I am torn on the whole Santa thing this year.
This is the first year the girls have really begun to ‘get’ Christmas. They understand that there is a special day that you get presents, even if they have issues waiting for that special day. And they know what Santa looks like though they don’t really know what he is all about.
My plan was to sort of let them take the lead in deciding how much they want to believe in the Santa thing. I really want to steer them in a certain direction and have started telling them a bit about Saint Nic and why the Santa’s they see wear a red suit etc etc but mostly that goes over their heads or gets lost in Zoe’s abject fear of anyone even remotely Santa-like.
I love the magic of the Christmas. I have great memories of leaving biscuits and beer out for Santa and a bucket of water for the reindeer. I know the stories of my drunk Uncle and father out on the streets of Sydney one Christmas eve looking for something resembling reindeer poo to go on the front lawn. I love decorating the Christmas tree. Even when I was way too old I always got presents ‘from Santa’ but I don’t ever remember a time that I totally believed he was real or when I suddenly found out he wasn’t.
I’d like my kids to be a part of that magic stuff. The fun. The imagination and pretend… I think that is all great. But I have issues….
I have issues about actually encouraging them to believe in something that I am making up.
We have bought them a few ‘presents from Santa’ this year (previously they were too little to get it so we didn’t bother) but as I was wrapping them last night and thinking about what we’d do with them I got all wound up and stuck. Can I really have the girls come out Christmas morning and have me say ‘look what Santa gave you!’ and then go on to elaborate? I am not sure that I can. I am trying not to see it as a lie, so much as telling a story and letting their imagination decide how much they believe and don’t believe and where they want to go with it. But at only just three they don’t have that complex a grasp on imagination – if I tell them Santa came into the house and left these presents for them they will believe me.
I feel like I am in a limbo year.. they are old enough to understand and believe 100% if I want them to but not old enough to understand the nuances that I’d like them to take into account and develop their own sense of Christmas magic and belief without too much of my influence or society’s commercial Christmas influence.
Add in my other ‘issues’ about making Christmas meaningful to us rather than a re-hashed northern hemisphere religious commercial celebration. And that everyone will ask them if ‘Santa came’. Plus the fact that Zoe freaks out t the mere mention of Santa coming to our house..
Maybe I am making way too much out of this. In fact I probably am, but you know.. it is the kind of stuff you think about when you find yourself wrapping presents at 10pm in front of summer TV and wondering how any of this actually relates to Christmas!?