Everyone knows that Santa can be such a magical person in a child’s life. I still remember the excitement that I had when I thought about Christmas, even if I was rather skeptical early on. But I’m an over thinker, so I have to ask myself what role Santa is going to play in our lives when my daughter is old enough to understand who he actually is?
Is Santa going to bring all the presents? Is Christmas going to be heavily centred around what gifts we buy? And how much emphasis to we even put on the whole idea of Santa? These are questions I am going to inevitably answer over the next few years as a parent. But in true fashion, I’ll ramble slightly about them now.
I usually put a photo near the top so it doesn’t look like a massive load of shit for you to read. So here’s Santa.
What is Santa Going to Mean to Us for Christmas?
Before you say anything, I am of course going to allow my daughter to believe in Santa. I’m not that harsh of a parent that I’m going to smash my daughter right in the face with a firm punch of reality before she’s out of nappies. But there’s still a part of me that won’t really like openly lying to her about it.
There are ways you can get away with it though. If she asks the inevitable “Is Santa real? question, then I can get philosophical and hit her with “what does ‘real’ even mean?” or simply say “he’s only real if you believe he’s real.” I think that’s the line Rachel really likes and wants to use.
There’s also a big difference between lying and withholding the truth – just maybe not in the eyes of the law – so I will have to try my very best not to inadvertently tell her he’s not real. Suffice to say I’m not really a very good liar.
I don’t want Santa to become too much of a big deal
Whether my daughter believes that Santa is real or not isn’t really my point with this post. Which essentially means for the past several paragraphs I’ve talked utter bollocks. For long time readers you might be thinking “standard, mate.“
No, my real talking point here is how we want to portray Santa and what Christmas is going to mean to us as a family.
Not only that, but all of the attention goes to Santa too. It’s all about what he’s going to bring, and less about what you’re going to do as a family. I don’t want our daughter to be so absorbed in the idea of Santa that she can’t contain herself at the thought of him and nearly dies from excitement.
At the same time, though, I don’t want her to not care about Santa and we lose some of the magic of Christmas. Essentially, I’m looking for that perfect middle ground that I’m probably never going to find.
In essence, I want Christmas to mean more than just the presents. For this, I’ll leave it to my all time favourite Christmas film and book. The Grinch.
That’s how I want Christmas to be. I want it to be more about the family you spend the time with than the presents that you receive.
Santa will still be a part of my daughters life. But he’s probably only going to bring one present. And chances are it will be handmade, or wooden, or at least look like there’s a slight chance an elf made it. She’s not going to be getting an iPad from Santa. I’m taking full credit for that shit.
I also don’t want to Use Santa as a form of behaviour control
I touched on this briefly when talking about the Elf on the Shelf. But much like with the Elf, I don’t want to use Santa as a means of behaviour control. Might it slip out of my mouth that “you won’t get any presents from Santa unless you’re good.” Perhaps. But that will only happen out of frustration, and not as a thought out parenting method. Not that I would blame anyone for ever using that method.
I’m not in a position where that method would even work yet. If I said to my 19 month old daughter that “Santa won’t bring you any presents” she would look at me and mentally say “bitch, who’s Santa?”
But I’m a firm believer in the idea of people understanding rules, morals and the reasons behind why we do things. It’s much better than teaching someone to do things in order to receive something in return. As I said in the Elf on the Shelf post, I don’t do good things to receive rewards, I do them because I want to do them. And I want to treat my daughter in the same way.
Essentially I Don’t Want Santa To be the focal Point of Christmas
To sum up a long winded, rambling post with very little worth or point, I’ll just say that I don’t want Santa to become the focal point of Christmas. I could’ve just wrote that and that would be it. But alas, here’s a 1000 word blog post.
I want Christmas to be about family and the time we spend together. I don’t want to teach my daughter that how much someone cares about her is entirely dependant on how well she behaves. But I still want all the magic that Christmas brings. Essentially, I want it all.