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We don’t do Santa in our house — I’ve never lied to my children
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Lifestyle, We don’t do Santa in our house — I’ve never lied to my children, Michelle Foulia told her children 8216;there is no such thing as a magical human that ., by Press24 Uk, where many people are interested in watching and following the news,We don’t do Santa in our house — I’ve never lied to my children, and now to the details.

We don’t do Santa in our house — I’ve never lied to my children


Michelle Foulia told her children ‘there is no such thing as a magical human that flies around’ (Picture: Michelle Foulia)

Welcome back to How I Parent, where we get a glimpse into how the nation is raising their kids.

As the festive season unfolds, Christmas trees twinkle, stockings are hung, and the magical “S” word is on the lips of every child.

Well, almost every child.

Michelle Foulia, 49, from North Wales and her husband Andreas, 53, agreed to never ‘lie’ to their three children Mihalis, Vangelias and Areti about Father Christmas. Instead, the kids have always been told that Santa is simply not real.

‘In agreement with my husband, we always told our children the truth,’ Michelle tells Metro.co.uk.

‘We knew the various versions of the Santa story as if that justified the lies and pretences, but it still didn’t cut it. So I told my children that it was a made-up story with various roots and versions including possibly a true story of a kind man who gave away gifts.

‘While we respected other people’s beliefs, we explained there is no such thing as a magical human that flies around on reindeer delivering gifts.’

The family says they’ve saved lots of money by not doing ‘buying into Christmas’ (Picture: Michelle Foulia)

Her three children, who are now a little older, Mihalis, 20, Vangelis, 15, and Areti, 12, were under no illusions when they were little that Santa would be popping down the chimney on Christmas Eve.

‘When they were young we would put up a Christmas tree and decorations, have a Christmas meal and do gifts under the tree but they always knew the gifts were from us,’ says Michelle. ‘Instead, we used it as an opportunity to reflect on the year that passed.’

While all three of her children knew Santa wasn’t real, sometimes it would slip out to other unsuspecting friends.

‘Once when my daughter, Arieta, was six she was having a playdate with a boy whose parents were totally doing the Santa thing,’ Michelle recalls.

‘He kept going on and on about Santa this, and Santa that. He had written to Santa, and they were going to follow Santa’s reindeer on the app and all the things he would be bringing him. My daughter just lost it and shouted at him “There is no Santa. He’s not real!”

‘I wasn’t with her but I was told by the parents in no uncertain terms how inappropriate my daughter had been and how she had ruined his Christmas. I apologised but also explained that I would never make my daughter lie.

‘However, I had told my children to be discreet where possible and not deliberately disrespect the beliefs of others.’

Despite the fallout, Michelle says she was ‘glad [her] daughter didn’t sacrifice her values by going along with a lie’.

‘Neither I nor my children are responsible for upholding other people’s lies. What kind of example would I be setting my children if we opted when to pretend with others and when not to?’

Andreas and Michelle were both in alignment that they wanted to be honest about Santa (Picture: Michelle Foulia)

Michelle thinks her unusual stance on Santa stems from certain events in her life that gave her ‘a sense of instability in terms of trust’.

Tragically, she lost her parents when she was five and lived for a period of time in foster care before moving in with her grandparents on their farm, where they struggled with money and had no electricity.

‘I don’t ever remember celebrating Christmas on the farm but I remember my friends showing off about the gifts Santa had brought them each year. I remember the pain of being forgotten by Santa, and being bypassed,’ she recalls.

‘Then, one Christmas, ironically, I saw a helicopter fly at night above our farm. About an hour later our neighbour came over with a wrapped gift. She said Santa landed in her garden and gave her a gift for me because he couldn’t land on our farm due to hurting the animals.

‘I opened the gift and it was a book. It began my obsessive love of books, a passion that never wavered, but the feeling of being forgotten or left behind stayed with me for many years.’

Michelle says her children can trust in her as she has told them the truth about Santa (Picture: Michelle Foulia)

A difficult childhood has shaped her own parenting style, because she’s always wanted her ‘children to feel safe and know that no matter what happens in the world’.

