4. Cup/Spoons (this one made me laugh!)
5. Crayons (David had to tell me what this said...it looks like URQHONS)
Santa or No Santa????
This is a question that seems to come up every year since we had Ethan. It hasn't really been an issue since he has been too young to really understand. But now that he is 3, he's really at the age where we needed to make a decision about this issue of Santa or no Santa.
Growing up my parents told us that Santa was coming. They wrote "To: Lisa From: Santa" on all of my gifts. But I think I always knew it was just a cute game we played. I don't ever remember really believing that Santa was real (just like I didn't believe Big Bird was real) .....correct me if I'm wrong, Mom!
My parents were able to achieve what I really hope I am able to achieve: BALANCE.
I absolutely 100% understood the reason we celebrated Christmas. At my grandmother's house there was a nativity scene set up and Christmas morning we would place baby Jesus in the manger. We would have a birthday cake for Jesus and we had all the Christmas songs about Jesus' birth memorized. As a kindergartner I memorized most of Luke Chapter 2. We would read it every Christmas. We would participate in our church's Christmas cantata and I even played the part of Mary on several occasions. This was the focus of Christmas. My parents put great emphasis on Jesus as the real reason we celebrate Christmas. They also taught us a lot about giving. My mother is one of the most giving people you will ever meet. Something that has stayed with me for most of my life (and hopefully mom won't mind me sharing this!) is what my mom did when I was about 12 years old. My mom got a $500 Christmas bonus from her boss. That particular Christmas there was a family at our church that was having a difficult time financially. My mom sat me down and told me that there was a family that wasn't going to have Christmas gifts. She said it was time to go shopping. We went all over the place buying gifts for the entire family. Clothes, toys, and other fun things for every member of the family. All I could think about was how excited I was to see their faces when they opened all of their gifts! We took them home and spent the afternoon wrapping all of their gifts. But my mom had a different plan than what I was expecting. She wasn't doing this for her own glory. She was doing it for the Lord....for His glory. We took all the gifts to the Associate Pastor and asked them to drop them by the people's house on Christmas Day. Mom made him promise not to tell them who they were from.....and she made me promise too. To this day they have no idea that the Lord used my mom to bless them. I will NEVER forget it.
I grew up enjoying the excitement of Santa and his reindeer, stories of Rudolph, and lots of Christmas presents. But what I remember most is the story of a Savior who was born to save the world. I remember the importance of giving to those in need. I remember great times with my family that I will cherish forever. These are the things I want to share with Ethan. I think we all need to learn balance.
This is a great article I read online about Santa and Christianity if you can take a moment to read it...
1.Only you know your child; I don't, and neither do your religious friends. God gave you the privilege and obligation to raise your child. It is your duty to train your child in the way s/he should go, so that when s/he is old, s/he will not depart from it. It is up to you to impress God's commands on your child and to talk to your offspring about God at home, on the way to the grocery store, while waiting at the doctor's office... (Deuteronomy 6:5-7). Ask yourself, would telling your child thatSanta Claus is real jive with these Scriptures? Would it cause problems for your child, in keeping with the warning of Matthew 18:6?
2. If you do decide to tell your child that Santa Claus is real, don't go the n-th degree to keep this belief alive. A child should be able to overcome a little disappointment relatively unscathed if they find out that this is a game that adults play, but if the lie is kept going with more and more elaborate schemes and protestations, there will possibly be a backlash.
3. So you have told your child Santa was real but s/he is beginning to question the story and now you want to "fess up" ... but you are biting your nails and dreading the talk. Don't; instead, simply tell junior that when s/he was little, s/he loved to play "pretend" and "dress up." Explain that when s/he was little, s/he enjoyed pretending thatSanta Claus was real, and that adults love to play "pretend" and "dress up" for the Christmas holidays. Tell your little one that s/he already knows that Christmas is really a celebration of Jesus' birthday, and that folks everywhere have invented fun ways of celebrating this wonderful day. So yes,Santa Claus is not actually a real person, but he represents the things that are good and worthy, such as kindness, generosity, and fun...just like God.
4. Instead of saying that Santa is real, just tell your child that adults like to play "dress up" during Christmas, and like to play "pretend" with kids. Explain that Santa is not real, but just a fun game we play during the holidays. You can still have pictures taken with Santa (it's ok for junior to know that it's just someone playing the part), bake Santa cookies, and have Santa Christmas cards. I can tell you from personal experience that children love to be included in the grown-up game of "Santa" and will love to "pretend" to believe Santa is real.