Monday, December 10, 2012

Thoughts on Christmas and Santa

I've seen and heard a lot of discussion as of late about Christmas and Santa. I guess I never really thought about it much until this year since we are parents now and these types of conversations get brought up.
My question to yall out there is this: Do you do the whole "Santa" thing with your kids or do you plan on it if you don't have children yet? I guess more specifically, does Santa leave gifts for your little ones to open Christmas morning and whatnot. It's TOTALLY a personal choice and I can absolutely see valid points to both sides of this argument, but I'm just curious to see what the majority of you think out there. (and no, this is not meant to spark some huge controversy, I promise)
Jeff and I have talked about this a little bit and we do plan to incorporate Santa into Christmas celebrations with our family. That being said, we will always focus the attention on Jesus and teaching our children about the real meaning of Christmas, but I think there is something nostalgic and fun about Jolly Old St. Nicholas and I know my childhood memories of Santa were ones filled with so much joy, too. We would leave out cookies and milk for him, I would write him letters telling him how good I had been all year, he would leave all sorts of goodies for me to open on Christmas morning, and of course we would visit the mall so I could have my picture taken with him each year. It's hard for me to imagine my childhood without him in it.

So, where do you stand on the Santa debate?

24 comments:

  1. We don't have children yet, but hope to very very soon; that's actually what I asked "Santa" for this year. My husband and I both agree that Santa will play a role in our celebration of Jesus and his life but want our little ones to know "the reason for the season". Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am in the same boat as you - we have a little one to celebrate Christmas with this year. We will definitely be doing the Santa bit with him, but making sure he knows the whole meaning for the time of year.
    Christmas will be much more special now :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I totally agree with you! Remembering the 'reason for the season' is the most important, but Santa is one of my favorite and best memories of my youth! Now that we have a baby, I can't wait until we get to make cookies to leave for Santa and carrots for his reindeer! ;) My husband's parents told him there was no Santa - and he still feels sad around this time of year...SO sad to me - because Christmas was always my favorite time of year and makes me SO giddy!

    xo

    ReplyDelete
  4. I currently do not have children but when i do I think I will do a bit of both! I believe both are impotant, in different ways of course. Jesus is the reason for the season and is so important to me that my children know that. However I think santa is important too. They are kids and the deserve that fun and 'whimsy' during their childhood.

    I think really hard part will be when to tell the truth about santa. That is will be tough.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think it is so important to include the "Santa" element for young children, but keep the focus on Jesus' birth, just like you said.

    Believing in Santa is not something I would want to take away from Owen or deprive him of. I also don't want him to be the kids no one likes at school because they're always ruining it for the believers.

    I saw something last year around this time that we considered doing for Owen. It was to give 3 gifts each year, each with a specific meaning or "theme"

    http://www.habitsforahappyhome.com/2010/10/three-gifts-for-christmas/

    It's a neat idea, but we just decided to buy him what we feel like he needs and we'll add in more meaningful "activites" and such when he is old enough to understand.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm 26 and my brother is 21 & our mom still gives us presents from "Santa"... I hope to do the same one day when I have a child.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh, I can't wait to see what everyone says!! We are definitely incorporating Santa into Christmas...I agree that there's something magical about it for kids (and adults)! I found an amazing letter on Pinterest that explains to children that Santa is NOT real when they ask and are old enough to answer it...have you seen it? If not, I can send you the link...it's a great way to transition (which will be many years away for both of us!)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Eli will be visited by Santa, but we are definitely trying to not make Christmas all about gifts. He's only 13 months this year, but next year, when he's old enough to understand what's going on, we plan to implement the four presents rule when it comes to his Santa haul: one thing he wants, one thing he needs, one thing to wear, one thing to read. We're trying to make Christmas more about the experiences of the holidays, like Christmas Eve service, baking cookies, dinner with the family, skating, Christmas carols, etc. and less about gifts.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I totally agree with you! Since this is our first year as parents, we have started thinking about these same traditions and how our family will celebrate Christmas. I cannot imagine not incorporating Santa, but at the same time I really want to keep things in perspective, focus on the real meaning of Christmas and not go overboard on gifts and material things. I know it will be tough since I love buying things for Campbell, but it's a goal I've set for myself! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am with you on the meaning of Christmas... but I have so many beautiful memories of growing up and the excitement and magic of santa. It would be hard to not extend the tradition to our kiddos. But I always try to focus on the true meaning of Christmas and the importance of family.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm 30 in the spring and I still get presents from Santa.

    There is something so magical about Santa and the imagination of children.

    We always celebrated Jesus' birth, and were involved with church pageants so we KNEW the reason for the season.

