The Santa Conspiracy

Recently my online mothers group were discussing Christmas and specifically would you lie to your child about Santa? There was a unanimous answer of heck yes!

I have been mulling the question over in my head since then. At the time I replied with I didn’t see it as lying but encouraging your child’s imagination. Also how is it wrong to use Santa as a way of teaching children about the values of Christmas such as charity, love, happiness, family,empathy, and good will (amongst others)? Because lets face it you can’t believe in Santa with out all the rest of Christmas with him….he IS Christmas, and everything that goes with it. I still stand by my statement, my son will learn about Santa and Christmas as being real.

Now I know some would argue “but you can teach your child those values with out Santa”, and yes I would agree, but at the same time it is so much easier to use Santa as a teaching tool, a mascot if you will. It is no coincidence that organisations, businesses, sports teams, and charities have mascots to sell their messages. It works. So as a teaching tool you don’t get much better than Santa who has proven to be an effective way of teaching children the values of Christmas for centuries.

But really for me I do not see anything wrong with my little monkey believing in Santa. I want him to know magic in his life, and I don’t mean magic like wizards and hocus pocus, but magic in the wonderment a child has thinking that ANYTHING is possible. It would be nice to be able to believe whole heartedly as an adult that a big jolly fat man in a suit can ride flying reindeer in one night delivering presents to good kids. Because if that is possible anything is possible.

So I think this argument boils down to one simple saying. Are you a glass half empty or half full kind of person? If you’re a glass empty type person then of course you are going to see all the negative connotations associated with Christmas and Santa, but if you are a glass half full kind of person you will see the best. I am not sure there is a right answer but I am going to (as my fellow online mummy said during this discussion) “lie my ass off”. I want my child to know the magic that is Christmas and Santa.

 

Christmas Etiquette For Toddlers

To all toddlers; here is your guide for the time of year called Christmas.

  1. This is a stressful time of the year, be patient with the adults in your life.
  2. The pretty coloured balls on the Christmas Tree are not toys. Bouncing or throwing them across the room is frowned upon.
  3. Eating baubles and any other Christmas decoration for that matter is generally frowned upon.
  4. Adults will come home with items called presents that are pretty coloured boxes with ribbon, and bows and other fascinating things. Not all of these presents are yours. Do not rip, shred, pull, poke or have fun in any way with any of the items placed under the Christmas tree. This is also frowned upon.
  5. Painting said Christmas presents in pasta sauce, any other kind of food or sticky or unremovable substance is frowned upon.
  6. Your parents will insist you sit on the lap of some strange man in a red suit with a white beard. This is your turn to shine. Your parents expect you to cry and be unhappy so you have to give them what they want. It is ok, they have prepared for this and the louder and harder you cry the happier they will be. They will retell this story for years so give them something to really talk about.
  7. Adults will insist on, at some point, dressing you up in some sort of stupid costume. You will not escape this. On a happier note they may also dress up the pet dog and/or cat so at least you have a friend to be miserable and plot your revenge with.
  8. Streaking naked across the room with family around on Christmas day is generally frowned upon.
  9. Christmas Day with all the family around is the perfect time to use that word. You know the one, the word that gets giggles and sniggers from other parents and a look of horror on your parents. That word is worth more than your wait in milk in value!
  10. Your parents will either host or attend lots of parties. It is important to remember not to do the following:
    • Hug and kiss random people.
    • Eat food of anything not attended (floor, plate, table, dogs bowl etc).
    • Sing Christmas Carols at the top of your lungs (this apparently is not appreciated).
    • Let rip a smell so fowl that people near you will pass out. This is an especially big no no in the middle of dinner.
    • Streaking naked.
    • Open any presents lying around.
    • Share your half eaten food with anyone other than your parents.

Hopefully these tips will help you as the toddler in the household get through this interesting time that is Christmas.

The Santa Cause

 

santa_claus_10Seasons Greetings to everyone!  Hope you had a special Christmas with your families, especially if it was your first!

After reading Literary Feline’s post on Holiday Traditions, it got me thinking about the Santa Claus tradition.  Does it contribute the magic of Christmas, or is it a retail money making scheme? Please do not be offended, my intention is not to spoil all Christmas fun, but rather to open an objective discussion.

Growing up in England and Australia, my sister and I probably would have been one of very few children that grew up not believing that Santa Claus was real.  In retrospect I do not feel that I have missed out on anything or that my childhood was any less complete than anyone else’s.  So why has Santa Claus become such a big part of our children’s Christmas and why do we perpetuate the myth,  buying extra presents every year and putting out milk and cookies on Christmas Eve?  Perhaps the wonder of Santa contributes to the development of a child’s imagination?  Or maybe we do it simply because it is what we did when we were young?

One might argue that having your children believe in Santa Claus is the same as telling them a lie and runs the risk of losing their trust when they eventually learn that Santa Claus is not real.  It can potentially be a traumatic event.  So when is a good time to break the news to your children?  Do you wait until they find out at school or from an older sibling?  How do you continue to keep it a secret?  How old were you when you found out, how did you find out and how did it affect you?

How does Santa visit you?  Does he come down the chimney?  Do you leave out a glass of whiskey and chocolates, and maybe something for the reindeer?  Does Santa bring one present for each child from himself only, or does he bring everyone’s presents that magically appear under the tree on Christmas morning?  Does Santa leave clues that he has visited during the night?

Then what of other beliefs?  Do the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy exist too, and how long for?

Holiday Traditions

The Christmas holidays always make me feel a bit nostalgic.  It’s been a few years since I last was able to get to together with family for Christmas Day.  Between work schedules and travel distance, my husband and I have settled for a quiet holiday with just the two of us.  Next year will be different though.  It won’t just be my husband and me.  We’ll have our little girl, and, while she’ll still be too young to take an active part in the festivities, I know I want it to be a special time for her as it was for me when I was a child.  I don’t know whether we will be traveling–I doubt it; at least not next year–or whether relatives will come to us.  Only time will tell.

What I do know is that there are a few holiday traditions I am looking forward to sharing with my daughter one day.  Maybe not next year, when she’s still too young, but someday.  Perhaps we can build such happy memories around those rituals that they will carry over into her adulthood.  Whether it be decorating the Christmas tree, setting up the manger, baking Christmas cookies or writing thank you cards . . .

What are some of the family traditions you have shared with your child over the years?  Or would like to one day when your child is old enough?

Video Message From Santa

Is there a special someone in your family who is MAD for Christmas? It doesn’t matter if they are eight, eighteen, or eighty, if your special someone loves Christmas then this is a great way to make their day.

Santa has been busy at the north pole. He and his elves have decided to embrace the 21st Century and put together a fantastic video that you can customise and send to that special someone.

You can make the message extra personal by answering a series of questions (such as have they been naughty or nice, said please & thankyou’s, or even what toy they asked Santa for), and uploading pictures.

http://www.portablenorthpole.tv/home

For those with a iphone, or ipad you can download this as an application.

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