Sunday, July 24, 2011
Mommy Killed Santa
About four years ago, when Destiny was nine, I decided it was time to tell her the truth about Santa. It didn't seem like a giant shock for her. She is a smart girl, very level-headed, and pretty intuitive. Later that day we were driving towards the mall and I heard her small voice mutter from the backseat, "Santa is dead." I, of course, immediately went into panic mode thinking I had permanently ruined my little girl's psyche and envisioned endless trips to a therapist because "Mommy killed Santa." I asked her to explain her statement. It seemed an inflatable Santa on top of a restaurant rooftop had deflated a bit and fallen over. Thus, Santa was dead. Hahaha...tragedy averted. She was fine.
On the other hand, Mommy killing the Easter Bunny for Emily this year was a different story. She cried and wanted to know why we lied to her. She said, "the next thing you know you're going to tell me Santa and the Tooth Fairy aren't real either!" Um...uh oh.
Why do we do this? Especially those of us who are Christians? Who decided it was a good idea to Celebrate holidays surrounding Jesus with fictitious characters bringing children presents, which then completely detracts from the true meaning of the holiday?
Please don't misunderstand me, I'm not condemning those who celebrate this way. Obviously, I'm right there alongside them. Josiah and I were talking about Christmas this year, and he suggested that Santa not bring toys to Mommy's house for Ryan (since he's the only one the myth would still apply to). Santa didn't come to Josiah's house when he was growing up. Sure, they had Santa figurines and they knew who he was and they still got presents. However, his parents are very strong Christians and they simply chose to focus on the birth of Christ in their family. Huh...there's a concept for you.
On the other hand, when I was growing up, Santa TOTALLY came and I loved it. Heck, my parents still mark "from Santa" on their presents to me. I went to school and Santa visited all of the people there, too (at least as far as I knew...I'm sure I'm somewhat mistaken in that memory). When Josiah mentioned Santa NOT coming to see Ryan, I immediately had a negative reaction. "He's only four! I have to take the magic away so soon?!"
That was when it hit me. Here I am talking about the taking the magic away from him if I take away Santa, but in all reality as a Christian, the REAL magic should be in God sending us His son as a Savior, right? How's that for magic?
I still couldn't agree with Josiah right away. I had to mull it over a bit. What about when Ryan goes to school and the other kids talk about what Santa brought? How much flack would I have to take from family and friends over this? My entire life I've just looked at it as no big deal. After all, I've taught my kids what the holiday is actually supposed to be about, right? Nevertheless, in scrutinizing my reaction to the suggestion of removing Santa, I see where my own focus has been. While I taught my children what Christmas is supposed to be about, I'm sure I've spent WAY more time every year perpetuating the Santa myth.
Josiah also brought up very valid arguments to assuage my fears in other areas. Santa will still visit because I am not the only parent they have, and since their father doesn't even believe in God at this point, I'm thinking he doesn't have a problem with Santa coming to his house. He just doesn't have to come to mine. Furthermore, I may get catch a good amount of flack from him and other family and friends for making this decision. They may say I'm taking this whole "church thing" a little far...and I think I'm okay with that.
At some point, I have to let go of wanting everyone to like and agree with me and just do what I think is best. I have made a commitment to focus on my spiritual growth and I think this is part of that road for me. No more myths of men in red suits and bunnies carrying baskets...I'm a big girl now, and I think it's time for me to teach my children where the magic in these holidays truly lies.
Alissa Coburn is a lover of Jesus, the wife of her best friend, and of the mother of 6 beautiful children...whom she adores, but make her question her sanity daily. She also aspires to write and speak professionally, which she feels very deeply is her calling. "What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs." (Matt 10:27)