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Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"

Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"
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Monday, November 29, 2010

Touchy Topic Tuesday: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

PRETTY PLEASE!!!! Join me on Mondays for my new meme- Mommier-Than-Thou Monday, and let us know why you're a better mommy than anyone else out there!!!

Also, Merry Christmas! Please click the link above to read about my sweet Scarlet, her accident, her successful recovery and how YOU can help us help the children of Primary Children's Hospital by purchasing a beautiful, unique Spoon For Scarlet. They make lovely ornaments for your tree, eye catching window decorations, and perfect gifts both for the holidays and beyond.


Touchy Topic Tuesday:

"I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"

Tonight, I am snuggled under a blanket, and sipping a cup of pumpkin spice cocoa. Molly, my black lab, is stretched out on the floor beneath me, and the room is illuminated by only the screen of my netbook, and the pinpoint lights of the Christmas tree we put up and decorated yesterday.

Under the tree, my most favorite decoration, The Kneeling Santa, rests below sloping boughs, right next to the Fisher Price Nativity my kids just love to play with.

There aren't any gifts yet, but honestly, the thought of Santa's yearly arrival makes me giddy all the way to my toes.

Yes, the rule in my house does happen to be "If you don't believe, you don't receive."

I believe in Santa. And, naturally, so do my kids. And, as it goes, I will defend their innocence on the matter as though it were a matter of life and death. After discovering that the mystery of Santa Claus was not what I had always dreamed it to be, the season just wasn't the same to me anymore. At least not until I had my own children. Now, the magic of the holiday is tenfold.

Now, it seems to have recently come to my attention that Santa Claus is a touchy subject. I have heard over and over the phrase "You can't spell Santa without Satan." and passionate mothers accuse that an encouragement of belief in something like this is an insult to their child's intelligence, and even more claim that they will never stoop to such an atrocity as to lie to their child. Then of course, there are the holier-than-thou mothers who insist that you can't do Christmas correctly while using Santa because it takes the focus off of Jesus Christ, which is the true meaning of Christmas. (And for the record, I would love to extend an invitation to all of THOSE mamas to join my Monday meme- see above.)

My rebuttals?

"You can't spell Santa without Satan"

Well, you can't spell God without dog either, but that doesn't make him any less divine, does it?

"It's an insult to my child's intelligence"

Well, one of the most brilliant minds that ever lived is quoted to say "The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination." (Albert Einstein)- it sure is a sad day when a young child is expected to be too mature to pretend or too smart to hope for something magical.

"I will never lie to my child"

Well, maybe this is just me, but I doubt it because if it really were JUST me, Santa would have died off generations ago, but when i finally approached my mother with serious intent to find out the truth about Santa Claus, and she told me, very honestly, that no, Santa wasn't real, but that it was such a lovely tradition, to let children believe that there was such a man, so giving, so loving that he spends his entire, immortal existence serving others, and what an example that should be to me- that I should give generously too- well, I never ever once felt deceived or lied to. A bit let down, perhaps, that the legend was not true, but I did not trust my mother less. I simply began to look forward to doing it all myself some day.

"Remember the reason for the season. It's about Christ, not Santa, and you simply cannot have both."

This is simply not true. As I said, beneath my beautiful Christmas tree, devoid of any presents as of yet, my dearest decoration stands, the Kneeling Santa. Some find this cheesy, or cliche. I find it positively humbling. WE have always taught OUR children that Santa brings presents to children as a symbol, because Jesus was God's greatest gift to us, and we receive gifts to remind us of that. There are symbols from everything- from the striped candy cane (the shepherds who saw the angels who brought wonderful news), to the star on top of the tree (the star over the stable). We talk almost daily about Jesus Christ, and about his birthday. Like the wise men, bringing gifts to baby Jesus, Santa brings presents to children. Like the wise men, MY children, instead of receiving gifts from their mom and dad, choose a child from the angel tree, and we put much thought into the gifts we will purchase for a child who has very little. It is something they look forward to with all their hearts.

There ARE two aspects of Christmas. Jesus Christ- the reason for the season, and Santa, who is only a deterrent to the religious aspect if you MAKE (not 'let', 'make') him be so. It is so very easy to explain to a child, in simple, understandable terms, the differences.

To be honest, I just don't really care if people choose to believe in Santa, or if they promote it with their children, or if they seriously feel like Santa is such a huge lie that it will destroy their children's psyche that they'd rather just never even introduce the magical, hopeful feeling many of us remember in the first place.

What I DO care about is that those parents keep their mouths shut about it and teach their children to do the same. When my child talks about a gift they were given, and an adult turns to me "Where did you get that?" and my child answers "Santa brought it!", it is not, in any way, acceptable to respond without hesitation "No, seriously, where did you get it?" (Yes, this comes from personal experience.)

