04 December 2012

Can We Hold Off on Santa for One More Year?

From https://twitter.com/conanobrien 
I am more of a "Pagan Winter Festival" person than a Jesus's birthday person when it comes to Christmas. I'm down with Jesus as a historical figure, but, historically speaking, scholars don't agree on when his actual birthday is. Then you've got Easter right around the time of the spring equinox, and both holidays have co-opted pagan symbols such as Christmas trees and Easter eggs so it's not much of a stretch to believe Christians took over pagan holidays to make conversion easier. But, whatever. You celebrate Christmas for your reasons and I'll celebrate Christmas for mine.

What I suspect to be more controversial than Jesus versus Pagans is our view on Santa Claus. Right now Muffin sees him as a character on television shows and I'm fine with that. We fully believe in the fun of Santa the folktale character or cartoon character. Santa as a game of pretend, we're all for. But I can't bring myself to tell Muffin as a fact that Santa delivers her Christmas presents or that she needs to sit on the lap of some guy with a fake beard and tell him what she wants for Christmas. As it is, she doesn't fully understand the connection between Christmas and presents yet and I'm not anxious for her to. If that makes me a grinch, so be it. She's enjoying the tree, lights, and other decorations and I feel that's enough for a two-year-old. Presents will be a bonus. If Santa shows up at any Christmas parties, we'll handle lap-sitting as it comes up. We're certainly not going to force her. (Last year she knew the guy who was playing Santa so I think it was confusing to her as to why she recognized the voice but not the facial hair.)

I think we can get away with our Santa script for one more year. We're not quite as bombarded with Christmas in India as we will be in the United States next year. What I fear more than anything is that in two years or so, Muffin will be the kid telling other kids that Santa doesn't exist. Should I not worry about it because we're hoping to spend most of our future Christmases in places where not everyone celebrates, so it's not as big a deal as in the United States?


Victoria Mason said...

Meh. Don't worry about it. We don't. We took the kids to see Santa this year only because Reagan asked but before that we didn't do it.

Connie said...

I'm the pagan winter fest sort too and yes, I have my own reasons to celebrate. We've always considered Santa to simply be part of the holiday fun. The kids ask 'Santa' for things, and we'll write 'from Santa' (or Mrs. Claus or Dasher, etc.) on gifts, but they have always thanked us and have asked 'who picked this out, you or dad?'. Enjoy the tree, the lights, and the jolly guy in red however you please; whatever makes your family happy!

Anonymous said...

I came from a Santa heavy family and am no worse for the wear (despite being rather eh about the holiday in general). While the coming of Santa was exciting and we always received one gift each from him, we didn't ever sit on a lap or go to visit. Somehow, my parents figured out how to let us believe in magic without leading us to believe that people dressed as santa were anything but folks having a good time. I'm about to face this shortly myself. Our 2 and a halfer is nowhere near ready for Santa fandom so we've got another year to think on it!