Assuming you celebrate Christmas and find yourself on the 2011 Nice List, the big guy will be making his appearance in your home this Saturday night.
Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, and Kris Kringle, is a figure who can be traced back to the early 1800's.
He’s likely one of the most recognizable figures in the world, and he has a pretty amazing job. He works one night a year, delivering toys and goodies to children all over the earth by way of a magic sleigh powered by flying reindeer.
Only, some folks have a problem with Santa Claus. Even Christians who celebrate Christmas have been known to discourage their children from buying into the story of Santa.
I started thinking about writing this when a friend of mine shared a story from an online Christian blog about this topic. Some Christian parents feel telling children that Santa is real teaches kids that lying is okay. There are also some parents who fear that when children discover the truth about Santa Claus they might fear that God and Jesus are also not real.
I can understand that concern. As parents, we stress to our children the importance of being truthful. I totally get the reluctance to perpetuate a story that ends in children discovering they’ve been deceived.
That being said, what’s my personal take on it? Bring Santa on! They’re only young for so long, and I can’t think of a single person I know who blames their parents’ little white Christmas lies for any emotional disturbances in their teens or adulthood.
My daughter is twelve years old now, and she’s hip to the real story. The jig is up.
And in spite of the fact that we indulged in some Christmas trickery and illusion when she was little, she is a perfectly well-adjusted child who trusts her parents and doesn’t feel betrayed or bamboozled in the slightest. I know this because I asked her.
I mean, isn’t it fun to believe in magic? I have a five-year-old for whom it’s still all very real. We have an Elf on the Shelf who engages in all sorts of hijinks around our house and reports Jack’s behavior on his nightly trips back to the North Pole. Jack diligently rehearses his Christmas wish speech in preparation of sitting in Santa’s lap. The first few lines of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” can snap a wild Jack back in line in the blink of an eye. And the look on his face when he comes down the stairs to see his toys and the half-eaten cookies under the tree?
How about your family? Do you go all out with the Santa thing, or do you abstain from that tradition? How does your family celebrate Christmas Day?
We have a few traditions that have evolved over the years in my little family. For one, Santa brings my kids ONE gift each. I was tired of Santa getting all the credit for gifts I put a lot of thought and time and money into acquiring for my children. Plus, if it’s not kept in check, Christmas can get out of hand and take the focus off the magic and center more on the material. We keep it in line by having the kids ask Santa for their number one heart’s desire. Then we exchange gifts as a family.
We’ll also have our traditional breakfast of monkey bread and wait for my parents and sister to drive up from Alabama to spend the day with us. We’ll eat Chinese food ("Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra") from the little joint behind my neighborhood and watchA Christmas Story together while the kids and all the poodles go wild with their new gifts.
We’ll be thankful for our good fortune and bask in the magic of Christmas—with all its traditions.
Merry Christmas, moms!