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Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland: To believe or not to believe...

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To believe or not to believe...

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Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland: To believe or not to believe...

Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland

December 1, 2009

To believe or not to believe...

It amazes me the things that you begin think about when you have a child of your own. Things that normally would have never even crossed your mind become topics of household discussion and reason for debate. The latest topic? Santa Clause.

I have never really thought twice about the idea of Santa Clause or whether or not I would bring up our son to believe in Santa. However, lately I have started to question whether or not we should incorporate Santa into our Christmas Traditions and beliefs.

For us, Christmas is all about the celebration of the birth of Baby Jesus and what his birth sybolizes and means for us. Growing up, I always knew what Christmas meant, but it always more about Santa than about the birth of Jesus. I always grew up giving more credit to the fat man that slid down the chimney than I did to anyone else. It was all about the presents. [Not that there is anything wrong with giving gifts.] I am just starting to wonder if maybe the hubby and I shouldn't revamp our Christmas train of thought where our son is concerned.

The main reason I am considering doing without the "Santa Conspiracy" in our home is for the shere sake of not having to encourage a lie to my son. I know there are lots of you that teach your kids about Santa Clause and the his sleigh and the North Pole. There is nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all. I am just not sure that it's something I want to do. My biggest fear is that Noah will start to question everything we have ever taught him when he finds out that Santa Clause isn't real. If hubby and I spend 8 or 9 years drilling Santa Clause into his head, making him believe that he is a real person what's to stop him from questioning, oh say, God? Think about it...

They grow up hearing about a man that brings them presents and has elves working for him, that they have never really seen, only to find out he isn't real. What's to stop him from growing up and questioning the man who he also has never met, who came and was nailed to a cross and then rose from the dead to live in Heaven?

There is also the fear of unappreciation. Looking back, I remember being far more grateful for the gifts from Santa than I was for the gifts from my parents. Hubby works way too hard for our income to give credit to a "jolly old fat man" that isn't real. I want Noah to grow up knowing that mommy and daddy work very hard for the things that we give him and that he should appreciate what he has. There are a lot of kids out there who don't have anything for Christmas.

I have been thinking about incorporating Santa Clause as the "spirit of giving" for the Christmas season. Explaining to him [when he gets old enough of course] that Santa was derived from the Patron Saint Nicholas who was known for giving gifts. That's the "Santa Clause" I want Noah to believe in. I want him to have a generous heart and I plan to get him involved in doing "Christmas gift projects" for underpriviledged kids when he gets older.

But then, in the back of my mind I fear that by not nurturing the Santa Clause belief that I will be taking something away from his childhood. That maybe one day he may grow up and wish that he would have had that part of his childhood.

What are your thoughts? Do you tell your kids about Santa? Would love to hear some of your thoughts on this subject...


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At December 1, 2009 at 9:52 AM , Blogger Mandi Miller said...

My family always did Santa but my husband's family never did. I asked my husband how he felt about your blog and he said not doing the Santa thing was just fine for him and his brothers and sister. He said he never felt like he was missing out and he is glad that they were able to focus on the real meaning of Christmas.

We aren't doing a full out Santa Clause thing for our family either. No gifts from Santa and my daughter will learn what Christmas is really all about. But we are going to let her know Santa Clause is a small part of the celebration. Plus, we will teach her about the real St. Nick. That way, hopefully, she isn't confused about who Santa is but she most certainly will understand Christmas is all about Jesus. You are doing a great job!

At December 1, 2009 at 10:34 AM , Blogger amyk said...

This is a very interesting topic. One that I haven't honestly given much thought to, that is until today. My husband and I both grew up with Santa, and also grew up knowing that Christmas is truly about the birth of Jesus. The real meaning of Christmas.

We "do" Santa with our kids as well. I don't really know that your son will ever look back and think "Man, I wish my parents did Santa." My kids don't really get any more gifts, or any other gifts than they normally would if we did not do Santa.

I will say one thing...I love (as a parent) being Santa. It is fun time for me. I enjoy shopping for that one really special item they are asking Santa for. I love that my kids ask Santa for gifts for their younger siblings that can't ask for themselves. It is a fun time for my husband and I.

Our oldest daughter is getting old enough that she will soon realize that there is no Santa. And that is OK. It is no highly regarded secret!! Just some fun times for us.

Noah is young still. This Christmas he really wont understand Santa or no Santa this Christmas. Maybe wait until next Christmas and see how you feel about it then. I don't know!!!

I don't think he will ever look back either and think you made him believe in a lie...Santa!!

