Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My Santa Dilemma

Long, long ago, B.C., I decided I did not want to teach my kids that Santa is real. He is not the reason we celebrate Christmas & our culture has over glorified him. I don't mind my kids learning about the origins of Santa & what he represents, but I never had a desire to allow them to believe he truly exists.

Until the other day.

I was wrapping Christmas gifts, writing "From Mommy & Daddy" over & over again. Not a single one "From Santa." Guilt swept over me, like I was stealing some sort of Christmas magic from my kids' childhood. The anticipation of Santa's visit, trying to stay up late enough to catch a glimps; baking cookies for him on Christmas Eve; the amazement that Santa knew exactly what I wanted for Christmas. I don't remember feeling betrayed or terribly disappointed when I discovered he wasn't real as some children do. I remember how I found out though.... I found all our gifts in my parents' closet.

I still hate the thought of allowing my kids to believe in Santa though! I don't know how to reconcile my feelings. I emailed our pastor about it to get his opinion but haven't heard back from him yet (he gets bombarded with emails everyday so it's totally understandable). I'm not really worried about it this Christmas but next year it'll be a different story since Solomon will be old enough to grasp the concept. At least I have another 365 days from this Christmas to the next to figure out what I'm gonna do!!


unclechopchop said...

I can see your dilemma and I have often wondered what Odette and I will do when it comes to Santa. I think I have figured it out though. Santa has been over glorified forever and many kids will believe in him because of what their parents teach them. The last thing I want is my kid telling some other kid in school that Santa isn't real and destroy this person's idea of hope. Sometimes that can stick with a person. I want my kids to believe that there is something bigger than they are and if Santa crosses into that territory thats fine because its kids. When the child comes to realize that Santa is made up on their own, I feel they would be more accepting and would hope they would understand why you gave them this "something" to believe in. I feel like Hope is the buffer in case of let down. However, I know people can get their hopes raised and be crushed because of it. The best thing you can do is pray and trust that God will provide you with the answer you need.

Maria said...

BEfore we had children, in all of our glorious child-free knowledge about child rearing, Chad and I said NO to Santa. Then we had a child and the we had a few more. And I have a few things for you 1)Santa helps tell the story of Jesus--he embodies love and giving and joy. He doesn't have to negate Jesus, my children fully undertsand that on Christmas we ar ecelebrating the birth of Jesus (who was born just to die for us)but they also believe in Santa as a seperate entity 2)We encourage our children to have pretend play all the time, it feels like Christians get so wrapped up in destroying Santa that they forget that Christmas can be whimsical as well as spiritual and 3)Santa ia an amazing tool in the child control market--for two months you can simply remind your child that Santa is coming and Santa is watching to see if they are naughty or nice.

Annie didn't believe in Santa as a kid and she's not deranged. I did believe and I'm pretty normal. I'm not sure that I see the point in stealing away an extra piece of Christmas fun.