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35 They were desirous to be baptized as a witness and a testimony that they were willing to serve God with all their hearts; Mosiah 21:35

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christ {mas}

I am having a hard time talking to Edward about Santa.  I don't want to tell Edward about Santa and I don't want Christmas to turn in to a time of year when all he talks about are things he is going to receive.  How can I avoid this? 
My thought is to tell him now that Santa isn't real, but Jesus is real and in order to get gifts we must give something.  Is this mean?  Is that terrible of me to cut Santa completely out?  So many people have completely cut Christ out of Christmas.  I just don't want my sons to be a part of the X-MAS group.  Any thoughts?  What do other parents do?
I grew up with Santa and I turned out OK, but sometimes I feel like the generations that are coming up live in a society of me, ME, me.  I just want to avoid that as much as possible.  Anyhow, so probably no Santa here at the Barnes home.


Andrea said...

You know, I didn't really feel comfortable lying to the kids about Santa, so we just talk about how it's fun for everyone to pretend there's Santa, and to pretend to BE Santa and give to others, like Jesus would want us to.

I think Christmas has plenty of room for Jesus and Santa. :-)

Betty-Jo said...

Christmas has room for whatever you put into it. Everytime the kids go into the Santa is everything mode we stop and talk about the true meaning of Christmas and we name some gifts we have received from Jesus over the past year. It quickly humbles. I enjoy reading your blog.(I am a friend of Kayla's)

Heidi said...

Your children will NEVER be one of those "me, me, me" people, because they have great parents. Santa is such a magical part of childhood, and these days, it doesn't last very long. Let him believe, but always remind him what the real reason for the season is!

megs said...

I love the magic of Christmas. But, for me that is time with family, making goodies to give to friends, enjoying the magic of beautiful songs and family and love and a true reason for the season. I love the beauty of giving, and want to avoid the focus on getting that is everywhere.

Also, I don't feel comfortable lying, though I understand the people that think children need magic. I just can't lie. However, with mine being 2, I haven't felt the need to outright say Santa isn't real. I just don't really give him any more time or energy than any other fictitious people she loves and reads about (Big Bird, Elmo, etc). Santa isn't Christmas - he is another tradition entirely, and for me it is as necessary as Cinderella or Elmo. Fun to play, but always fiction.

In the long run, I think the presents will be from us, and minimal. And not bought with a list from her - her focus with us will be on what she can do for others and giving. And, she will be part of the baking and giving out our treats, since she is every holiday. (I do the same for Halloween, we bake and go around to give more than we get)

Do what is right for YOU, do what is real in your heart.

Jake and Mal said...

I have been having similar thoughts about how to bring Christ in more for my children instead of overloading them with Santa. I don't want to cut him out altogether though so here is what I've come to.

Santa is just fun and kids learn to know who is real (Jesus) and who is not (Santa) as we talk to them and especially as they get older.

Growing up, we always knew the gifts really came from our mom and dad, but my mom never gave up the magic. Even now my mom will only say to me about Santa "If you believe, you will receive!"

Sometimes I felt even more grateful knowing my parents loved me enough to get me something that only a "magical St. Nick" could supply. It made the gifts extra special and my parents never took credit for it even when we thanked them! lol They taught us selflessness by not taking all the glory. They were just happy to see us happy.

Not to mention my parents remembered to use Santa to keep us on our best behavior! In a small way we learned accountability for personal actions. (Not that any of us ever got coal! We were too nervous about it actually happening to be too naughty!)

On Christmas Eve we perform(ed) the nativity play and read Christmas stories that bring the true spirit in. Santa brings warm feelings, but never anything that special.

Right now, we show our kids pictures of the nativity and talk to them about how angels spoke to shepherds, a new bright star appeared, a baby was born where the animals live, and even kings brought gifts for the night that Christ was born. They love it! They get/are getting it! :)

I vote for Santa to be included!

Lindsey and Brett said...

I've been thinking about this too. Santa is fun and all, but I don't want my kids wrapped up in getting present from Santa, etc. I think you might be onto something. Also, I would just like to state for the record that I'm jealous of how often you see your parents. (I just read the post below too)

Tiffany said...

This is too funny! My sister-in-law just posted something like this on her blog. My parents let us believe in Santa and we liked seeing Santa. We only got a few things from Santa. Our stockings were from him and we got 1 present from him. My parents didn't make a big deal of it. I asked my sister what she thought because she has a 9 year old. She thinks that to let them believe in Santa until they figure it out wasn't that big a deal. It's only for about 5 short years and they're kids!
We took pictures this year with Santa and this was Landon's first year sorta "getting" it. He had no idea what to ask Santa for. I had to explain everything for him. He's excited about presents (as all kids will be) but I always do stuff with them that consist of giving. This year, I had him pick out toys already to give to other kids. We also baked cookies last year to give to our neighbors which we'll do again this year.
I think it's totally your choice and it will be fine either way. I hate how everything is so commercialized and I think you can still implement Santa into it without it becoming an unhealthy obsession with toys and presents. :) Although you can't guarantee that they won't become obsessed anyways with presents. It mostly will depend on what you want them to focus on more anyways.
Well, longest comment I've ever written! Maybe I just should have called? :)

Meri said...

Hi, Julie! When our oldest, Joe, was little we felt the same way. In fact, my husband's family never did Santa--his mom and dad filled the stockings and everyone knew it. They stayed up all night wrapping presents and put them under the tree too--from Mom and Dad, partly because they didn't spoil their kids very often and wanted them to know who had given the gifts. So we intended to do the same for our kids.

When Joe was old enough to really express himself and understand (around his 3rd birthday), I began to gently explain to him that Santa isn't real and all of the reasons we use him to celebrate. Joe stopped firmly in his tracks, refused to let me continue, looked me straight in the eye, and said, "MY SANTA'S REAL"! He was set on it and I couldn't argue. He wanted to believe and enjoy with everybody else.

So Santa continues at our house to just fill the stockings and leave a few group gifts (games, movies, etc.) unwrapped next to the stockings. He's pretty small-scale. Joe is 14 now and of course understands the truth, along with his 11 year old brother, but they enjoy watching the younger siblings get excited. We don't spend much time talking about it. We talk a lot about what we're giving to eachother (ie. "What are you giving to Sam this year?"). They get way more excited about making gifts for eachother than anything else. I actually think my 9 year old still believes. When they question or a friend tells them it's not real, I simply tell them about Ben's parents and how Santa didn't come to their house because they didn't believe. But I want Santa to come so I believe for sure. It doesn't seem to offend the older kids when they find out it's not really a guy in a red suit. I think they're grateful that their parents would put so much effort into making Christmas special for them, never receiving direct thanks for the Santa gifts.

Anyway, that works for our family. It was hard for Ben to do Santa, having never participated as a child. He was always that kid down the street who spilled the truth to the neighbor kids. But he heard Joe's response long ago and he couldn't deny that our little guy wanted Santa to come and didn't care about the details. The hardest part is making sure we're not competing with Santa--his gifts are small so the gifts from Mom and Dad can also be moderate and the whole gift-thing doesn't get too overwhelming. A treasure or two in the stockings (small enough to fit) with some chocolate and chapstick and an orange and Mom and Dad give 3 gifts: 1.a book 2.a need (usually clothes) 3."The Thing" (Laser tag or pogo sticks or cell phone or some special thing they're pining for, hopefully not expensive!) Santa doesn't wrap his gifts, but Mom and Dad do.

I hope all is well at your house! Keep blogging--it's a great site!