Friday, December 5, 2008

yes, it's another Santa blog.

Are you resistant to commenting on controversial posts? Do you think that stating your feelings for or against something makes people that disagree with you offended, therefore you don't say anything at all?
I think this happens a lot. And I will go ahead and say this..... if you are super thin skinned, you shouldn't approach anything that you consider sensitive subject matter on a blog. I see a lot of blogs that say "it's my blog and I will say what I want." Well, if you leave that blog public, and open to comments, you should also realize that people will disagree and at times, will leave comments that reflect that opinion. As long as it isn't something that is blatantly disrespectful, or downright slanderous, I think those comments should be left there for others to see. (If you think their thoughts are stupid and not factual, let them embarrass themselves.)
As for the latest topic, which is Santa, I am going to go out on a limb and say this: I realize there are exceptions to every rule, but I am not being a liar to my children by giving them gifts that they think are from Santa Claus. As was stated on another person's comments elsewhere, I don't "do Santa" while others "do Jesus." That is about as off base as you can be, and pretty darn offensive to a Christian like myself who happens to give my kids Santa gifts. I know it wasn't directed at me, but I still thought it was completely and utterly wrong in my case.
We celebrate Christ in my house way more than one day a year. We start and end every day in prayer. We don't have a meal in this house, or in a restaurant, that is not first prayed over. So a minimum of 3 times a day, we as parents lead our kids in giving thanks to our Savior. We are not a perfect household by any means, but we do change our daily prayers to reflect what is going on at this moment, therefore my kids have had it reinforced for several days now when we pray that Christ's birth is nearing, and how very grateful we are for that. I think when you deal with God on a daily basis with your kids, that it's not hard to instill into them what Christmas really is. We don't only talk about God on Easter and Christmas. (Not implying that anyone in specific does, I am speaking only for my household) Santa is a small part of Christmas for my kids, but quite a magical and fun anticipated part as well. There's a lot of focus on Santa messing up the true meaning. Well, even if you take Santa out of the equation, the commercial side is still hugely a negative thing regardless of whose name is on the "from" tag. I have seen a lot of focus on several blogs about buying only 3 gifts for your kids, in comparison to the three wisemen's gifts. I think that may be a good thing for some people,but it wouldn't work for me. I would just end up piling a ton of stuff into their three boxes and would defeat the purpose. I think the real reasoning behind that system is to make it less materialistic, and I would drop the ball on that. I do buy my kids a lot, and I don't deny it. Probably too much. But that's just my call as a parent. And for some reason, I can accept "ridicule" (for lack of a better word) for spending too much than I can for being called a liar to my kids. I mean, where do you draw the line? Is it a lie to say "let mommy kiss it and it will feel better?" Because you know that didn't really fix anything at all. What about the tooth fairy? Is that lying? Or do those lies not count since the tooth fairy doesn't come on the 25th of December? What about when your kid says "can ____ spend the night next weekend?," and you say "I'll think about it" knowing full well your nerves cannot handle 24 hrs with ___ and you are just hoping your kid will forget they ever asked.

Anyone who is offended by anything I said: it wasn't intentional. I am just stating how I feel about it all.


ash December 5, 2008 at 12:38:00 PM CST  

Great blog Shelley!!! I understand some people are feeling Jesus is put on the back burner during the holiday season so they just want to take santa out of the picture all together....but what are they doing about people taking jesus out of school, and court houses and the list could go on and on and on........

i love Christmas time and enjoy buying and getting gifts! i love the special traditions my family has and will always have! I plan to continue them with my family one day and it does involve Santa yes even at 27 and 22 lol! but my house was raised with jesus all year around so we knew and understoood the true meaning of christmas!!! thanks for that post i needed to hear it from your point!!! December 5, 2008 at 1:01:00 PM CST  

I have been following that blog-I didnt really have anything to add over there,but I have been thinking about it and this may not be profound but its a thing for us,and probably for alot of people.

As I wrote in my post today,and as most people know.My eldest child is special needs as well as my nephew.
Santa is one of the FEW joys they get in life.She is 12 and she believes,she REALLY believes.And I dont see anything wrong with adding a little magic to your childs life while they are still little enough to have it,or putting magic into a childs life who has little,if any.If you have ever been present for a child with special needs to discover what Santa left for them,that moment in itself is pure magic,pure joy.

As far as the lying goes...I think we as parents lie to our children on an almost daily basis for some reason or other to protect our children from harsh realities that exist in life,realities that they will have enough time in the future to deal with.

Then there is the giving gifts aspect.I dont give non descript gifts,I dont give gifts to satisfy obligations.I put tons of thought into the gifts I buy,I love to buy them,and depending on what you buy,certain gifts can foster a closer relationship with the person who is receiving gifts.I am not trying to buy anyones love and buying them gifts doesnt make me ultra-materialistic either.Were the Magi/Wisemen trying to buy Jesus' love?Were they materialistic for wanting to offer gifts?

