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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

'Tis the Season

Zachary was disgusted when we went into the Dollar Store recently and there was already Christmas stuff. He said, "Don't they know? It's HALLOWEEN this year, not Christmas!"

Yes, I started seeing Christmas stuff as early as September. Sigh. I guess commercialism can't start too early.

So, here is my early Christmas question before we get into the season:

1. Does anyone else feel guilty every time you tell your kids the Santa lie?
2. How do you handle it when your kids find out about Santa?

I remember being excited about Santa coming, and I don't remember finding out about him being a traumatic thing. One of my sisters said she remembers the exact time she found out Santa wasn't real, so I know for some kids it is more of a shocker. Maybe that's why I worry about the whole Santa thing -- I don't want my kids to question my integrity and honesty on other issues as well.

I read a story once about a boy who came home after hearing the "truth" about Santa. His grandma asked him who in his school class needed something. When the boy replied that a boy could use a coat, they went and bought him one. They left it on his step and ran and hid to watch him answer the door and find it. After they left, the grandma explained that the look on the classmate's face is proof that the spirit of Santa exists. She that as long as people give, Santa lives. I need a copy of that story!

I have never hyped up the Santa angle, so last year was the first year my kids really got into the whole Santa thing. (This is probably thanks to kids at school.) Although it is very fun to see them get excited, every time they ask me a question about his reindeer and elves and such I feel guilty. Sigh. Am I just nuts?

I know some people believe that Santa detracts from the message of Christ throughout the season. My issues with him are just the honesty thing since I think Santa can emulate all the characteristics of the Savior -- kind, giving, sacrificing, making others happy, happy himself, etc. So, when the kids find out, do you just say that all of Santa's characteristics exist, even if he isn't real, and we can look for those Christlike characteristics in others?

We've not had a child yet find out about Santa since Becca was beyond that when she came to live with us. I'm sure we're safe this year, but who knows when the sky will come crashing in on the whole Santa thing ...

In the meantime I'll continue to answer their questions. As it is I don't use separate wrapping paper or anything, and I don't write who gifts are from, just who they are to. (In other words, I don't say the gifts are from Santa, and the kids have never noticed/cared. As long as the gift has their name on it and is for them, that's all that matters. :)

Okay, sorry to bring up the Santa thing now, but it's MUCH better than talking about the elections, right? :)


Heidi said...

For us, we just try to make sure that we let them know that Santa is more than just someone who leaves presents, but he is the spirit of Christmas. Also, in both our families growing up, we had the rule that if you didn't believe, you didn't receive. Besides, if there ever was a real question, there is a guy that changed his name to Santa Clause, and he lives in Florida. He use to live in Salt Lake and pass out candy canes year round. I saw him growing up one year in July and got a candy cane. It was pretty fun. I think I was like 12 to 14, I know I was helping be Santa at our house so I was older.

Hilary said...

Santa for President!

Leslie said...

We have the same rule. If you dont believe, you dont receive. I think they come to a point where they dont believe anymore...and thats ok. If they ask if Santa is real, I say "If you dont believe, you dont receive" and that ends that.

Scott said...

I don't understand. What do you mean by "the Santa lie"?

Brown Family said...

Oops. I better give Scotty's wife a call and let her know I may have ruined Christmas for him this year ... :)