Friday, December 11, 2009

Santa?

Okay, I'm going to jump on the ban wagon and ask the question that has been on several of my blogger friends minds.

Santa or no Santa?

How do you feel about it?

I'm still very undecided at this point how I will approach the Santa issue with my children. Since Alexis isn't even 3 yet, I don't think I have to worry too much this year.

I was never a huge Santa fan as a child. I never even remember believing in him. I don't remember Mom and Dad making a huge deal about the presents under the tree coming from Santa. As far back as I can remember, I knew they came from Mom and Dad, not Santa. And besides, I knew there was no way Santa could fit through that little door on our wood stove since we didn't have the actual fireplace!

I love Christmas trees, and lights, and giving and receiving presents, and all the wonderful things that make Christmas what it is. Especially that it's when we celebrate Jesus birth. Santa has never played a big role in how I see Christmas. I can remember my parents always being a little critical of the whole Santa thing, because it down played what Christmas is supposed to be about. And it made it feel like a very materialistic holiday because you just want, want and want as a child.

So, with all of that being said, I don't think I'm going to try and encourage Santa Claus for my children. Yes, I know that everywhere around them people will talk about Santa and that is fine. If they choose to believe in Santa, so be it. I won't just flat out tell them they can't and there is no such thing as Santa. And if it comes to the point that they believe in Santa, I will put a present or two under the tree from Santa, but they will know that all of their presents come from Mommy and Daddy as well. I'm pretty sure I'll wait to put out all their presents on Christmas morning while they are young simply because it is exciting to wake up and see all the packages under the tree. I think there is enough magic to Christmas without making Santa the main focus.

So, to all of my readers who are shy and don't like to "follow" or make comments, please do so this time. It's really simple. At the bottom of each post you see a line that looks like this POSTED BY JESSICA 3:00AM 0 COMMENTS. All you have to do is click on comments and if you don't have a google account, it's really simple to sign up for one, or just post a comment anonymously and sign your name to it so I know it's you. I would really appreciate some feedback.

14 comments:

Chrissy said...

You mean you didn't get enough information over on my blog about it?? ;o)

I received this via email the day I wrote my Santa blog...ironic. I didn't even address my reasons as far as the religious side of it, but this explains it in short. http://www.tangle.com/view_video?viewkey=0af81b18765cbfa8ac99

brenaud said...

Hey Jess,

I'm happy to weigh in. :)

Justin and I actually had many HUGE "conversations" (alright, they were sometimes fights) about Santa. I remember having lots of fun waiting for "Santa" to come, but we still got most of our presents from Mom and Dad. I have no idea how old I was when I stopped believing, but I remember continuing the "fun" for my younger brothers.

Switch to Justin: Justin was told from a very young age that Santa didn't exist, that mom and dad bring the presents, and that he was not to tell any other kids that Santa wasn't real. No magic or fun in it for him. To him, it's lying to your kids.

Switch to Hayden: We FINALLY decided we would let Santa ride, and not encourage it but not stop it (we traded Santa for Halloween, honestly). Last year (when Hayden was barely 3) he started asking ridiculous questions like, "Where does Santa go when he's not at the workshop? How does he make all the toys? What does he feed the reindeer?" And suddenly, I felt like I was lying to my kid! If he would have just blindly believed, I would have had no problems, but I found myself answering question after question and creating a whole world that I had never considered possible and I didn't believe existed!

So, all of that to say - I HATE Santa now! Ok, I don't really hate Santa, but I can see that point that you're lying to your kids. I felt that way regularly last year, and maybe just b/c Hayden is a "deep thinker" (Keaton will probably believe blindly until he's 16 or so). Love to hear other comments...

Nel said...

Santa always visits our house! But Corey and I have great memories of Santa Claus and no traumatic experiences finding out he wasn't real. So we are very excited for Santa to come on Christmas ;)

Jessica said...

Thanks everyone for posting your opinions! And thanks for the video Chrissy, that's a really good, simple way of expaining it without making it a long drawn out deal.

Jessica said...

This is the comment that my cousin Sheila left in my email and I thought I would post it here because I kind of like her viewpoint on it.

