Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Santa Claus

I think it is kind of funny how out-of-touch our kids are with Santa Claus. In addition to both Allie and Zach thinking that his true name must be "Santa-Claw," they are bewildered by the fact that he shows up as a real person in every single mall and also makes numerous appearances as a glowing, inflatable lawn ornament in several of our surrounding neighborhoods' light displays.

One morning, a few weeks ago while Allie was at preschool, I took Zach to the mall and as we walked by the real-life Santa atop his magnificent throne I could tell Zach was curious. So, we stopped to take a closer look at the whole North Pole set up complete with Mrs. Claus, several elves, and a Christmas train. Since there wasn't a long line of kids I asked Zach if he would like to go sit on Santa's lap. He looked at me like I was a lunatic and responded curtly, "NO." Then, he ran over to take a closer look at the choo-choo train before losing interest completely and running the opposite direction toward the pet store.

Although I'm sure Allie would have jumped at the opportunity to sit on the lap of a white-bearded, completely unfamiliar old man (we're still working through the whole issue of stranger awareness because, at this point, I'm positive that Allie believes everyone in the entire world is her best friend), I have yet to give her the opportunity (not because I'm withholding, but due to the fact that she really hasn't been with me when I have been at the mall). However, when she is posed with the question, "What do you want Santa to bring you for Christmas?" Allie often responds factually with something to the effect of, "I don't know. Mommy and Daddy already got me all my presents and they are under the tree. Santa doesn't bring me my presents." And, then, almost always, I can anticipate the cringe followed by the audible gasp and the complete look of disgust on the inquirer's face...like I must be some sort of Christmas scrooge for not adequately explaining the idea of Santa Claus to my kids.

I would like to take a moment to elaborate on the fact that my lack of providing a Santa Claus explanation to my kids is definitely not due to my dislike of the jolly fellow. I have nothing but great memories from when I was a child at Christmas regarding the rotund elderly fellow from the northern most parts of the world: we always anticipated leaving cookies and milk for Santa on Christmas Eve, we were delighted by waking up on Christmas morning to a full stocking, and we couldn't wait to rip open the one biggest and best gift that was brought especially for us by Santa.

In fact, I figured we'd do the same for our kids, but now we're approaching our 5th Christmas with a child in our home and we still haven't really decided whether or not we are going to "do" Santa Claus or not. Maybe it's more out of laziness than indecision, but since we've never quite taken the initiative to be creative about how to do Santa, it seems Santa has never really gotten "done" around here. And while we've spent the past five Christmas waffling over the whole Santa thing, it looks like our kids have already made the decision for us.

So, call me the Grinch if you like, but it appears that with each passing year, Santa will continue to fall even more negligently to the wayside of our family Christmas celebration.
However, I'm thinking it may be a good idea, at some point in the very near future, to remind our kids that it is indeed Santa Claus...with an s...not Santa Claw.


Danielle & Vandenn said...

I didn't grow up with Santa Claus either and I turned out just fine!

middle age mom said...

My daughter, who is now 22, never believed in Santa even though we dutifully told her all the right stories. She never bought the concept at all. However, she played along when her brother arrived on the scene 5 years later and never once indicated that she didn't believe in him. He totally did - so much so that we had to tell him the truth ourselves for fear that he would be mocked by all his grade school friends.