Social Question

shego's avatar

Do you still believe in Santa? (read details please)

Asked by shego (11083points) December 21st, 2009

Well, there was a little girl that I ran into while I was at the homeless shelter today, asked me if I believed in Santa. I told her that I believe in Santa, and that Santa lives in every person.
She then told me that santa was going to give her family a house for Christmas.
I didn’t know what to say. I told her no matter what just keep believing. Everything is going to get better, and Santa and his friends are going to help.
Do you think I should have told her that?

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25 Answers

rangerr's avatar

I think you did fine. Lurve.

JLeslie's avatar

Awww. I have no idea what the right thing to say is. I guess if I thought quick enough on my feet I might have added that he might not be able to bring it by Christmas, so she does not get too dissapointed in a few days. Generally, I defer to the parents in situations like that; asking what her parents think.

I am not too much for fantasy, I am an atheist, and Santa Claus never came to my door since I am Jewish. I generally deal in reality. But there is nothing wrong with giving a young child hope and comfort that everything will be alright.

erichw1504's avatar


King_of_Sexytown's avatar

I seriously am not sure what to say. I mean you did well in keeping the child’s hope and belief in Santa alive but maybe you might have said “A house is too heavy for his sleigh. But don’t worry. Santa will bring you other nice things. Maybe you will get a house for your birthday??” Or something like that. Maybe alter the last sentence a little bit. Maybe more like “Maybe you’ll get a house someday soon”... Shit… I’m not sure what you could have said about the house. You did fine enough though I guess.

rangerr's avatar

Going off @JLeslie, “Santa might not be able to build an entire house by Christmas, but I’m sure he’s working on it” might have been a good reply.. but I think you answered perfectly given that you didn’t have time to think about it.

Likeradar's avatar

I don’t know.
The chances are pretty damn good that this girl will not be getting a house for Christmas, so I don’t know if false hope/lying is appropriate. I think maybe there could have been a good way of keeping hope alive without telling her it will get better.

Berserker's avatar

Better that than to tell her that Coke actually invented consumer Christmas.

On the other hand I doubt she’ll be getting a house, but unfortunately, this kinda stuff is a part of life, no matter how unfair.

Blackberry's avatar

She’s little, so yes, you did.

King_of_Sexytown's avatar

@rangerr and JLeslie Nicely done!!! That is what I was kinda going for.

shego's avatar

@Likeradar I know that the shelter is working on helping them get into a place by the end of the year. And I guess her mother told her that Santa is going to bring them a house, someplace that they can call home. I didn’t want to break her heart, and I know that when I was little, and my family had problems, hope was all I had.

azlotto's avatar

You reacted better than I would have.

Berserker's avatar

@JLeslie I think the red Santa Claus was created by the Coca Cola company. The real Saint Nicholas wasn’t exactly a nice guy.

King_of_Sexytown's avatar

@Symbeline If you mean his clothing that sounds like that could prolly be right too. As I understand it the Santa of the mid 1800’s was blue.

Pseudonym's avatar

I think the good way to handle this would be to say that Santa doesn’t give material things, he gives the Christmas spirit. And no matter what happens, if you get the spirit and the happiness of Christmas, then you should thank Santa. That’s what I think you should say if you see her again.

I think I would be satisfied with that if I were her. too bad I’m Jewish

Fyrius's avatar

What a nasty situation. :(

On what I would call the bright side, if she doesn’t get a house, and if she’s clever enough, what you said taught her that “no matter what, just keep believing” is a horrible idea that will only make things worse if you’re wrong.

That probably sounds insensitive of me.
I do realise critical thinking is a luxury, and it’s easy to be a detached rationalist from my warm, comfortable home. But resolute wishful thinking is a bad idea that can get you into trouble, even if it gives you hope. Particularly if you trust non-existent benefactors to solve your problems for you.

So what would I have said, then?
Well… I wouldn’t know what to say either. I probably wouldn’t even have pretended to believe in Santa Claus. Not only because I think it wouldn’t be right, but also because I’m rubbish at telling white lies.
I readily admit I probably would have handled this worse than you did.

Pseudonym's avatar

@pouncey read the description!!!

PretentiousArtist's avatar

Maybe I’m just insensitive, but i would’ve just told her the truth. Sorry :(

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, I believe in the spirit of Santa. A moderate form of gift giving is wonderful.

shego's avatar

So here is the update
the little girls family has been approved for an apartment and will be moving in on the 27.
I am happy she told me that Santa and his friends made her wish come true :)
I am happy that her family will have a place to call home.

Fyrius's avatar

That’s great news!

Tenpinmaster's avatar

Santa is the christmas spirit put into caporeal form. He is the hopes and the dreams of all judaeo-christian believers and is real within all of us in some form.

Fyrius's avatar

Aw, just those of the Judeo-Christian believers? Not those of all the other people?
Why would the incarnation of someone else’s hopes and dreams live within me?

spittingblaze's avatar

Definitely you have told her the right thing, if you told her ‘oh I do not believe in Santa you stupid little girl, you are not going to get the house you want eventually’ if you had said the opposite of what you said that would have been horrible. The little homeless girl needs a bit of hope. Her family will have to work for her dreams, but that is no reason why she cannot have them.

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