Friday, December 6, 2013

Santa or not?

Santa Claus. Saint Nicholas. The big red guy with the beard. I'm not sure what to do about Santa. 

Before we had Wilson, Caleb and I kind of thought we wouldn't teach our children to believe in Santa. We never talked about it in great detail but we figured why tell our kid something as ridiculous as a dude in a sleigh with magic reindeer travels the world in one night and gives kids toys? I mean, come on, that's such a silly notion. I actually hope Wilson is smart enough to realize just how silly it is and realize there is no way for that to be real. But as smart as Wilson surely will be, I doubt that will happen for a few years. So I have to decide.

Now that Wilson is here, not telling him about Santa is proving to be harder than I imagined. First, Santa is everywhere! You can't listen to Christmas music or watch tv without a mention of Santa at least every commercial break. And Wilson has grandparents and great grandparents that automatically think Wilson will believe in Santa. Even though he is way too young to know what's going on, I cringe every time someone tells him to be good so Santa will come visit him. No. Just no. Santa is not a tool for manipulation. That just seems to wrong to me. To create this big lie and then use it to manipulate your kids behavior. I know, my kid doesn't "misbehave" yet so I can't really judge, but in theory I very much disagree with lying and manipulating. I don't want to don that to Wilson. 

On the other hand, Christmas makes my heart so happy. It really is a magical time of year, and it's even more so with a child. Wilson and I have been listening to Christmas music all day, everyday and I cry at least 3 times a day. The whole season is about love, hope, warmth, and family. My little son has made me realize more than ever how important those things can be. Christmas is about tradition and memory making. I cannot wait for Wilson to experience Christmas. And Santa definitely feels like an important part of the Christmas tradition. 

I want to take Wilson to get his picture taken with Santa. I want him to leave out cookies and milk. I want him to write letter to Santa. I want him to look out his window Christmas Eve night and try to find Rudolph's red nose. I have happy memories of my childhood doing these things and I want Wilson to have those happy memories.  

So yes it is silly. And yes I am technically lying to my son. But when he is little, I want him to experience the wonder and magic of Christmas. He has his whole life to figure out the lies in the world. When he is little, I think he deserves to believe in something a little magical. 

I still have at least two Christmases until Wilson will really "get" what Santa is, so I reserve the right to change my mind. But definitely this year, I will tell him about Santa and the magic of Christmas. 


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