‘Tis the Season
Okay, let me start by providing a disclaimer: I am truly sensitive, aware, and respectful of the fact that not all cultures celebrate Christmas. I am also sensitive to those who may not be financially fortunate enough to celebrate by providing gifts to their children. I plan to educate my kids of the various cultural celebrations and when they are old enough, we will actively give back to those less fortunate. My husband and I will diligently educate our tiny humans on gratitude and accepting nothing less than gratefulness for our blessings. The rant that you’re about to enjoy in no way, shape or form targets these individuals. This one is simply for the magic suckers, or the Voldermorts out there (That was a Harry Potter reference for those of you who may not be quite as cool as myself). So it begins…
“We don’t do Santa Claus. I don’t believe in lying to my children.” Are you f’in kidding me? Please excuse my language this early in the game, but seriously?!?! “We believe in being honest as a family, so we don’t participate in ‘the Santa game’.” Come ON people!
Think back 25-30 years or so. Picture this: You wake up, most likely around 5am if you are anything like me and my cousins. You know “he” was here…Jolly-Old-Saint-Nick, The Man in the Red Suit, SANTA– but, you still second guess yourself with a nervous little heart, because his magic is SO real to you. You quickly reflect on your past year… ‘yup, I was definitely a punk a handful of times.’ Did that seal the deal? Am I about to find a big lump of coal, resulting in the worst day of my life? You slowly, creep downstairs and have to wait, halfway down the stairs, while your parents prepare their cups of coffee (after all, you do have them up awfully early). Each minute that passes, you test your limits with just one more stair. Your heart beats faster with every passing second until finally, you’re allowed to enter your family room. BOOM. Presents galore! You’re overcome with a happiness that only a kid can feel. That magic, that excitement, that amazing feeling knowing that Santa was actually in your house, delivering the things that you felt were such super secrets (how did he know I wanted that Barbie?!). This. is. Christmas. This, is the spirit of the season. The feeling that children feel on Christmas morning encompasses all that Jesus stood for-the good in humanity. This is innocence and everything that is right in a world full of madness.
Now, fast forward to the moment you found out that Santa, wasn’t actually a real person. Did you feel cheated? Did you feel lied to? Did you feel abandoned by dishonest parents? NO. Most likely you felt thankful, valued, maybe slightly worried/disappointed that the magic (okay, okay the presents) wouldn’t continue, but altogether you felt as if you had entered a new stage in life. Learning that Santa isn’t an actual person is somewhat of a right of passage. You come to find out that it isn’t actually a jolly fat man who delivers presents, but your parents who love you so much that they were able to create a magical, unforgettable experience for you for the past x amount of years. You learn that Santa means giving is just as, if not even more powerful than receiving.
Let’s jump ahead again, and now you have children of your own. As parents, the season takes on a whole new meaning. We’ve transformed from believers to members of the exclusive “making the magic” club and it becomes our mission to re-create the incredible experience that we remember. Enter Scrooge, the Grinch, and all other naysayers of the holiday– I once read in a mom’s group on Facebook that “We don’t believe in being dishonest with our kids, so we don’t do Santa. We teach them the real meaning for the season, which is family and love.” First of all, I call bullshit because the “real meaning for the season” is the birth of Jesus Christ. Yes, He may have stood for family and love, but showing your children the magic of Santa emphasizes theses values-it does not diminish them. Second of all, I call bullshit because children should learn family and love everyday. We are raising these tiny humans in an unfortunate world filled with hate, cruelty, and dishonesty. I’ll be damned if my 2 year old feels the demons that we as adults feel and I’m going to use the “Santa lie” to ensure his miraculous view is maintained. He sees the world as a bright, beautiful, and truly magical place. I’ll make it my personal mission to ensure he keeps that view for as long as possible, even if it takes a little “white lie” and him believing that a fat man, who rides in a sleigh, guided by a reindeer whose nose lights up, delivers presents on Jesus’ birthday. Bottom line: we are raising these tiny humans, with huge hearts. The world does a great job shrinking those hearts. Let’s not be the ones to contribute by denying them the magic of childhood. Santa is real. He is VERY real and I will always teach my kids about his joy, his magic, his wonder, and his peace, until the day they are old enough to realize that the joy, magic, wonder, and peace known as Santa is the same joy, magic, wonder, and love that I feel for them. Our tiny humans are amazing and I will lie to them daily if it means preserving their tragically beautiful view on life. So, Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday tiny baby Jesus, and may you all feel and see the magic of the season through the eyes of your babies!