My kids believe in Santa Claus. I hope they will until they are at least 8, but the way the world strips children of innocence, I will be lucky if I make it through kindergarten with that belief still intact. Recently, two of my favorite twitter follows (@LoveIsMayhem & @MiaWoods2005) were discussing how much they were railroaded by parents for NOT subscribing to the Santa Chronicle. I don’t intend for this post to railroad them more, but I do intend to explain why I think having Santa is important.
4th Roommate never had Santa. His family was heavily into Jesus and never introduced Santa as even an option. This is fine, of course, but as a result, I think the logical explanation (logical is used loosely here…as we denounce a guy flying in a sleigh to deliver presents, but big up a Magic Zombie Savior who rose from the dead and lives in the sky) of the holiday made for very serious children. 4th Roommy is a city kid. He’s street smart, and witty and he has a ton of fun…but sometimes I wonder if he has ever had an ounce of imagination. Or he can ever look past what REASON suggests is right, and live and act solely on a feeling. He’s not that kind of a person. Anyhow, being the way he is, when it came down to spending our first Christmas together as a family last year, at his parent’s house no less, Santa was brought up. While 4th Roommy was noticeably hesitant to do typical Santa things, I MADE SURE that we left milk and cookies out for Santa. I was careful to leave empty stocking before the twins went to sleep and fill them for when they woke up. They couldn’t read yet, so I didn’t label any of their gifts from Santa, but trust me, I would have. All during my hustle to create Santa magic, he seemed to kind of mock the idea of all the little things I was doing, but went along with them anyway.
I am glad he did because I want my children to believe in magic. I want them to understand nature and science and the beauty in all that is real and tangible, but I want them to never stop thinking about the ‘what if’…even beyond Santa, I want them to always consider the possibility that in someone’s reality people can fly. And maybe there is an old man who watches all the little children in the world and delivers gifts to them for being kind hearted, innocent and wonderful. I want them to eventually watch Harry Potter and wonder if in some alternate reality, some far away galaxy Diagon Alley isn’t just a clever play on words…it’s a real place. And they have wands. And honestly, I want them to use this ability to hope and dream and believe in the intangible to fuel their thirst for OTHER intangibles like religion and faith.
I want my children to know Jesus was born…but it was likely in the summer. So in the winter, we celebrate that day by being generous and kind and also get to have a little of Santa’s magic lighting up our lives. I want them to believe in magic so hard that even those city kids like their dad who might mock them for believing…still can’t steal their joy. I want them to sometimes visit the Midwest and see snowy white winters, make snowmen and go to sleep JUST KNOWING that their Snowman is going to come to life in the night. That’s what being a kid is about to me. Childhood is holding onto the small things that adults have long lost the ability to hold onto. It’s about being able to believe in magic.
Do your children believe in Santa? Why or why not? If you are childless, do you plan on introducing Santa to your children…
or do you hate fun & innocence and magic, you Nazi –I mean or do you just plan to celebrate Christmas without it?