Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ho-Ho-Honundrums.....or, the Santa Debate

We knew we were not going to tell BB that Santa Clause was real (What!? Santa's not real?!)
Our thinking is that if we tell BB that Santa is real and then later he realizes that Santa is not real, BB might wonder what else we are pretending about - what about when we say God is real? How will BB know what to believe?
I thought we could just not talk about Santa, have a no-Santa clause, if you will, but turns out Santa is everywhere so that plan won't work. And then I realized that no Santa meant no BB-on-Santa's-lap picture, and it really bothered me to pass on a maybe-milestone, especially one that included a picture. He will never be 6 months old at Christmastime again, and I could never get this photo op back! And I decided that we better just go take a BB-Santa picture, just in case. And then on our just-in-case-BB-Santa picture mall trip, I went into Barnes and Noble and picked up The Night Before Christmas and suddenly felt panicked at the idea of never reading BB this beloved story from my childhood. What about the Santa-filled traditions I had grown up with? Could I share none of them with my own children? When I expressed this realization and sadness to J, he pointed out that we can still tell BB about St. Nicholas, and that that's where the story of Santa comes from, and that Santa is a fun story that people like to pretend at Christmas. And I felt very relieved that I didn't have to completely eradicate my Santeritage (Santa-heritage? HeritClause? Trantadition? Anyone?)
This solution doesn't deal with the materialism and consumerism issues that Santa brings along in his jolly red sack, but I have at least a year to work out the kinks before BB starts asking questions - I'm thinking I can work in the gifts that the magi brought to Jesus somehow :)
So here's the just-in-case Santa's lap photo:
Hope you enjoy the shot of BB sticking out his tongue - that's his latest way of telling us he's happy!
And yes, J and I have pretty much settled that BB will be that kid - you know, the one who makes the other kids cry by announcing "Santa's not real!" I can just see the annoyed parents now...


  1. Don't go with Trantadition. Sounds like our family has some sort of cross-dressing holiday ritual. ~ J

  2. The whole Santa thing is so tricky. We have told Ellie from the beginning that Santa is just a story that some families celebrate for fun. She's pretty good about not talking about Santa not being real with other kids, but she has no problem telling adults that he is not real. It breaks her heart though when the adults oppose her and say, "No, he's real!." She doesn't understand why an adult would lie to her. It just makes me feel better about our decision to not lie to her!

    She does enjoy seeing Santa and talking about Santa, just as she would be excited to see Dora or Diego :)

  3. We have other Christian friends who do this too, and it's been also difficult to embrace for us. When A asked me about this a few weeks ago because her friend doesn't believe, here's what I told her. I said that Santa represents the "spirit of Christmas" - that part of Christmas that reminds us to believe in magic, to be kind to each other, and to be happy and have fun together. Santa is the embodiment of the spirit of Christmas, but Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas, and since of course I believe in the spirit (notice spirit not Spirit) of Christmas, of course I believe in Santa. Of course she knows very clearly what is wonderful about the birth of Christ and why that was God's gift to us all so that part didn't need much explaining, thankfully. :) It's a lot easier with a 9 yr old though than a small child. Good luck. It's hard to navigate these waters. My kids don't believe in the Easter Bunny either b/c M figured it out at 3 that he was "just a guy in a costume Mommy" (said disgustedly).

    Not saying mine is the perfect answer (at ALL) - just how we have handled it for the past couple of years. :) Love ya!