I’ve read a lot over the past few months, and I’ve sat by silently. I’ve read a lot of blog posts about people “don’t do Santa” for one reason or another. Maybe it’s because they want to focus on the religious meaning of the holiday. Great. Maybe it’s because they want to steer away from commercialism. OK. Maybe it’s because they don’t want to lie to their kids. Bravo. Maybe it’s because the parents want to take credit for the things they spent their hard-earned money to buy. Shallow, but your call. Or maybe it’s because their kids are from a country where Santa didn’t come to visit and they think it will be confusing to the kids. Believe me, I totally get it.
I sat back and read all these posts. They make sense. Santa is a commercialized lie. But I love that fat, jolly man, and so I’m going to make my case about why Santa is the greatest thing ever.
I tried to keep it small. I tried to not make a big deal about Santa. But it’s hard. Of course, I drug my kids over the Thanksgiving weekend to sit on his lap. (Necessary photo op, right?)
At first, we tried to downplay the “naughty/nice” thing. But let’s face it, that pesky elf tradition is everywhere, including school, so in the end we went with it, too. And here’s the thing…I don’t think Ayub ever questioned why Santa hadn’t been to see him in Ethiopia. So much of the past year has been all new to him that this was just one more thing.
In no particular order, here are the reasons that I love Santa.
Santa is magical. Childhood is short…too short. Kids grow up too fast. Believing in Santa means believing in flying reindeer, elves who makes gifts, and a single trip around the world in one night. There is just something wonderful about the ability of children to believe. On Christmas day, after Santa had visited us, Ayub was outside with Andrew and wanted to check out the chimney from the outside to see where exactly Santa had entered. That’s just cool.
Santa teaches kids the spirit of giving without expecting in return. Santa doesn’t expect anything (ok, well maybe a few cookies) in exchange for his generosity. He does it because he loves to give. This is a lesson that my older kids have really embraced since finding out the truth. They love being able to pick out gifts for the little ones and know they won’t be thanked for them. But it’s their favorite thing to do.
Santa is the best kept secret EVER. When you think about the millions (billions?) of people who know the truth, but don’t ruin it for little kids, doesn’t that amaze you just a little. I mean, what other secret is so well-guarded? I am seriously blown away by the fact that for hundreds of years, people have been telling their kids this same story. And now, I get to tell it to my kids. And one day, they will tell it to my grandkids. It’s a real circle-of-life thing that actually gets me a little choked up to think about. Yes, Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus.
Santa has the ability to make wishes come true. The best Santa presents are the ones the kids think they have no chance of getting.
Anticipation is one of my favorite things to watch. The waiting. The counting down. The inability to fall asleep on Christmas Eve. I love it.
This year, Santa came to our house. Although I started with a “let’s keep this small” attitude, in the end, there were once again more presents than my kids need. Now I’m cursing myself while buying storage bins and rearranging closets. But my kids have magical memories that will last a lifetime. Some day, I will have to tell them all the truth. But, if I’m lucky, I’ve got six more years.