"When you stop believing, then Mom and Dad has to buy the presents."
"Who doesn't believe in Santa Claus?"
Believe it or not in the past three days I have been a part of at least five different conversations that deal with "believing in Santa." So I have had to tell my funny little story more than once. However, since it has been on my mind, including a conversation in the church nursery this morning, I thought I would share it with you.
When I was a little girl ( my kids would say "a long, long time ago...") I had a friend who found out there wasn't a Santa while on the playground at school. I remember being so upset, that she was so upset. I remember big tears and sobbing as the teacher tried to calm her down. I just have this childhood memory of her being so sad.
I guess I need to back up just a little. Under my tree every Christmas, there were packages from "Santa." However, I really don't have a memory of really not knowing the truth. I just knew it was "my dad." Whether I figured that out on my own or my parents told me, I really don't know. I just know that Santa was a part of my childhood, but I was never totally caught up in the "believing" part of the jolly red suited guy.
That being said, when I grew up and had my first baby, I decided I would not subject my child to that sadness I saw my little friend experience. So Kayla from day one knew Santa was "Daddy." No problems, right? It was after all my personal choice. I thought I had reached the key to parenting and that all the other moms who fed their kids all that bologna didn't know what good parenting was.
Before you want to tar and feather me, let me just say that I have had a change of heart. As they grew older, I kind of missed all the magic that came with believing. If I had it to do over... I might just do things differently. But then who knows. I say this, to say, I'm not anti Santa, it started because I was anti the sadness I remembered. I have since learned that every child handles things differently. Who knows how or what my kids would believe. I tend to think that Kayla would figure it all out, for she is such a deep thinker, like her mom. My son, however, probably would have figured it out when I ran out of answers to his hundreds of questions. He is the child that has to know how everything works.
So, all that being said, here I was, a Mom with two kids that knew the truth behind Santa. I never foresaw the problems I would have. (Remember, I was the cocky young mom with all the answers!!!)
Kayla got into her one and only fight, on the playground. Imagine my horror when Kayla became the one breaking young hearts. One girl was willing to fight her over it. Neither girl, as they rolled in the dirt were willing to back down from their stance on Santa Claus.
I had to eat a little humble pie and realized a lot about child rearing that Christmas. Mothers don't have all the answers, and when you do think you have it all figured out, something like a good playground brawl will knock your feet out from under you. I had to explain to Kayla that it was not her job to tell the "secret." That since she was so "smart" and was allowed in on the big secret, that she had the important job of keeping that secret and playing along with all her cousins and friends who believed.
It worked. My kids managed to not get in anymore fights and actually had a blast at times, playing along with the grownups on the big secret. I remember one year Kayla even getting a bite of a "cookie for Santa."
When I tell my little story, everyone has a good laugh, for imagining Kayla in a fight on the playground... too funny. She just isn't that little girl anymore. How can you not smile, when you tell someone that your daughter has only been in one fight at school, and it was over Santa Claus.
Oh, the memories... You really do have to learn from them.
That being said, picture #6 on my countdown is...
You guessed it! Jolly Saint Nick.
My kids may not have grown up believing in the traditional Santa down the chimney, with his sleigh and reindeer. But I did teach them about the real MR. Claus. The man with a big heart who gave lovingly to others, especially around the holidays.
Happy December 6Th Friends!
I pray as your children and mine enjoy the magic of the holiday, no matter what they believe, that they grow up knowing the most important thing: Christmas is really about giving rather than receiving. "For God so loved the world, that HE gave is only son..."