“The Santa Who Wasn’t There”: a Christmas Treat — S&A144
2 responses to ““The Santa Who Wasn’t There”: a Christmas Treat — S&A144”
Our approach with our daughter Emily was similar to Ben’s. Our concern was in telling her two very similar stories about magical people she couldn’t see who would bring good things to her and who she could communicate with, etc …. but that one was in fact totally made up and the other was actually true. That seemed to be potentially problematic down the road. When she asked if Santa was real, we told her the truth, but that she had to keep that secret from her friends.
To this day, I don’t like to decorate with a lot of traditional Santa-themed decorations. I prefer decorations or portrayals that are more in the Bishop St. Nicholas or Father Christmas variety.
I was told right away that Santa wasn’t real…in part, I believe, because we were poor, and I wasn’t going to be getting spectacular gifts, so rather than tell me I was a horrible kid, my parents were straightforward with me.
When it was my turn…I went a different route. I think the story of Nicholas of Smyrna is terrific on its own.
“Dad, is Santa real?”
“Well, you see, there was a town called ‘Smyrna’…”
“Yes it is, and there was a poor family in that town, and a rich man named Nicholas.”
“Yep, and he gave the family money to help them.”
Years later, and my daughter is interested in IJM (www.ijm.org) and I am able to tell her that the family was going to have to sell their daughters into slavery, and that is why Saint Nick helped them. …and when my son got to the point where violence was fun, I could tell him that you better watch out because Saint Nick punched a guy at the council of Nicaea for saying that Christ was a created being.
That way if some kid in school talks about Santa, my kids wont say ‘he isn’t real’, but rather, ‘yeah, he helped a poor family’…or, ‘he punched a heretic’.
So why do guys dress up and what is up with the reindeer and flying sleigh… then I just tell them its fun stories about how Santa would give gifts.