Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ho Ho No-Christmas Without Santa

I love the Christmas season-I love the spirit of peace and giving, I love the lights, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Christmas carols, and of course above all I love Jesus who, according to my beliefs, is the Ultimate Gift that I commemorate this holiday. Still-no matter how and why I love Christmas, believe it or not, here in the House of M we do Christmas sans-Santa style. Monkey recognizes Santa, and knows about him, but as far as he is concerned Santa is like Kai-Lan....cool, and fun, but pretend. For obvious reasons our decision is not very popular amongst our friends and family, but what may be less obvious are the reasons that we have decided to forgo the jolly fat man.

I should say first that we don't have anything personal against Mr. Claus-we think the qualities that Santa stands for are very admirable, and we don't "do" the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy or any other imaginary house guests either. It should also be said that we don't have any problem with other people inviting the Claus into their Christmas celebrations-regardless of a person's beliefs he can fit in nicely into any home and create great holiday traditions. We personally just don't feel that Santa works for us.

One reason we don't do Santa is because we feel that he takes attention away from the focus that our family chooses to have during this season. For us, the holiday season is primarily about spiritual gifts, and about our faith, and while Santa is very nice we don't feel that he has a place next to Jesus.

We also feel that it is too easy for little kids to make a connection between Santa and Jesus-after all they are both supposed to be kind, both are supposed to be omnipresent and omnipotent, and both are invisible to kids but supposed to live in your heart...which is all fine and good until the inevitable moment when a kid is told or figures out that there is no Santa. What does this mean for their faith in God, which is based on so many similar ideas as a belief in Santa?

While we would prefer to avoid a major crisis of faith while our kids are too small to really think everything through, we don't ultimately have a problem with our kids questioning their faith when the time comes and they have the capability to-however during that time they spend discovering their faith, and in fact throughout their entire lives, it is important to us that our children trust us to tell them the absolute truth. No matter how pleasant the idea of Santa is, and it is, we wouldn't be able to both be honest and encourage a belief in Santa.

Whenever we tell people that we don't believe in Santa, there are always objections about 'the fun and excitement of Christmas'. I can assure you-the kidlets still have plenty of fun and excitement. We have regular family traditions for them to look forward to, and let's be honest-kids are excited for presents regardless of the occasion. They still learn about the spirit of giving and fraternity and faith, and they still have plenty of joy and wonder in the holiday from our faith. Our kids experience Christmas just like any other kids-we just don't get our holiday spirit from Santa Claus.

And we have plenty of holiday spirit-everyone in the House of M is counting the days until Christmas. The day after Thanksgiving, as is our tradition, we busted out the Christmas carols and everybody had a great time singing along. We plan on getting our tree next week, and Monkey and I are going to string popcorn and cranberries together. I'm looking forward to our annual watching of How The Grinch Stole Christmas and Merry Christmas Charlie Brown and our special family reading of the nativity story, and Monkey can't wait for Christmas Eve at Grandpa's and orange rolls Christmas morning.

We're all geared up for a very happy holiday-what are your family traditions?

11 comments:

Vodka Logic said...

To each his own I say and if others don't respect it that is their problem. We all have our own traditions which is what makes the holidays special

singedwingangel said...

I know several people who do not include Santa for many of the reasons you listed. I also have Christian friends who refuse the holiday altogether deciding not to celebrate because of some of the originas of the holiday. I do allow Santa and explain that he was simply a man who was finding the heart of God in his ability to do what Jesus commanded, simply to love. Althoguh the starting of Christmas may have had questionable reasons I truly believe that God honors us for simply remmbering regardless of day.. giving honor and being like Jesus in our thoughts and deeds... tht is the greatest gift

PositivelyOrphaned said...

Would love to know more about those orange rolls. Sounds yummy!

The Crazy Baby Mama said...

i admire your reasons behind nixing snata from the mix.

my family doesn't celebrate xmas, but i love enjoying the festivities vicariously through others -- and yes, santa's booming 'ho ho ho' seems like an integral part of the holiday time for me, BUT as i'm sure you fully know, he's really just a pagan decoy intended to make xmas more palatable to the newly converted pagans way back in the day :)

Cathy said...

I grew up in a house without Santa and I became a normal, well-adjusted adult (just a little encouragement for you there). I never regretted not believing in Santa; however, we do have Santa gifts with our kids. That was more because my husband did Santa as a kid and we made the compromise. But I totally respect you for your decision and think your kids will be just fine without Santa.

kys said...

We don't do Santa either. I have been thinking about doing a similar post. Most people think it's strange.

Debbie said...

The fun and excitement certainly don't and shouldn't come from Santa. Sounds like you have made some wise decisions.

K said...

I think you have to do what works for your family. We're still figuring out the traditions we want to create for our little family. So far we've agree on food we'll serve (harder than you might think) and the fact we're going to buy each kid three gifts (becaues that's how many Jesus got and to limit the consumerism a bit).

Have a great holiday season.

Two Normal Moms said...

I wish we had nixed Santa right off the bat. I wanted to and caved when everyone I knew thought I was off my rocker. Of course, I was younger and today would just laugh them off. But back then I caved and always felt like I was telling my son a big fat lie. Never really took pleasure in it and am glad that he is old enough to know better now. I say GOOD FOR YOU!
***Ally

Samantha said...

I was the kid who never really believed in Santa because I knew that it logically could not work. I haven't really figured out how we are going to introduce Bree to Christmas, but before telling the story of Santa, Bree will be told the REAL Christmas Story of how Jesus Christ was born to save us all from an eternity of death. I'll let her decide on how she wants to believe those presents got under the tree :)

Victoria said...

AWESOME POST! I am a mama to 5 kidlets, and we also, do not invite Santa into our Christmas. For ALL the reasons you listed, but espeically the "Finding out Santa is not real part". I figure, if HE isn't real, then, mama, have you lied about Jesus too?

My children know about St Nicholas (the proper one) and also how he was persecuted for his faith. They know he has passed away and the Santa of today in no way resembles or stands for the St. Nicholas of the past. In fact, IMO, St. Nicholas himelf would be heartsick to find he has become greater than the Saviour he worshiped years ago!!

Santa is all fine for many, and I grew up with him in my home. It was not an easy decision, but one I stand firm on regadless of the eye rolls I get, even withon the Chistian community!