Remember that 20 Things To Do Before Pregnancy #2 list? Well, not surprisingly, I’ve been much more conscious of what we do as a three-person family, and I’m happy that we can set in some consistent holiday traditions before the next one comes.
We’ve been talking about these traditions over on my blog, including the Santa vs. No Santa debate. My husband and I started talking about the Santa issue when I was pregnant, and he was firmly in the I Don’t Want To Lie To Our Children camp. I was teetering on the line.
And even though I was pro-Santa during my pregnancy, I’m surprisingly starting to become a little uncomfortable now.
I’m all for kids playing make-believe and using their imaginations — for their childhood memories as well as for their development — but insisting that Santa is a living, breathing person (and actively covering up the truth) doesn’t feel like pretending. It feels like lying. Doesn’t Santa contradict our fantasy vs. reality and truth vs. lie lessons? And I also have an issue with using Santa as a threat, only because I’m iffy about equating good behavior with “more stuff.” (“Eat your dinner or Santa won’t bring presents this year!”)
I have no scarring or grudges from believing in Santa for 8 or 9 years. In fact, I would never want those memories taken from me. All I remember is the overwhelming anticipation and the endless possibilities. I remember imagining Santa’s workshop in my mind — an exciting yet comforting thought. I remember running to the plate of crumbs and the empty glass of milk — proof that magic happened last night.
So far I haven’t been that specific about Santa — I never took him to sit on Santa’s lap, and we never mailed him a letter. But he wants to leave cookies and milk (for Santa), plus some carrots (for the reindeer) out this year. And of course we will. Because at the end of the day, Santa is about magic and memories. Memories that I would never want him to miss out on, no matter how uncomfortable I might feel with the tradition. (Read more of our holiday traditions here, most of which we determined during my pregnancy.)
We had a little “Waiting For Santa” photo shoot with my son, featuring some yummy Pillsbury cookies for Santa. (They didn’t last too long.) Take a look at these photos and tell me if you’d ruin the magic for him. I just can’t:
Thanks very much to Pillsbury for sponsoring this post and for providing Pillsbury products for me to have some fun with. Check out more posts in this campaign.
Photography credit: Nikki Addimando
Read more of Michelle’s writing at Early Mama.