Thursday, December 4, 2008

To Santa or not to Santa, that is the question...

I stopped by the thrift store yesterday and scored a couple books and games. As I was checking out, the cashier leaned over the counter and asked A (our almost 4 YO daughter) whether she'd written a letter to Santa yet. I replied that we really don't "do" Santa at our house - the kids know who he is and that it's a fun thing that some people do over Christmas, but that he is not real. The poor lady looked a bit stunned by this statement, and I then said, "Yeah, we focus more on Jesus." Her response: "Well, that's not so bad."

What?!?

I wasn't really sure how to repond to that one. I said something like, "We still exchange gifts and have a lot of fun together, but we want to focus on what's truly important." She just nodded, handed me my bag, and thanked me for stopping by.

So how do you handle stuff like this? Just let it go, or offer your opinion? I certainly am not trying to turn anyone into the Santa Police (we've also told our son that other kids do believe in Santa and that he shouldn't tell them differently - I really don't want one of his school friends coming in from recess crying from the revelation!) but I happen to feel pretty strongly about this issue. Some good thoughts here and here, plus here's a book we read each year.

4 comments:

Dapoppins said...

I grew up with Santa but my husband didn't...and it has sparked some controversy at home. I posted on this last year...my husband teaches first grade at a private Christian school...they were teaching about the historical Santa and he told his class there was no Santa...He didn't understand why some parents got mad...he still doesn't really. Why not tell kids the truth?

It is still a controversy in our home. And when my six year old told my three year old last year that Santa was dead, I had a fit...

My family still asks the older kids what Santa is bringing them...only the ten year old has figured it out that it is okay to play along and still know there is no real Santa when 90 year old great Grandma asks him this...

I could go on and on. Not that there is a right or wrong answer to this...how do I handle it?

With as much grace as I can...

Jeff and Meg said...

I am going through the same thing! I can't believe how many people ask James what Santa is bringing him, etc. He just stares at them like 'What?!' I really feel strongly about it too, and I feel like, especially as Christians, Santa is a giant distraction from the real reason for the season. I wonder if down the road, when they find out Santa isn't real, will they feel that Jesus, too, is a myth? OK. Enough venting! I know other people feel differently. Anyway, I don't really know how to respond. I just say we don't do Santa, but we celebrate Jesus' birthday instead. And then I bite my tongue.

Sarosa said...

I grew up with Santa, but even as a child, it distressed me that my wealthy friends got more than I did, and my poor friends got almost nothing. I honestly was relieved when I learned the truth!

We did not do Santa with our children, but directed them not to say anything to other kids in their school. We love to have fun with labels, so there are always a few gifts marked "from Mrs. Claus to Mr. Clause," or "from Santa" when it's obviously from us to one of the kids ... we still do that, even though they're all older teens/young adults. We did this mostly to keep the issue a light one, and not cause our kids to judge others. I do not use any santa stuff in decorating, though.

In Pursuit of His Call said...

I had a very similar experience at my Chiropractor's office. He asked DearDaughter1 if she's been good and if Santa was bringing her something this year. She looked at him in confusion (because we don't do Santa either) and I explained to my chiropractor that we don't do Santa...Well, you responded much better than I did because when he asked why I diverted into a different subject rather than being upfront and saying that celebrate Jesus', our Savior's, birth. My chiropractor knows I'm a Christian and whenever he asks me things about Halloween or Santa, I tell him some "practical" things we do. Since I see him every other week, it's more important to me that he sees Christ living in us than just hearing the talk. Then, when he does have the opportunity to hear about Christ, he has already seen Christ's living testimony. So, the subject I diverted to was telling him about the lesson DearDaughter1 had about giving and how it was such a lovely opportunity to teach that especially during this season where the focus is on what "I'm" getting. When I told my chiropractor that we don't do Santa he gave me a frowned look, like, "You don't let your kids have any fun..." However, when I explained the lesson DearDaughter1 had on giving, his ears became very attentive. Anyway, you responded well and I'm sure the cashier's heart was probably moved in some way...