Let me start this blog out with a quick bit of information:
This post is not intended to say that “doing Santa” with your kids is right or wrong. It’s also not to argue whether my family should do it or not. I want to respect all ways of doing Christmas at your home… and ask that you do mine, too. Today’s post will be about what traditions we do when it comes to Santa Clause and I hope you’ll join me along the way!
Last year was Emma’s first Christmas and after a few months of planning and preparing, we decided that doing Santa was the right decision for our family. We grew up in homes that practiced the belief in Santa Clause and felt like for us, it was a good thing. We grew up loving Santa and all that he was, and still is, to us. We wanted to instill this same love in Emma. Here are some things we do that involve Santa and hope it helps those of you doing Santa to find some ways to celebrate him, too.
*As Emma gets older, we will allow her to send a letter to Santa asking for one thing. It can be a big thing or a small thing. When I say one thing, let me clarify: if she asks for an American girl doll she will more than likely get the set that comes with it (ie: doll, book, and clothes). It doesn’t mean that if she asks for an iPod that we will also get her a computer and a $100 iTunes gift card to go with it. We want to teach her to ask for less and not more. Materialism is not our goal through Santa. Santa will also bring her stocking items but usually you don’t ask for those things- they just show up.
*We visit Santa Clause. This one should be obvious for anyone who participates in the Santa craziness. We learned very quickly last year that we don’t do just any Santa. We visited a
sketchy less than ideal Santa last year and voted him out this year. We will be having lunch with my favorite Santa on Saturday at Heartwood here in Abingdon. If you want to join us there, be sure to call and make reservations. It’s a brunch and only $5/person. Can’t beat that deal!
*On Christmas Eve, we read “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” and sit out cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. It’s very important that we share a quick story about Santa every year as well as help feed him and his reindeer, too. After all, they have a busy night ahead and them and what kind of people would we be if we didn’t teach Emma the importance of giving as well as receiving? We need to be sure to share with Santa. My favorite memory at the Puckett house was when
mom Mrs. Clause left red lipstick on Santa’s milk glass. Good times.
*On Christmas day, we allow Santa’s gifts to be on display when Emma finds her gifts. The ones from Santa aren’t wrapped, the ones from mom and dad are. It makes it a lot easier to figure out who brought which gift that way Emma knows who to thank. I think it will also allow us to see that glimmer and magic in her eye in years to come as she walks out of her room to find gifts that weren’t there the night before.
We will be honest with Emma. One day she will ask us the truth about Christmas and the truth about Santa. We don’t want to be the parents that Emma asks later, “why didn’t you tell me?” but we also don’t want to be the parents that didn’t share with her the truth about Santa, who he was, and who he still is today. Just because the gifts show up from mom and dad doesn’t mean that the idea of Santa isn’t real and that there isn’t a model that was even better than Santa ever was- Jesus.
*We remind Emma the true meaning of Christmas. As she grows she will learn about the gifts that Santa Clause brings her every year- regardless of who she is or what she has done. We will never give her less based on her behavior. We pray that she will understand that Jesus is the same way and even better- the gift of salvation He gives to her can never be “earned” or taken away once she has accepted that gift. I pray that her belief in the unseen, being Santa, will help her to have more faith in the belief of Christ one day, too.
This is how we’re doing Santa at the Linkous house. How are you doing Santa at your house?