Recently, I have read manifestos of parents denouncing Santa. There are various reasons — religious, financial, but the underlying theme seems to be that they do not wish to lie to their child or be deceptive.
I get it.
Okay. I don’t get it.
When I think about growing up with Santa, I think of that magical feeling throughout the month of December. That sweet anticipation that seemed to glimmer with the Christmas tree & add a little extra sweetness to every bite of Christmas cookie. I remember spending the night on the bottom bunk of my older brother’s bed, staying up late & watching for Rudolph’s red nose. We swore we saw it so many times, even when we were old enough to question why Santa would be flying over North Carolina at 8:30pm. I remember that bubble of joy in my belly, sitting at the top of the stairs in pajamas & then racing down to see what Santa had brought. Piles of toys & treats, spilling out of stockings & the smile on my parent’s faces. I think of how my mother sat down with me beside my dollhouse & helped me arrange the furniture perfectly while still admiring my brother’s ability to put together his new Legos. The joy, the surprise, the anticipation…that’s what I remember.
I don’t feel resentment, even when I think about the day I realized there was no Santa, no flying reindeer. To me, it did not take away the thrill of Christmas…it merely added to the magic, knowing that the presents would be there, acts of sacrifice & grace from my parents to their children. Knowing that my mother, not some stranger at the North Pole, carefully selected each doll placed under the tree with me in mind.
So yes, we will tell our son that there is a Santa. We will help create magic & anticipation & the feeling of grace in the 24 days leading to Christmas & I hope that on Christmas morning, I share the same knowing smile that my mother once wore.
How will you approach Santa? Will you celebrate him or do you view it as deception?