Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Guess Who's Coming?

In our home, we neither teach about Santa, nor against him. We read plenty of books (at Christmastime) with Santa in them, but there is no talk about what Santa is going to bring our children unless it is initiated by them. They seem to pick up on the idea at school, and each have made their own choice as to what they believe Santa to be. Call us humbugs, but it's the way I was raised and it works for us. We try to focus on the Savior and on the joy that comes from buying or making gifts for each other, on keeping surprises secret, and on serving others in need. I'm not saying that your family doesn't do that if you are way into Santa, it's just our way.
Anyway, yesterday on the way home from preschool, here is the conversation between Ian and me, who is obviously too young to remember the Christmas books from last year:
  • Ian: Momma, guess who's coming to our Christmas party?
  • Me: Who?
  • Ian: Santa!
  • Me: Wow! Who's Santa?
  • Ian: I think she's a little girl who's coming to preschool with me.
  • Me: Ian, Santa's not a little girl, he's a man!
  • Ian: No she's not!
I decided to wait and let his brothers set him straight so that they would be teaching the doctrine of Santa instead of me! Otherwise, Ian will sure be confused when instead of a cute little girl, a fat, loud, man with a beard shows up at the Christmas party!


Anonymous said...

"a fat, loud, man with a beard"
Didn't he already show up at your Halloween party?

Love, Papa

PS (I believe in Santa)...but you know that.

Rebecca said...

I'm a total humbug and I'll admit it! I'm not really into all the gift buying and hollabaloo of the holidays. I am resentful that as the female in the house I am unknowingly responsible for every gift to be bought and every birthday to remember. Humbug! I still do a bit of gift buying, but I get away with doing as little as possible.

So, what do you do about Santa? Does he bring a gift to the kids on Christmas morning?

dr_devious said...

Ah the paradox of Santa Claus...

Santa Claus was originally based upon the Christian figure of Saint Nicholas, a patron saint of children, ironically today Santa Claus is wholly secular. Christians object to him because he is secular rather than Christian; non-Christians object to him because of his Christian roots.

No matter your belief, he is a powerful cultural symbol which is difficult to ignore, but this doesn’t mean that he should simply be accepted without question.

The other nagging question is should parents quickly dispense with an American tradition?

Michal said...

ah, yes, we have already sighted such a character around these parts. perhaps then santa at christmas would be redundant!

Michal said...

our kids each have one unwrapped gift under the tree. we never tell them it's from santa, nor intentionally hide that it is from us, but allow them to believe whatever they choose. we figure that on something as inconsequential is whether or not santa exists, why not let them figure it out for themselves?
i actually love all the gift buying, food prep, and fuss of the holidays, although i turn into an absolute stress case each year and always swear that next year will be different! perhaps i'll never learn.

Michal said...

dr devious,
i know that many families choose to teach their kids about santa and to tie in christianity, and i have no objections. to me santa has become not only so secularized but such a tremendous marketing tool that santa has lost his appeal. i am glad that my kids don't feel the need to stand in line for hours at the mall to sit on santa's lap. we have plenty of other american traditions that we embrace around here!;) that being said, if my kids choose to believe in santa, i won't tell them otherwise. i just feel no need to perpetuate the myth.

Rebecca said...

Oh...we roughly have done the same as you guys. One gift each Christmas is wrapped in plain paper under the tree. These gifts are usually placed in the same general area. We don't fill stockings, I'm too lazy. Unwrapped sounds better to me, less work. I really don't care for the commericalism of Santa either, hence my laziness to care. I have never been the parent to rush for Santa photos or to sit on his lap. If the kids see Santa, so be it, if not...oh well.

Noah actually just asked me after school who Santa is...probably because the neighbors have decked the yard with every light up Santa they could find. Funny thing that I just read your post today. I said he was a Christian Saint named St. Nicholas who gave gifts to the poor. He represents the spirit of gift giving at Christmastime.
Noah said, "he was a real guy?"
"Yes, Noah."
"So he still gives gifts now?"
"Some people think so."
"Or the parents do it?"
I think Santa is debunked!

david mcmahon said...

Love your Dad's comment, Michal! And just think - Santa was a Coca-Cola marketing strategy. (It's true)

Michal said...

you are absolutely right. and coca cola paved the way for everyone else selling with santa. ugh.
thankfully, since we don't let our kids watch commercials, their wish lists are about four items long, including "pez dispenser" and "books". that kind of innocence can't keep up forever, but we'll take it!

Mahina said...