Christmas is two days away. The tree is up. The wish list has been mailed off to the North Pole and our Ginger Bread House has been assembled and now we're just awaiting Santa's arrival! I love this time of year. Yes, I'm one of those "Christmas song-singing, holiday sock-wearing, peppermint mocha-drinking" individuals who loves ALL things Christmas. It just puts me in a good mood. The lights, the decorations, the feelings are so nostalgic.
Now that I have kids I want them to have those same feelings and experiences I did as a child. When I was younger, I was a stone cold believer of good ole St. Nic! As I got older, and a bit more wiser, I'll admit I had questions. Like how does he get in the house, we live in a condo? Or how does he REALLY get to everyone's house in ONE night? Looking back my parents went the extra mile to preserve my belief. One year I wrote a letter to Santa. It read: "If you are real, sign here". LOL And since we were a bit "untraditional" I left out Cheese Oke-Doke Popcorn and a glass of Pepsi. When I woke up, the Pepsi was gone and lo and behold, Santa signed on the dotted line. HE'S REAL!!! lol
I know this has come to be a very controversial subject over the years though. Labeling Christmas as a "pagan holiday" and parents nipping the entire belief in Santa from the start. I grew up in a Christian household and it was explained to me early on that "Jesus is the reason for the season". I was reminded to be grateful of everything I had and to give back especially during the holiday season. But that didn't stop my belief in Santa. I went to church, read the stories, participated in the Christmas programs, probably as an angel (lol), and still went home and drafted my list to Santa. To me the belief in Santa, or the tooth fairy equates to innocence. The beauty of being a CHILD. And I'm not in the business of taking that away. To me its no different in believing that Elsa can really be a Frozen princess, or the giant Elmo in the Christmas parade is the REAL DEAL and not some creepy old man pressed for cash.
As parents, it's up to us to design the way we choose to treat the holiday and what we expose our kids to. A couple weeks ago, as we decorated the tree together, my 4-year old expressed how excited she was for Christmas because of the presents. Now I know she is only 4, but I saw this as a teaching moment. I told her we celebrate Christmas to celebrate Jesus' birthday and I used the old line of "its better to give than receive". I even asked her how she would feel if Santa didn't bring her everything she asked for, her response "It's fine Mommy!" I stress to her that the gifts are just an added bonus and just because she asks for everything, it doesn't mean she will get it. I also encourage her to think about giving gifts to other people. "What do you want to give DJ?" "What do you want to give Daddy". Because after all its about GIVING!
I know many people have their views on Christmas, Religion and Santa. If you decide not to teach your kids about Santa, fine by me just explain to them that some kids do believe in Santa and its not their place to tell other kids he isn't real and ruin it for them. I'll be honest when I found out he wasn't real, I was a little sad. It's something special about believing. It encourages kids early on to dream or believe in something. It was exciting to believe, even when something deep down told me Santa probably wasn't real, I LIKED believing. It was exciting; it gave me something to look forward to each year as a child. Kids should be kids and if that means believing in "make believe", Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, or whatever LET THEM. Why crush their dreams, their innocence, and their beliefs. They have their entire lives to face reality and live amongst real life Boogie Men!