Good topic of conversation!!!

At December 1, 2009 at 11:14 AM , Blogger stewnbre said...

While I do agree that Santa should not get all the credit at Christmas time, I don't feel that he should be omitted completely... What my husband and I do each year is this- Christmas Eve we have a "birthday party" complete with a birthday cake.. for Jesus (Corny I know, but the kids love it!!) (We also set out carrots on our roof for the reindeer..)

Then the next morning... The kids each get their stocking, filled by "Santa" with socks, a new toothbrush, a few toys, and some candy.. Then they get to see our tree. In front of our fireplace, we place ONE gift for each child, not wrapped, from santa. Everything else is from us, so we get the credit we deserve, while they are still able to believe. And here is why I think they should believe in Santa... When I was a child, I believed in Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, etc... When I was in 3rd Grade, (a few weeks before Easter) I went to my mom with a simple question, expecting a simple answer. I asked, "Mom, if Easter is supposed to be about Jesus, why is there an Easter Bunny?" She called my older brother (Who also still believed)into the room and said, "We need to talk. Santa Clause isn't real." She went on to explain that all of the child traditions I was used to were, in fact, make believe. I remember wishing that I never asked.. I was the second of six children. That year, we had to do a separate egg hunt that was REALLY hard!! and everyone else in my family got to do the normal one. We had to pretend, for the younger kids, that we still believed in Santa, or we wouldn't get our gift from him... when Honestly, I just wished I DID still believe. My honest opinion is-let them be kids as long as they can!! It is getting more and more difficult to maintain "childhood innocence" and as long as other kids his age believe it, he should be able to also. You can always choose to tell him later... Good Luck making your decision, and Happy Holidays!!!

At December 1, 2009 at 12:18 PM , Blogger Skye said...

I don't have kids yet and this is something that has already started to worry me because I don't know what I am going to do about it either!!! When I was little, Christmas was all about Santa, though I did know the real meaning of Christmas. I don't think I was any less thankful for my parents' gifts because of Santa's gifts. I also don't really remember how I felt when I found out Santa wasn't real. For me it was a gradual realization- not spoiled in one moment. I think I just thought it was weird.

I'm confused- don't kids talk excitedly about Santa among themselves, and how do they not realize that some people who celebrate Christmas don't get gifts from Santa? I guess it's one of those things that kids don't notice because they are so excited (and I don't really remember talking about Santa with my friends, but I'm sure I must have!)... but still one of my main worries is about other kids. What if we didn't do Santa and my kid felt left out when other kids talked about Santa? Or what if another child didn't have Santa and told mine that he wasn't real? And I know what you mean about not wanting to tell this big lie to your child and then break the news that it is not real at all. It's weird so many people totally accept telling this one big lie to their kids because it's fun. I've never fully worked out how I feel about that.

I really like your idea of incorporating Santa but not making a huge deal out of it. I agree that it would be nice to teach Noah about the real "St. Nick" and good deeds and tie that in to the Christmas season. Maybe you could celebrate St. Nicholas Day (December 6) and Santa could bring a small gift for that, but none at Christmas? Or not even bring a gift, but make that day the day about Santa and totally separate it from Christmas. That way Christmas doesn't lose its real meaning, but Noah doesn't lose out on Santa either.

Yikes, sorry for the long comment. Whatever you decide, you will have put lots of thought into it about Noah's best interest and that is what matters and makes you good parents! :)

At December 1, 2009 at 4:35 PM , Blogger Nicolasa said...

I am not sure if your son would ever be mad at you for "lying" about Santa. I mean I remember when I discovered he wasn't real and it was more of a disappointment than something I was angry about. To this day I still like to pretend and I very much believe in the spirit of giving because of him.

I think your thoughts about letting him know about the spirit of giving and the true origins of Santa is a great idea for when he gets a bit older. I agree with stwewnbre in that there are very few things that keep children innocent these days, they seem to grow up so much faster than we ever did. There is something so special about believing in something that brings you happiness.

It is a tough call but I know whatever you decide to do will best for your son because only you know what that will be.

At December 1, 2009 at 9:06 PM , Blogger Beth P. said...

Wow, what a tough subject. While I can completely understand your hesitation on both sides of the argument, the magic keeps popping up in my mind. Whether it be the magic of a special birthday or the magic of Santa, that is what you have to decide. I think, if it comes down to it, you can make Jesus' birthday just as special as a day full of Santa.

At December 22, 2009 at 7:45 PM , Blogger Six Feet Under Blog said...

Wow, not sure my family would go for that but what a great thing to do!


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