I know what you’re thinking before you even start reading this. BAH HUMBUG! Now, before you get your Christmas stockings all in a bind, hear me out! Let’s take it back to when I was a child and I truly believed in Santa Claus. It was the joy and wonderment of the holidays and it was a fun thing to believe in…until I didn’t believe anymore! You see, one day, when innocently looking in my mother’s closet, I found Christmas gifts. My Christmas gifts. Addressed to me, FROM Santa, written in my mother’s unique handwriting. WEEKS before Christmas! I couldn’t believe it, I was DUPED!
I remember how disappointed I felt and how deep down, I knew it probably was the case, but it’s something I didn’t want to fully believe at the moment. My parents had lied to me growing up (that’s how literally I took it) and I was quite upset. I hated that feeling and didn’t want other people to feel the same way. Fast forward 20 years and I was pregnant with my own son. His father and I made the “radical” decision early on to not do Santa.
*GASP* Oh, the barrage of comments we heard about our decision.
“But, but, that’s just ANTI-CHRISTMAS and you have no holiday spirit in you if you don’t do Santa with your children!”
“Your kids will be so disappointed every Christmas.”
“Your kids are going to ruin it for other kids and tell them there is no Santa!”
“You are no fun!”
Well, let me tell you this. And you MIGHT think this is extreme, but this is the honest truth for us. We did not want to start telling our children lies and build on it every year.
“But it’s just a holiday tradition and not really LYING.”
To us, yes, it was lying and we didn’t want to do that with our children (for the same reason we don’t do the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, etc. etc.).
My boys have grown up knowing that there is no Santa that brings them their gifts each year. They know that their gifts come from their mom and dad and all of their extended family. They have learned over the last several years that the gifts they receive come from their mom working hard and saving and doing her best to give them the things they’ve asked for. There is no fancy illusion that their gifts magically appear overnight. They know beyond any certainty, and with no lying, that I gave them their gifts.
Now, we have not failed them in the sense that they know nothing about Santa. They know that Santa is a story, a legend persay. They know the story of the holidays and the traditions. And I can say without a doubt, they have never spoiled it for any other child!
As they have gotten older, their father and step-mother do the Elf on the Shelf with them and they have a lot of fun with that. But again, they know it’s not real. As the years have passed, they hear more and more about Santa in every day situations. And if, on their own volition, they want to “believe” in Santa, then they can do just that. They can believe in the magic and merriment of Christmas, and if that includes a belief in Santa, then I am all for that!
See, I’m not a Bah Humbug mother. I’m just a mother who wants to keep it real with my children, and wants to set a standard of always telling them the truth, even if it goes against tradition and what all the other parents are doing.
The fun and magic of Christmas is what you make it yourself, and the true spirit of Christmas is always in YOU, no matter who or what you believe in.
Special thank you to today’s guest blogger, Abby Turner, who is a regular contributor on Cincinnati Moms Blog.
Abby’s Bio: I am originally from New Hampshire and moved to the Cincinnati area in 2003. I am a divorced mom to 2 amazing boys, Eli 9 and Ethan 6. I lived in Northern Kentucky for the first 12 years I’ve been here and moved to the Westside of Cincinnati in 2015. We have LOVED all the opportunities to explore Cincinnati and everything it has to offer families! We are avid Reds fans and you will likely find us at Great American Ballpark quite a bit during baseball season. It’s basically our 2nd home in the summer! I have a degree in healthcare management and work full-time in Cincinnati. I have shared parenting of my boys, so when we are together, I try to make sure we make the most of our time! Whether it’s seeing Madcap Puppets, exploring the numerous local parks, enjoying the Cincinnati Pops, or cheering on our Cincinnati Redlegs, I strive to expose my boys to as many aspects of culture that I can! I enjoy music (I’ve played piano for 30 years) as well as being crafty (as time allows!), making crazy cool cakes, and relaxing with my boys, my boyfriend, and our dog Frankie! I’m really excited about sharing a piece of my world with you and this often times humorous and wild adventure I call my life as a mom!