Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Straight Talk About Santa

Well, I did it. The day I have been dreading has come to pass.

I told Carson straight out, "there is no Santa." I also said, "the presents; they're from us. the tree; we put it up."

Where to start on this post? I am so torn on this issue! Sometimes I just want to say FORGET SANTA! But then I remember all the wonderful memories from my childhood. And I think about the joy and excitement I see in Matt when he puts up Santa's tree and then waits in anticipation for the kids to see it. It is a "magical", wonderful time for our family.

Matt and I grew up knowing the true reason for Christmas. More emphasis was always put on the birth of Jesus and why he came than on Santa. My kids know WHO Christmas is about. JESUS. But should we remove Santa from the picture? I struggle with this question.

We do not have to take the same path in our lives as our parents. We do not have to take the same approach to holidays with our children, how we worship God, discipline, educate, or ANYTHING as the one our parents took when raising us. We can CHOOSE differently. But what is right? What is most important? What is best for our children? What will grow them towards being Godly young people with immense LOVE for all of mankind? That is what I am trying to determine here.

I feel good about where we are at. My parents NEVER had a straight talk with me about Santa. I wish they had. I am embarrassed to think about how long I believed in him. Of course I guessed it, but I think I might have been in denial for a long time. My mom always said "as long as we believe in Santa, he will keep coming." Meaning, we just say we believe, even if we don't, and whoever is bringing the presents will keep bringing them! So that was the extent of our conversation. I never knew the history of Santa.

For the longest time early in our marriage, I wanted to take that approach with my kids. I really hated the idea of saying the words "Santa is not real". But I know my kids. And they are not me. And I am glad I did it.

Carson, he is great. He is the best. How bittersweet for me that my little boy is becoming a young man already. He handled the news well. I was so worried and dreading that conversation because his reactions can be a bit strong. He has a history of meltdowns when dealing with disappointment. And I also didn't want him to be hurt. My hope was that he would accept the news well and know that everything we do and say is in love and with only the best intentions. If he thought of us as liars, that would be terrible! I tried really hard to be sloppy, even last year, so he could figure it out on his own or at least ask the question to open that conversation! But he was really hanging on and we were risking him being the only third grader in his class who didn't know. I think he is actually relieved to know the truth and not have to wonder or guess or try to figure it out anymore. I can understand that!

He now gets to be an "elf" and help with Santa's tree. I hope he can enjoy the special role of being "in the know" without spoiling it for the others. :)

Here is my big boy two Christmases ago. We found him asleep in front of Santa's tree in the morning with a very convincing story that he had seen Santa. <3

Feel free to comment with your opinion. I'm a big girl now, and I can take it. :)


Contessa said...

I'm proud of you Amber! Not because you let it out, but because there was intention in it. So many times we can get caught up in "the way I was raised" mentality. It took me a long time to break free of that. We weren't raised with any of the fairytale characters, santa, easter bunny, halloween. I think we get in trouble when we blindy follow a thought or idea. And God is always changing, rearranging our thoughts to be more like His. And I personally think that a mass of presents does more harm than the idea of a santa claus.

jen said...

I was in so much trouble when I had that talk with Matt from my husband. So lets just say Santa is very much alive around. Plus when my family found out that I had said such a thing I thought they were going to disown me. The talk was never given to me because it was not needed. I was wrong Santa represents giving, good well to others. He was a real man. So he is part of the spirit of Christmas as an example on how to treat each other. Jesus of course is very important he does all that also but can save us.