Thursday, December 08, 2011

Why We've Chosen to Allow Santa Claus in Our Home

Whoa, Nelly! I'm starting to learn, as a parent, that I'm in the minority when it comes to celebrating Christmas traditions. One would not think that Santa Claus would be considered the spawn of lies and the image of all evil in during the Christmas season, but after being online for a while, I've realized how many people, in the name of righteousness, are throwing out Santa altogether. Does this bother me? What people are choosing to do?


What DOES bother me, however, is the few who are either A. supposing self-righteousness or judgement upon the rest of us "heathens" for allowing (and even encouraging!) our kids to believe in Santa Claus and thereby, we must not be celebrating the REAL reason for Christmas --Jesus' birth. And B. think they are amazing at being honest and telling the truth.

(Luckily, they are few.)

Let's look at this.
A: This is just sad. Parents judging parents. It happens all the time. I'm doing it right now (sort of)! I think it's even sadder when great parents, who love their kids, who are doing the best they can are being judged as bad because they allow a mythical person to entertain their children's magical Christmas dreams.
B. They have no idea they are just as big of liars as the rest of us Santa lovers are.

How are they liars like the rest of us? Here's why:

1. Santa Claus actually existed. Telling kids he's pretend eliminates the fact that St. Nicholas, who lived in Italy, started the tradition of giving gifts in secret. Sure, he died, but technically, he still exists. And when someone uses the term "playing Santa," all it means is that they are giving gifts in secret. How is this a bad thing?
2. Jesus was born in APRIL. In fact, way back when, the Christians decided to eliminate the pagan holiday winter solstice by turning it into the celebration of Christ's birthday. If you want to be truly honest with your kids, why are you celebrating Christmas in December? Why don't you boycott the season and actually celebrate His birth when it happened? If Christmas isn't about the snowmen and trees and Santa and hot chocolate and roaring fires and chestnuts roasting, then get rid of 'em!
3. There was no snow on Christmas. The Wise Men showed up 1-2 years later. Christmas trees are also traditions they didn't have in Bethlehem. Same with poinsettias, candy canes, snowflakes, red bows, egg nog, gingerbread men, and little drummer boys.

My point: There are so many things about Christmas that aren't "real" or have really nothing to do with the Birth of Christ and are just part of a long history of tradition. Each one is fun! All together, they equal the magic of Christmas --the season of giving and service and just plain awesomeness. Does it matter if little kids anticipate a magical person in a red suit flying around in a sleigh? And could they honestly confuse him with Jesus?

We talk about Jesus 365 days a year. Usually several times a day. His picture graces our walls every day. We go to Church weekly and learn all about Him. We read the scriptures every morning. We pray in his name at least 5 times a day! Santa just shows up at Christmastime and is always overlooked by the carols we sing, the Nativity scenes we put out, and the scriptures we read. My children are not stupid --they know the difference between the fun Santa and their Savior. Even my four year old. When they are old enough to ask, I don't lie to them; I recruit them to "play Santa" with us! My kids also know that Star Wars is a story, the Easter Bunny is just ridiculous (they figured that one out on their own), and they always figure out I'm the tooth fairy. But they --like me! --love the fun! The magic! The surprises! The sneaking around! This year it has been so fun to see my kids buying, making, and then wrapping gifts to give to each other and friends --without me telling them to.

So, if you have chosen not to have Santa in your home and you tell your 3 year old from the get-go that he's a lie, please stay away from my house. I really don't need your kids educating my kids on how their childlike belief in mythical, mystical, and awesome imaginary images (which are service-oriented and kind) is wrong and full of lies. Their childhoods only come once. As did mine.

And now my rant is over.


Handsfullmom said...

Couldn't have said it better myself. There are many, many things we should eschew in our culture -- commercialism, anti-family media and television, worshiping pop stars, pornography in all its forms, etc. -- but when there are good and wholesome things to participate in, why make things MORE restrictive?

SewSara said...

I love this post! I couldn't agree more. You said it so well ... and I love the magic of Santa Claus, too. Well said :)

Middle-aged Mormon Man said...

Take a deep breath. Welcome to the party.

Kim and Jim said...

Amen, girl!! What is wrong with letting kids believe in a little magic while they are young? It's FUN! Aspen still thinks Jim actually knows how to pull quarters out of her ear!

Cheryl said...

It's called Christmas magic and I grew up believing and think I turned out okay! Seriously it's ridiculous and the people who tell kids who believe that it isn't real really make me SO MAD. How dare you ruin their magic because of your own opinion!

Judi said...

In our home you don't get presents if you don't "believe" in Santa, and my kids are 13 and almost 21.
One time a year there is a magical feeling in the home that only comes around when the tree is up, the lights are twinkling, and people in general are happy. When my kids asked, I told the truth...but I also told them that if they didn't "believe" the would not recieve. When I was in my late 30's and even now, i still get presents from santa. That is the magic..the fun, the love...
Keep Santa coming. He gives us physical gifts (and I love that it all began in Italy..leave it to the Italians to come up with something so grand!) and the Savior gave us the gift of eternal life. I think they both are great things to celebrate. Service and Love.
Thanks for the post Cheryl.

Amanda D said...

Like you, I've seen a few posts (from LDS mamas) about not having Santa. They make me sad.

Because of that, I adore this post. Thank you! I'll be forwarding it on to Bryan. :)

flip flop mama said...

I didn't know there was such an anti-Santa atmosphere out there. That really is sad. I love how my kid's eyes light up when they see the magic of it all!

Emily said...

Doesn't offend me at all! You should do what you want! Like I've said before I just feel bad if my kid is the one to spill the beans. But, I do have to go opposite on the Christ songs overshadowing the Santa songs. At least to all the parties we go to, there is way more focus on Santa than there is on Christ. Throw school in there and I see the balance going the Santa way. I guess I'm just trying to lean the Christ way (not that you don't) because the Santa way in my mind is the way it's saturated. But, you may be right in that if you compare just the fragment of the year concerning Santa to the entire rest of the year focusing on Christ, then yes, Christ probably does get more emphasis.

Michelle said...

We never did Santa (hubby felt strongly about this one, so it's the way we went.) But we tried to tell our kids not to spill the beans to anyone else. It didn't always work, though. I still feel bad about that.

I've been amazed at how magical Christmas still has been, though. It's not Santa that makes it special, imo. But I have no problem if people choose to do Santa.

There's definitely no one right way here in my view.

Emily & Co. said...

I am not anti-Santa, but I don't promote him, either. I don't think the magic that we feel and experience at Christmas comes from Santa...I think it comes from the time together as a family, serving others, giving gifts, etc.

The Atomic Mom said...

We have a person in our church that teaches her kids that Santa and Jesus are one and the same. That I have issue with, but it's not my place to tell her she's crazy. We do not do Santa in our home, but rather St Nickolaus day, Dec 6th -- we leave our shoes out and St Nickolaus leaves us a treat. We talk about gift giving and why we do it and how it related to Christ. But I would never ever tell a child or ruin their fun. Christmas is about kids, so have at it kiddos.