Friday, December 5, 2008

Santa Clause Is Coming to Town

"Mommy," exasperated five year old huff," EVERYONE believes in Santa Clause but you."

Bah-humbug. No, really, bah-humbug. Okay, I don't want you thinking I'm a Scrooge. Christmas is a time for family, friends, faith and giving. Not getting, gorging and getting some more. I adamantly oppose the blatant commercialism and 'hallmark-edness' of the holiday. I don't just gruff at the selfishness this year as my budget is, well, very budgeted. For years I have fallen into two camps. 1) Charge! Get all you want when you want. or 2) Martha on steroids, make it all homemade and share your feelings. Somewhere in the middle of the two camps has got to be someplace I can light my candle and place my gift.

Yes, my dear agnostic and atheist friends, the holiday isn't really Jesus birthday anyway and the Christmas tree is actually a paganistic symbol of the winter solstice. So, how dare I have any puritanical views on the holiday? If I go the less commercial route then it all has to go! Off with Santa's head.

I once read in a book that if we as parents 'lie' to our children about the tooth fairy, Santa Clause and the Easter bunny then we are affecting their ability for faith. If we have lied about those folks you can't see then how can they believe us about God and Jesus?

However, is it lying to our kids to allow them some fantasy and imagination? Keeping it grounded doesn't mean throwing out the cookies with the milk? Or does it?

In the end, isn't it the powerful and real working of our faith that will make it far more real to my boys than just telling them about it? Isn't the example their father and I set far more influential than a story they believe in for such a short time? And, isn't growing up hard enough without a little dreaminess?

Santa Clause is coming to town. He brings with him a bag full of holiday mothering questions. The answers to which may change as my boys grow. Truth doesn't change. What we do with that truth, how it becomes real in our lives, that changes and grows with us and our understanding.

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