Monday, December 3, 2012

Skipping Santa

6 Reasons why Santa Skips our House:

I realize going into this post that not everyone will agree with me. However, bear with me and know that I do not pass any type of judgement on folks who do allow Santa down their chimney. In fact, I rather enjoy all the Elf on the Shelf pictures that I see on Facebook. It's amazing how creative us moms can get when it comes to our kiddos! I was a kid once and I remember looking forward to Christmas and Santa Claus like many other children all over the world, my husband too. This list is not written from any traumatic childhood memories of the creepy mall Santa or when I found out that he was hiring my dad to do all the shopping... this comes from a conversation my husband and I had before our oldest daughter's first Christmas. I will say that it is certainly unconventional in our circle of friends, and we've drawn some funny looks from family, but hey, this works for us. And guys, remember this is an opinion piece, K? Thanks!!

                           Excuse Miq's messy face. I'm almost positive chocolate was involved...

6) A case of mistaken identity-

 The very first comment out of my husband's mouth when we discussed this was, "My hard earned money is not going toward gifts with some other guy's name on them." At the time, this seemed to be his number one definitive reason, but the more we talked about it, we realized there are other more important reasons to skip Santa...

 5) Be good or else-

Santa, along with his little Elf on the Shelf, are the ultimate bribe for good behavior. T2 and I would like to think that we are teaching our children about the importance of good behavior and how it builds character. Not to mention, that the absence of Santa teaches our kids a very important lesson about our belief in Christ. If good behavior won't get you into Heaven, try explaining that to a child who thinks good behavior will get him everything on his Christmas list and then some.

4) Thankfulness above all else-

My husband and I strive to teach our children that a thankful heart is a happy heart. I will be the first to admit that our kids have way too many toys. I intend to fix this problem this year before they add more to their collection. And it really is just that, a collection. I would venture to say that 75% of the toys they own have become curios from sitting in the bottom of their toy boxes. When this whole "kids in the nest" stage has ended, I'd like to have produced adults who are thankful for what they have and do not expect anything more based solely on what national holiday it is.

3) Following the Example-

 Christmas is all about giving right? Well, that depends on your point of view. If you are a child, 'getting' is likely what's on your mind when you write out your list and then go sit on Santa's knee. We've already discussed your motivation for good behavior... While it's true that the Christ child received gifts from the 3 Wise men, it's also true that their gifts foretold of coming events in the King's life. Their gifts to Him also model the way in which we are supposed to offer our hearts to the Lord. God gave us Jesus as a free gift, so removing gift giving from Christmas all together would be a tragic injustice to our children. There is no need however, to focus on jolly old Saint Nick as the ultimate gift giver. That title was reserved hundreds of years before he was even a twinkle in his mother's eye.

 2) Only slightly off the beaten path-

 We're all a little off- every single one of us. There are times in our lives when we decide to bust out with a solo when everyone else is drudging along singing the same old tune. Will Santa ever get too old to saddle up his reindeer? Probably not, but I could also ask the same thing about the Super Bowl and April Fool's Day... The reason these things live on is because of our traditions. New things pop up and we follow them for a little while, maybe try to incorporate them into the other activities (like Elf on the Shelf). We really can't be faulted for skipping Santa. He just doesn't work for us. Instead, we follow our family traditions and make really great memories while doing so. We do the normal Christmas movies, driving around looking at lights, and decorating the tree, but we also eat Chinese food on Christmas day rather than a huge dinner. In fact, we've decided that a big Christmas breakfast is more our speed followed by a restful day enjoying our family.

 1) Focus, people-

In the end, it all boils down to our focus. Every Christmas, I hear or see "Jesus is the reason for the season." I really love that because it is so catchy, but looking around, I begin to question if that's really the case. Everywhere I look, I see mass consumerism but at the same time, homeless people doing without. Parents who feel inadequate because they cannot provide their children with the same level of "love" the other kids in class receive. Some of us go into debt that will require many months of credit card payments. And for what?? A bunch of stuff that loses its novelty after a day or two. If we want to instill these radical ideas into our children's hearts,we're going to have to do it in a radical way. Instead of Santa, my family chooses to place our focus on the gift of our Savior and how we can help others do the same. In the end, we want to celebrate Christ, not Christmas.


Don't miss:

Skipping Santa (Part 2)

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