Saturday, December 17, 2011

Santa

I was putting my little girl (5yo) to bed last night and she was getting worried about Santa breaking into the house to put the stocking on her bed during the night.  She takes a wide berth at shopping centres when she sees the Santa sleigh because she's a bit freaked out by him.  The whole thing is a bit strange to me.  I don't see the appeal in plonking your screaming child on the lap of a large, bearded stranger while yelling 'smile' at them.

We've never been into Santa.  It's not based on a particularly strong philosophical position (my parents merrily lied to me about Santa for years and they're missionaries).  Mostly we never got into it because we want the focus of Christmas to firmly remain on Jesus (and that's hard enough in the face of the endless discussion about presents, Santa and food).  But also partly (as usual) because we're a bit lazy.  One set of presents was enough for me to cope with.  The idea of stockings was beyond me.  And plus I didn't want the kids waking at 3am to check for stockings.

Last year we did stockings for the first time.  The kids are a bit older and so don't wake up in the middle of the night.  They enjoyed it.  And they know it isn't actually from Santa.

But the poor 5 yo is still not quite sure despite us all reassuring her that he's not real.  Lots of talk about Santa at preschool has confused her.  And preschool teachers hold a lot of power in her little life.

Hoping we can help her to not feel worried about Santa this week and talk instead about the real meaning of Christmas. And it's not 'being together with family' as I keep hearing. It's simply about Jesus.

6 comments:

Sandra said...

We never 'did' Santa - one reason being I can vividly remember when I was about 4 realising it was all fake - I can recall thinking 'why on earth would my mother tell me such a stupid lie'.
I suppose I was a funny child.

Louise said...

Our youngest felt sorry for us that we didn't believe in Santa and nothing could convince him it wasn't going to snow on christmas day.

ruth said...

I sat through a kinder lesson (6 year olds) last week where the teacher was proposing writing a letter to Santa which, first of all, had to include reasons why the kids were deserving of presents (there was a lot of "because I cleaned my room" responses) and secondly, the letter was to include only 1 or 2 present requests as Santa was very busy. The teacher was very explicit about making sure that the kids all wrote the letter 'correctly' and talked about how the children would need to get their parents to send it to the correct address. This was the day after I talked with my son about how Santa was just a game some people's parents played. He was quite confused (in fact he started writing the letter like a prayer; "I'm sorry that I ...") and possibly so were Buddhist and Muslim kids! Santa (or is that consumerism?) seems to be the only religious idea that can be taught without any parental approval!

charissa said...

Our oldest was always terrified of Santa and would run screaming in the other direction. When he was a bit older he told us it was because Santa has "claws" and we sing that song "You'd better watch out ... santa 'claws' is coming to town"!!No wonder he was so scared.

Eb said...

We explained that some people like to play a game that Santa is real, and we don't want to spoil it for them. That seemed to work pretty well.

Sally said...

In Holly and Baxters class the teacher asked what Christmas was all about....... The resounding answer "Jesus's birthday". That was not the direction she was planning on taking. They were then told that Christmas was actually all about being kind. I wish I had been there to hear how our kids responded to that!