With the holidays just days away, I have been thinking a lot about Santa Claus and how to go about it with Asha, my 2 year old daughter.
Once you become more conscious about what you eat, drink, read, think and say (still working on that one!), you question just about everything – even things that were always okay for you growing up. It is quite amazing how looking at something so familiar with my “conscious contacts” put in makes me see otherwise, but should it?
We all know that Christmas is a celebration stemming from the birth of Jesus Christ (whether you believe in that or not is another story and is not what this is about!). Santa Claus is simply a traditional character spirit that adds to the wonderment and joy of this time of year. Is he a real person? Well no, not in my opinion. But he is a real spirit and a big jolly guy to get a little excited about!
I was thinking about how we might bring Santa into our home each year. I absolutely cringe at the commercialization of Christmas and the emphasis on “I want this!” and “I want that!” – so I feel Santa can be a symbol for giving and celebrating what Christmas is actually about, the birth of Jesus.
I am not a religious person (however I have been dabbling in it some lately), but I feel if we are taking part in a holiday we ought to celebrate (or at least acknowledge) what that holiday entails. And by this I mean reading the Nativity Story and possibly attending Mass on Christmas Eve (just some thoughts about what my family may do, but not suggesting all families should do this of course!). And to still include reading of The Night Before Christmas and leaving Santa’s Key on the door to welcome his love and spirit into our home and bless us with giving hearts for the upcoming year – I just thought that up that last bit and I think I like it!
As a child we had one unwrapped gift under the tree from Santa Claus with the odd small thing in our stocking as well. The rest was from our parents and other family. And that was great! I will always cherish the wonderment of waking each other up (I have 2 older sisters) and the major rule was that no one could go downstairs until we all were up and went to the tree together! Such joy and fun to see what Santa had brought us! While we played around with our new treasures, my parents would join us and we would open the rest of our presents as a family. Every year without fail, this is what we did and it was always a strong tradition, which I think is really important for children.
The biggest thing here is that we were not harmed for believing in Santa and certainly not harmed or damaged in anyway when we learned he was not an actual person and/or “not real”. If anything I think it bonded us all closer together in the traditions we had growing up.
Some recent threads and posts on Facebook got me thinking – as there was talk about lying to our children where Santa is concerned! He may not be a real person, however his spirit is really real and thousands of working Santa’s, songs, books and folktales say so as well! Do the same parents that think believing in Santa is lying to our children also not partake in colorful Fairies and the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy traditions? I’d be curious to know…
There has to be some magic in childhood, that is what being a child is all about – imagination and wonder!
Are we totally over-analyzing this tradition? Shouldn’t we just relax and enjoy what the season is all about? What do you think?
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Aren’t family pictures funny?! It is always nearly impossible to get a good one of the 3 of us at once!! ~ Jenn 🙂