Is It OK to ‘Take Away’ Santa from My Kids as Punishment for Bad Behavior?

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QUESTION: Have You Ever Taken Away Santa as a Punishment for Bad Behavior?

“Has anyone taken away Santa due to bad behavior?

Has anyone just considered not doing Santa with your children this year if they’ve been REALLY bad leading up to it? I keep telling him Santa is watching him, and I am totally considering putting coal in his stocking.”

RELATED: Is It Normal That My 9-Year-Old Still Believes in Santa?

Is It OK to 'Take Away' Santa from My Kids as Punishment for Bad Behavior?

Community Answers

The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.

“My son is getting coal. There will be plenty for his sisters though. Guess he’ll see what he’s missing. I’ve tried everything to help him change his behavior. And have threatened coal for years. It’s time he sees real consequences.”

“Don’t. I still have really bad thoughts/memories of being 6 years old and getting a letter from Santa that I wasn’t getting much because I’d been bad. I was also required to show the letter to my aunts and uncles. I’m now 73 and still think it wasn’t very nice.”

“Yes. When my daughter was younger I cancel Xmas at my house 2 yrs in a row. Then after she found out about Santa my kids had to earn their Xmas. This year is different cause I’m struggling real bad. If my kids can’t be respectful and help me out for the last 2 months of the year then they do not deserve gifts. Don’t gave to worry about my son he’s 18 but my 11 yr old daughter is a different story!”

“As a child who grew up in foster care, I can tell you horror stories about Christmas. One year I got a rotten banana and a piece of coal. I watched the other kids open toys galore. I wasn’t bad. I was just a foster kid. I still to this day 25 years later have nightmares about Christmas as a child. I’d never do it to mine.”

“I’m making my son write a letter to apologize. To tell Santa why he deserves to be on the nice list and how he will be better.”

“Maybe instead of gifts this year, he gets to give to others. Nothing wrong with that. It isn’t about gifts. It’s about the giving.”

“I threatened it, my son said santa can bring him coal because on minecraft you can make so many cool things out of coal. BACKFIRED!”

“I would never do that to my children. They are children and they make mistakes. They are still growing and learning. I would punish them in other ways depending on what it was that three did but I would never take away Santa. They only believe in Santa for a few years so why take the Christmas magic away from them? You would totally regret it.”

“There are different things you can do to help with behavior … but taking away Christmas I feel is cruel. No matter what happens that is still your child and Christmas is about peace love and hope. Teach kindness give consequences for the behavior be consistent don’t give in and stand your ground. But to me holidays and birthdays are not something to use as a consequence or threat… that’s an extra opportunity to show love.”

“It’s been a very rough year on everybody, but think of these kids….they have accommodated to so much this year between suddenly being taken from school, their friend, their family…to possibly seeing family get sick…having to cover up, not go anywhere, have birthdays cancelled. And they don’t even know what’s actually happening and unable to process the information properly. My kids have been off the charts since March but I totally understand why. This year especially needs to be magical and as normal as possible for them.”

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