Monday, December 15, 2008

Santa Claus is Coming to Town?

Is my kid going to be traumatized when he realizes there does not yet exist a picture of him with Santa Claus? Because he's never had his pic made with the old guy. The last two Christmases he's been scared to death by the old man, and this year it just hadn't occurred to me to do it. In fact, we've kind of avoided the whole idea of Santa Claus. Joshua hasn't asked; therefore, it's been a moot point. And we've been reluctant to introduce the idea of Santa Claus because bringing it up ourselves seems somewhat deceptive: "Hey Joshua! A big man in a red suit is going to come down your chimney and bring you presents!" The last time I checked, that was a complete lie, and I'm not sure I like the idea of it.

One of his friends at the children's gym asked him if he'd been to ask Santa Claus for presents and he just stared at her blankly. I shook my head 'no' behind him and she didn't press the issue, but it made me wonder if I'm making him miss out on something altogether. Maybe he'll be interested in Santa further down the line and we can introduce a little of the magic without being completely deceptive. I was reading some posts on one of my favorite sites where many of the mothers talked about how magical it was for them to believe in Santa Claus, and about how wonderful it is to see their own children believe in Santa. Are my kids missing out?

We were going to celebrate St. Nicholas Day this year, but that didn't happen since St. Nicholas Day is December 6 and I was still reeling from Thanksgiving. Maybe we'll try again next year.

What do you think? Will my child be scarred for life because he doesn't know about Santa? Are we missing out?


Christine said...

Oh yeah. You're totally going to hell for not having Santa.

Wait. That doesn't sound right.

Anywho ... we do Santa, even once they know there is no Santa. We have goofy little traditions. Somewhere around 1st or 2nd grade, the jig is up, and then they get to be on the "in on the secret" side and enjoy the mystery in the eyes of the younger ones.

Some of our best friends don't do Santa with their kids. Granted, they will be sitting at the right hand of God one day for choosing to banish St. Nick.

Nope. Wait. That's not right either.

Whatever you do, make it fun and wonderful and the kind of thing that glues a family together really tight. If you do that, they won't be scarred - Santa or no Santa.

Now, if you WANT to scar them, I could give you all sorts of ideas ...


Erica said...

I'm with you on this...we're not really pushing it either. Perhaps growing up as a little dutch-american kid, having Sinter Klaas show up early in december at my school in Holland, MI, just convinced me there couldn't be two of the same guy.

We do stockings, and I have a collection of carved wood santas, but that's about it.

Jenny said...

Don't worry too much; as soon as he gets into school he'll get more than enough Santa for anyone's taste.
Case #1: My parents let my oldest brother decide whether he believed in Santa (at something like age 4, being a precocious sort, he showed great skepticism, and they asked "What do you think?") He was enraged in kindergarten, came home and accused them of "lying" to him -- all of the kids in his class believed in Santa.
Case #2: Yesterday we were decorating, and I asked Mark where he thought we should hang the boys' stockings. "By the FIREPLACE!" he said. "That way when Santa comes down the chimney, he can put TOYS in them."
I don't know where that came from. I don't think we've talked about that at all because, frankly, the idea of someone coming down the chimney is what my childhood nightmares were made of.

Anna said...

Put a quarter in the therapy jar....

Anonymous said...

I'm not real sure of the exact moment that I figured out there was no Santa. It may have been the time that I heard my parents playing with the electric race track out in the living room. Or, it may have been the time that my brother and I found a handheld electronic game hidden in my parent's bedroom and we played it until the batteries went dead. I do remember being one of the oldest believers in my class though. Everyone used to try and tell me there was no Santa. I can't say it was truly traumatic when I finally admitted to not believing because I had suspected for so long. I think back then I was just worried that I wouldn't get any more toys. The girls (Rach & Les) found some toys we hid out, so they weren't too upset because they knew they were still getting presents also. With Levi & Erin, I worry more about "deceiving" Levi because sometimes he can take things too literal and I'm afraid he won't like our little lie. We don't make it a point to go see Santa anywhere, but the old man just happens to be where we do go, so, the kids want to sit in his lap and Erin says she wants candy and Levi says he wants a beast basher. We're trying to focus more on Jesus' birthday this year instead of when Santa will arrive.

Montana Dave said...

I don't really have an opinion either way, I just wanted to give you props for using "moot" correctly.

HP said...

St. Nick night is a great tradition!!

We have good friends who use that to talk about the real St. Nicholas and his ministry to the poor. The kids get gifts but they also give gifts on that day. It helps them feel connected to the culture, but there is no deception or consumerism encouraged.