One day! Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I’m nailing down the last details for our family celebration – what about you? I’m taking a quick break from my to do list to wrap up my mini-series — arguing my response to four common arguments I hear for doing Santa, and why they aren’t selling points for me. We’ve already talked about how “it’s fun,” how “Santa is based on Saint Nicholas” and how “it’s tradition!” When all else fails, the last argument that people resort to is this:
Argument #4:”But the kids are missing out…”
I think this is really the one that bugs most Santa-doers, though. They feel like I would feel if you told me that you never celebrated your kids’ birthdays, at all, no card, no song, no cake, no gift, no nothing. I would feel like your kids were missing out on a piece of childhood. And I believe that’s what is at the heart of most arguments for Santa.
But what are my kids missing out on REALLY? (Besides being lied to and having to sit on a strange man’s lap?) Nothing that really matters in the long run, and not much of anything that matters in the short run either.
Are they missing out on presents? No. Stockings? No. Cookies, traditions, movies? No, no, no. FUN? Definitely not! We have all of those things. And more. This year we not only decorated our own tree but my mom’s, the trees at the church, our neighbor/landlord’s tree and we offered to do my mother-in-law’s tree as well. We’ve made cookies, hot chocolate mix, gifts, paper ornaments and tomorrow we’re making cider. We’ve watched movies, read books, done crafts and we’ve done our Advent candle readings and sang hymns after. We did several service-oriented things as well. On Christmas Eve we’ll be opening all of our family gifts (because out of state family is leaving on Christmas Day,) and we’ll spend the whole day with our family, eating, fellowshiping, playing games and having fun. Christmas morning we’ll have stockings, open our 3 gifts (that symbolize the gold, frankincense and myrrh,) attend a church service and spend the last of the time with our family before they get back on the road. We have had a full month and we have a full weekend ahead.
“Ah,” you may argue, “but what about your KIDS? YOU may not think anything is missing but what about your kids?”
Well let me tell you…I asked them. It is true that if we have a scenario where a Santa is involved and other kids are getting presents, they don’t want to stand out as the only ones not doing it, and they like getting presents early. They actually told me that it wasn’t that they didn’t get to do Santa that bothered them, but they didn’t want to stick out.
I GET THAT. I do. Which is why I try really hard not to put them in that kind of situation. On the other hand, what they’re feeling and they’re just too young to know it, is how to go against the flow, be your own person and do your own thing. All kids their age don’t want to be the weird one. But here at my home, they’re not alone. Even out in public, I’m standing with them. But here at home that isn’t a factor at all. Do they miss not having Santa in our celebrations? No. They don’t. Do they like the way we do Christmas? Yes, they do. Do they like watching Santa movies? Yes they do. Do they like doing our 3 wisemen gifts instead of Santa presents? Also yes.
OUR truth is… we are happy without Santa. And we don’t need/want it. That’s hard for some to understand, it’s not the truth for everyone, but it’s the truth for us.
And so there you have it. Four realistic, sensible rebuttles to four common arguments for Santa. I bet at least one person thought I was going to go all radical Jesus fanatic on them. It’s undeniable that my faith plays a large role in how we do celebrate.. and that I don’t see Santa as furthering that purpose. But it’s not only that. But it IS a large part of it, yes.
Come Christmas morning, I want there to be only one star of the show. And no, it won’t be perfect. But there will be at least one quiet reflective moment. It won’t make us perfect, or holier, or more spiritual, or anything. But it will bring us together in thanks and prayer, it will make memories. Then there will be lots of normal holiday noise and kids running around. Because it’s our house, and it’s often loud and the kids run around.
I hope that whatever your traditions are, that you are able to spend time with family and friends and that you have very blessed day with them. Thank you so much for your positive feedback. Until sometime after Christmas when I get back around to my blog again… God bless!!