Do you 'do' Santa Claus at your house?
This is a question I have thought about since having my first child. Gavin is getting big enough now to start doing the Santa thing.
My sisters kids do believe in Santa and I think that's perfectly fine. It is a really good bribe. I don't know how many times I've heard her say, "Stop that or Santa's not going to give you any presents." But I think really that's all it is... a good bribe. I have decided not to press the Santa issue. My brother has decided to do the same thing. I thought my husband would think I was crazy but he actually agreed completely! I think we will put more emphasis on the fact that we are celebrating Jesus' birth. I've told the boys that the reason we get presents at Christmas is because Jesus loves us and we love each other so we give gifts at Christmas time.
On the other hand, when they start school, I don't want them to kill some poor kids hopes and tell them there's no Santa. That would just be mean. So I think I've came up with a plan that does both:
1. The reason we have Christmas is that it is the time we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
2. Turn it into a history lesson, There once was a man who lived a long time ago named Saint Nicholas who gave out presents to little boys and girls at Christmas time. (Here's a good website that explains the different versions of the story.)
3. Christmas is a time for giving and a time to spend with family and love each other.
There is one tiny little problem though. All over TV there is stories of Santa Claus and everytime we go out, everybody asks Gavin, what's Santa going to bring you? So Gavin comes up to me one day and says Santa is going to bring me presents and come down the chimney. Even though I haven't told him any of that, he still figured it out. I'm not going to make a big deal out of it though. I'm not going to put a lot of emphasis on Santa, but I'm not going to necessarily tell him there's not one either... does that make sense? I'm just not going to use it as a bribe or make a big deal out of Santa coming and leaving presents or anything. I'll let them use their imagingations without taking away the real reason we celebrate Christmas.
We have been teaching them about all the other ways people celebrate Christmas too. Gavin was actually singing the Dreidel song the other day, he was eating Doritos and said, mama, what's a Dorito? I said, you know what a Dorito is, you're eating one honey. And he says, No it's a game, like you spin. Then he starts singing, 'Dorito, Dorito, Dorito...' I laughed so hard at my little guy! I said, No Gavin, It's Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel... He still can't say it right! I want both my boys to know that different people believe different things and that's ok. I want them to be able to understand the different cultures and how they celebrate the holidays.
How do you and your families celebrate Christmas? Do you do the Santa thing, or something else?