02:39 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Not another annual "Santa is an evil influence on kids, let's ban this unskeptical custom" thread.

We did the Santa thing for many years for our seven kids and it hasn't harmed the skeptical and athiest bunch. We are doing the same with our grandkids.
Atheist, yeah right. With seven kids, you've got to be Catholic
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Old 5th December 2017, 02:51 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by SOdhner View Post
My skeptic parenting has paid off. My son has thought about the whole Santa thing and, based on the fact that I've told him magic isn't real, he has realized that there can't really be flying reindeer - and so Santa must have a jet pack.

Baby steps.
Well he has evidence that part of the story you've told him is true - he gets presents - so he knows that any theory about Santa Claus has to account for that. I'd say that's a big conceptual leap.

P. S. Now you can really screw him up, give him no presents on Christmas Day and tell him Santa Claus doesn't give presents to those that doubt him!
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Old 5th December 2017, 02:53 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
Atheist, yeah right. With seven kids, you've got to be Catholic

Indeed, combined with the fact that my middle name is Patrick, my surname is of bog Irish Galway derivation, I was an (unmolested) altar boy, my father was a Marist Brother for a brief period and uncles and aunts were priests and nuns.

Despite my athiest commitment I still attend religious weddings and funerals. And I love Christmas and it's associated rituals. Long live Santa.
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Old 5th December 2017, 02:55 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Not another annual "Santa is an evil influence on kids, let's ban this unskeptical custom" thread.

We did the Santa thing for many years for our seven kids and it hasn't harmed the skeptical and athiest bunch. We are doing the same with our grandkids.
You didn't read the opening post did you? His parents are obviously telling him the story of Santa Claus but the kid is starting to think for himself and saying "something isn't quite right with this" and attempting to work it out for himself.

Isn't part of the joy of being a parent experiencing kids growing up and becoming their own person?
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Old 5th December 2017, 03:01 AM   #10
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My kid (see avatar) decided to give up the game. He's pretty much an avowed atheist at nine and has been for a while. He confessed that he really figured it out about three years ago, but was playing along for the collection of loot.

It's pretty clear here when they're in school. Even the "international" (read Euro/American furriners or "farang") schools are majority Thai. Some are kids of Thai couples who have lived overseas, some just well-off Thais who want an international education for their kids, and most of 'em are from mixed western/Thai couples. BUT, still there are kids from the sub-continent and Thailand who make no reference to or celebrate Christmas. Christmas Day is not a holiday here, other than for the schools.

So he worked it out on his own when he had cousins arriving over the holiday period and none of them were reporting on what they got from Santa.
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Old 5th December 2017, 03:07 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
You didn't read the opening post did you? His parents are obviously telling him the story of Santa Claus but the kid is starting to think for himself and saying "something isn't quite right with this" and attempting to work it out for himself.

Isn't part of the joy of being a parent experiencing kids growing up and becoming their own person?
I did read the OP. Me and my wife wanted to entrench the Santa ritual, and took pride in continuing it. Kids work it out themselves obviously, but in my experience they loved the ritual. "Lying" to them that Santa was real was not a bad thing in my view. I took more joy in the kids going along with the myth.

What pisses me off is that some hold that this is an unskepitical position to take. I know that this is not what the OP is doing, but it has been done in the past.
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Old 5th December 2017, 03:15 AM   #12
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I have never directly said to my kids that Santa Claus doesn't exist. Though we always bought all the presents when the kids were with us in the shop. So the inevitable happened last Christmas, as my 7-year-old son said with enthusiasm and intended humour: Let's wrap these in present paper -- and then we will pretend that Santa Claus brought them!

There was something profoundly hilarious in that moment.
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Old 5th December 2017, 03:28 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Not another annual "Santa is an evil influence on kids, let's ban this unskeptical custom" thread.
I don't think anyone is saying that, are they?

Personally I think the Santa Claus story is an excellent way of training kids to be sceptical. They work it out eventually, and can then apply the same reasoning process to other myths. I always say I stopped believing in god shortly after I stopped believing in Father Christmas, and for exactly the same reason.
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Old 5th December 2017, 03:29 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
What!!? Santa isn't real!!?

