Are you wondering if we're going to visit Santa at the mall? Are you wondering if presents marked "From Santa" will be under our tree? Perhaps you're curious to see if we'll put out cookies and milk for the jolly man or if we'll leave carrots out in the yard for his
A little bit of background for you: I don't ever remember growing up with Santa. Santa wasn't a big deal at my house. Sure, we left cookies and milk for Santa. We even had a handful of Santa decorations around the house. We decorated Santa-shaped cookies with sugar sprinkles, red hots, and those microscopic candy balls that break your teeth. We waved "Hello" to Santa as we passed him in the mall. But we didn't go sit on his lap, we didn't write letters to him, and we didn't talk about him a whole lot. We were never told that there WAS or WASN'T a Santa. And I never ever felt like I was missing out on any part of my childhood.
Fast forward to the present: We have our own children. So, what are we going to do? We have lots of traditions in the Greenhill house. You can check out some of them here and here. However, Santa will not be one of our traditions. To answer the questions above... No, we are not going to visit him at the mall. I don't want to pay to have a picture of my two children shrieking in Santa's lap, and it's just not an important tradition to me. There will be no presents "From Santa" under our tree. Cookies and milk? Perhaps. I do like cookies an awful lot. Carrots? Nah. Will we speak the man's name? Sure! St. Nicholas was a great guy with a great heart. He's a great example to use as we teach our kids about giving. We might ban certain Santa songs, but not for the reasons you'd think.
So, why no Santa? I could tell you it's because we don't want to lie to our kids. It sounds terribly harsh, and it IS a reason, but it's not my main reason. I mentioned a few weeks ago how I hate one particular phrase that has become a cliche in the "Christian world." Goofy cliche, but true. Santa is not the reason for the season. My children are not the reason for the season. Consumerism is not the reason for the season. A friend shared a thought with me recently, and it has really stuck with me. "Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus. So, why in the world do we get a bunch of presents?" Christmas is not a time to celebrate my kids. It's not a time to celebrate my husband. Is it a time to be so thankful for them that my heart wants to burst? You bet. But, I don't want Kate and Drew to grow up thinking that Christmas is all about them. And I certainly don't want them thinking that they ought to be good so a fictitious fat man with a beard will bring them presents! I don't want them missing out for even one second on the enormity of the gift of Jesus.
"But, how/what are you going to tell them?" Beats me! Really. I don't know. They can't talk yet, so they can't ask. Ha! ;) We have a little bit of time to come up with a thoughtful and sensitive answer. In the meantime, we are praying that our home will be a place of peace as "the weary world rejoices" because Christ our King is born!
What kind of Santa traditions do/did you have in your family? If your family didn't "do Santa," feel free to share the reasons for that! *Please remember to be kind and sensitive, as some thoughts (including mine!) may differ from yours.*