Saturday, December 18, 2010

Santa-To be or not to be?

When I was a little girl, my favorite part of Christmas was shopping for my family.  Each of us kids were given $5-10 (not a lot!) to shop for each other and Mom and Dad.  Invariably, Tim would get a puzzle.  For Laura, I would pick something girlie--Barbie clothes, perhaps.  Then, we would all scrape together what was left to fill Mom and Dad's stockings.  We would carefully choose our gifts--a pack of gum, a Whitman's sampler or a box of chocolate covered cherries, a pen and a pencil.  We giggled as we rolled those pens up in paper, picturing Dad unrolling and unrolling and unrolling--because of course he could never guess what was in that package!  ;-)

To this day, it's the stockings that are the most fun for me.  I love picking up the little things for the kids and for Ryan--little treats that will make them smile.  And shopping for the kids is always fun, picturing their laughter and excitement as they open their gifts.

This year, Megan is questioning Santa, mostly due to a friend next door who keeps telling her Santa isn't real.  "You would never lie to me, right, Mommy?"  Wow!  How to answer that question! Even though I knew the truth about Santa at her age, I hate to end that childhood wonder--a wonder that I still have at Christmas time.  Wouldn't it be cool if there really WAS a Santa!?  lol 

I laid the foundation this year by telling her about the real St. Nicholas--a man who loved Christ deeply and gave out of his wealth to the poor to honor Him.  In Megan's mind, it's perfectly possible that God made this man immortal and allows him to deliver gifts to all the children--or that his descendants continue his work.  So the question is, are we really just pretending, or are we really lying?  And for what?  Is the fun of the tree and Santa worth the cost?  Is it just a harmless, fun tradition?  I can't imagine NOT doing Christmas, and since the early church didn't celebrate Christ's birth anyway, I don't think it does any harm.  BUT I still wonder...What do you think?


Kelly said...

TJ knows Santa isn't real. For him it's just another character like any in his movies. We don't give gifts from Santa because we feel it detracts from the Real Source of all things good. I don't think it's one of those things that's right or wrong though, but should be chosen based on each familiy's wants.

I can tell you that becoming a believer at the age of 30 and looking back at what my family's traditions were, I did kinda wonder if my lack of faith was because my parents "lied" to me about Santa and the Easter Bunny, so why should I believe in this other character that's talked about as infrequently as the first two.

As far as her question to you, I think you better be prepared with a good reason for pretending, so that she doesn't think you were lying. That's a toughie!

worryfreemom said...

Thanks for your response, Kelly! For the first time, the kids have been thinking about getting presents for each other on their own--Megan made everyone something, and Tristan used his Awana store money to buy gifts. They've been slipping their presents into each others' stockings. It reminds me of a story by Grace Livingston Hill--The Substitute Guest. Set in the 30s, the people in this story slip gifts into each others stockings and under the tree--no mention of Santa. ;-) I talked to Megan about that idea last night, and I think we might have a talk about Santa and do that next year.

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