Devastated I am...devastated!!
I'm sorry for your distress. That information should OBVIOUSLY have been hidden in spoiler quotes. Perhaps the mods could also add a warning to the thread title that it contains disturbing information.
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Old 5th December 2017, 04:33 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
I don't think anyone is saying that, are they?

Personally I think the Santa Claus story is an excellent way of training kids to be sceptical. They work it out eventually, and can then apply the same reasoning process to other myths. I always say I stopped believing in god shortly after I stopped believing in Father Christmas, and for exactly the same reason.
Hilited: I take it you haven't been around for our semi-regular Why Do You Think It's Okay to Lie to Your Kids About Santa thread. Lionking and I have waded into that debacle a couple of times. It gets rather rancorous.
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Old 5th December 2017, 06:21 AM   #16
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It's only a matter of time before the idea of one man traveling around the world in a single night leads to the logical realization that Santa uses regional subcontractors. The real reason that different parts of the world call Santa by different names, depict him in different outfits, and have him accompanied by different assistants is that Santa uses a large number of local individuals to distribute gifts in his name while using variants of his image. Then there are also the associated gift-givers who choose not to use the Santa name and image, like Befana.
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Old 5th December 2017, 06:28 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Armitage72 View Post
It's only a matter of time before the idea of one man traveling around the world in a single night leads to the logical realization that Santa uses regional subcontractors. The real reason that different parts of the world call Santa by different names, depict him in different outfits, and have him accompanied by different assistants is that Santa uses a large number of local individuals to distribute gifts in his name while using variants of his image. Then there are also the associated gift-givers who choose not to use the Santa name and image, like Befana.
And UPS!
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Old 5th December 2017, 06:52 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
What!!? Santa isn't real!!?
WHOA WHOA WHOA. Hang on. Nobody is saying that Santa isn't real. I just said that my son figured out that the reindeer can't fly. Man, you don't need to jump to conclusions like that.

Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Not another annual "Santa is an evil influence on kids, let's ban this unskeptical custom" thread.
I hope not! I wasn't trying to start anything like that, I just thought it was a funny bit of skeptical thinking to share.

Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Well he has evidence that part of the story you've told him is true - he gets presents - so he knows that any theory about Santa Claus has to account for that. I'd say that's a big conceptual leap.
Yeah, he's clearly thinking about it a lot. I think he's also trying to figure out the delivery method - does Santa have to go into each house? Can he, like, throw the presents?

Originally Posted by Darat View Post
P. S. Now you can really screw him up, give him no presents on Christmas Day and tell him Santa Claus doesn't give presents to those that doubt him!
My wife might literally kill me.

Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
He confessed that he really figured it out about three years ago, but was playing along for the collection of loot.
My realization about Santa was very much like my eventual switch to atheism. I questioned it and pretty quickly realized something was fishy, but I gave it another year before admitting it to myself (not for fear of not getting presents, just because I didn't quite feel ready to say I didn't believe in Santa).

I don't really understand how any kids don't already know - every Christmas special is all "Nobody believes in me!" "Everyone knows Santa is fake!" etc. and while obviously they're wrong in the world of the movie I still feel like that would start to put the idea in my head. Gosh, the kids in that movie make fun of the other kid because he believes in Santa. Is that... something I shouldn't believe in? Huh...
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Old 5th December 2017, 06:53 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
And UPS!
Uninterruptible Parcel Supply?
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Old 5th December 2017, 07:29 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Not another annual "Santa is an evil influence on kids, let's ban this unskeptical custom" thread. :mad.
You're right, it's not 'another annual "Santa is an evil influence on kids, let's ban this unskeptical custom" thread'.
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Old 5th December 2017, 07:42 AM   #21
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Is he old enough to use Wikipedia?
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Old 5th December 2017, 07:50 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by SOdhner View Post
My skeptic parenting has paid off. My son has thought about the whole Santa thing and, based on the fact that I've told him magic isn't real, he has realized that there can't really be flying reindeer - and so Santa must have a jet pack.

