Tuesday, December 13, 2011

To Santa or not to Santa?

Hello, my lovelies. 'Tis the season, as we all very well know...you can't walk down the street without hearing Christmas carols blasting on speakers, without seeing lights and tinsle decorating every home and storefront you go by, or without encountering someone in a Santa suit at some point in time during the month of December. Which brings me to the current dilemma I have at hand concerning the Fat Man in Red...

Lily is less than a year old- 21 months to be exact. She has a pretty limited vocabulary at this time, her favorite words being "mama", "dada", "Ogum", "more", and "yeah." "Ball" has also become a new one she likes to say several times a day and address to anything resembling a sphere, from Christmas tree ornaments to oranges to actual balls. Somewhat surprisingly, a new word has entered her index that I didn't expect her to learn so soon, and it's "Santa." It actually comes out sounding more like "sana" from her young tongue, or sometimes "sasa." But, this word is only used when she sees any likeness to the one and only Santa Claus.

Paul and I talked about how we'd handle the whole Santa thing- should we play along with the game of pretend? Use it to our advantage to get her to behave, like so many parents do? Or should we take the more truthful, but far less fun, route of filling her in on the Santa myth early and not buying into something that may just confuse her and have more extreme repercussions later in life? Paul wanted her to have fun with the classic Santa tale, but also liked the idea of being more honest, and so did I, yet we couldn't help but realize that she may end up spoiling it for other kids who do believe in Santa Claus when she tells them what her parents told her. Hmmm...how to handle such a dilemma?

So, you must know what I'm asking here now: how do you handle Santa Claus in your home? Whether you're a Christmas celebrator or not, I want to hear from you! Does your child or children believe in Santa Claus, and if you have older kids who know the truth now, how did you break it to them? Or how did they find out? Do you stand by your decision? Would you do anything differently if you could go back? If you don't play the Santa game, what do you do instead? How do you keep your kids from spilling the truth to their peers?

Tell me in the comments, I really want to know! Lily is still young and I want to know what the best route is since I'm still unsure of what the future holds for the Santa myth in our home. It's really sweet to see her enjoying Mr. Claus' image so much (she has a little rattle toy of his likeness that she hugs and kisses all the time!), but I don't want to give her the impression of consumerism and material things being such an important component to the Christmas holiday. I spoke to Paul as I started writing this, and his answer was (as it tends to be): "just let it evolve, let her have fun." What do you think? Am I reading too far into this, or is it a legitimate cause for concern? 

Thanks for your responses, and thanks for reading!!


  1. I think that the spirit of Santa can be far less about materialism and consumerism, and more about generosity. All Caden asked Santa for this year was a slinky, and a DVD. I was raised on the "santa myth", and don't recall any extreme repercussions when I found out Santa wasn't real. I believed for a long time, too...until about 5th grade, when a schoolmate spilled the beans. But I firmly believe that these words still hold true over a hundred years after they were written. "there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. " I'm a sap, maybe. But I believe.

  2. We're going through the same dilemma. I'm leaning more toward Santa: Yes!

  3. I think Santa is a great thing for kids. To believe in a man that does nothing but kind things is a good man to believe in, when the rest of the world isn't so kind.

  4. I think your philosophy sounds wonderful, Faith. It's good to have whimsy in our lives, and I like that Caden asked for such simple things this year, it just goes to show you and John are doing something right :) It looks like Santa is winning for us too right now, besides, we still have until next year before we make our final call on this. Thanks again for the comments, ladies!

  5. Magdalena's too young (18 mo) to understand Santa, I think. She hasn't been exposed to him yet and I like it that way. I have no idea what will happen next year!

  6. I agree with Faith. We've approached Santa and the whole season as the season of giving. We've taught Ava (4 1/2) that not only must you behave to receive gifts, but be good and kind to others as well. We donate food and clothes on a regular basis and and try to make sure Ava understands why. It doesn't have to be only about materialism and consumerism. Angelina (20 months) does not understand yet. But, she definitely knows who Santa is, walking around pointing him out and saying his name all day. Much earlier than Ava and probaly simply because of Ava. As far as believing, I say let the kids believe. Childhood is fleeting, they have a whole lifetime of reality to face. Santa
    can teach innocent fun, generousity and empathy. As far as finding out the hard truth; I don't recall being traumatized when I found out. Actually, I have no
    memory of it at all (i'm sure Paul must have been behind it, though). However, I very clearly remember trying to make sure my younger brother and sister believed for as long as possible.

  7. Why would you want to take away childhood joy? We came across a little boy this weekend who mumbled ,"santa is a fake" under his breath. He looked and sounded like someone stole his joy and innocence. Bummer!


Thanks for stopping by! I love comments and always want to know what you think :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...