I’m not a grinch, really I’m not, but I don’t plan to bring Santa into this house.
My son is three, and the children around him at school are already excited about being visited by Santa on Christmas Eve. He doesn’t get the hype, because he has no idea who everyone is getting excited about.
My family has ribbed me a bit about it, but I never felt anything special about Santa growing up (my parents taught us about Santa Claus, but a jolly old man sneaking into our home to bring us gifts was strange to me- he was a stranger that snuck into our house without a chimney, just to leave us presents, whether or not we were actually good).
Those who teach it to their children often defensively say to me “I know you don’t like it, Penelope, but we are going to teach our children about Santa”. It makes me feel like a scrooge, because I don’t care if anyone teaches their children about this jolly old man who spreads cheer and joy. He’s a cool guy. He just isn’t Christmas to me.
(growing up, we weren’t taught about him as a saint either, just the commercial, reindeers and magic version of a man with lists, though honestly, i never 100% got the connection between the saint and Christmas either)
I was actually bratty as a kid growing up with Santa Claus…I expected Santa to bring me what I wanted, it didn’t matter if my parents couldn’t afford it, and, well, it was a set up for disappointment.
Christmas Is Magical Without Make-Believe
I want to teach my son about the birth of Christ, about wrapping and bringing gifts to poor children, about beautiful Christmas carols and the nativity story (our church does a lovely pageant every year). When I was single I used to go to the NYC Post Office each year with my best friend Sue and get Dear Santa letters, and surprise random children around the country by getting them what they wanted (as “Santa” lol) and I want to do this with my sons too, so they learn generosity and making people happy with no expectation of return. My sons are 3 and 9 months so still a little young, but I can not wait to do this with them!
If they are curious about and interested in Santa, we can do that too. We can watch Rudolph and Frosty and leave cookies out for Santa. But this won’t be something I initiate or suggest or emphasize. In this house, I want Christmas to always be about Christmas, the non-commercial, family gets together, celebrating the birth of Christ kind of Christmas, and Santa can come too, but he’s not the guest of honor at the celebration in this house.