Recently, I mentioned about having Santa Claus in our household, and incorporating the magic of Christmas for Forrest then ultimately, having to break the news to Forrest that the actual person of Santa Claus is not real. Some parents are vehemently against lying to their children about Santa Claus therefore, they do not incorporate Santa Claus in their lives. Some parents believe that religion takes precedent over Christmas stories. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate or not celebrate Christmas for every family out there.
I had never really believed in Santa Claus, yet I enjoyed the magic of Christmas. I loved waking up on Christmas morning, and running to our tree to see presents underneath the tree! It was magical how the presents had showed up underneath the tree. I was in second or third grade when I caught Mom putting gifts underneath the tree. I was not very disappointed about lack of existence of Santa Claus. My family had never emphasized much on Santa Claus, but they certainly promoted us to participate in the magic of Christmas.
My family practiced the tradition of St. Nick and the filling of our stockings on the night of December 5th. Growing up, I loved this tradition, and as a child; I admit, it was all about gifts, but when I grew older, I came to embrace the idea of St. Nick's.
For my family, we do want to incorporate Santa Claus, and have fun with it. While an actual living person that would be named Santa Claus does not exist, the concept of Santa Claus is based on a legend of Saint Nick, and he actually did exist. You can Google the legend of St. Nick online if you are curious.
The idea I came to embrace was the meaning behind Christmas. I loved reading the books on Legend of St. Nick, and how he gave gifts to the poor. I loved the festive feeling that we get during Christmas season. People were usually nicer during this time of the year. The advent calendars, hot chocolate mugs with marshmallows snow, smell of pine trees, crispness in the air, Christmas music and movies playing endlessly everywhere put me in a jolly mood. It was never really about getting. It was more about the giving.
I knew that I wanted to pass this down to my son.
Starting with Santa Claus.
I plan on passing down the tradition of St. Nick's and the filling of stockings. I am going to read the Legend of St. Nick's to Forrest. It will be in all good fun. I am eager to have him learn about the meaning of Christmas.
When it comes to time for Forrest to no longer believe in the jolly, white-bearded, fat man named Santa Claus; it is okay to no longer believe in the living person, and we plan on gently explaining to him that the actual Santa Claus does not exist today, and was once a man named St. Nick's. The reason why Santa Claus continues today is to continually remind ourselves what giving does to all of us. It is the magic that we should continue believing in.
To me, that is not laying down elaborate lies to hurt our children one day when they learn that Santa Claus does not exist because in a very true, real sense, Santa Claus is real, and thrives on the magic of kindness, love, and faith.
To lay out a plate of freshly baked cookies with a glass milk for Santa Claus to nibble on, tracking powdered hoof prints of Reindeer all over the driveway, and writing letters to Santa are a part of magic. It is wonderful to capture wonder in our children's eyes. It will become their memories that they will always cherish. To promote joy, and magic in our household is a must. One day, our children, all grown-up, will pass this down to their children, and share with us how much they had loved having this in their childhood.
I know I most certainly did.