Joe wrote about our Santa thinking on his blog and he’s gotten lots of feedback, good and bad. It’s something we’ve been discussing I think since before kid even came into being.
I remember believing in Santa, I remember the magic and the wonder, I do, and there are things I totally understand about keeping the myth alive, but…
Here’s my thinking: My kid wants a lot of things, sometimes it seems like she’s asking for many things every day. She asks to go to the toy store and buy something. I think (and I’ve checked with friends) that this is fairly normal for a three year old. We tell her when she wants something that she can put it on her Christmas list, a list we will consult for Christmas and then her birthday a few weeks later.
The thing about Santa and my kid right now is that I don’t want her believing that there are presents that come from some magical place and money is no object. Joe and I have both struggled with getting spending under control before we met and since we’ve been married, and it’s very important for both of us that we teach our daughter early and often so she doesn’t struggle the same way.
One of the most interesting responses Joe has gotten has been that we can teach our daughter about Santa the same way we will approach religions – There are people who believe and they have every right to believe, but that’s not what we believe.
The fact is that my most vivid and wonderful Christmas memory comes from at least a decade after I gave up on Santa. When I was 19 and working retail I worked on Christmas Eve. It was busy, but everyone was in a cheery mood that day, we closed early, we had a little celebration, and then I walked home in the crisp air with a light snow falling, knowing that at the end of my walk my grandparents would have arrived at my house with my favourite Chinese food, as tradition dictated. On Boxing Day we would go to my father’s house and it used to be the only time of the year that I saw my three half siblings. Now there can be as many as 30 of us over there, and it’s like we saw each other the week before.
Christmas for me is about family and traditions, and that’s what I want for my daughter.