I don’t have a witty way to start this post, so I’ll just dive in: What’s going on with the Santa Claus hate on the web?
I’m not bashing anyone’s choices, family traditions and such. I understand that for religious reasons, there are some people who just don’t do holidays at all.
But what I’m finding lately, is a trend of “not doing Santa Claus.” The number one reason seems to be that you are “lying” to your kids when you teach them about Santa Claus. There are so many posts out there about this topic that honestly, I had to stop and think about me and mines and what I thought about the whole tradition. But after a lot of thought, talking to my parents, CDub, CDub’s mom( yes chile I did) and a few other folks who opinions about parenting I really respect, I realized that my original point of view on this topic was going to remain the same.
So, after reading a lot of posts in the last few weeks on why folks are not going to do Santa, I finally decided that a point of view on why we will do Santa Claus in this household was due.
I grew up in a religious/strict household. I mean really we went to church on Saturday and Sunday because my mother was a practicing Seventh Day Adventist and my father sang in the choir on Sunday at our Baptist church. We were taught from birth that Jesus was the real reason for the season, and that everything else came second. Christmas was also about family, because Christmas was the one time of year that we made the trek from DC to Alabama to see Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and cousins. I loved Christmas, and still do. Every Christmas I SAW the meaning of the season. We lived it. Some of my fondest Christmas memories are of family gathered around the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve singing carols, passing out gifts ( we were really really big on GIVING in my family), hearing my Daddy sing Oh Holy Night like an angel, my cousins and I sneaking spiked egg nog while the adults were talking and reminiscing while the wonderful smells of Christmas dinner drifted out of my Grandmother’s kitchen.
And a big part of the joy of Christmas was Santa Claus. Yes, we believed. My parents never actually TOLD us there was a Santa Claus, but they let us believe. We didn’t hear: behave because Santa is watching or you won’t get any gifts. Because you had better behave anyway, not matter WHAT time of year it was. We always had a 5 gift rule in our house because my parents told us “we have to pay Santa for those gifts.” But despite of or because of all of that, Christmas was still a magical time filled with what ifs and did Santa come yet and sleepless Christmas Eve’s waiting for him. Yes, we put out Cookies for him. Yes, I SWORE I heard sleigh bells on the roof one year. I would look in the living room, and there would be no toys and swear that a minute later when I looked again that the toys were there! And the look on my Grandmother’s face when I told her ( because she was the only one up) about what Santa had brought me are always some of my favorite Christmas memories too. But I was also delighted with the oranges and Christmas candy and apples that she gave us every year too. So it wasn’t about just toys and Santa. It was about the joy and the magic and family.
I want that for Pookah.
At Christmas time, I want Pookah to sing Oh Holy Night. I want him to be a wise man in the Christmas play at school. I want him to make a Christmas list. I want him to enjoy decorating the tree and sneak into my spiked egg nog. I want him to think of Christmas and think about family. I want him to wish and dream and plan. I want him to think he heard Santa. Like I did.
Now about the whole lying thing. Yes, I want to be as honest as I can with my child. And I am. But is believing in Santa Claus any different than believing, as my friend Jessica put it “that they are flying alien unicorns and Pokeman with super powers”? No, kids are just being kids. Thinking with their imaginations. Will they eventually stop? Yes. One day, they won’t believe in Santa, Unicorns, Pokeman, Harry Potter, or the magic of Disney if you will. But their childhood will have been what I like to think a childhood is supposed to be: magical and joyful, with the power to believe that any and everything is possible. When I stopped believing I didn’t feel betrayed by my parents. I wasn’t upset or bitter. And neither was any family member OR friend that I polled this week. Our children are only children for so long( what 5 or 6 years?) before the big bad world starts to turn them into adults. Why can’t they have this short time? What’s wrong with letting them believe?
In conclusion, I must repeat that what you do for your children is your choice. You are their parents after all. But don’t bash me and mine for choosing to let our children have this one piece of childhood that we think is important. That we think is a tradition, that we think, yes, is a part of Christmas.
Thoughts? What do you think about Santa Claus?