Monday, December 18, 2006

Santa Claus is Coming

I read a very interesting post over Everyday Mommy. Jules and the many comments posted got me to thinking about the debate over Santa. A lot of what Jules said resonated with me. I have fond memories of believing in Santa. My parents created those memories but never ever let us forget the true meaning of Christmas. So I have stuggled as a parent and as a Christian to know how to honor God with my celebration and keep some kind of sanity over the "santa issue" I don't think it is a hard and fast rule for everyone. My children are still too young to really understand Santa and the implausiblity of his trip. They enjoy the Christmas movies on TV: Rudolph, Frosty, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, etc. We have lots of Christmas traditions that reflect the true meaning of the season so they, I think, understand about the birth of Jesus. They put the pieces of the advent nativity on each day, participate in the program at Church, with the message about true reason for the season. I don't want my kids to equate Santa with God, he isn't, nor was he ever. I do want them to have lots of great memories of fun family holidays and all the trimmings. Right now, that includes Santa. I can't remember when I stopped believing in Santa. I used to say that Santa was the spirit of giving that we feel at the holiday. I don't know that I agree with that anymore. I also remember how very careful my parents were to not lie to us, about Santa and the presents. I remember noticing that gifts from Santa appeared under the stockings and were labeled in my mom's handwriting. I remember having to go to the car and wait for my parents who were inside filling the stockings before we left for Christmas eve. One memorable year, we asked for a specific thing for Christmas. Mom very firmly told us she did not buy it for us. Everytime we asked about it she repeated that phrase. Boy were we surprised to open it. Mom said she did not buy it, she didn't say that Daddy didn't buy it. They explained how they pulled it off. If I give my kids gifts and write Santa's name on them, aren't I just pretending to be Santa? I don't really see that as a lie but maybe it is a gray area. What an area for us all to wrestle with in our own homes. It was easier when I was little and my parents had these issues to deal with and I was blissfully ignorant!

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