Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Santa Claus and the Three Bears
I've been wanting to write a post about the 'Great Santa Debate', but seeing how some of the discussions in blog land have became downright dirty, I've avoided it. I do want to share, however, a story regarding my oldest son's perception of Santa Claus that I felt was worthy of telling.
First, let me share a little background on the matter of SC. I personally was never raised with the tradition of Santa Claus. I knew who he was. I knew who other people thought he was. I wasn't deprived of any gifts, holiday cheer, or childhood memories for the sake of not being a believer. He was just never 'celebrated' in our family as 'magical'. My husband and I have passed along the same concept to our children. We probably have stronger views on it for this reason, alongside of others.
The boys know who Santa is from simply taking a cart ride through the local grocery store. He is as 'real' to them as Bob the Builder or Dora the Explorer...a friendly character that is fun to see a show about or sing a song about, but nothing more. We haven't "evangelized" our children against Santa as some might put it, but rather decided not to teach that he is anything "more". We don't go out of our way to avoid the 9 foot inflatable Santa like the plague, but we also don't stand and stare.
The other night during our bedtime routine, my oldest son asked for a story. We've been going through different heroes of the Bible and stories of history. I decided that the story of St. Nicholas of Nicea (aka: Santa Claus) might be fun- tis the season, right? I went through my entire story and at the end I talked about 'his memory' still thought of today. (Since have dealt with the passing of a dear Grandpa already- my son is aware what the reference of a 'memory' means).
With the most shocked look on his face, he turned to me and exclaimed, "Santa Claus is dead?!?!" Ok, moms- how do you respond to that one even if you don't believe that Santa is real? It's like telling him that 'Blue had kicked the bucket'!
I pulled him into my arms with a smile and reminded him gently that the man who lived so long ago loved Jesus very much and is alive in Heaven with Him today just like Papa D. is. The idea that Santa and Papa are hanging out in Heaven was just about too much excitement for one evening. I'm just waiting now for him to announce to someone that Santa is dead. Oh, the joy of parenting!