I’ve seen way way way too many “why we don’t do Santa” posts on parenting blogs this week. Look everyone is entitled to celebrate the holidays as they like. What I don’t like about these posts is the misconception about Santa and his roots as well as a false sense of materialism surrounding Chris Kringle. So here are my reasons why we DO believe in Santa, and some clarifications on the misconceptions surrounding him.
The number ONE reason we do this, the reason he is so celebrated, the reason parent after parent tells their kids about Santa. Childhood is the time of fairies, or magic of believing in something without worry of logic. To be a part of this as an adult is one of the top five most rewarding and amazing things about being a parent.
2. Santa isn’t just for Christians, you know.
I have read more than one article stating they don’t do Santa because they aren’t Christian, but since when was that a requirement? Christians do not exclusively claim the Jolly man in red, and the truth is our modern idea of Santa is a combination of many European mythological characters. Watch this awesome video from CGP Grey to learn more: A Brief History of Santa
3. The lesson of giving
I have found one trend with these anti-Santa posts is this idea that Santa just teaches materialism. For my husband and I growing up that was not what we felt, it taught us about the wonderful act of giving. We got excited about the mystery of Santa, and felt special, humbled even, when we received what we hoped and wished for. Christmastime is just as much about giving as receiving, and in fact there have been studies that show that we as humans actually get more out of the feeling of giving rather than getting. At Christmastime we help the kids select gifts for family members and they learn how much fun and how kind it is to give. We also give toys away just before Christmas to charities or our local buy nothing group, to help perpetuate a sense of giving (well and lets be honest it also helps us de-clutter). We also teach about thankfulness and make sure thanks are given to everyone, including Santa, when gifts are received.
4. Santa isn’t creepy.
I can understand parents who didn’t grow up knowing Santa to find this idea creepy, but can’t we all agree he just isn’t creepy at all? Every time we go to visit Santa, whether it’s the mall or a special event, I’m always blown away at how kind, welcoming and great with the kids Santa is. I remember when our late-speaking son saw Santa for the first time and he didn’t answer Santa’s questions. Santa, without being prompted started to sign to our son, who signed in return. It was magical and something my husband and I will always remember.
5. Santa is a state of mind.
My husband, myself, and I think a lot of adults, have fond memories of Christmastime and Santa as children. He represents innocence and wonder, and a state of mind that we need a little more of in this world. People can be bad, the state of our world can be cruel, but Santa and his ideals will always be one that perpetuates hope, love and joy. So we will continue to believe, because to believe is to adopt his ideals and spread hope, love, joy and innocence.
So Happy Holidays and I hope Santa comes to see you! (But if he doesn’t, that’s ok too!)