Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Santa?

Santa.
To believe or not to believe.
That is the question I'm struggling with this Holiday season.

This has been a bit of debate in our house hold.

I'm for it, the hubs is against it.

I totally understand and can see the point of his arguments. Christmas is about the birth of Christ, not a fictional character. There's too much emphasis on Santa and the giving of gifts, rather than the true reason for the season.

I agree, but....

But last Christmas when the hubs turned to Bella and told her that Santa was not real, I saw the heartbreak and disappointment on her face and I was crushed, for her.

Thankfully she has completely forgotten this devastating moment. So in talking to the hubs about it, I told him I thought as long as we are sure to stress the real reason we celebrate Christmas and that its better to give than receive, then what's the harm in letting her have a little childhood fairytale. She's not going to grow up believing in Santa or worshiping Santa. There's just things that are fun to do or participate in when kids are little. I mean would you not have a tooth fairy!?

So that's kinda where we left things. I'm not going to tell her he doesn't exist but we're also not going to put too much emphasis or talk a lot about him and his involvement.

Ha. Easier said then done. He's everywhere. :)

So I was feeling good about our decision with Santa, until I talked with Jessie. (you know who you are!) She was telling me that their kids don't believe in Santa (ages 6, 3, 1, and almost here!). When I asked her how come, her answer made me question everything. She said that they're raising their children to believe in God, Jesus, etc.-things we can not see, so she didn't want to ever lie to her children about something that doesn't exist. Wow. That makes total sense! What is keeping our children from thinking God doesn't exist, when we clearly pretended Santa did and then one day told them he doesn't?!

So now I'm torn all over again.

I want my kids to have the joy and innocence of childhood fantasies but I don't want them to be confused or, heaven forbid, become distrusting of me and their daddy.

Part of me wonders if I want them to believe in Santa because others kids do and I don't want them left out (but also not having the fun that comes with it definitely makes me sad too). But I know that is wrong. God calls us to be different.

"Having faith often means doing what others see as crazy. Something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers." - Francis Chan

Not that believing in Santa is crazy- but you get my drift. :) God wants us to make unbelievers wonder, "What's makes them that way?"

Agh. But then Bella's crushed face comes to mind and I'm confused all over again. :(

Anyway, my brain is on thoughts of all things Santa right now and was just wondering your thoughts on the matter.

I was just going to stay clear of the whole topic since the girls hadn't really asked questions about it, but then Bella got curious.

Today, while coloring a picture of Santa going down a chimney (which she got from church by the way) she asked me how Santa fits down the chimney?

Ahhh....

I kind of avoided the question but then she asked where our chimney was. Ah, we don't have one honey. How will Santa get us our presents? Ahhh...

Then she says, "Santas-fart."

Huh?

Hes-sfart. He'll figure it out.

Oh, Santa's smart.

: )
(joys of a child that has trouble saying her blends (sm words))


5 comments:

Kelly said...

Wow, this is something I haven't really given much thought to. I definitely have never thought of it with your friend's perspective - that is seriously an eye opening perspective! We did not grow up believing in Santa, and I never really planned to let our kids believe in him, but I didn't really have a reason per se.
It's so hard being a parent sometimes and knowing what you should and shouldn't tell your kids.

kdroessler said...

Maybe I'm being too lax about my attitude, but I know that we believed in Santa when we were little... I know how much the Lord is the center of my life now... and honestly I never ever had thoughts of one negating the other or the belief in one even relating to the other. I know many many Christians who believed in Santa. God is bigger than this and he's not going to let some childhood fun keep one of His children from coming to know him. What you talk about occasionally for this one month of the year is not going to undo all of the rest of your parenting and the truth you show them through how you live. Personally... I say relax and do what's fun. But that's just me, I'm sure there are people who think I'm very wrong :)

Anonymous said...

heya girlfriend,
this is a loaded topic :) We are casually believing in Santa over here. We don't talk about it unless the kids bring it up..we leave goodies out for Santa and his reindeer on Christmas Eve. Nolan loves the Polar Express story. Adam grew up believing in Santa and I was raised in a strict Christian home and we were told that Santa was not real. I have a lot of issues with my childhood, and one of them is that I feel partially robbed of not having the opportunity that most other kids have, make believe is fun ;) Jesus is the reason for the season and that is what I will instill in my 3 beautiful babies. but we are going to enjoy Santa for a few short years...Merry Christmas

Sharon said...

Hey, Barclay, we had this same dilemma as Brennan hit two years old and started to be more aware of what was going on, knowing we had to make a decision before he turned three (and would be very aware of the whole Santa thing). Our initial reaction was to leave Santa out of Christmas, but (like you) we both remember the sheer childhood joy over the magic associated with Santa (and I don't feel damaged in any way or mistrustful of my parents having had that little bit of magic in my life). Basically, we came down to compromise of sorts. We feel strongly that our kids not get caught up in the materialism of the holiday, but Santa originated with Saint Nicholas who wanted to share gifts as a way of expressing his joy over the greatest gift of all. When you ask the kids what Christmas is all about, they immediately say it's Jesus' birthday, and that makes my heart smile. We don't do gifts from Santa, only the stocking, and we read one of our books that ties the stocking back into Saint Nicholas. We also have an extra stocking every year for Jesus. In it, on Christmas morning, we each choose whether or not to put a picture of ourselves in the stocking, knowing that what Jesus wants most for his birthday is our hearts, for us to choose him as our savior. This tradition, I think, has made the stockings (which come from Santa/St. Nick) even more meaningful, and they in no way allow Santa to detract from what is most important. We also do the traditional birthday cake/cupcakes and let the kids blow out the candle for Jesus, but I think the stocking is one of the most meaningful traditions we've started to truly help the kids understand what Christmas is really all about...that Jesus is our greatest gift and that we are his!

Hope this helps...

Leah said...

It's been interesting to read your thoughts/dilema and those of your friends who posted. I can definitely understand why some families decide not to perpetuate the Santa thing with their kids. It could absolutely be a major distraction from keeping CHRIST in Christmas. I know that you and Vince truly have Christ in your hearts and would not let Santa take over. The 2 definitely have to be separated. Like Vince, I also had a hard time with the Santa belief.
Joe and I debated over the topic and agreed to go with it, but not to let Santa/gifts take precedence over focusing our kids on the gift of Jesus' birth during Christmas. While the Santa thing is a lot of fun while the kids are young, the true focus in our family is simply that Christmas celebrates Jesus. We have absolute faith that God is way more powerful than any Santa dude. Like anything, moderation, I suppose. I like the idea posted about tying in Saint Nicholas with the secular Santa.

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    I used to be an elementary teacher but am now a stay-at-home mommy with three sweet baby girls. Bella is 6, Brynn is 4, and Brooklyn is 1. We also have a sweet Golden Retriever named Beckham. I have been married to the love of my life, Vincent, for almost 12 years. Although I hate the cold I am a Chicago girl through and through. And thats about all I've got!

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