Monday, December 5, 2011

Why Santa Is Important

There seems to be a raging debate in mommy blog world over whether to let the jolly fat bastard, we all know as Santa, into our children's lives.  The reasons vary and the discussion boards are surprisingly heated.  Who knew ol' St. Nick could inspire such strong feelings?  Some people choose not to have Santa visit for religious reasons.  Some people don't like the "lying" or materialism involved.  And some people are just too lazy.   Scrooges.

Me - I sit loud and proud in the pro Santa camp.  Let me tell you why.

Hope

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.

Love

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?

Empathy

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?

Importance

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.

Memories

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?

2 comments:

  1. I am SO with you on this! Jon is 11, and I told him last year there really wasn't a fat man in a red suit who mysteriously came down the chimney and out the woodstove....which he already suspected....but I told him I believe in the spirit of Christmas and that's what Santa is. Of course, Santa has to make room in the front yard to accommodate the manger and Baby Jesus, but yes, I am right there with ya!

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  2. Amen, sistah. Me, too. I can't imagine Christmas without Santa.

    I know a lot of people are so proud and brag about "going against the mainstream", but they aren't doing their kids any favors.

    Consider this: You're 5 - 6 years old. Mom tells you there's no such thing as Santa. Yet 24 of your peers at school say there is, and that this Santa dude comes to see them and brings them toys every Christmas.

    Mom is the person that makes you eat vegetables and take baths, and those 24 peers know that veggies and baths are gross.
    So who are you going to believe?
    The kids, of course. So if they are right, then it stands to reason, Santa's only not coming to see YOU. Probably your Mom told him not to come to your house. Obviously Mom hates you, making you eat nasty vegetables, take baths, and telling Santa to not come and bring you any presents like he does all the other kids.

    I've gone to school with, and my kids have gone to school with kids whose families didn't have Santa visits for one reason or another, and those were not happy kids. Year 'round unhappy.

    When my kids got old enough to know there wasn't a Santa, they realized it was a fun thing we did, for them. They don't feel like we "lied" to them or did something wrong.
    It's funny, when they talk about Christmas's past, they'll still refer to Santa as having brought certain gifts they remember fondly in their younger years.

    My kids didn't grow up...well, yes they are materialistic, but that's my fault because I placed too much importance on Stuff for too many years. Christmas happens to be the one time of the year when they aren't all about gimme-gimme, and want to buy us and each other gifts even though I tell them not to. None of them can afford it, and I am trying to break my Stuff habit, and them giving me something makes it impossible for me to get rid of.

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