Thursday, December 8, 2011

the guy in the red suit - take 2

It's that time of year again. Where the stores, our tvs, children's thoughts are taken over by the guy in the red suit, yep, santa. I feel the need to post about this again because he is everywhere and it is truly a shame.

I don't think our families were very excited when we told them santa would not be welcome in our house anymore. I mean, we grew up with santa and it was fun for a few years, so I understand how it is hard for people to understand.

I seem to be hearing of more people getting rid of santa and focusing on Jesus. This makes me very happy, and I 100% believe that this makes our Lord and Savior very happy too.

But while I'm hearing about more people giving santa the boot, I still also hear people saying (when they find out we or someone else is not "doing" santa)"well, as long as your kids don't ruin it for mine" or "well, as long as your kids don't tell mine" - tell them what? The TRUTH? It's a horrible delimma for those of us who want our children to grow up with complete focus on Jesus-no sharing.

But guess what? We, the ones who don't invite santa into our homes, typically raise our children to be respectful of what others do in their homes about the not-real santa. But we can't guarantee they won't speak the truth, because after all, they are raised to tell the truth.

However, last night at Church in RA's (the boys group) some kids started talking about how santa isn't real and the teachers were getting on to them to not ruin it for the kids who believe. WHAT? Cade told me he did not get involved in it even though santa is NOT real. So you see, people who are worried about OUR kids telling your kids the truth and ruining Christmas, you need to be more worried about the kids who believed then found out the truth, because they are the ones who will be telling your kids the truth more often than not.

I don't judge anyone for using santa (we did with Cade, but our hearts changed) and most of my close friends use santa but those of us who don't are getting tired of hearing, "your kids better not ruin it for my kids, etc".

For us, as we try to completely focus on Jesus and to enjoy giving more than receiving, it's hard to explain why we need "Angel Trees" if there is supposedly a santa and it's hard to explain why we need to send boxes of presents to children in other countries. Why does santa not give to the orphans? Really? Are we going to lie about that?

Do I believe that you can do santa and your children still learn what Christmas is really about? You bet! One of my best friends' daughter put on her Christmas wish list - water, food, and money to give to the Sweet Sleep mission fund at our Church (to build beds for kids in orphanages). That kid GETS IT! and they do santa.

We don't do santa, you do-the world hasn't fallen apart. Let's be a little more tolerant of each other during this Christmas season, showing God's love, being a light to others and focusing on the reason for this beautiful season.


Blessed~ said...

Love this post :)

Liz said...

That was a tough one to swallow.

I really do agree with why you're not 'doing' Santa at your house. I LOVE that your kiddos are seeing the "other" side of Christmas. We focused 100% on the spiritual side of Easter for many, many years until our foster kiddos lived with us. They came from a home where they had ONLY celebrated the secular stuff. They'd been through enough that year & I couldn't dream of ripping away anything else from their already volatile lives, so I figured out a way to incorporate a LITTLE of the secular stuff w/ the spiritual stuff. And it worked! It worked so well that, even after they moved away, we still do both.

But as a mom who did "do" Santa (when the kids were younger), it's hard for me to respond to the other part of what you discussed here. (The part about your kids (or anyone who doesn't do Santa at home) NOT telling my kids (or anyone else's who does do Santa) the truth.)

I realize your point & can see that you're not offended by my family doing Santa....but I would think it's just a respect issue for another person's parenting choices. If someone else's family chooses to celebrate Arbor Day by dressing up in a tree costume & dancing around their yard at 2am, it's their business. I shouldn't tell them or their children that I think they're crazy as all get out for doing that. It's not affecting my family. They're not dancing in my yard or asking me to participate. My family may quietly discuss (inside our own home) how wacko we think they are, but I would not allow my kids to go tell them that. See what I mean?

If someone else's family (rightly or wrongly) chooses to "do" Santa at their house, I would hope that you encourage your children to keep quiet about their disagreement with the practice unless those children come right out & ask your kids what they think about Santa. ya know?

I really do get your position about the fact that it's the truth & your children are being trained to always tell the truth. I love that! But, at the same time, there is a difference between asking them to lie & asking them to offend another family's holiday celebration choices.

Ya know?

It's a hard pill to swallow no matter how we (parents) handle holidays. There are so many things that we want to do & want to instill in our kids. And it's tough when they're young and you feel like NOW is the time to teach everything you want to get in before they're 18. But at the same time, they have to still live in the world where other people do things differently sometimes. Unless we live in a bubble, my kids are going to interact with people of other faiths, other traditions, other cultures...and they have to hear about their celebrations without expressing views that might make the other person feel like they're suggesting that they've "got it all wrong".

I hope this comes across the way I intend it ---not the least bit mean spirited or argumentative. Just picking your brain & discussing. (((HUGS)))

Barb said...

My husband and I have talked seriously about this. Our adoption has changed us all in so many ways. I also and tired of seeing Christmas get so materialistic. I think we will continue Santa but play it down and give our kids less gifts as well. Our 6 year old daughter told Santa all she wants for Christmas is to adopt more kids. She gets it but Santa didn't blink an eye when she said it. If my kids push it and especially if they ask about others that may not get gifts I will tell them.
thanks for sharing

Liz said...

Shoot...I just reread my comment & realized that I messed up in one paragraph. I meant for it to say:

I really do get your position about the fact that it's the truth & your children are being trained to always tell the truth. I love that! But, at the same time, there is a difference between asking them to lie & asking them to respect another family's holiday celebration choices.

Lauree said...

I get what you're saying Liz. I think I was just trying to vent that we get a number of comments about our kids better not tell their kids , when in fact, it's typically kids who did Santa and now know the truth and they are the ones who tell the other kids who believe that Santa is fake. From others I've spoken with, they get the same comments. We are raising our children to respect others decisions about a lot of things we don't believe in. But it's hard when we're confronted with tones that are not very nice. I mean, do these same people confront other parents whose kids have learned the truth? Do they use that hateful andean tone with them? It just hurts to hear it when we're all just trying to raise our kids to be who God designed them to be. Make sense?

Anonymous said...

And how on earth do you expect parent of kids who don't believe in Santa to stop them from discussing this with other kids? Are people expecting the parents to then follow them around 24/7 at school and church, making sure to cover their mouths once Santa is mentioned? I seriously don't get it? I mean, 10, 11, 12 and sometimes MUCH younger are talking about (and in some cases having) SEX! But oh no, don't mention Santa! Oh