So, in my world there is a good mixture around me of how people handle the Santa thing. I have friends who tell the classic story about how Santa watches over you and brings you a present if you are good and coal if you are not. I have some friends that choose not to share the Santa tradition because they don’t believe in the principles associated with it. And then, there’s me.
So, I find that the traditional Santa beliefs go against my personal beliefs in parenting. I am not always ‘good’, sometimes I have bad days, sometimes I’m cranky, sometimes I do or say things that maybe I shouldn’t. Sometimes it’s just not my day. But that doesn’t make me any less of a person. Any less of a good Mom, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Friend or any other role that I play. It’s just life and sometimes life doesn’t go the way we want and we are not happy about it. That’s ok, right? Right. So, why is it different for our kids? Why do we expect them to be ‘good’ all the time? Why do we expect that they hide the true and real emotions that they are feeling just because we feel that it’s not the right time or place for them to be displayed? If they do display them, what on earth makes people think it’s ok to ridicule them for it, or discipline them? I’m the first to admit that I let my kids act out. I let them display the emotions that they are feeling, when and where they are feeling them and I do my best to understand where they are coming from and to comfort those feelings. I try to help them understand their feelings. Sometimes they are overwhelmed, tired, hungry, stressed, or maybe sometimes they are tired of running errands with me and just want to be home and play with their own toys. There is nothing wrong with that.
So, why threaten them with gifts? Why say that they can’t have bad days or they wont get a present? Why make them think that someone is constantly watching them and analyzing their behavior? That part of Santa is not a good fit for my family.
The Santa we believe in is someone that loves unconditionally. Someone that inspires magic and wonder in my children. An extra spark for their imagination. Someone that my Children love in their hearts just because they love and enjoy the magic of this time of year. Yes, they may think he is real. I have never told them that, but I will let their imagination and heart make that decision for now. Yes, they believe that he’s coming to our home tonight and leaving a gift for them beneath the tree and they are so excited to come downstairs in the morning and discover what it is. I love this. I love that their innocent minds are able to go to that place that our minds wont anymore. To believe in this beautiful magic of something different than ordinary life.
They love the trees, the lights, the music, the warmth, the books, the gatherings. Why not love Santa too?
I wont tell them that he’s real and I wont tell them that he’s not. But, I will go along with whatever they are feeling to be true in their lives. I wont take that wonder away from them, because the reality is that life will do that on it’s own in time. For now, they believe what their hearts tell them – and I hope their hearts never believe that anything will be withheld from them for being true to themselves and how they are feeling.
Merry Christmas from my family to yours. From my home that is currently filled with the magic of Santa in little boxes wrapped beneath our sparkling Christmas tree.