Baby steps.

A learning opportunity for the danger of overlooking alternative hypotheses.

Ask him: how can he be so sure it's not the reindeer that have the jet packs?
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Old 5th December 2017, 07:52 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Is he old enough to use Wikipedia?
Yeah, but he won't. I'm the one looking stuff up about this (namely, what age is normal for them to figure this out). He's ten, which is a little older than average but he's also doing home school so there's less outside influence.
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Old 5th December 2017, 08:14 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by SOdhner View Post
My skeptic parenting has paid off. My son has thought about the whole Santa thing and, based on the fact that I've told him magic isn't real, he has realized that there can't really be flying reindeer - and so Santa must have a jet pack.

Baby steps.

But...jet packs exist. They aren't very good, duration-wise, but they exist.
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Old 5th December 2017, 08:22 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Beerina View Post
But...jet packs exist. They aren't very good, duration-wise, but they exist.
That's why I said 'baby steps'. His next realization will be that Santa, being an immortal with a large team of engineers, has actually perfected some sort of awesome futuristic transportation that makes our "jet packs" look like pathetic toys.
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Old 5th December 2017, 08:31 AM   #26
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That life-changing moment when you go from "Ho! Ho! Ho!" to "Oh?! Oh! Oh..."
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Old 5th December 2017, 08:59 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by SOdhner View Post
Yeah, but he won't. I'm the one looking stuff up about this (namely, what age is normal for them to figure this out). He's ten, which is a little older than average but he's also doing home school so there's less outside influence.
Why won't he? I have a 2 year old so im asking to calibrate my own expectations.
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Old 5th December 2017, 09:35 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Why won't he? I have a 2 year old so im asking to calibrate my own expectations.
His specific personality. He won't research anything we don't force him to. He's smart, he thinks about stuff and how it works, he has a good head for strategy... but really he wants to be bouncing on the trampoline, kicking something over the fence, or playing video games. He'll ponder stuff, but he won't look it up.

EDIT: Note that we got him when he was four, and a decent amount of this was already baked in. Would he look stuff up more if we had had him since infancy? Maybe, maybe not. But if your 2yo is your biological kid the apple may fall closer to the tree. Or... not. Kids, man.

Last edited by SOdhner; 5th December 2017 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 5th December 2017, 09:36 AM   #29
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Santa's middle name is "Amazon", and he drops gifts off on our front porch periodically throughout the holiday season. They end up under the tree "the night before Christmas".

My kids all play along. We leave letters from Santa, they leave cookies and milk for Santa. It's all in good fun. They drop hints that they know what's up, but the older ones have been good about not ruining the fun for their younger siblings.
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Old 5th December 2017, 09:48 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by SOdhner View Post
That's why I said 'baby steps'. His next realization will be that Santa, being an immortal with a large team of engineers, has actually perfected some sort of awesome futuristic transportation that makes our "jet packs" look like pathetic toys.

Well, the pieces are all there.

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Old 5th December 2017, 10:53 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by SOdhner View Post
My skeptic parenting has paid off. My son has thought about the whole Santa thing and, based on the fact that I've told him magic isn't real, he has realized that there can't really be flying reindeer - and so Santa must have a jet pack.

Baby steps.
At some point he'll likely appreciate this James Randi classic:
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Old 5th December 2017, 11:19 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by paulhutch View Post
At some point he'll likely appreciate this James Randi classic:
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I AGREE


Do reindeer have free will?
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Old 6th December 2017, 02:26 AM   #33
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Amazingly enough, just before Christmas, it's been found that a relic of Saint Nicholas is approximately the right age......

Quote:
A fragment of bone claimed to be from St Nicholas - the 4th-Century saintly inspiration for Father Christmas - has been radio carbon tested by the University of Oxford.

The test has found that the relic does date from the time of St Nicholas, who is believed to have died about 343AD.

