To Santa, or not to Santa?

I was just reading this blog entry by the hilarious Alice Bradley (of finslippy) and I was thinking about the whole conundrum parents face in the Santa fable.

As a child, I remember Christmas as utterly magical. The dull glow of the colored lights on the tree, the anticipation, and the indescribable leap of my heart when I'd see my stocking - limp and forlorn the night before, now misshapen and bursting with untold delights. Diving into it, til my entire head was buried within, squealing in delight with each new discovery. As an adult, Mum has told me how she spent literally all year collecting bits and pieces for our pillow-case sized stockings and would slowly build up a stash of quirky, cheap, yet novel items.

When Finn was a baby, J and I discussed our stance and decided that we would go ahead with the Santa tale, but perhaps only make the present he delivered a small thing, and the main things from us. This way, we felt, when the truth was revealed, it would not be so disappointing, or such a big deal.

It doesn't seem to be happening that way the last 2 years, though. Santa keeps bringing a kick arse present! I wanted to recreate the magic for Finn, that I felt as a kid. That has made Christmas eve remain my favourite day/night of the entire year, in fact, I still regret not marrying that day though it would have been a logistical nightmare for our guests!

I guess I feel that children have that innocence and purity for such a short time, they truly believe in real magic for what is really the blink of an eye, that I don't want to be the one to take that away early. I want to indulge it, stretch it out and enjoy it myself, too, as a parent.

Finn enjoys the Santa idea, he is a little annoyed he cannot seem to catch sight of the elves that I see monitoring his behaviour (especially when he is having a tanty - yes I unashamedly I use bribery as well as 'lie' about Santa's existence, I really am going to hell); but he is not totally caught up in Santa - or even Christmas for that matter. He is excited, but I suspect he would be the same kind of excited with or without the Santa concept.

I understand some parents feel it is 'lying' to the child and so tell them the truth. Some of these kids blurt it and ruin it for others, some manage not to. But what DOES get my goat a bit, is when the parents try to limit these instances of blurted thoughtlessness by telling their children it is 'an idea that some like to believe is real.' I feel patronised by that. It irritates me. I understand the intentions are well placed, but it just feels like these kids are being told some children are slow and like to be a bit silly... Perhaps its just me.

We all like to do what we feel is right and best for our children, and so I don't like to judge others for their decision on the Santa thing, but I dislike that attitude towards those of us who DO decide to perpetuate it.

Anyway, I have presents to wrap, and biscuits to bake with Finn so that we can leave some out for Santa to devour tomorrow night. Merry Christmas, everyone!


Kez 23 December 2007 at 8:33 pm  

I feel torn too - my boy is 5 and at the age that I spend all year trying to distinguish between real & not real ("no fairies aren't really real sweetheart"), but then turn around and say "oh no Santa is real" :) I hope the magic continues for a few more years though.

Bec 24 December 2007 at 12:30 am  

Merry Christmas Kell :-)