With the holiday season upon us (my goodness this year flew by!) I knew I had to write about this and share a pretty unpopular opinion. Although I know it’s a hot topic and I may get some hate for this, I know we are not the only family that feels this way and I need to clear a few things up.
First, let me explain what I mean by “we don’t do Santa” with our kids.
When I was pregnant with my first son my husband and I decided that the whole Santa thing wasn’t for us. I don’t know why we even started the conversation but we just sort of talked about it and strangely agreed that we really wanted to just tell our kids the truth from the get go. Strange only because it’s not something “most” people do.
So that’s what we did. We have always told our kids that Santa is a fun part of Christmas but it’s just a character in a story. They know mommy, daddy and family are the ones that get them gifts and Santa Claus is based on a Saint Nicholas and many tales told throughout time. We also try to focus on Jesus and the reason for the season because it’s important to us.
The problem is, we’ve gotten a lot of flack for this over the years. Since it’s not the norm, people tend to be very judgmental and I want to address a few things I’ve heard in the past and will probably hear in the future.
“You’re ruining their childhood by not letting them have the magic of Christmas!”
Okay, first of all, the “magic” of Christmas has NOTHING to do with Santa Claus. Christmas is about Christ. We still have plenty of magic and wonderful traditions as a family.
“You’re taking away their imagination!”
I’m not taking anything away from my kids. They have a super active and healthy imagination as it is. My boys pretend play all the time and even have “make-believe” friends like my youngest calls them.
“But you’ve taken your kids for pictures with Santa, what gives?”
Yes, we have taken the boys for Santa pictures for years simply because it’s fun. When they were babies it was just for us to have as a memory and as they got older and realized what was happening, they asked to do it and we obliged. I’m an adult and I still like taking photos with Santa so it’s all in good fun and the holiday spirit!
“They better not ruin it for others!”
This one gets to me. We are doing our best to raise good, kind-hearted, and accepting people. We want our kids to know that everyone has their own beliefs and we don’t impose our beliefs on others. Of course I tell my kids not to go around and “ruin” it for other kids, I’m not an asshole! But they are little kids and can make a mistake. I won’t condone them being mean and spilling the beans on purpose ever because that’s not what we teach them. However, if it happens by accident, my kids are not jerks, they are average children.
What bothers me the most is when adults speak ill of kids because they “ruined” Christmas for their kid by telling them Santa isn’t real. You’re an adult, take control of the situation and instead of bashing a CHILD, turn the conversation around to something positive. Remind your kids that everyone celebrates differently and just because someone doesn’t believe the same as you it doesn’t affect the way you celebrate the holiday.
I also warn the teachers way in advance so they can step in and intervene if they hear my kids about to say something in class. Like I said, I don’t encourage them to go around talking about it but it’s all about being understanding.
I’m not sure what anyone ever means by this because there is absolutely nothing sad about Christmas for my kids. They are ridiculously spoiled by us and their grandparents (so happy they have loving grandparents!), we spend time with family & friends, they get to party, eat junk and have an amazing good time.
You know what’s really sad? Children dying all over the world. People without food. Homeless families. War. Legitimate tragedies. Let’s all have some perspective!
“If you don’t do Santa, what do you do?”
Christmas is our favorite holiday and we do it up big time. Decorations, candy canes, specialty pajamas, hot chocolate, we do it all. We love Christmas and have a blast celebrating every year. Just because our kids know the truth about Santa it doesn’t mean we don’t include Santa in our holiday. He’s a character just like anything else so if they want to take pictures at the mall, we do it. If they want to watch Santa movies, we watch them. Knowing the truth DOES NOT take away any of the fun or spirit of Christmas for us at all. (We also don’t do that elf on the shelf nonsense because it’s creepy AF and no way in hell would we ever do that even if we super believed in Santa.)
So I am asking everyone to be less judgmental and more open this holiday season. If we can accept others’ points of views and respect their beliefs, then we deserve the same in return. Let’s a make a deal, you can do Santa with your kids and I can choose not to do it with mine and we can still both live our lives happily without worrying about what the other does. At the end of the day, with all the bad in the world, there are bigger things to be concerned with and the last thing I want to be doing this Christmas is defending my family’s choices in traditions.
However you celebrate, have a very Merry Christmas!