I know the Santa Claus question is always a hot one in the blogosphere, but I’ve never talked about it here at SlowMama — I suppose because it wasn’t something I had to think about much before my girls came along. Over the years, though, my husband and I did discuss it occasionally: He was always a no-Santa guy, and I was pretty neutral about it.
I grew up with Santa Claus, but it wasn’t something my parents overly encouraged. For my posse of siblings, however, the jolly bearded guy was a subject of much fascination and definitely a big part of what made Christmas fun. Strangely, I don’t remember ever actually believing in Santa myself. Early on, I must have discovered or realized he wasn’t real, but I don’t recall the moment; clearly it wasn’t traumatic for me (though it was for some of my siblings).
Now I’m a mom of two five-year-olds who’ve had a full year to hear about Santa Claus and Father Christmas, particularly in some of their favorite shows (all of which seem to have their own Christmas episodes) — and that means B and I have had to think more deliberately about how Santa is going to factor into our holiday celebrations. Since we prefer to keep the focus on the religious meaning of the holiday, and on giving, family, and friends, we aren’t going to “do” Santa here. We think it’s confusing to teach our girls that God exists — and so does Santa Claus (and the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy…). They already have a hard enough time understanding that Dora and Diego aren’t real.
All that said, Santa won’t be anathema in our house; he’s just going to be treated more like a fun legend and tradition. If the girls ask us point-blank, we’ll answer honestly, but we’ll continue to hang our Santa decorations. I’m not anti-Santa in the least, and I can see going either way on it, depending. I definitely have plenty of siblings and friends who take different approaches…
I’d love to hear how you handle the Santa thing in your house!
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