So if you are one of the lucky few to be subject to my blog in its early days (a whopping almost year ago!), you may recall one of my first posts about Santa. If you don’t want to click the link to read the post, I’ll give you the skinny:
I kind of bash Old Saint Nick for being a creepy lie we tell our kids and as such, teach them to lie themselves.
Ok, not quite so harsh, but you get the idea.
This year, I’m still in the debate on how into the tradition and storytelling I want to get with my kids. On the one hand I want my kids to be able to participate fully with the rest of society in the fun and the spirit of Christmas that the idea of Santa tries to uphold. You know, joy and giving… believing in something a la the Polar Express and et cetera et cetera.
But I still can’t shake the feeling that he is creepy.
Like really creepy.
And I’m not the only one. My niece is actually kind of afraid of Santa… and the Toothfairy… and the Easter Bunny … and leprecauns!!! because she doesn’t want some weird being to come into her house to either leave or take things. Smart girl.
Over the past week we’ve begun decorating for the holidays at home and talking a lot about Christmas. We got and decorated our tree, we hung the stockings, O has verbalized exciting gifts she’d like to have. And we sort of have this unsaid idea that yes Santa exists. She watched the polar express, we have a few Santa ornaments, she’s seen him .. well.. EVERYWHERE… and I don’t say much. If she asks questions I answer, but I don’t harp on who he is or what his role is in the holiday festivities. And then the other day she comes home from school and says, “santa is not coming to our house.” And I’m like, “no?” Curious as to where she got this idea and struggling with how I want to respond… then she says, “he is coming to my school. and i’m going to take a picture. not today. but he is coming.” And I then get that oh yes, her school is having a holiday “breakfast” next week and it sounds like Santa is coming to take pictures with the kids.
Oh man. I was hoping to avoid the lap as long as possible.
And true to life with kids, I find I’m having to come to terms with how I want to handle it all much more quickly than I feel prepared for. I want to live and communicate as genuinely as possible with my kids and for some reason this Santa business is really not jiving with how I want to be.
I know, bah humbug on me again this year.
So what did I do?
Well, I did what any parent would do, I got excited for her. I matched her enthusiasm. I didn’t burst her bubble and tell her that Santa is a made up idea and all those presents she’ll get from Santa until she’s a teenager will always be from her parents. I let her be excited and I encouraged her growing interest and budding enamor for this ritual of the season.
So again this year, I’m not thrilled about Santa, and maybe that means that I won’t be able to hear the chime of that reindeer bell… but I’m pretty firm in my stance that I’m going to allow my children to revel in the excitement of the belief for as long as they like and participate in the joy that it brings them, but I’m not going to be the one to create the belief for them.
And I’m still avoiding mall santa as long as possible.