Ah, It’s Christmas time and while the reason for the season is the birth of Jesus and I’m sure, like I have, you will sit down and tell your children all about the birth of Christ. Let’s be real though, all they really want to hear about is this Santa guy and whether or not he is showing up at your house. I have used Santa as my children’s introduction into collaboration because I’ll be damned if some stranger gets all the credit for my hard work and empty pockets.
I have heard many parents express why they won’t allow their kids to believe in Santa, and I respect their choice to do so. I understand not wanting to start the habit of lying or deceiving or putting so much emphasis into a mythical character. For me, I believe that it was my responsibility to allow my kids to participate in time honored tradition but with a few caveats. After all, in every school, mall, TV commercial and radio ad the mention of Santa will be heard; why not participate in his magic?
While I allow them to believe in Santa, I definitely give them MY version of who Santa is, how he works and why Mrs. Claus is really the backbone of the whole operation. After all, who runs the world? GIRLS!
- Santa doesn’t know if you are naughty or nice, mommy and daddy do. That’s why he communicates and collaborates with us, beginning in November, to get the low down on all things *Insert child’s name*. I have always taught my children that Santa doesn’t work alone, he works with us and he is only allowed to bring
them their OPENED (we always have 1 or 2 gifts open on Christmas morning sitting around the tree) gifts at our discretion. All wrapped gifts are from us and/or family & friends.
- Santa is black in my house. This is not to be offensive to the jolly old St. Nick that many learned about in movies and books but for this family; messaging is extremely important. In a world where wealth, goodness and holy is typically depicted coming from white people; I want them to know and believe that there is magic in our blackness as well. All the figures representing Christmas are black in my house.
- Mrs. Claus is just as important as Santa. See, Santa is the executor but Mrs. Claus is the brains behind the operation much like the way things run in our home. Mrs. Claus keeps all the elves fed and clothed, including our elf, Tiana. She double checks the lists and does all the follow up calls for Santa to ensure the naughty and nice lists are correct and she puts all the addresses in the GPS for Santa because we know men don’t like to ask for
directions. Yes, Mrs. Claus is essential to Christmas Day going off without a hitch. No Mrs. Claus and the whole thing just falls apart.
- The elves are all foster children that Mr. and Mrs. Claus adopted who come back to help out their parents (see I use Christmas as an example of how family sticks together, family first). The elves may move out of the house and have their own families but they come to the headquarters at the North Pole during the grind time to make sure everything goes smoothly. It’s a nice little family reunion which makes it fun and not tedious work. (I had to come up with this when Tori began to ask questions about how hard the elves must work to get everything done. It’s a struggle having inquisitive kids but a blessing nonetheless)
- Lastly, Santa & Jesus are best friends. This is the reason why Santa is allowed to hand out the gifts on Jesus’s birthday, I mean why else would someone get all this shine? When one makes it, we all make it.
I know I know you are wondering how do I explain all the white Santa’s we see in the majority of books, malls, on the TV shows and in all the magazines? That was a tough one to explain when they were really small, I just said that Santa is whatever the majority of people are in that neighborhood. I purposely avoid malls during this time of year with the kids to limit their real time exposure to the Santa’s they may encounter there. I’ve never really had a lot of push back on them for that but my youngest is only 1 so we will see what her inquisitive self will ask.
That’s it! That’s how I allow my child to believe in the wonderment that is Santa & even the Elf on the Shelf. Our jobs as parents are to foster imagination but also keep them grounded in fundamental truths that will guide them throughout life. It also softened the blow as my older children began to realize that Santa wasn’t real. They didn’t feel as duped 😊
What do you do in your home? Do you allow your children to believe in Santa? Is Santa the same race as you are (obviously this is assuming that your home not biracial; I’m sure I would have had to alter some things if that was the case but we would have worked it out 😊)
Love & Light,
Mommi Trese, Unaplogetically