Thursday, December 16, 2010

Revisiting Santa...

Father Daren entered the Santa debate this year by posting an excerpt from an archbishop's homily on the subject and subsequent commentary from another priest. I don't believe I have ever heard a priest speak on this subject and here I find two!

In a follow-up post, he uses a quote from a post I wrote last year on the subject (thanks, Padre!) and stirs up the pot a little more.

This is a sensitive subject for many people because it touches directly on our parenting. I know I have been accused of being a bad parent for telling my kids the truth about Santa. And I know that others have felt judged when I have expressed my opinion on the matter. Emotions can rule the day if we're not careful.

Father clearly isn't trying to be contentious or judgmental, only to provoke thought...and I hope his readers recognize the purity of his intention instead of viewing it as a personal attack.

My husband and I are one of the small minority of Americans who do not teach the kids to believe in the existence of Santa. I'm okay with that. It's still nice to have some company once in a while!




5 comments:

  1. You have my company! We won't lie to our kids and tell them Santa is real. I personally don't see the point :)

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  2. Thank you so much for this. When I was a child we were one of only a few families that did not believe in Santa. We were always looked at funny when we said we didn't do Santa.

    Now that I have children of my own, I am finding no one around me that does not do Santa. This was just so great to read and find that there are other people around who choose not to lie to the children about Santa. My children are still young 4,3,and 2, but I am having a hard time deciding how we talk to others, especially my children's cousins, without "spilling the beans". Any suggestions for what to say?

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  3. i'm part of the minority.
    All for Jesus through Mary!
    pax Christi - lena

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  4. I see I'm in excellent company here, Allison and Lena! :)

    Hi Courtney! I have also found very few families around here who don't do Santa. We are very blessed, however, to have like-minded family members (including the kids cousins) and supportive grandparents!

    As for "spilling the beans"...this can be tough. I want to respect others decisions and at the same time honor my children. We instruct the children to answer direct questions honestly but never deliberately challenge a child's belief. We explain that this is akin to challenging the authority of their parents...it's not our place to put a child in that position. But again, if they're asked a direct question, I can't counsel them to lie. I'm not sure how I would handle your situation (with small cousins) but perhaps it would be best to talk to the adults first. That way, if something does come up, they are prepared and can figure out a way to explain it to their kids (and perpetuate their story). I don't think this is a good enough reason to encourage our kids to lie...I do think the fine art of silence and distraction can go a long way!

    Anyone else have tips?

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  5. Hello Melody,

    I have some time now with no little one eating my arm as I write!

    It has been hard for us to not do the Santa thing and have other people think we are "stealing the magic of Christmas" from our children. Oddly enough, when they see how happy our children really are, they refuse to belive that they really are. I am happy to see a priest speak the truth because it sure was difficult to explain to the children one year that we were telling them the truth after our priest told all the children at Mass that Santa was going to be visiting that night. For them, one of us was lying and they really did not want it to be either one of us.

    God bless,
    Charline

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