I believed. I listened for sleighbells. I left cookies...and milk.
Now, I am a parent - faced with a looming juncture in my parenting journey - to go all-out in upholding and recreating the lore, wonder, and magic...aaand commercialism and distraction of Santa
- My husband is anxious about it. He doesn't like imagining the day our daughter says, "So...you lied?" We both don't like the explanation that would be required thereafter, wherein we distinguish between pretending because it brings joy and happiness into our lives and having faith because it brings joy and happiness to our lives. Because our lives are founded upon many things that others would tell our children are pretend/make believe/a lie (scathing!)...is it risky business to add the Santa tale to the mix? Hypocritical? Confusing?
- But then there's a girl called Melody (pseudonym). A girl from a family we know and love...who elected to leave Santa out of their Christmas traditions. A girl, who at age six , approached her parents and said, "Please, please can we have Santa this Christmas. I want to believe." When this was recounted to me, I'm pretty sure the portion of my heart dedicated to Christmas (there's a whole portion, I'm telling you) flamed up, red hot with Christmas spirit and tingles. Santa isn't all bad...and is it my right to take the choice to believe away?
- So do we leave it open and up to our children, with mantras such as, "It's up to you what you believe"? Because again, when it comes to our other beliefs (mostly intangible), there will be no mistaking what we believe.
- Do we dissolve the jolly fat man image and replace him instead with Saint Nick? We could acknowledge the story and the man - after all, there's no denying our children will be exposed to this iconic figure. Perhaps we should instead be asking what our angle will be on who he is, and what he represents. Can a certain type of Santa work in harmony with our interests in keeping Christ in Christmas? I'd like to think that's what this Santa was all about:
- Lastly, should we take this middle road (there is such a man, he is a wonderful legend that represents the spirit of giving - a man who understood how Christ would have us be), does that mean no gifts from Santa? No farce? No reindeer tracks in icing sugar nor watching at windows, by starlight? Are we robbing them?
What have you decided?
How do YOU handle all things Santa at your place?
If you don't have kids, how do you plan to handle that?
And, could give advice to those raising children?
Angela Noelle waved fare-thee-well to her previous playgrounds (the classroom, office and art gallery) in favour of drinking in every delicious moment of motherhood on offer. Now she juggles that privilege with her nesting instincts, design contracts, sales work, her churchy responsibilities, pregnancy cravings, and the need to straighten things – all with her cherub (Esky) in tow. You can read more from a Mormon Mum in New Zealand over at Angela Noelle's blog, Striking Keys.
Saint Nick image from Vintage Feedsacks (free vintage clipart).