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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Do You Encourage the Belief in Santa?

We have three young kids and never had that 'talk' about whether or not to say Santa is real. 
We're Christian and want to instill an understanding that this season is about Christ. 

I remember being three years old when my sister who was five informed me that there was no Santa.  As a matter of fact I don't recall ever thinking Santa was real because most of my ability to form memories developed with my language production/storage skills and I don't have many memories before the age of three.

My oldest is now five.  She writes letters to Santa and chases down large bearded strangers dressed in red coats with crazed excitement.  She has never actually asked if Santa is real or not.  She's a generally inquisitive little girl, so it surprises me sometimes that she hasn't wondered about the intricacies of the Santa myth.  Then again I know my own father believed in Santa until the age of 15 when one of his High School teachers took him aside and broke the news.  It might be in the genes to believe.

With three little kids our last few weeks have been devoted to being sure to have things in order and fill our house with twinkling magic to some extent. 
We don't have and Elf on the Shelf.  Some of my friends think that is a creepy tradition.  It doesn't creep me out, the idea of creating magic in a kids life always makes me smile. 
But, it turns out you end up investing a lot more time and money- I'm already neck deep in crafting projects, school activities, painting things my husband made out of wood for the kids gifts (yes my husband is that cool)!  I just don't have the additional energy or creativity to come up with places to put the elf and purchase a bunch of things for it to leave... 

Back to the question at hand.   I love the magical feeling this time of year.  I remember being filled with wonder as a little girl, even though I didn't believe in Santa.  My kids do believe in Santa, but we also told them that Santa shares his joy for Christ by sharing his talents of toy making with all the children of the world.  We ask them to think of talents they can share in order to show their gratitude for Christ and celebrate His birth.  It was the best way I could come up with incorporating the commercialism of gift getting, which is the biggest excitement for kids with service and worship of Christ. 

Yes we allow our kids to believe in Santa, but we haven't been faced with having to reassure their doubts.  I'm pretty sure if my kids come to be with doubts about Santa I will let them reach their own conclusions and not try too hard to perpetuate the myth.  It's fun to get excited about fantastical things though- flying reindeer, magical sleigh, a jolly fat man that keeps track of good deeds, and (most important since we live in the land of snow six months of the year) a beautiful village where everyone is happy and productive despite the fact it is always in a dreary snowscape void of flowers and the natural antidepressants more than three hours or sunshine can provide. 

I think the season should be centered in Christ, it is CHRISTmas after all.  But I don't see any harm in enjoying the magic of Santa.  

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