‘I will always be their safe place, I’m the one person who will not lie, manipulate or conform to societal stuff for the sake of so-called entertainment or fun,’ she adds. ‘I just cannot see what is fun about pretending with a lie.’

Michelle also feels there’s a hugely commercial side of Christmas that puts undue pressure on parents to perform.

‘Then there are letters to Santa, following Santa’s journey, tracking Santa, it’s just relentless.

‘There is a lot of overstimulation that comes from a sensory perspective. Lights, lights, lights everywhere, in streets, on trees, in shops, and in parks!’

By taking this stance, the family has saved a lot of money over the years.

‘We allocate a small budget for the end of year gifts and it can be £20 or £50 per child depending on the year and how far we can stretch. I choose gifts considerably that are meaningful or a little luxury without it costing the earth,’ says Michelle.

‘We don’t buy special clothing or Christmas pyjamas or special mugs or any of that stuff so we save a lot of money, and we also don’t send cards and never buy gifts for others.

‘I plan the food and order online or do a shopping list and send my husband so I don’t get overwhelmed or tempted.

‘We don’t spend on decorations, a tree, on lights, on Christmas-themed outings, or expensive gifts. We don’t even buy gifts as husband and wife simply because it really doesn’t mean much to do that. We just rejoice In spending time together and enjoying a special meal that I will prepare.’

Michelle wanted her home to be a ‘safe space’ away from Christmas overwhelm (Picture: Michelle Foulia)

Michelle shares that a recent diagnosis of ADHD has led her to live a life of transparency by being open and honest in all she does.

‘ADHD is much more complex than people realise,’ she explains. ‘They think it’s about being hyperactive or forgetful or constantly late but it runs deeper than that with many challenges, but also gifts.

‘ADHD people tend to have very strong values, honesty, transparency and justice or fairness being the highest.

‘I need communication to be direct and clear. Because of this, I knew as soon as I had children, that I would show them the same respect I wish I had, treat them with dignity and be authentic. That is why we decided not to do Santa.’

Michelle, who has ADHD, has written a children’s book, Poppy’s MIracle which also focuses on ADHD (Picture: Michelle Foulia)

As they got older, the children did start to ask why they didn’t have a tree, or lights, or decorations like their friends – but not because they felt they were missing out.

When Vangelis was seven he was diagnosed with ADHD too, and Michelle said the family realised all three children had ADHD, but expressed in different ways.

Not celebrating Christmas actually became vital to ‘respect [her] children’s needs’.

‘They felt home was the only place to detach and decompress from the crazy relentless Christmas music in shops and cafes, or indeed everywhere,’ says Michelle.

‘My daughter, Areita, who loves nature and trees would get upset, and still does, at the way humans use trees for this one occasion, discarding them like rubbish when we were finished. Even the false tree idea annoyed her!’

On December 25th the family reflect on the year that has passed (Picture: Michelle Foulia)

Michelle notes that while she does have family and friends who go all out for Santa, some have confided it’s not all it’s made out to be.

‘Our family understands our feelings about Santa and Christmas, and there has never been any pressure.

‘I have friends who tell me they wish they had the courage to opt out but can’t because of pressure from family and schools.

‘But honestly, I don’t think it needs courage at all. It needs conviction to truly see how damaging it is to your family, the environment, wildlife, and to you personally.’

Michelle feels not lying to her children has made them really close as a family (Picture: Michelle Foulia)

Now that her children are a little older, Michelle feels this has paved the way for building foundations in which they can fully trust her.

‘All three of our children thanked us when they were older, saying that our honesty, transparency and respect for their intellect meant they felt complete trust towards us. They have known we would never deliberately mislead them but always be upfront,’ she says.

‘When my children said they feel safe and that we are trustworthy because of not lying to them about Santa or the tooth fairy, it made me feel that I have done for my children what my family couldn’t do for me.

‘It helped them feel safe. When you have experienced so much trauma, fear and insecurity, this is a huge relief, it’s a big deal.’

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