Thursday, December 24, 2015

Why We Don't Do Santa

I understand that a lot of you, my friends included, love celebrating Christmas with tales of Santa. We don't. There is a rather long list of reasons why.

Since we aren't Christians, we celebrate our December Holiday season differently than a lot of people. We have had the liberty of picking and choosing traditions from a variety of holiday celebrations. We still do stockings. We talk about Winter Solstice and the traditions that have come about throughout history for people of all religions and creeds. We discuss how best to respect others beliefs. It's not a war on Christmas. We want those of you to celebrate to have as great of a holiday season as we usually do. We have a holiday tree. My husband puts up his "Christmas Village". I put together Christmas Eve Boxes for my kids. In terms of gifts from my husband and myself, we really try to limit ourselves to the boxes, and stockings. Each year there inevitably is a little spill over of gifts I end up wrapping and putting under the tree. Usually labeled from myself. So why not Santa? Why are there no gifts from him under our tree?

1. It's creepy. Maybe not for you, but for me. "He knows when you are sleeping... He knows when you're awake...." Hi, I'm not indoctrinating my kids into the acceptance of a police state quite yet. I don't want them to think it's toooootally normal for someone to watch everything they do every second of every day, and judge them on it. No thanks.

2. It's pure consumerism. OH NO MY KIDS WON'T KNOW HOW GOOD THEY ARE IF I DON'T BUY THEM STACKS OF PRESENTS FOR CHRISTMAS. How else could they possibly know whether or not they are tolerable human beings? I don't know... perhaps I could tell them.

3. Gratitude. I am doing my best in an ungrateful, privileged culture to raise children who say thank you. Not just for large gifts, but small ones too. They did not earn the right to a stack of presents under the tree. Their family and friends chose to give gifts to them out of love. I want my children to be grateful, and to say thank you. To appreciate that those gifts were given from a place of hard-work out of love. To understand that sometimes a small gift, can mean more than a large one.

4. Poverty. I am not poor. Well, not the I can't pay to feed my kids level of poor. So, I can buy my children gifts during the holiday season. They have family and friends who can also afford to give with almost no budget. However, there is an ocean of children, who will not be getting big expensive gifts from Santa this year. Are they any less good? Are they any less worthy? Why would I want my own, or anyone else's children to get any sense of their own value from an imaginary fat man who puts them on a list?

5. Trust. I want my children to trust me. About everything, through everything, with everything. I don't want them to doubt even for a minute that I have been as honest with them as humanly possible. So why make up stories that they will eventually know are lies?

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