(Before I begin, I typed "Mrs. Claus" into Google to find an image to put in my blog (you know, for artsy-fartsy purposes), and the majority of them were pretty skanky. Well, maybe not the majority, but there were way too many.)
I have been dwelling on this question for the majority of the afternoon.
This afternoon, during nap time, when all the kids at work were sleeping, I was checking out my Facebook news feed on my phone. A friend of mine had a status regarding her young son not believing in Santa Claus, and not knowing why people make such a big deal of him (in a nutshell). She went on to explain that neither she, nor her husband, grew up with a Santa Claus belief in their families, so it's natural for them to raise their children to know that Santa is a "fairy tale."
There were a few responses from other people, and most of them mentioned that their families don't "do the Santa thing" either.
My friend had mentioned that it's easy for them to not do it (as I think I already stated), but those who may have grown up believing in Santa and such might have a more difficult time deciding what to do for their children.
Up until that point, I had never really thought about whether or not to do the Santa thing with my children or not. Nope, hadn't really crossed my mind.
Funny enough, a business page that I "like" on Facebook also asked their fans if they do the Santa thing in their families just minutes after I started contemplating. More of them said that they do.
I grew up in a family that did have a Santa tradition. My husband, when I asked him whether or not he did, said "not really" (which he didn't explain, so I hope he will later).
I asked Jillian, and she said that she and Robert both grew up without a real Santa tradition... more or less.
I can't decide, still, "officially," if I want Spencer to have a Santa tradition, or to what extent, if he did.
Here's my thought process, currently (to which I discussed aloud with Jillian during nap):
I feel like he doesn't need one. I had one, but looking back, I don't really see the point. I mean, yes, Santa brings gifts. But why?
We are Christian in this household, and for as long as I can remember, I have known the true meaning of Christmas. Jesus was born! Hallelujah!
So, why celebrate an imaginary character?
The wisemen brought gifts to Jesus. People came to celebrate his arrival. Joy and love abounds.
We can easily recreate those things without Santa. In fact, shouldn't we? I think we should. I know every family feels differently, so by no means am I implying anyone is right or wrong here. But really, we give gifts at Christmas, to show love, or appreciation, and to celebrate the spirit of giving. I love giving gifts. I intend on giving my children gifts for this reason. I have always felt like Christmas was also about family. Relationships. Joy. Love. Spending time together and making memories. Jesus had family with him celebrating these things, right? And we should too. My favorite Christmas memories are related to spending time with family and loved ones.
Yes, I remember trying so hard to fall asleep on Christmas Eve, "knowing" "Santa" was coming overnight with a bunch of loot. It was awesome, because that meant we were "good kids" all year (pfft, what is that?) and so we were being rewarded by this fictitious dude who went down.. chiminies (which I never believed (we didn't have a fireplace)) and drove a flying sled powered by reindeer (seriously?) and visited EVERYONE in the WORLD overnight. BAH! And it was awesome to wake up in the morning and have a bunch of new gifts.
But, why can't Spencer wake up on Christmas morning, and have the excitement of gifting, but have it be for a real, good reason? That reason being that his mom and dad know his interests, work hard to provide for him, love him to pieces, and want to celebrate that love for him by giving him something special?
As Jillian put it (if I can recall almost precisely), we would be giving gifts to Spencer to celebrate our love for him, and the joy we feel having him, because he is our miracle, much like the reasons Jesus was given gifts by the wise men. He was, too, a long awaited miracle worth celebrating.
And, as Jillian also said, why give the "credit" to this dude who doesn't exist? We work hard and spend time planning, preparing, and spending money to provide these tokens for our children, and then they have no idea until they're older that it's really their parents who love them and not some old dude living in the snow.
I suppose we could just tell our children (I am hoping/praying/unsafely assuming we will have more than one someday) the story of St. Nicholas and where the "Santa" story comes from.
But then, I wonder, how do I explain it to my children, the falsity of Santa Claus? What if their friends question them, or bring it up? How do I prepare them for that? And am I "robbing" Spencer of "Santa memories" or the anticipation that I had as a child?
I just don't know.
No, I don't think my son is a divine, heavenly, diety, so I hope you're thinking that's the comparision. It's not, not at all.
(And, in another sidenote, I am guilty of becoming "addicted" (I say that lightly, because I can't think of a "lesser value" synonym) to watching Glee on Netflix. And there's an episode where a high schooler is still TOTALLY on the Santa train. It is absolutely freaking ridiculous, though, kind of amusing, won't lie.)