A Brief Reintroduction
You may have noticed that I’m no longer writing under the name Discount Diva because I decided to branch out and talk about parenting issues. I went with The No Drama Mama because that’s how I like my life; simple with the only beautiful chaos being caused by my three adorable kids.
Santa’s NOT The Reason For The Season
Before you get out your candy cane themed pitch forks and lynch me for this post, please hear me out and keep the message of Dr. Sueuss’ “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” in mind. Parenting is all about deciding what you want to teach and emphasize in your kids’ lives. Here are four reasons I don’t overplay Santa’s role in the holidays:
1. It Detracts From Our Religious Celebration – If you’re like me and you’ve chosen to raise your kids with an understanding of God (whoever that may be to you) then sometimes Santa with his big ‘ol belly and bag full of toys can overshadow your religious celebrations. Sure it’s possible for the two to co-exist, but the allure of “Santa” has the advantage of his magical sleigh full of toys so I try to de-emphasize Santa’s role so my kids will remember that while they have Santa in their lives one day a year, they have God in their lives EVERY day.
2. Santa Promotes The Joy of Receiving Instead of Giving – Sure I want my kids to be excited on Christmas day, but I want them to be grateful and giving human beings EVERY day. I want them to think of helping and giving to others, which is why we participated in Operation Christmas Child and Angel Tree, which gives toys to children on behalf of their incarcerated parents. I hope to emphasize the “spirit of Santa” because we all have the power to be “Santa” for someone who needs a little joy.
3. Santa Can Create Comparisons – We live in a financially depressed area and even though my family does ok I know there are many families who are struggling. I would hate to have to explain why Santa gives some kids a new Xbox and others a book. I don’t mind teaching my kids how money works, but trying to rationalize why a magical Santa would show favoritism is not something I want to do.
4. I Want My Kids To Appreciate Us – I usually designate one small gift from Santa and the rest are from Mom and Dad. Why? I want them to appreciate the giver and not just the gift. We gave them the greatest gift of all – life. Top that Santa. I want my kids to look back at their childhood Christmases and remember how much we love them, not how many cool gifts they received. The bonus to our method is that it makes it easier to transition once our kids are too old to believe.
I think the holidays are a magical time of year because of the extraordinary caring and compassion people show each other, not because of Santa. I want my kids to know that Christmas can still carry on without him. In the immortal words of Dr. Seuss, “Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more.”