I realize there are lots of people out there that believe that we are stealing a piece of childhood from our kids but we just don’t do Santa. I don’t have any problems if you choose to, we even teach our kids to play along when other people bring it up.
It wasn’t until our daughter’s first Christmas that we realized we didn’t want to do Santa. We hadn’t really even talked about it. She was 10 months old and we realized that playing Santa would be for us, not her. I didn’t need it and Ben agreed so Santa just stayed a funny Christmas story that we read to our kids.
I know people have incredibly strong feelings about this topic. My in-laws were quite upset at first. Now everyone just excepts it.
So that everyone can feel better about the destruction of our four children’s childhoods, we do watch the movies and even get our pictures taken with “Santa” at the mall. It’s just that, in our house, Santa is equal to Frosty and The Grinch, not God.
There have been years that our daughter wanted to pretend and so we left out cookies and she chose her Santa gift (that’s right, she knew exactly how she wanted it to go. She even gave us instructions) and sprinkled reindeer feed on the front lawn. That lasted one year. Our youngest has absolutely no interest in Santa and isn’t even sure why people made him up. He keeps saying to me, “But Santa isn’t REAL.” It really frustrates him.
Our kids get gifts, they just know that it was their mommy and daddy that bought them and not based on past behaviours or as rewards but out of our genuine love for our children. They say thank you and give us gifts in return. They understand that we only have so much money and won’t be buying them things that we can’t afford. We also don’t buy things that we object to. I can’t stand video games and so I have never paid a penny for one and don’t ever plan to.
We aren’t Scroudges. I just never liked the creepy idea of a stranger sneaking into my house at night while I slept and even my parents didn’t know he was in there. Easter was also incredibly stressful for me. I can’t even tell you how relieved I was when my older sister vindictively told me that Santa wasn’t real (she had just been told by our parents).
Then there’s the lie. I just didn’t want to have to explain to my kids later that I told them a huge, on-going lie so that I could enjoy Christmas. I’m not even sure why parents really do it. At first we were afraid our kids would miss Santa but it turns out they don’t care in the least. It turns out that kids love Christmas just the same, a lesson the Who’s down in Whoville already knew.
There’s also the issue I have with over-indulgance. Kids get WAY more stuff than they should because Santa has to out do himself every year. Even wonder if kids think their parents are cheap because Santa gives the best gifts? They do.
We also wanted to spend the holiday season talking with our kids about our faith and Santa kind-of got in the way. It’s really pretty hard to focus on Christ when you have to do the elf and Santa stuff too.
So for us, Santa just wasn’t something we wanted to do. Share in the comments below what is different about your winter holidays!