Friday, December 24, 2010

The Great Santa Debate Part 2

Warning: no pictures are in this post

I hope that you glanced over at the blogs I posted yesterday. I know that there are as many opinions on this as there are people with belly buttons. I am not here to tell you what to do for your family and I am not telling you that what we have chosen is the "right" answer. Spencer and I just feel that the decision we have made is the right one for our family for right now.

Last year I posted about deciding what we are going to do here. Well, this year we have made that decision. We basically decided to emphasize Jesus and deemphasize(I may have made that word up) Santa. Does this mean that our kids are going to run around and tell all the other children that their parents are lying to them? Does this mean that we hate using our imaginations? Does this mean that our kids are going to not get presents? The answer is no, to all of the above. Our kids won't ruin it for your family, so you can still let them play together. We are constantly fostering their creativity and provide tons of ways for imaginary play through out our day, if you have been around this blog for any amount of time you know this. Our kids will still most certainly get spoiled silly by presents.

Here is an attempt at some questions you may be having:

Spence and Courtney, did you grow up with parents who hated Santa or hated Christmas?
Not at all. We both grew up having Santa, and both have fond memories. We do not feel any anger at our parents for "lying" to us about it or anything like that. We just know that there is a lot in this world that competes with Jesus everyday. We want to be sure that on this day especially that our children are not faced with that competition. We want our children to have a full grasp on why we celebrate this day and it just doesn't have anything to do with a fat man sneaking into your house.
Also, if all the excitement of Christmas is wrapped up in a box, or left out as Santa did at our house growing up, then we are greatly missing the point. I would rather celebrate with out presents than have my kids miss this point. Christmas is about celebrating the birth of our Savior. The Creator of the world came down in the form of a helpless baby in order to live a perfect life and die for us so that we could one day be fully united with God in heaven. OK, did you get that?
The giving and recieving of gifts at Christmas is a symbol. Like any other symbol it should point us to what it represents. In the same way that communion is a symbol of Christ, so gift giving should symbolize the gift we were given in Christ. The reason people give presents at Christmas is as a celebration of Christ's birth.

So, are you not gonna ever lie to your kids ever?
We aren't planning to intentionally lie to our kids but, we are not hung up on the whole we don't want to lie to our children reasoning because we know that happens quite often with out us even thinking about it. Examples of those each day would be "we don't have any cookies, eat your veggies", "the tv is broken, you can't watch a movie", "everyone naps, so it is naptime", "this is juice"- when it's really water with a splash of juice. We are more worried about this lie because it replaces Jesus with something else. (I am not encouraging any lying, I know it is a sin, but I am also human and know my faults and I am just being real with you)

What about fairy tales, video games, etc.?
We will share fairy tales, video games, and fictional stories with our children. The difference is that we aren't going to ask them to believe that Harry Potter can make a broomstick fly, or that there is a dinosaur named Yoshi who helps Mario battle Bowser. My kids watch Nemo and Cars, but we aren't going to teach them that there are really talking fish or talking cars out there. We do not have a problem with fantasy or make believe. We do have a problem with willfully tricking our kids into thinking something is real when it isn't.

Are you going to avoid all Santa talk?
Absolutely not! We will tell Zeke and Ben that there once was a man who did wonderful generous things. We will tell them that people still like to dress up and pretend to be him. This is like when kids dress up like a fireman or princess though. It does not make them those things, it's just play. We will point him out at the mall. They have jammies that have him on them (Zeke thinks they are snowmen even though we have told him they aren't). Zeke LOVES wearing our Santa hat. We aren't going to try to keep them in a bubble. But really people, if your kids are finding out about sex in kindergarten do you really think they aren't finding out the truth about Santa?

Alright, so have I ruffled enough feathers for one day? How many of you have decided never to return? Who just stumbled here today wanting a cute pic and is a little perturbed there aren't any? Come back tomorrow for some cute pictures and a more feel good topic :)


ImaYaYa said...

I have no words... simply no words..

Michelle said...

I understand and respect your views and opinions. Though I don't agree with all of them, I realize that this a decision that your family must make for themselves. In my opinion, the world is a rough, tough place - it's a harsh reality that can beat you down and pull you under. I 100% agree that this world would be unbearable without faith in our Savior. However, I also think that there's no harm in protecting our children from some of these harsh realities, from keeping their innocence in tact just a little longer. I think that letting our children believe that there's a big fat man in a red suit that comes down the chimney on Christmas Eve to leave presents for good girls and boys is harmless as long as there is more emphasis on the true meaning of Christmas. I think it's all about prioritization. In our house, we will do Santa; I love the way children's eyes light up when they realize that Santa ate all his cookies and drank his milk. But again, in our house, there will be prioritization. Will Santa be the main reason for Christmas - no! Will he be the only story we tell - no! But will he add a little bit of innocene, magic, fun to the holiday - yes! And I don't think there's a thing wrong with that. Having said all that, I am curious as to how you plan to avoid your children spoiling it for other children who don't believe. You may end up with some angry parents if one of your children tells their 4 year old that there is no Santa Claus. I love ya and nothing will change that but I do have to say I would be pretty upset if Zeke or Ben told Jace that before he made up his own mind or before I decided to tell him myself. Just a few of my thoughts.