Sunday, November 1, 2009

Santa? To be or not to be?

I am not one of those people who gets disgusted when Christmas decorations come out in August. As a matter of fact, I kind of think about Christmas all year... and not in that "Lets-make-peace-and-pretend-that-we-love-each-other-because-it's-Christmastime-all-year" kind of way. I just love holidays where it's okay to go crazy creative and fun... and then add some super-fattening holiday desserts on top.

I feel the same way about my daughter's birthday parties. (I already have a theme and the basic food items planned for Chloe's birthday in September 2010.)


So the time has come. Chloe is three this Christmas and in the throws of pretend play. You know what that means? Santa Claus. What's that all about?

I grew up on Santa Claus, as did my husband. But I have spent the last several Christmases debating whether or not we would raise our children with him.

I've heard all the arguments, I think... at least, all the arguments against Santa Claus. The people who "do" Santa Claus tend to do it for tradition's sake. (If anyone has a great argument on why Santa Claus is necessary to the well-being of my children, I would LOVE to hear it.)

Most of the arguments fall into one of two categories, and sometimes are combined:

1.) No, we don't want to lie to our children.

2.) No, we don't want to take the focus off of Jesus.

So, for years, I have been at odds with myself, dreading this very Christmas - the one where I would have to decide.

Tell Chloe the real story of Santa, and forfeit the childhood magic that I remember? Like Aunt Martha Dale rushing the children outside to see Rudolph in the sky and hear the jingle of Santa's sleigh. (Airplane, Martha Dale's holiday hair bow.) Like waking up on Christmas morning to find the Santa cookies gone. Like receiving a phone call from Santa a few days before Christmas. (My granddaddy has the BEST Santa voice.) Like lying in bed on Christmas Eve and fighting sleep so maybe I could get a peek at Santa.

Or tell Chloe that Santa is real? And risk the possibility that she will feel jaded, duped, and deceived in 6-8 years when the truth comes out. Or that she will think Santa is like Jesus, nice bedtime stories from her childhood. Or that she will never trust a human being because her parents lied to her for her entire life.

It's a tough decision, my friends.

But, here's where it's at. My hubby, he likes Santa. He's not worried that introducing Santa into our home will be the decline of civilization as we know it. His argument: "We were raised with Santa, and we turned out fine."

To which I reply, "Fine is a relative term that may have been used too liberally in that statement."

But I get his point.

And since I can't decide whether Santa is an amazing and necessary part of an American child's Christmas... or if he is the very foundation of the materialistic fast-food demands of this holiday... I have decided to leave this decision up to my calm, cool, collected (mentally and emotionally stable) husband.

So, yes friends, we're doing Santa.

And since, you know, I LOVE this holiday, I don't want to do anything half-hearted.

Enter, Elf on the Shelf.

The basic premise is that Santa sends an elf to our house to "observe" whether the girls are naughty or nice. Then at night, when they are asleep, the elf goes to the North Pole and tells Santa which list to put the children on. So each morning, when Chloe wakes up, the elf will be in a different location... and she must find her. Fun, right?

We're ordering one of these little babies next week, and I am SO EXCITED! We haven't decided on a name, but I am leaning towards "Candy Cane." Not very original, eh? Yeah... I'm still working on it.

If anyone out there in bloggerland has a great Elf name (for a girl elf) then I'm open to it.

So, there it is folks. I have gone from "Santa may or may not be evil" to "Lets invite an elf into our home" in 2.3 seconds flat.

Good thing my husband is so sane, seriously.

Anywho... I started this whole post to say this: WOOOOO HOOOOOO CHRISTMAAAAAAAAAAAAAS!!!!!!!!!!

Good times. Good times.


DebbieP said...

How about JingaBells or you can spell it Gean Gubells)? Or Holly Branch, or Ginger Breadhouse or Patricia Gina Peartree, Miss Latoe, Nannette Noel. These are names from our past children's Christmas plays at church. In case you don't "get" some of them, they always spell out a Christmas word.


DebbieP said...

Hey Brandy, just a thought: You could consider a compromise of doing Santa but telling the girls that you are pretending he is real. Nothing would else change.

The Quote That Started It All...

I myself have twelve hats, each one representing a different personality. Why be just yourself? - Margaret Atwood