Sunday, November 14, 2010

my little clean slates.

Christmas is on my mind.

This is the my first Christmas as a mother of a child who can begin to understand the  story of Baby Jesus and the joy of giving thoughtful gifts to our loved ones. I've been mulling over Christmas traditions to teach Henry the true meaning of Christmas from an early age, in hopes he will always know that the holiday season is a special time to celebrate with family and not a time for uber-commercialism and cheap plastic gifts to unwrap.

Santa Claus

My sister and I were firm believers in Santa.  Santa brought unwrapped presents we found on Christmas morning and our parents gave presents we unwrapped on Christmas Eve.  For years, my reasoning behind Santa was that in 1st grade he brought me a pink scooter and my parents would never buy such an expensive gift.  

This afternoon, I asked Taylor if he believed in Santa as a child.  I was a bit surprised to hear that 'yes' he did believe because it seems like with two older brothers in the house, the cat would have been out of the bag.  I was even more surprised to find out why he believed:  His great-grandmother, MawMaw, told him that Santa was real.  How did she know?  She was up late one Christmas eve and stumbled upon Santa in her house.  He told her she wasn't supposed to see him so he pulled a syringe out of his bag and gave her a shot that made her instantly fall asleep until Christmas morning.

You read it right:
Santa drugged MawMaw.

So, I believed in Santa and Taylor believed in Santa.  But, what about our kids?  Do we want them to view Santa as a magical bearer of gifts or do we want to teach that Santa is a fun Christmas character but that he does not actually supply gifts to the children of the world?  I must admit it bothers me that American children believe that presents fall from the sky and no one even thinks to write a thank-you letter to Mr. Claus.  It just doesn't seem right to me.

As Taylor and I were having this conversation and debating various facets of Santa, Henry was busy finding "dwarf chocolate" as we explored a rock pile in the cemetery next to our house.  Dwarf chocolate is also known as a brown rock that has been broken to expose a white interior.  Ridiculous, right?  But, Henry believed it was dwarf chocolate because we told him so.  

Then, it hit me:
This kid believes everything we say,
no matter how ridiculous it may seem.

A fat man in a red suit with flying reindoor?
A dwarf who lives in a cemetary and eats rocks like chocolate.

He believes it all -
without question
without doubt.

What does this mean to me as a parent?

We watch our mouths and our attitudes.
We try to model love and respect.
We constantly teach him right from wrong.
We don't watch television.
We are working on looking for cars before we cross a street.

We are certainly trying our hardest to be the best parents we can be.

But, I feel like there must be more to do to ensure these babies become
 responsible and caring citizens of the world.

Ideally, I would wrap this post up with a nice little bow.
But, that's not life and it's not happening with this post tonight.

I'm realizing more so everyday that it's hard being mama.
It's a big responsibility being entrusted with these little clean slates.

The end.


TheSandersFamily said...

We dont "do" Santa. We take the approach of teaching the history/stories behind holidays and Santa is no exception. I'd rather tell my kiddos the truth (and let them form there own thoughts about things) and the whole Santa thing is told as story/fairytale stemming from St. Nicholas.

TheSandersFamily said...

ugh. their, not there.

childsplay said...

some of my favorite memories are of you sleeping on the floor next to my bed christmas morning waiting to go downstairs/upstairs...we believe that our kids will believe and they will be well adjusted enough to know that it is fun being a kid and that it is fun believing in santa/tooth fairy/traditions...I'm not saying that it has to be a big production but I'd rather my kids be kids...

Laura said...

I wonder if there can be a happy medium with Santa? I need to do more thinking on this subject...

Anonymous said...

My mother would say "you think too much". I know cause she said it to me. And she's right. What is more fun than reading "The Night Before Christmas" to your kids using all the gusto you can muster, singing Christmas songs and carols, decorating the house and leaving Santa a glass of wine b/c he's bound to be tired of all that milk?

If you and Lizbeth grew up alright, there is great hope for your kids. I completely agree with your sister. It's more fun for the parents than the kids and shouldn't be missed. Remember when we just finally had to tell Lizbeth the truth? I think she was 15!!!


Jude and Alisha said...

We're having the exact same discussions in the Landry home, too. I'll let you know what we come up with...

Rebecca said...

I understand what you're saying. A lot of Christmas gets lost and very few kids know the true meaning of Christmas. We bake Jesus a birthday cake and have nativities. We try to go to a live nativity.

I love Christmas! I believe that Santa is the Christmas spirit personified. I love living through my child's eyes. I love that people are nicer around the holidays. They correspond with lost friends and relatives. I love the singing, decorating, baking. The whole thing. It's never been about this guy bringing me presents. I love believing is something bigger than everyone.

That being said I hope there is a happy medium out there. I want my kids to be kids, but I also want them to know that there's more to Christmas than Santa and presents.