While not providing proof that this is from the saint, it has been confirmed as authentically from that era.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-42239197
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Old 6th December 2017, 03:27 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Amazingly enough, just before Christmas, it's been found that a relic of Saint Nicholas is approximately the right age......



http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-42239197
Quite timely, December 6th is st. Nicholas' Day!
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Old 6th December 2017, 07:03 AM   #35
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In Germany, children have to contend with three mythical gift-bringers: Nikolaus, Weihnachtsmann (literally: christmas-man; Father Christmas), and the Christkind (Christ child). I never grasped the latter when I was a child myself, I thought of the Christkind as a girl-angel - it never occurred to me that the baby boy Jesus is the christ child! The other two are tricky to be separated: Nikolaus of course has his own day, today, December 6th. But I always believed he made a return on Holy Night, I thought he and Weihnachtsmann are the same. Then, on Sunday, I accompanied a friend and her two children to the local christmas market, where a St. Nik - or Weihnachtmann? - was handing gift bags to children. My friend explained that she wants her kids to differentiate between St. Nikolaus, a bishop with mitra, white-and-gold gown and bishop's staff, and the Weihnachtsmann in red and white coat and fur with reindeer, who is a commercial, American invention by coca-cola. And I agreed with her. But yesterday, I remembered that Americans call the Weihnachtsmann "Santa Claus", with is none other than Saint Nicolas! They are the same after all!

I am glad I don't believe in any of the three, or else I would worry I might get a few extra days in limbo for thinking wrong about them!
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Old 6th December 2017, 07:13 AM   #36
Porpoise of Life
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
In Germany, children have to contend with three mythical gift-bringers: Nikolaus, Weihnachtsmann (literally: christmas-man; Father Christmas), and the Christkind (Christ child). I never grasped the latter when I was a child myself, I thought of the Christkind as a girl-angel - it never occurred to me that the baby boy Jesus is the christ child! The other two are tricky to be separated: Nikolaus of course has his own day, today, December 6th. But I always believed he made a return on Holy Night, I thought he and Weihnachtsmann are the same. Then, on Sunday, I accompanied a friend and her two children to the local christmas market, where a St. Nik - or Weihnachtmann? - was handing gift bags to children. My friend explained that she wants her kids to differentiate between St. Nikolaus, a bishop with mitra, white-and-gold gown and bishop's staff, and the Weihnachtsmann in red and white coat and fur with reindeer, who is a commercial, American invention by coca-cola. And I agreed with her. But yesterday, I remembered that Americans call the Weihnachtsmann "Santa Claus", with is none other than Saint Nicolas! They are the same after all!

I am glad I don't believe in any of the three, or else I would worry I might get a few extra days in limbo for thinking wrong about them!
And both of them are actually Wotan!
(Well, according to the theory that the tradition of midwinter giftgiving by a whitebearded man who rides through the skies was a pagan tradition that couldn't be stamped out by the church, so they just adopted it.)
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Old 7th December 2017, 02:01 PM   #37
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Nonsense, it was the Hogfather!
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Old 7th December 2017, 03:40 PM   #38
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Santa IS real!

There's a lot of evidence: millions of presents and knick knacks bellow Xmas trees and in sockets, all appearing almost at the same time. Use Occam's razor: what is more reasonable? an amazingly nice person doing the same kind of good deed all around the world using the same modus operandi or a humongous bunch of heterogeneous people who wouldn't know each other but conspire to provide a false "Santa"? C'mon!

Besides, Santa is a giver and not a taker. It's the religion attached to Xmas the one that takes concrete things a gives just promises. Those faith mongers are the ones who are indubitably wrong.
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Old 8th December 2017, 10:31 PM   #39
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Pssht, it's not important to convince your kids that Santa exists. For maximum control, you need to convince them that KRAMPUS exists.

I also used to leave my nephew a present from "Willy the One-eyed Elf" every year. He finally got the joke when he was about fifteen and I must say, the prank was well worth the wait.
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Old 9th December 2017, 10:00 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Nonsense, it was the Hogfather!
Which I happen to be reading right now. Not one of my favorites, but any Pratchett is pretty good.
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