On Christmas morning, it is REQUIRED that, if you are spending the morning with us, that you guard your comments with strict precision. I do not want to have to give you dirty looks, or remind you several times that SANTA brought these gifts, I did not purchase them myself. But you'd better believe that you WILL receive a tongue lashing if you are to ruin this day for my children.

If your child knows all the dirty laundry about Santa, please, please, teach them that it's not okay to go blabbing it to their school friends. My oldest is 5. I don't expect her to believe forever, but 5 years old is still a very tender young age in my eyes, and if you choose not to employ Santa in your holiday, that's fine with me. But don't you dare let your child take it away from mine.

Now, give us your opinions, friends! Do you believe if Santa? Do your children? How do YOU separate Santa from Christ? If you don't employ this tradition, why not, and what ARE your traditions?


Chapel said...

I whole-heartedly agree! We continue in my home to address certain gifts as from Santa. We are all grown now and know the truth, but it doesn't make the game any less fun.

I grew up in a family with 6 kids. I'm the middle child. I know for a fact that my elder siblings all learned the truth about Santa before I did, but they continued with the game not only for my and my younger siblings sake, but for the fun of the game. Some of my fondest Christmas memories are of going out on the patio into the December warmth (this is California we are talking about) and creating my "Santa paper." We'd make sponge stamps of trees and reindeer and candy canes etc. and design and paint up a large sheet or two of recycled butcher paper. Once they'd dried, we'd give them to mom and she would send them up to the north pole for Santa to wrap our gifts in. It never failed on Christmas morning, around our stockings would be our gifts from Santa wrapped in paper of our own creation. We continue the tradition to this day in my family and I can't wait for Aeslyn to make her first batch of Santa Paper.

For the record, I was not crushed when I learned the truth about Santa Clause. It was not a traumatic experience that haunts me to this day. It was a testament to the fact that my parents loved me enough to go to the trouble of creating that magical illusion. In fact, I was excited to be able to be involved in continuing that illusion for my younger sisters, happy to become a "player" in the game.

I firmly believe that children are only crushed by the truth about Santa, if you are intent on crushing them.

Eschelle said...

I so noticed that I loved Christmas SOOOOO MUCH when i had kids. SANTA is a HUGE deal to me i love it. I am obnoxiously Christmasy cause of the kids!

History of Santa Claus

My last post

Melissa said...

Great post, and I agree with one minor exception. The part where you said after you learned Santa was not real, Christmas was no fun until you had your own children. I did not have children until I was 31, playing Santa to children and adults who had nothing made my Christmas season a blessing ten times over. My mother taught us the Santa meaning of Christmas, and the religious meaning of Christmas. You put them together and you have something truly magical and beautiful.

Aunt Crazy said...

I just commented on this last week somewhere. I wish I could find that comment.

I was not crushed or heartbroken when I realized that "Santa" wasn't "real". Santa is a tradition in my family. Santa fills stockings and brings the "big" gift each year. My kids are 17 and 14 and Santa visits them every year. My Granny filled her kids stockings even after they had children of their own. My kids know that Santa is not "real" but they also know that it's an important tradition to me and it's fun for our family. I love the holidays and I love talk of Santa. I find it interesting that some people think it's lying to their children, and honestly a little odd, it's fun and games, not deciet and hurt, but to each their own. What aggravates me is that I don't try to shove my traditions on anyone else, so why do some people feel they have the right to try and shove their beliefs on me or others? How each family celebrates the holiday is their own choice, but not necessarily the choice of others around them. Believing in Santa isn't a bad thing, nor is it a thing for small kids only. To me, it's about traditions and memories, which we all need to sustain us through times when we feel discouraged by life in general.

I'm Not a Trophy Wife said...

I a following you! Love the Touchy Tuesday. I'll be back to visit. Crazy day.

NikkiDarlin' said...

I love Touchy Topic Tuesday. thanks for the comment. I blieved in Santa until I was about 10 and I hope my daughter does too. It just makes the season more magical. We can always use a little magic every now and then.

Ihilani said...

I agree whole-heartedly! You can totally believe in Santa and Jesus at the same time, and as far as I'm concerned, they're on the same team, and so is everyone else that gives of themselves during the Christmas season and all year long. Who among these Christian parents has actually SEEN Jesus? I haven't, but I still believe in him. What's wrong with believing in something you can't see? So Santa isn't Jesus. Big deal. He's not Satan either. He represents goodness and service and caring and love. And for children learning little by little, Santa is a wonderful example. I love how you teach your kids about Santa and Jesus. It's all about balance.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm following you back!

I'm NOT a VOLCANO! said...

Chapel- what an excellent tradition!! I LOVE the idea of making special wrapping paper and sending it to the north pole! I might just steal that idea!

melissa- even after learning the 'truth' i still loved Christmas- but the magic was just a bit less intense. I'm finding that it's TONS better now that I have children than it was even when I WAS a kid.

JodyB said...

