Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Do You Santa?

I've been reading a lot of blogs and articles lately about the Christmas season and about parents choosing not to do the "Santa thing" with their children.

It seems the argument is not just about consumerism; but, also about lying to your children and crushing their little worlds when they learn the truth about the man in red.

I've thought about what I've read and the arguments presented.  I agree that the focus of Christmas has become too commercial and kids feel entitled to big, elaborate gifts.  However, I don't believe teaching your kids about Santa is to blame; at least, not entirely.

Growing up, Christmas was a magical time for my family.  My dad who had never celebrated Christmas as a child due to his mother's religious beliefs, was like a child himself at Christmas.  Our holiday season started the day of the Toronto Santa Claus parade.  As I think I've mentioned in a prior post, there are very few years that we didn't go to the parade and line the streets with thousands of other families.  Those years we were unable to make it we sat home and watched it on T.V. while ordering in the Festive Special from Swiss Chalet.  We would spend the day before the parade putting up the outdoor decorations to be turned on during the parade.   My brother and I got so excited over the prospect of seeing the main man and giving our carefully drafted letters to the Canada Post workers who walked the parade route and delivered the letters to Santa themselves.  Of course, Santa was the whole reason for being there.

I remember being nine the year I found out the "truth".  I was upset until my Mom asked me one simple question "Do you believe in make-believe?".  Of course, I answered "yes".  My Mom, in all her wisdom, then told me "As long as you believe in make-believe, you can believe in anything you want".  And it is that one statement that I have carried forth with me into my adult years.  That one statement that made the non-existence of Santa easier to bear.

And so, now as a mother of three, we do the "Santa thing" with our children.  Seeing their eyes light up with wonder and excitement at the mere mention of Santa is truly heartwarming.  Mr. Twingle and I have set boundaries with the kids regarding gift getting from Santa.  You see, Santa has to make many toys for the children all over the world and so if they ask for too many, or too elaborate a gift, then Santa can't make gifts for other children.  The twins know that they can ask for three items and that Santa will bring one of them; providing they've been good of course!

We do make a point of teaching the kids about the meaning of Christmas, not just about Santa.  It comes naturally for Mr. Twingle as he's a PK (Preacher's kid) and has grown up in the Church.  Up until last year, we regularly attended Christmas Eve services and will likely resume this year.  The meaning and spirit of the holiday for us is more than just Santa and gifts.

One might ask if I feel bad knowing that I am lying to my children?  No, not at all; for the simple reason that I still believe in make-believe and NO one can prove that Santa DOESN'T exist!

So my question to you is "do you Santa"?

Merry Christmas everyone!

3 comments:

  1. I just posted about this. I grew up not believing/knowing much about Santa. I had no idea he was a big deal. I even started to bring my kids up this way. But this year things are a little different. I enjoyed reading your post and what your mom said. It is a very interesting take on the whole Santa thing. Thanks for the fresh perspective.

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  2. My son has always been scared of Santa. I've never had his santa photo taken because he is so scared, so I dont want to force him. When he was three years old, I had to tell him that Santa was not real and its the best thing I did. He enjoys Christmas now for what it really is ( jesus birthday) and when he sees Santa he is not scared because he knows he is not real just there for the kids to have fun!

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  3. We do Santa and love it. I love the magic for the kids - it's clear how neat it is for them.

    My oldest is 10 this year and still believes - he's starting to ask some questions about the how is it possible kinda thing. I think after this year he'll figure it out and we'll have to sit down and talk with him so he doesn't spoil it for the younger ones.

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