Friday, December 2, 2011

Making Christmas, Making Christmas


Christmas is upon us. I'm holding off on any decorating until the huge Christmas event at church that I'm in charge of is behind me, but we of course started our Advent Calendar and I pulled out the little Nativity for Soren to play with. He loves it and is so, so excited about all the Christmas to be seen popping up everywhere. I have always loved Christmas but it is has become exponentially more fun now that I'm a parent. However, one of the parts of Christmas that I'm a little iffy on is the whole Santa business. I know, call me a Grinch, but I'm just not sure how I feel about Santa. My family did Santa, but it wasn't a major part of our Christmas, as far as I remember. Though there was this one time when I was a child that we spotted Santa lacing up his boots on the side of the road on Christmas Eve and I am pretty sure that made me believe in Santa for several years longer than I ought to have. I don't remember feeling betrayed when I figured it all out but I do distinctly remember when I was 100% sure it was all made up and I remember feeling a little disappointed. I'd been on the fence for a couple years, I'm sure I told my friends I didn't believe in Santa but deep down part of me really hoped that it was all real. Then I was helping my mom bring in the groceries on Christmas Eve and spotted all the stuff that would soon end up in our stockings and there it went. But I don't think it made Chrsitmas any less magical once I was done with Santa. All of my most cherished Christmas memories revolve around my parents and siblings and the magic that comes from Christmas. 

I don't want to make a big deal about Santa, and I'm not really sure why. We haven't really talked about Santa with Soren yet, but this year he's totally aware of who Santa is and I think kind of knows that he has something to do with presents. I thought we could stay in this Santa limbo for at least another year before we had to get off the fence but Soren has decided to give us a little nudge and force our hand. The other day he asked me if Santa was real or pretend. I was totally caught off guard and don't even remember what I said but I don't think I made any permanent damage. He asked again a few days later and I chickened out and told him to go ask Logan who told him "He's a real guy who does pretend things." Which seemed to buy us a little more time. I know we're not going to get way into Santa but I think we need to decide whether we're going to do it at all. It's not quite that I want all the glory, but I would like Soren to know that there are real people who love him and that's why they got him presents. But I also don't want Soren to be that kid that tells all his friends that Santa is just pretend because he totally, totally would be. He already corrects people and makes sure everyone is doing what they should be and I don't think he'd be able to keep it to himself if we loaded him up with that sort of information. 

Clearly I have no idea what to do. So if any of you have any Santa advice, I'd love to hear it. Preferably soon since Santa is taking over the world and I don't think I can hold it off much longer. How much, if any, of a role does Santa have in your Christmas? Will I scar Soren for life if I don't make Santa a major (or even minor) part of Christmas?

(Just to clarify, the photo above is from last year. I have not already made Christmas cookies. I'm not that crazy. Despite my doubts about Santa, cookies are one aspect of Christmas I believe in with all my heart.)

4 comments:

Lisa H. said...

I was wondering about the cookies...

All I have to say is that I'm glad you're going through this before I have to so you can give me advice. My sentiments about Santa mirror yours exactly. I wish that everyone taught their kids that Santa is a fun, pretend thing we do so I wouldn't have to worry about my kids "spoiling" it for everyone else. Good luck! Sounds like you're handling it well so far.

Gwen said...

maybe you can make santa similar to batman or superman. he is sort of like a super hero, and pretty real in a pretend way.

Amy said...

Okay, so I have similar Santa anxiety that I don't know how to deal with, so I will write a comment here but if it gets too lengthy, we'll have to email or something. In years past, I have filled stocking, put out presents on christmas morning, but not addressed anything from santa. But that Ethan won't stop asking questions I don't know how to answer!! My main problems with Santa are the one you mentioned of wanting them to know that it comes from people they care about, that toys and gifts are not magic that appear from nowhere, things are earned and worked for. And then I don't like lying to my kids, even for fun. Also, the thing is that the main part of christmas is Jesus' birth, and I don't like telling them some stories that are real stories and then some stories that are bogus and they will find out later they're bogus and wonder whether all those bible stories are bogus too. I don't know. And I was told by Ethan yesterday, "Mom, are you Santa? Leila (at school) said her parents say santa isn't real." I answered that I was not santa, and so he goes on, well, maybe Dad's santa (who is out of town, so he didn't settle the argument), and I didn't settle him either way on that one. And then if I spill the beans to Ethan, I spill the beans on all the kids. And then what about the tooth fairy. I don't want to take all the fun out of life, but I just don't know how to deal with this?!!?!?

Rachel. said...

I like Logan's answer. I imagine it would be really tricky to be a parent on this particular issue. Growing up in my family Santa was believed in, but only gave us one present each, and stockings, so we knew every other present was from our mom and dad. We would also write him a poem on Christmas Eve and leave him cookies (and his reindeers carrots) and receive a poem from him the next day. But we also read the Christmas story, and sang primary songs about Christmas, so we knew that it was more than Santa. This year I couldn't go home, but my mom told me my five year old niece, who attends primary, and church, and etc. didn't know that Christmas was about baby Jesus at all, and ONLY thought it was about Santa. I think it made my mom sad, and it made me a little sad too. I was talking to a family in Vienna about what they do with their kids, and one parent is against the idea of Santa at all, and the other is for it just as a fun, magical thing, but doesn't want it to be the focus. She was wondering what she'd say when they find out he isn't real, and she decided to tell them about St. Nicholas (and it might be easier in Europe/Vienna, because on December 6th they celebrate St. Nicholas, and give one gift, and on Christmas, children believe the presents come from baby Jesus), and that he was a real man who gave toys, because he was. So it is not necessarily an untruth. I thought that was a pretty good answer, too. Still, we'll see what I do when I have little ones...