We believe in Santa. Santa letters have been written, behavior is at an all time WONDERFUL and anticipation for tracking the Big Guy across the globe is high. My children know the story of the Nativity, and my 6 year old even put it together one day that Santa was like a wise man (although he said "wise guy
so it took a little explaination for it to click)

I DREAD the day my son comes home from school and asks me if Santa is real, for I know it will be the fault of some other child (read: PARENT) that his imagination and innocence on the matter is crushed. So, to all the non-Santa celebrators, this is not debatable. Be quiet. Some of us are trying to be on the nice list.

Nicole weaver said...

I am now following you. Thanks for following me. I am a full-time teacher, I wanted to drop you a quick note to say thank you. I need to get back to work, my break is over. Talk to you later.

Nicole Weaver

Cheryl @ On the Old Path said...

I guess I am the minority we don't celebrate Santa. BUT one thing we do is let our kids know that Santa is a game people play and there are some people especially little kids who don't know they are playing it. So when someone asks you about Santa around other kids and you don't know if they are playing the game or not never say something like Santa isn't real.
They have caught on to this really quickly and get it. My 3 year old doesn't really know who Santa is but has a huge love for life so she would probably embrace the idea, my 5 year old has been taught about Christmas from strictly a Biblical perspective as have the rest of the kids but he still thinks Santa is a neat guy but doesn't really associate him with Christmas... maybe more winter. My point is we have never included Santa in our Christmas celebration but we have also taught our kids in away that they don't come off as scrooge to the kids around them.
Jesus is the reason for the season Santa has never been included, that is what we are comfortable with, YET, I don't want them spoiling someone elses Christmas because that family celebrates differently. They know about St. Nicholas and how he became jolly old St. Nick or Santa Claus, they know who Rodolph the red nose reindeer is and Frosty the snowman but they also know that these guys wouldn't exist if it weren't for the miracle that happened in a manger some 2000 years ago.
We have all sorts of fun traditions just not Santa as a focus. We are taking our kids to a Christmas party with the other pediatric oncology kids that are being treated along with my son and we know Santa will be there. This will be a fun party that I don't want the kids to miss out on just because Santa is making an appearance I also have no fear that my guys will ruin it for the other kids.
I want my kids to know what we believe and respect that other families are going to approach it differently. Just the same I want my kids to have the freedom to be able to say oh Santa didn't come to our house instead we got 3 gifts just like Jesus and not have people frown at them. I think a parent could easily say something to a confused child like 'Oh well Santa has so many homes to visit some parents help out so he doesn't have to stop at their house but he'll always stop at our house because that is how we like it so he'll never stop coming.' Just my 2 cents

Sara said...

Great thought process.

I was one of those kids that Santa was ruined for at 5. It was my cousin. She lived with my grandparents and we lived in the apartment upstairs. On the stairs between the two houses I was told, "You know that Santa is just your mom and dad right." She was 9. I was devastated! Not that my mom and dad lied to me. I was devastated because I loved Christmas so much and I wanted Santa to bring me whatever it was that year.

Now I was not brought up in a home where religious anything was discussed so I really like your explanation of the symbolism. But this is how my mom explained it to the sobbing 5 year old. Santa is magic. Do you want to believe in Santa? I said yes! My mom said, then believe. I believed then I got to that age and I asked her if my cousin was right. I phrased my question in such away where she never really did say, no Santa does not exist. Her answer this time was, "Santa uses mommys and daddys to help him get presents to all the boys and girls all over the world, otherwise it just wouldn't work."

Now I do still believe in Santa. Santa is the Christmas magic. There is something magical about this time of the year. I feel that Santa is that magic that makes people a little bit nicer. It is what makes people take a second to give change to the needy. Santa is that magic that makes the workaholic want to not work one night to give back to the community.

Now that I am mom I am looking forward to Christmas more than I used to. I am sure that is going to grow as PB gets older. My fear is that my nephew is going to stop believing in 3 years or so and he is enough of a punk where he would tell my 3 year old daughter that Santa does not exist. That is my Christmas fear. It would ruin it for all of us.

But I have a great explanation now thanks to you.

Great topic! Merry Christmas.

ps - I just got a card in the mail from my supposedly super religious aunt and she wrote on it "happy holidays." I wanted to pitch it right in the can. That is a bigger deal to me than my child believing in Santa. People needing to be pc and saying Happy Holidays.

Sara said...

Feel free to use the Happy Holidays as a TTT. I hate it so much I limit my shopping at my favorite store, Target, because everything is Happy Holiday. I also purchased my Christmas cards at Dollar Tree because 8 out of the 10 designs said Christmas in them. (I got a box of 20 cards for $1 each and I needed 7 boxes of cards. I know that is a lot of freakin cards! 3 1/2 boxes are for the business.)

When someone says Happy Holidays to me, I reply with Merry Christmas to you too. I try to get it out before them so they know it is okay to wish my a Merry Christmas.

Thanks for the comment about Santa letters. I love the site for my nephew because it is a fill in the blank thing, but for Kaitlyn it just won't cut it.

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