Friday, December 07, 2007

Santa Baby

What on earth are we gonna tell Jadyn about Santa? I keep going over this in my head and in conversations with some of my friends. Long before I was a mother, a friend and I were discussing the concept. She said that if you tell your kids about Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Jesus, what happens when they figure out the truth about the first three? Will they then question the reality of Jesus as well? So at that point I decided that when had kids, I would tell them about the real man (St. Nicolas) and how he evolved into the idea of Santa. But the whole deal of putting out cookies and reindeer food? Behaving so Santa would not leave coal in the stockings? Nah.

But, as with so many "ideals" that change once the reality of parenthood hits, I'm rethinking my position on this. Today my favorite blogger, DaMomma, posted about this very concept. I know that by this time next year, when Jadyn will be 3, we'll have to really have this figured out. But so far, we just let Jadyn recognize Santa as a character, much as she recognizes Dora or Barney.

Open to input, folks. Please comment.

1 comment:

Renee said...

Amanda, I had the same debate when my girls were small. We put gifts under the tree as a Christmas morning surprise, but didn't emphasize Santa the first few years. I didn't say to them, "Look what Santa brought!" I said, "Look what you got!" As the girls got older, I decided Santa was a fun game, and the girls and I still play. To emphasize Christ, we have two nativities, and we watch The Nativity Story and read the Christmas story. I have always talked to them about the reason we celebrate, and we do Operation Christmas child most years. Some years, we have had Christmas parties with a birthday cake for Jesus as well. Some of my friends give the kids only three gifts to represent the gifts given to Jesus at his birth, so there are lots of ways to center Christmas on Jesus.

I found this link on the Internet, and my girls loved the story: http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.

I printed it and put it in the Christmas decoration box to talk about each year the night we put up the tree and decorate the house. It integrates the spirit of Santa with the reason we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Caitlin especially loved picking out elements of each part of the story in our decorations.

Because of who you are, as she grows, Jadyn will have no doubt about the reason we celebrate the holiday. I think it's a shame to deprive her (and you and Paul!) of the fun and excitement of playing Santa. It's still one of the greatest joys of Christmas for our family!

When they were younger I also bought a cheap ornament for each of the girls every year to represent something about themselves. Sometimes I still do this when we take family vacations. The tree's getting a bit overloaded, so I've cut way back. They love taking them out and hearing the stories about each one. We have Coca-cola ornaments from our trip to Atlanta, Minnie and Mickey from our Disney trip, a bear in a high chair from Casey's first Christmas, Blue Clues to represent Cait's fave show when she was small, and a sewing machine for me that represents making curtains and duvets for their rooms the year we moved into our house. I date each one with a Sharpie and put their initials on them. Their ornaments will be a special wedding gift when they are grown.

Joyfully celebrate family Christmas traditions!! Jadyn will never forget them and neither will you!

Your little family blesses me in so many ways as I watch you struggle to raise Jadyn in ways that honor Christ. I'll support you whatever you decide!

Love you all!