Every Christmas Season it's the same. The kids say "Is Santa coming?" "Where's Santa?" Santa. Santa. Santa. My stomach clenches. I start the debate in my head. How do I feel about Santa? Is he encouraging mass consumerism in my offspring? Is he teaching about giving with love? Do I like maintaining the illusion, essentially lying to my kids?
Do I like (how do I put this?) playing the party line that he lives in an undisclosed Polar Hideout with Henchmen (er, elves) and a Magical Flying Vehicle propelled by Magical Flying Reindeer?
Wow. When you put it that way, he kind of sounds like a Supervillain. (Cool!)
There is a whole industry designed to support his case. In Canada, every letter to Santa is answered by hand. NORAD tracks him.
I know many parents use Santa as a parenting tool in November/December, bribing their kids to behave with what are probably empty threats. Have you ever known anyone who got coal in their stockings instead of presents??
I got really cynical this weekend when there were two Santa Claus Parades in relatively close proximity happening at the same time. I wondered if Santa at the mall went away while the local parade was happening.
I talk about this with Richard every year. He thinks that we are protecting the kid's innocence by letting them believe in Santa. He reminds me of the fond memory I have of talking to Santa on my Dad's Amateur Radio on Christmas Eve. He reminds me that I was not devastated when I discovered the truth. The newest issue of Chatelaine Magazine had an editorial where the author found out that finding out about Santa is harder on parents than it is on the kids.
Saint Nicholas was real. My church celebrates the feast in his name every year. I think I might let the kids pick out names from the Giving Tree at the Mall so they can play Santa themselves this year.
I gamely play along. Emmett wrote his letter. (Click on it to see it big enough to decipher his printing) I will help Charlotte write hers.
How do you deal with Santa in your home?
PS--if you want to write a letter to Santa, his address is: Santa Claus, North Pole, Canada, H0H 0H0