Me - I sit loud and proud in the pro Santa camp. Let me tell you why.
Santa gives children a reason to believe that good things happen to good people. How many examples of that are there in today's world? Santa is a tangible representation of a moral (and religious) ideal. When teaching a new concept in school, a (good) teacher first gives a physical representation of the topic, then once understanding is attained, the visual cues are slowly removed, yet the lesson remains. I see Santa in the same way. I can't expect my 2 year old to understand that Jesus died for our sins to give us the gift of eternal life. (Of course that is complicated by my negative feelings about religion, organized or otherwise, but that's a topic for another post.) She can't understand that yet, but she can understand if she is nice to her sister, Santa will give her a present. That simple lesson can later be extrapolated into a more complex abstract idea. You have to start somewhere.
The holidays bring families together. They give everyone a reason to go out of their way to spend time with each other. Gift giving gives me an opportunity to teach my children to REALLY think about their loved ones. I teach my children that gifts aren't just a "thing". They are a physical representation of our love for each other. How do they want to show their love?
The holidays give us ample opportunities to think outside ourselves and to teach our children to do the same. To teach them to have sympathy and love for ALL our fellow homo sapien sapiens. How will they show their understanding of another's feelings? Can they be kind, helpful and loving to someone they don't know? How will they show it?
When we give someone a gift, they feel important. They feel loved, acknowledged and remembered. And that feeling can make all the difference in the world in someone's life. Everyone carries a cross....we just can't always see it. It's an opportunity to teach my children that the gift itself isn't important, but what the gift represents is.
Some of my fondest memories were made around the Christmas tree. I don't remember the gifts, I remember the emotions - anticipation, excitement, surprise and unbridled joy. I remember practically quivering with giddiness on Christmas eve. I want that same feeling for my children. Which if it means embracing my inner fat man and donning the red suit by myself this year, so be it!
See. I'm really not a crappy parent. I just play one on this blog. CPS - please take notes.
So or you for or aganist Santa?
P.S.- Just bought this shirt for Miss Chatterbox. Appropriate, don't ya think?