Monday, November 21, 2016

Santa Claus-yum!

We decorated our tree this weekend, which was--as always--delightful!

I think the kids broke 2 or 3 ornaments and at least one of them got stabbed with an ornament hook; they hung bunches of ornaments together in one spot on the tree (which drives my somewhat OCD self bananas), and Grace decorated and undecorated the bottom part of the tree several times. But hey, what's tree decorating all about anyway, if not fun?

They definitely look more angelic in the soft glow of a couple hundred twinkling lights, though, don't you think?

In all seriousness, it's always fun to get into the Christmas mood when you have children. It was so sweet to watch Grace get the hang of decorating and hear her sweet little voice say, "Priii-ty!" every time she put an ornament on a branch. The boys wanted me to put on some Christmas music and they were all singing and dancing. I cherish evenings like that with my precious family.

Anyway, growing up, Christmas was a wonderful holiday at my house, but we didn't do much with Santa. It's not that my parents were all like, "Hey! Santa Claus isn't real, kid. The presents come from us, so don't be thinking some magical guy in a red suit is going to fly through the air with your presents on Christmas Eve." I just remember always kind of realizing that Santa was pretend. We watched movies with Santa and read stories with Santa in them, so we definitely weren't anti-Santa. Just neutral, I guess.

I know that some Christians are firmly in the anti-Santa camp, because they say what if they tell their children Santa is real and then they get older and realize he's not? What if they think mom and dad lied about Jesus being real as well?

When Kade was little, I remember telling Michael, "Let's not really do Santa. Let's keep the focus on Jesus" and I think I probably even told Kade once or twice, "Now, remember, Santa is just a fun story we talk about." If you think that's terrible, oh well. I was new at the parenting gig.

As the kids have gotten older, we have *ahem* kind of gotten more into the Santa thing. For some reason, Kade, all on his own, decided that he thought maybe Santa was real. What was I supposed to say? I didn't want to shoot him down and say, "No, he's not! Don't you remember? He's just pretend!" I think I just smiled and said, "Oh, do you?" Then, my parents took the boys to one of those Polar Express train experiences, where they got one of the bells from "Santa's sleigh" as a souvenir. They came home and kept testing me to see if I could hear the bell, too. So sue me! What's a mom to do? I had to play along! I would say, "No! I don't hear that bell at all. I think it's broken." They would smile sneakily at each other and say, "Oh, mom you must not believe anymore!"

Then, Michael (who didn't grow up in a neutral Santa house) got into the spirit of things. He found this app where you can have Santa "call" you and tell your children certain messages. He has Santa call the boys all year round. We now live in a fairly pro-Santa house. We still keep the focus on Jesus and giving but Santa is hanging out here, too. It's just another one of those issues as a parent where I have once again had to eat my own words. "We're not going to do Santa Claus!"  Yummy!

So what do you do with your children? Are you pro-Santa, neutral Santa, or anti-Santa? Share!


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