I don't make a secret it of it that we do Santa in our house. The kids write letters to him each year (Liam actually wrote his own this year!). We have Sheldon, our elf on the shelf, who appears each morning in a new location and reports back to Santa on a daily basis. We leave cookies out for Santa on Christmas Eve and come Christmas morning, the kids are excited to see what three gifts Santa left in their stockings. (We have a "if three gifts were good enough for Baby Jesus, then three gifts are good enough for you" tradition in our house.)
At eight years old, I'm surprised that Sydney still believes, but at the same time, I am thrilled. She gets just as excited as the boys about writing her letter and looking for Sheldon each morning and I know that someday very soon, that little bit of magic and wonderment will be gone from her eyes.
I realize that many Christian households don't "do" Santa and I'm fine with that. Really, I am. Their house, their rules. What makes me angry is when I get a "look" from someone at church or the boys' (Christian) school when I mention anything Santa related. After talking about how much my kids love our elf on the shelf at a recent book club meeting, one particularly snotty woman looked directly at me and said, "We don't do Santa in our house because that is not Christian. At all." I wish I were more clever because I really wanted to say something snotty and rude right back to her about how being judgmental is not exactly Christian-like behavior, either. But of course, I am not all that clever so I said nothing.
You know, it's not as if my kids don't know the real Christmas story. We read books about it and they play with their little nativity set (all year long, I might add). One of our traditions is to build a 24 link paper chain to count down to Christmas. Each link of the chain contains a Bible verse from the Christmas story and each morning we take off a link, read the Bible verse and then hang it on the wall. By Christmas day, we have the whole Christmas story hanging up for them to see and read. We attend Christmas services at our church all month long, culminating in a candlelight service and communion on Christmas Eve. And all three of them can practically hum "Angels We Have Heard on High" in their sleep after hearing Sydney play it on the piano fifty million times over the past few weeks.
We honestly don't see anything wrong with letting them believe in Santa for a few years. They will grow up soon enough and learn the truth, but for now, we want them to enjoy their very short childhoods.
I'm perfectly OK with parents who don't "do" the Santa thing. I honestly do not judge them for it. I just wish they'd return the favor and not judge me for indulging my children in a sweet holiday tradition.
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