Five years ago, I learned that my brother and his wife(the best SIL ever) would not be “doing” Santa. I thought they are weird and why wouldn’t you. Two Christmases passed with children in the home and we celebrated Christmas without the fat man in a suit. Now, our Christmas tree still had a bazillion presents under it. My mom is the best gift giver ever. Really, she will get you something you never knew you couldn’t live without. The year I had Vivienne, I thought about if we would tell her that Santa brought her gifts. We decided he would not. She was a baby that first year because her birthday is December 4th and this year she is only two. She does not care much about who brings her what. Next year will begin the year of whether or not our family would introduce Santa as truth. We will not. Now, if you do, that is great! This is about my family. I too thought it was strange to not include a cultural icon in the beginning, but the more I thought about it, I wondered why I ever thought I would.
I grew up with Santa bringing my brother and I presents. He brought us the un-wrapped ones that appeared on Christmas morning. Which, let’s be real, was weird. We lived in central Florida. There was no snow, no chimney. How did he get in? We were those children that asked too many questions. BUT hey! He brought presents! Why complain? I think it was the same year that I accepted Christ that I also asked if Santa was real. I was six. My parents told the truth and we rolled on with life. I got the same amount of presents and this time they were wrapped and coordinated with my brother’s gifts and fun North Pole characters brought them, like the reindeer, Mrs. Claus, polar bears…. My brother allowed as to how the penguins did not live in the North Pole and should not bring us gifts.
I have always loved Christmas and the closeness of family. I love our time together. And, I love presents. I love giving and receiving. I love candle light services and singing Christmas hymns. I love drinking hot cocoa and reading the story of Jesus’ birth from the Bible as a family. I loved turning the sprinklers on just hoping it would get cold enough to ice! I love driving around looking at lights together. I love going to the Christmas tree farm and cutting down our very own tree together as a family. I love Christmas morning breakfast. I love this time of year. None of the things I love, changed.
So, as to why I am not going to have Santa bring her gifts is pretty simple. It is just unnecessary. As a Christian, my focus is on Christ and His birth. For me, that is the whole reason I celebrate Christmas. I have my advent wreath up and I am trying my best to read the devotion each day. When Vivienne gets older, I plan on having an Advent Calendar we do together. There will be a verse and little gift for each day before Christmas. Jesus was the ultimate gift. We don’t need a Santa to bring gifts. It is superfluous. I am not sure why it is considered magical. To me, Jesus is so beyond magic. If you want to use the word magic as an adjective to describe how wonderful Christ’s birth is, that’s fine. Santa is a fictional story that I will read to her. As for telling her he is real, nope. Don’t feel bad for Santa because I also won’t tell her the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy are real either. No one is real unless they really are real. If you really sit down and think about it, they are all quite creepy. Why in the world would she want our teeth anyway? And no, I do not really want her to sit on some stranger’s lap.
Will she miss “the magic of Christmas?” Nope, because the joy of Jesus totally overshadows any magic a fictional character will bring. As for her imagination, don’t worry, we cover that 365 days a year. I am 31 and still love make-believe, as long as it is just that, pretend. Both her dad and I are avid readers that will pass that on to her. She loves books and is great at pretend play. I also hope to instill in her the desire to bring others joy by living our lives the way Jesus did. Volunteerism is so important to me and she sees my commitment to it all throughout the year. We give gifts and write cards for others monthly. She is witness to our dedication to our community, even people we don’t know.
I have no problem with people “doing Santa” with their family. In mine, we won’t and I wanted to share that that’s OK, too. This holiday season is wonderful for us as we focus on Jesus, family and giving. I say holiday season because I mean from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. I don’t get offended if someone says it to me, because I am just happy they said something kind. I know Santa is everywhere and that is fine! She knows who he is and loves the story. So far, she hasn’t really wanted anything to do with the men dressed like him, but she might later and that is fine! I personally will not take her to see Santa or have her picture with him up in my home. (That man is a stranger, why would I put up a picture of him in my house?) I love our pictures of our family around the tree and place them up at this time. I have a home fully decorated with Christmas-y stuff! We love to celebrate the joy, hope, peace and love Christ brought with His birth. For my family, that is the focus. What we do is our choice, one I want you to consider if you are a Christian. Remember that this is the time that it is super easy to bring up Jesus and all He has done in your life! Why cloud that with a stranger in a red suit? Jesus doesn’t care if you’ve been naughty or nice, He wants to give everyone the gift of hope in salvation with Him.
Here is the link to my SIL’s post on her blog about why they don’t do Santa: http://www.carrotsformichaelmas.com/2014/12/07/why-we-dont-do-santa/