    Our church also did a great job of explaining WHERE Santa came from, with the story of St. Nicholas.

    I want to have my children sing Happy Birthday to Jesus before we do presents on Christmas...one day :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. We plan on doing both! I could not imagine doing Christmas without Santa and the fun things that come along with it.

    It drives me crazy that K's school doesn't allow anything with Santa on it! or Christmas trees. Same for Halloween and Easter. No pumpkins, witches, bunnies, eggs. Ridiculous haha

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm totally with you. I plan on doing it all. Explaining the reason for the season + Santa fun! The tradition was so much fun for me I couldn't imagine not doing it for my little peanut!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I don't have kids but I fully intend on incorporating Santa into Christmas when the time comes (I still get presents from him!). I plan on talking about Saint Nicholas and how he was a gift giver. I have friends who don't do Santa because they don't want to take away from the real reason for the season, and it kind of makes me sad because I have so many wonderful childhood memories associated with Santa.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I married a pastor and Santa still visits our house! There are so many great ways to teach our little ones about the true meaning of Christmas, but there is something so special about this "magical" time of year that St. Nick brings, too. Just a fun tradition (like Easter egg hunting) I think!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm a preacher's daughter and we always had Santa! I have now have a 5 year old and we celebrate Santa, but more importantly the true meaning of the season. We talk a lot about the reason we celebrate, participate in church activities, and have a happy birthday Jesus party!

    ReplyDelete
  17. We will definitely do Santa! As long as Avery is grounded in the reason for the season and how important Jesus is to us as Christians, Santa can definitely be great for children. It was so magical when we were little. I also don't like the 4 gifts thing, just my two cents. Seriously, what fun is that? Load up the gifts. It's the only time of year where you can indulge like this!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I grew up having Santa come and I don't plan on changing that with my own children. I totally think kids can have the whole fun part of it. However, I think elf on the shelf takes it too far. If you want a good way to incorporate the real Cheistmas story to your kids, look upmTruth in the Tinsel. It's awesome and follows the advent calendar.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I don't know why I feel so strongly about this, BUT I DO! I feel like Santa is an important part of a child's life and we absolutely intend for our kids to believe in Santa! We also want our children to understand that Christmas is because of Christ. It isn't about us and how much WE can get for ourselves, but it is about Jesus being born to save us. I have come across some really great articles that I think will guide us into how we will approach this one day. These are my favorites!

    http://asmallsnippet.com/2011/12/its-beginning-to-look-alot.html

    http://blog.jamesandjuliepaquette.com/2011/12/02/shepherds-pouches/

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have three children and we do the whole Santa thing with them. I think there is something quite magical about it! We most DEFINITELY focus on the reason for the season though and on Christmas Eve we celebrate by having Jesus a Birthday Party. We do balloons, make a cake and all! It's just a good reminder for them what Christmas is all about

    ReplyDelete
  21. I say incorporate Santa while you can. Most children, and I say this with 8 years of teaching experience don't believe past 3rd grade if you're lucky. At this age, is when they are able to fully comprehend Jesus and appreciate Christmas more than a small child under the age of 5 would ever comprehend!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Looks like I'm the lone lady here that isn't doing Santa :) I grew up with Santa and always loved that part of my childhood. My family was not a church-going, Christ-believing family. I married a man who grew up in a home that was incredibly Christ-centered and they did not incorporate Santa at all. It's been a hard decision for me to come to, to not have Santa be a part of our child's life, but I really understand and agree with my husband in why we won't do it. The biggest reason being that Christmas is truly only about Jesus and Advent was started as a great expectation to his birth and what it would mean for the world, not for the great expectation of Santa coming. Secondly, we want to be truthful in everything we tell our children, and we don't ever want to intentionally give them a reason to question the things we've told them. How can we expect them to believe in God - who they can't see but Mom and Dad say he's there - when they find out that Santa was just for pretend?
    With that said, Santa adds a fun element to Christmas and there's no doubt that children love him ;)

    ReplyDelete
  23. With my daughter we focus on the real reason for the season, BUT we have Santa. I love the "magic" that Santa brings. I want my kids to believe in Santa. I have many fun filled memories of Santa and I turned out ok : )

    ReplyDelete
  24. We will be doing Santa this year as well. Growing up though, Christ was always the center. We did the Avent wreath and calendar. Then on Christmas Eve, we made birthday cake for Jesus and sang Happy Birthday to him. It made it fun and put the meaning of Christmas in the forefront.

    ReplyDelete

I am always happy to hear from blogging friends so feel free to leave me a comment...

Pin It button on image hover