Growing up my parents didn’t teach us to believe in Santa Claus. They wanted my sister and I to know that they worked hard as ham to put everything underneath the tree. Having us believe in Santa Claus was like giving someone credit for work they didn’t do and that wasn’t happening over on 9981 Goodluck Rd. Beyond that, like most Christians, we were taught that Christmas was Jesus’ birthday. That the three wisemen brought 7lb Baby Jesus gifts and that, that was how the entire gift giving scene entered the picture (I still don’t know why we give and receive gifts on someone else’s birthday… I’d go crazy if my sister or cousins got gifts on my got darn birthday…hmph).
Anywho, while I never really judged others who believed in Santa Claus or taught their children to believe that he was real, I always knew that I didn’t want my kids thinking he was real. Especially after wondering how they’d react once they found out he was this imaginary guy (I hear hearts breaking). It’d be like the time I told my husband wrestling was fake -_-
For the past 3yrs Chase really hasn’t paid much attention to the Christmas holiday. Every year we decorate, tell him it’s Jesus’ birthday and buy him tons of presents. And for the last 3yrs he has opted to play with the box the toys come in rather than the toys themselves. But, just the other day I realized this Christmas would be different. As we were watching television a commercial with Santa Claus came on. Chase immediately jumped up and yelled “Santa Claus!” Naturally, Chris and I were a little caught off guard because we have never even mentioned his name. Then Chase went on to talk about how Santa Claus was going to bring him lots of presents on Christmas. As soon as he said that the lightbulb in my head went off.
I, the person who vowed not to teach my son to believe in Santa Claus, totally forsook all and jumped at the opportunity to capitalize on his excitement.
I glanced at Chris as if I had discovered the master plan to correct all of Chase’s tantrums and behavior woes…
and then without hesitation I said:
YES! Santa Claus will bring you LOTS of presents on Christmas! BUTTTTTTTTTTTTTT, you HAVE to be a good boy. And you have to listen to Mommy and Daddy. And you have to be nice… OK?
And just like THAT, we drank the Santa Claus Kool-Aid.
Judge all you want, but the naughty and nice list thing is working WONDERS in our household. Even I am beginning to believe in good ole’ Saint Nick!
It’s funny how we tend to map out how we’re going to raise our kids before they even get here. If you don’t have kids, I’m sure you already know how you will or won’t discipline them. What they’ll watch or won’t watch on television. How they’ll dress. The activities they’ll be involved in. The things you’ll teach them to believe in and the things you’ll shun. When you finally have kids, if you’re like me… you’ll realize that NOTHING goes according to your plan. Trust me.
Now, if you’ll excuse me… I have to dismiss Chase from “time-out” and get Santa on the phone.