The Christmas season is in full swing and Santa Clause can be found in every mall with lines of children waiting to sit on his lap.
I never noticed what a large part Santa played in the holiday season until my husband and I decided not to do Santa with our kids. He’s pretty much unavoidable; in the mall, in movies, in songs, on cards and in books. And sometimes he hangs out in front of your neighborhood grocery store ringing a bell.
So what’s a parent to do when they don’t do Santa?
My daughter is 5 now and since we’ve never celebrated Mr. Claus with her, we’ve had a few years to figure out how to deal with the whole Santa issue. I’d like to share some of what we do with you today. But since she is only 5, we’re still learning as we go. So, if you have any other ideas, please do share. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would love to hear them.
Most people in America today celebrate Santa. If you choose not to go in that direction with your family, you must have a good reason. (We’ve chosen not to because we want the focus of Christmas to be on Christ, His birth and giving to each other.) So, if you’ve purposefully chosen to go against the grain, be intentional in telling your kids that most people do it differently. Prepare them for conversations with others at school, with family members and even the grocery store clerk, who will inevitably ask: “what’s Santa bringing you this year?”
Right now, most of our Santa related questions come from our 3 year old who’s gotten a little confused about the jolly ol’ fella. What I tell him is that Santa Claus is a fun character that we read about and see in movies around Christmas time. And although our family has chosen not to celebrate him, some do and there’s nothing wrong with that.
We have friends who also emphasis where the original idea of Santa Claus came from. They tell their kids about St. Nicholas. Since I didn’t know much about him myself, I ordered this children’s book that I’m excited to dive into with my kids: Saint Nicholas, The Real Story of the Christmas Legend by Julie Steigemeyer.
Play for the Offense
In my recent post on Creating a Culture of Love, I talked about playing for the offense rather than the defense. Instead of telling your kids all the reasons why you don’t celebrate Santa and making him and those who do out to be the bad guy, spend your time focusing on the things you do want to celebrate. If you’re constantly talking about all the other great things about Christmas, the big guy will just be an after thought. He won’t even be missed.
Having trouble thinking of all the other great things about Christmas? Here are a few suggestions:
Non-Santa Holiday Fun
Advent Calendars – Check out Rebecca’s recent post on Advent
The Nutcracker – the Pope Joy School Time Series Nutcracker Highlights is fantastic
Christmas Eve Church Service – If you don’t have a church home, we’d love to have you at ours! Go here for service times.
The Food – Baking, Hot Chocolate and of course, Mexican Food!
Christmas Music – I’m loving Red Mountain Church’s Christmas album
Stocking Stuffers – Stocking stuffers are fun for the whole family and don’t have to come from Mr. Claus
Nativity Scenes – my kids LOVE their Little People Nativity Set
So tell me, do you do Santa? Why or why not? Share below!