I have always told my kids there is a Santa. I have also told them that Mommy and Daddy have to pay Santa for the presents he brings so they know not to go crazy. I have also always had a Nativity scene under every tree I have ever owned. I stress both parts. For some reason when the kids stop believing in Santa the magic seems to go out of Christmas. Christmas is for kids. That's why I'm glad I have Grandchildren. I always told my kids when they wondered about Santa and why some kids don't believe, I told them that maybe some parents can't afford to pay Santa for the gifts so they tell him there isn't one. Kaitlyn just came to me to ask me if I believe and I said yes, she then asked about the Easter bunny and I told her I was skeptical about that but it sure makes Easter more fun. As does Santa. Of course you have to teach both reasons for the season. You will do what you feel is best but taking the kids to see Santa(I also told them that was one of Santa's helpers because he can't be everywhere) is so much fun and you get an incite as to what your kids want and feel. These are just my opinions and I'm entitled to still believe. Much love to you all and Merry Christmas.


Love, Sheila

Chrissy said...

I strongly disagree that Christmas is about a magical experience and somehow that if there is no Santa there is no fun. I guess I'm going to have to record the faces of my kids when they wake up, see the gifts under the tree, and unwrap each one. If someone can tell me that it wasn't fun for them, then I'll immediately start the Santa lie. (Ok, so I'm being sarcastic, I won't start the Santa lie no matter what)! ;o)

Becca, did Justin say Christmases were dull and boring for him because there was no Santa?

Jessica said...

I agree with you Chrissy. What I like about what Sheila said was that she made sure her kids understood that she paid Santa for the presents, that way they knew that Mom and Dad were involved.

It's definitely a confusing situation when you're trying to figure out how to handle the situation with your children.

Chrissy said...

I might be getting a little heated here, so I apologize if it seems that way. When I read that someone not only is telling their child that Santa is real but also that they pay him, it's like Becca's example...you are telling more and more lies.

Jaimee M said...

Ok, Santa at our house fills stockings and brings a few presents - but not the biggest most expensive presents those come from mom & dad. I like to think of Santa as a spokesperson or mascot of the Christmas season. But my kids do understand (well Jack is questionable) that Christmas is about Jesus' birthday. If a fictional story about a fat man in a red suit helps bring attention to Jesus' birthday I am all for it. I am all for bringing attention to Jesus at anytime and that includes the Easter Bunny. Did you guys put stuff in Alexis' basket for Easter? I think the most important thing is for your girls to understand what we are celebrating, Santa or no Santa. And if you believed in Santa and understood the reason for the season I think it would be appropriate for your girls too also.

Jessica said...

My goodness! It's all so confusing when try and figure out how to handle it with your children. Thank you all for your input, I appreciate hearing all your viewpoints.

PS. Chrissy, you get as heated as you want! :) I think it just shows how passionate you are about it is all.

Chrissy said...

I don't think it's confusing. Does that sound heated, too? ;o)

Ashley said...

We do Santa at our house as well. I don't see any harm in it at all, and I agree with Nel - I have GREAT memories on Christmas that involve Santa. He used to come visit my Grandma's house when all of us cousins were there.

I was raised knowing the real reason for the day, and I think (as most everyone else on here) that that is the most important part. We bake a birthday cake for Jesus and everything. I guess I just don't see why it's harmful to involve Santa in the Christmas festivities as well...

I think making up explinations for all the questions kids ask about Santa is part of the fun magical part too. Not that it's magical for Christmas...it's just magical - kind of like Disney World! Of course Disney World isn't real, but it's magical isn't it?!?!

So - without going much further into it, yes, we do Santa at our house, yes, we make up silly answers to the questions about the North Pole, and yes, we celebrate the real reason for the season.

Jessica said...

What I mean when I say it's confusing for me, is that my in-laws are big on Santa. And I haven't figured out how to handle that situation. I already know that I won't be making any kind of fuss over Santa, but how do I delicately handle situations like that without hurting feelings? Do I simply state my wishes and ask them to not do what they've been doing for the last 35 years with their children?

Jessica said...

Chrissy, how did you explain it to your children and do they still have questions when they see and hear things from other people?