About ten years ago, with Christmas quickly ahead of us, my husband made the decision that Santa was not getting the credit for big ticket items any more.
He simply decided he didn’t care what other people think. We worked really hard to be able to afford that our two sons received their biggest wish of all – A Nintendo DS – and doggone it, they’re going to be from us.
He went on to explain that all the little stuff and stockings and what not can be from some guy named Santa but he wanted them to know we provided those Nintendo DS’s.
Yikes. I was nervous about his ask yet open to a further discussion. I agreed with one condition.
I was going to have to wrap them off suit of the Santa paper, you know, so I don’t throw them smart buggers off and they surmise it’s the same wrapping paper and tip off the fat guy that can’t possibly fit down the chimney we don’t even have could be…..dare I say…us.
He couldn’t have been more correct in that theory. I’m thankful we made that change every Christmas thereafter.
You see, we raised our kids just like the rest of us do. I have a daughter 12 years older than her brothers and she was taken for the entire sleigh ride story.
We all play along with the belief that there really is a guy at the North pole that delivers all your wishes to you imagine.
We all go experience the final ‘gig is up’ talk with our parents somewhere during 8-12 years old. Then we grow up, have kids, and do it to them too, because it’s tradition.
We embrace the tradition because the joy you feel on your children’s faces when you made a wish come true is deep core wholesome stuff right there.
It really is.
We grow up with it. We just give the credit to a guy.
It turned out for us, that half playing along with Santa tradition was a better blow to the truth being revealed one day versus diving in full boar with the play.
Some kids are really traumatized and disappointed when their entire Christmas life is revealed as false.
I like to take comfort in thinking they won’t hold it against us because they knew we gave them the coolest thing every time and Dad was ready to share all the research and cool thinga-ma-hoos it does and I sit impressed with how they make a day of sharing the gifts and playing together with them.
We weren’t and aren’t good deceiving actors after all.
It was also less freeing of guilt. I know many kids reverse the lie and play along because Johnny at school or an older sibling already exposed the lie yet they played along all Christmas season to appease the parents.
Other than throwing out the typical answers to the typical questions they ask over the years for clarification, you know, regarding all the wonders of the massive logistical process it takes to be a successful Santa celebrity star – we were fairly apathetic about the whole “Santa is real” thing.
We let them circle toys in the flyers and catalogs to assist with them getting ideas of what to ask for.
The Santa’s lap at the mall thing fell off when we were tired of explaining the Santa actors everywhere who report to the Big Guy for him because he can only be everywhere at Christmas, not building up to.
He’s got alot of work to do right now!
We answered all their cute questions of uncertainty with denial to keep it going. Sort of.
How elves can mass produce toys in the same boxes and price tags like the one they saw at Wal Mart? Well outsourcing of course.
Technology is getting so advanced and it’s better for the elves to get help from all the stores that make them.
Outside of school activities where they write letters to Santa for the local paper and take home art, we didn’t mail anything to the North Pole.
Of course, the NORAD site that tracks his sleigh was used.
That really confused them well.
Even when it came down to why we supported a charity every year that was a toy drive for kids and they were confused as to why it was necessary when there’s Santa Claus. Hearing stories from grown adults we know who talk about the year they didn’t get Christmas because they were so poor.
That’s where we were like, you know, we can kinda passively go along with Santa because it’s a great concept and the launch of an entire industry of feel good movies and miracle stories. Yet, don’t we already have that with another bearded guy?
I like Christmas.
I am happy to buy my kids and family gifts I think they would like to have in efforts to bring them joy, know they are loved and that because of all our gifts we have, we may give to one another things that represent our appreciation for their contribution to the Grace within our lives.
I’m not sorry there isn’t a Santa. I am sorry I lied about it and I am totally not mad at my parents or grandparents or anyone who played along. Afterall, it’s expected in every way of your life in American culture.
It’s good for the economy too, right?
My final thought on this, is I enjoy all the fun movies and am certainly a fan of great story telling with fictional characters. Christmas giving ideology with an inserted Santa selflessness thought is cool by me.
I just don’t want to lie anymore and shut down amazing critical thinking skills of children by providing nonsensical responses of utter bullshit that isn’t up for debate.
Let them watch movies. Let them even write letters or sit on an old guy’s lap if they feel the need. Yet I don’t want them to raise our grandkids in thinking that big guy is responsible for their joy and that parents are in the back seat. I don’t want them to think Santa leaves out a lot of kids because they’re poor and in the wrong zip codes.
Through this awakening reset wild ride, I think about all the ‘Santa Claus’ style stories we’re told. I think about how often we play along with people who believe in that fantasy world to appease them and keep the charade going to avoid conflict.
Maybe Elf wasn’t all wrong, there’s truth in “Increasing Christmas Cheer by singing loud for all to hear” could easily be applied to how our positive love and energy can multiply and grow together, when we seek and live Truth.
My hope is that the kids we lied to for their entire childhood will trust us now when we try to help them see through the headlines and stories that have nonsensical answers to why.
Thanks for reading,