I recently read a blog post debating the relevance of adding Santa to your child’s life. Was it really necessary? Did it provide anything meaningful?
I responded with a comment explaining that in my household we do celebrate the holidays with Santa and that we dive in full force.
You would have thought I had just posted that I made my kids sleep in summer tents in December in the back yard. I was under fire. Called a liar and accused of telling horrible lies to my children. It seems apparently that many parents opt to skip Santa, the Easter bunny, the tooth fairy, and the rest of the imaginary mythical beings because it can be construed as lying to their children and they don’t ever want their children to know that they lied to them.
I wanted to retaliate. I wanted to respond back explaining how they were spoiling Christmas, that they were obviously morons, and that their children would grow up with no imagination whatsoever.
But I refrained…
Instead I wrote the following and decided it was worthy enough to become a blog post all on its own.
Here it is..the spirit of Christmas…
So after I wrote my original comment and read the others to follow I got to thinking about WHY I go to all the bother of Santa. It’s simple. I WANT him to be real. I believed as a child. I loved Christmas during that time. When my schoolmates had figured it out and would argue with me about it I still tried to hold on, I wanted it to be true. But I knew it wasn’t. I was never angry at my parents for telling me that story. Quite the opposite. I loved them for instilling that sense of Santa magic in me. I enjoy doing it now with my children. As a previous poster said, kids are a lot smarter than we give them credit for…don’t think for a second that they haven’t figured out that there are a lot of pieces that don’t line up. They believe because they WANT to. When they don’t want to anymore they stop believing. If I as an adult asked my mother today if Santa was real she’d say “Of course! There are people celebrating. There are people sharing gifts.” Her answer was that Santa was the spirit of the holiday…he was the reason that made people gather and share in the gift giving. She was also a strict Catholic, but she had her own set of rituals for the holidays about Jesus. Her point was, you could celebrate Christmas, the Christian holiday alone, by yourself with just your faith beside you. But you couldn’t celebrate Christmas, the spirit of gift-giving (or commercialism if you’re a cynic) without others close by. It was the bringing of everyone together that also brought us together in spirit. And when all is said and done is it Santa I remember? No. I remember one year getting just what I had hoped for, but I remember the house filled with family, the preparations, the cutting of the Christmas tree, the wrapping of the gifts, the singing of the Christmas carols beside my mother at the piano. The warm smells that filled my home, the laughter. That’s the spirit. I think Santa, or no Santa, if you gather your family together and you celebrate then you will have found the spirit of the season. In the end that’s what your children will remember the most. Not the presents.
Originally posted at Furore and Frenzy