I love Santa!!
Flashback to 1988, I was in third grade. I sat down at the kitchen table to tell my mom, “I know Santa isn’t real,” to which she replied, “Don’t tell your brothers,” and that… was that.
From what I can remember, I never told my brothers how terribly smart I was for figuring this out. Partly because I feared the consequences and partly because I still wanted to believe the magic.
As I got into my teens (Christmas Eve when I was 13 was awful – Hello becoming a woman! :( ) the magic of Christmastime was waning and I just wanted to sleep in on Christmas morning. I missed the time when I was waiting to be happily duped, to be shown the magic trick, to believe in something greater than humans.
Well, the time of being a child didn’t repeat itself. Shocking, I know.
At 19, I had my son. When his first Christmas rolled around, the question of celebrating the myth of Santa didn’t even come up. Living with my parents, a young single mom, I didn’t have the authority to make those kind of decisions. I was too fearful and inexperienced to even begin to contradict what my parents wanted/believed. It had never been a house full of critical thinking or encouragement of individual opinions. So, without skipping a beat, the Santa myth was passed down.
I didn’t mind too much.
Since then, I’ve grown to love Santa even more. Weird, I know. Obviously I don’t believe there is an actual person who flies around the earth delivering gifts. (But if there is, he has forgotten our house every damn year.)
Are we lying to our kids when we perpetuate the myth of Santa being an actual being? Yes
Does it bother me? Yes… and no.
To me, the myth of Santa represents a feeling. The character of Santa embodies the warm, fuzzy feelings I get about this time of year. This year especially. I’ve had my share of trials and tribulations, but this year, I am able to get gifts for my kiddos that I don’t normally have the funds to even think about buying. I even sent out a tall stack of Christmas cards this year. And the best – we were able to get toys for charity. It has been a grand year! And to me, it feels magical – the sparkly feeling in my stomach is my magic.
Giving and the looks on others faces when opening gifts is inspiring and makes me feel like Santa. We are all Santa. I believe, if I had to do it all over again, I may not lie to my kids about Santa being a real being, but I think we would still love the magic that comes with “playing pretend” for a month every year.
My son no longer believes in the myth that Santa is one man flying around the earth. My daughter seems to pretend he’s real, but insists she believes. I don’t tell my son to not tell her, in fact, I encourage them to discuss it and bring to the table why they each believe what they believe. Their conversations are typical sibling discourse, as they are kids, but I’m glad they are using their critical thinking skills to try to determine what it is they believe and why.
In the end, I believe in Santa as the fictional character that embodies the sparkly tummy feeling we get when we give to others. I collect Santas, and each year, my kiddos gift me a new one. In our house, sparkly tummies and critical minds aren’t mutually exclusive. Giving to others is as magical as forming your own opinion… to me.
The Reason Of The Season is a new series that will take place from December 1 – December 25. I, like many non-theists and non-Christians, love the holiday season. I love taking the this chilly time of year to remind the people I love how much I love and adore them, to help and give to those less fortunate, and feel the innocent hope of when I was a child. This series is an effort to educate many on tradition and history as well as an opportunity to share why I love this time of year and the traditions we use and have created in our family.