'Tis the season for people to ask my children if they're behaving so Santa will leave them lots of presents... so I felt it was time to blog about Santa.
We do not participate in the whole Santa thing. I had a photo taken of Keelin with Santa for her first two Christmases (6 months and 18 months old), neither of which she remembers! I'd always been sort of iffy about whether or not I wanted to tell my children the usual things that parents tell their children about Santa this time of year. Sure, it's a fun game... but convincing my children that it is real doesn't sit right with me.
Tim and I (and Keelin's dad) decided that we would not do Santa with Keelin. Since Jackson's birth, we don't do it with him, either. Same with Finn. We do stockings, because they're cute and hold the small gifts really well. We have told the kids since they were old enough to understand that Santa is a fun game that people play, but some children's parents choose to not tell them that it is just a game. They know what other people say about Santa just through interactions with other kids. They know that some parents encourage their kids to write Santa letters, that some parents tell their kids he will put them on a Naughty list and withhold their gifts if they misbehave... sometimes going with the Elf on the Shelf thing that seems really popular. It really disturbs me a bit, actually, that my friends tell their children the elf will report their behavior back to Santa. BUT I'm not raising their children :)
Not judging parents that do those things, but we won't be playing Santa. I'm sure finding out we lied to them about it wouldn't destroy them, but I am not going to lie to my kids about Santa. We don't have Santa stuff in our house. We don't read Santa books (we passed on the Santa storybooks that my Mother-in-law bought our kids a couple of Christmases ago...) or sing Santa songs.
When people randomly come up to my kids in grocery stores and ask them if they're being good so Santa will bring them toys, I correct them. Not rudely, but I just say that we don't do Santa. I've had people say that I'm depriving them, but we enjoy the holiday season just fine without Santa ;)
The big issue for us is that the whole farce- insisting that kids behave so an obese man will come down their chimney and bring them toys- is so outrageous... We lie to our kids to get them to behave? Really? Not in our house. I'm trying to raise my children to have respect for me- that includes being honest with them and respecting them right back. I know that most people disagree with me (people are shocked when you tell them your kids have never been encouraged to believe in Santa), but understand that I don't think parents that do Santa are doing anything wrong- my own parents did it with us on a relaxed level and I enjoyed the make believe- I don't believe that it is right for our family and we're foregoing it. It just feels wrong to me to be dishonest with my kids to encourage good behavior during the winter in order to get gifts.
But regardless of what you believe, I hope this winter finds you well and you enjoy whatever traditions bring joy to your households!