The Santa DilemmaLauren Hartmann
The dilemma being that I think we should include Santa in our Christmas celebrations and my husband does not.
Our differences of opinion stem from our individual upbringings wherein my family did the Santa thing and my husband’s did not. We both come from Christian backgrounds where Christmas centered around the birth of Christ and the spirit of giving. This is something that is still important to both of us when it comes to the holiday season for our own family.
That said, I loved Santa.
Sure, I loved Santa because he brought presents, but honestly it was more about the fun activities that surrounded Santa and the anticipation that built up. I remember writing letters to Santa, and I loved making cookies for him! My mom was never really into baking (something I inherited from her) and it was one of the few times we all baked together, so I really looked forward to it. I remember leaving carrots out for the reindeer, and the time that we woke up to sooty footprints leading from the chimney to the tree and strategic reindeer-sized bite marks in all of the carrots. It was all so magical.
I get why my husband doesn’t want to do Santa — I really do. He doesn’t want the holiday season to be filled with materialism and self-focus. He wants our children to know that we were the ones who gave them the presents under the tree and that we worked hard to earn the money to buy them. He wants them to take time for giving to others and not just thinking about themselves and the things that they want.
I say there can be balance, though. I don’t want our children to think that all the presents come from Santa, but I still think it’s a fun tradition to have. I wonder, though, if maybe I just liked all the activities surrounding Santa. Maybe I didn’t really care as much about Santa as I did the other things like cookie baking and letter writing. Traditions are things I can easily incorporate into our holiday celebrations — Santa or not, right?
Maybe the best approach would be to wait it out and see if it’s something Fern is into. At nearly 2, she is still a little young to understand it all, so perhaps my worrying is for naught. We did take her to see Santa last year, though, just for the sake of fun pictures, which was pretty cute and last week while picking up something at the mall, we passed by the Santa photo place, and Fern stopped to stare. I told her that was Santa, and after a minute told her it was time to go and her response was to repeat (very loudly), “Bye Santa! Bye Santa! Bye Santa!” for the next five minutes while turning around and waving. She didn’t stop until we reached the car. I’m guessing someone might be a believer, but you never know.
Perhaps we can just not tell her there is or isn’t a Santa and see what she comes up with on her own?
Have any of you experienced this? What was your solution or compromise to the Santa dilemma? I’m definitely open to ideas!
Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble.
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