It seems that some people are putting a negative connotation to buying a gift for someone you love,when did that become a bad thing to do?People also seem to be making it a choice between Santa and Jesus,if you do one,you shouldnt or cant do the other.Thats just not the case.

Jenn December 5, 2008 at 2:07:00 PM CST  

So true, and I agree with you...and I'll add is a lie to tell a child who is hurt, "aw, your not hurt" are right there are so many little ways that parents lie to their kids. We all have, and no parenting style is the perfect...we all have to live out our personal convictions according to the Bible(as Christian's I am speaking here as I know you are. :)

Personally, I was so let down as a child finding out that Santa was not real, but my parents made a HUGE deal out of it, they bought us so so much! AND mainly, they didn't focus on Christ at ALL being what Christmas was it was a little more of a let down for me. I remember catchting them at 1AM and feeling so upset! :)

My husband and I always did Santa for our kids (and still do), but when they got to the age to ask, we told them the truth, and that Santa was the spirit of giving...also we shared the true story of St. Nick of how he gave toys to children in England who were poor and did not have anything. So, we still keep the fun Santa spirit of giving in our Christmas.

We do three toys, and always have since they were represent the 3 gifts that the wisemen brought when Jesus was born. One larger from Santa, and two smaller. Most of the time one of the smaller is wrapped in their stocking to open.

They still play along at 10 and 12 yrs old...and we tell them they'd better be good or Santa is not coming to see them...hehe. We still surprise them, and make it fun.

Oh, when we did tell them, they never spoiled it for another child who still believed. :) It is sweet to see a child get excited about Santa.

Awww, deepfriedpicklesandicecream...that is so sweet what you wrote about your eldest son and precious! One of my best friends here in my home town has a special needs child, and he is so dear to me...and gets so excited about Christmas and the lights...all of it! so sweeeeet! :)

The Perry Family December 5, 2008 at 2:26:00 PM CST  

everyone has their own traditions and that's just how it is. these folks trying to take santa out of christmas must not have grown up with it as a child. i am a christian and love the feeling of santa now as much as i did when i was a kid and i don't want to deny my children the same feelings. to each his/her own, but in my house..there will ALWAYS be santa. people make a big deal over the smallest things, they'll get over it.

Lou Arnold December 5, 2008 at 4:10:00 PM CST  

Great blog. I love seeing everyone's input on the issue. I find it quite funny that a lot of people get worked up over this. You do what you fill is best and not criticize others for it. I told Ashton about Santa, just like I will the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy. We still play Santa, but he knows Mom and Dad do it. We pretend. That is my decision. I don't knock anyone for any way they do it. It just a tradition that people do in their houses.

dean December 5, 2008 at 5:17:00 PM CST  

ahh... my uncle, who played santa for us kids for years, blew it the night sat down in the kitchen and drank a scotch and soda with my dad while we were getting dressed for midnight mass. i've been bitter ever since! j/k.

but i did get to experience a whole 'nother take on the Santa/Jesus thing last night. we took the kids to a party put on by the sheriff's dept. (they've done this annually for the Home for a number of years). after we all ate and listened to some music, santa came in to give the kids their gifts. when he was done, he stood up and asked if he could say a prayer. he did everything but give an altar call. he prayed that the kids would understand that Christmas isn't about him (santa), and that he was just a messenger. Christmas is about Jesus coming to earth in order to die for our sins.

i don't think anybody that was listening went away from there with any doubts about what Christmas is all about.

Kelsey December 6, 2008 at 12:56:00 PM CST  

This is one of the best things I have read all day! I read it and nodded yes the whole time. Somehow you managed to come up with my feelings exactly.

I want Christ to be a big part of my children's lives. I want to instill prayer from an early age and I want them to know that God is always there. Santa is no more than a small, fun part of the holiday.

My boss wants to do the 3 gifts from Santa and I honestly will not be able to do that with my kids. I too would probably cram everything into 3 boxes.

Thanks for letting me know that I'm not alone in my thinking!

MInTheGap December 15, 2008 at 10:36:00 AM CST  

It's funny, because my kids are just now picking up who Santa Claus is to most people-- we never told our kids anything about Santa as they were growing up.

We also don't have a tooth fairy-- we tell them they will get money for lost teeth. And the Easter Bunny? We don't go there.

I think, for us, the meaning of the season doesn't need to be diluted by having extraneous, imaginary figures of whom the secular world wants to affix to the time of year.

I'm not saying you're wrong Shelley. My parents did the same things you're doing. I'm saying that for me and my family I'm choosing not to be a part of the secular take-over of the day.

When people start thinking and talking like gifts are only from Santa, and Santa's the acceptable focus of Christmas because of his secular nature, then we're in part robbed of the chance to share with others the true meaning of the season.

My prayer is that I'll be able to help my kids to be able to turn conversations to Christ when people ask them about Santa. I just have to come up with a good way to do it.

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