I've been doing a lot of soul searching on Christmas this year. And last year actually. And maybe the year before. It all kind of blurs together. It all began with a ward Christmas party where Santa made an appearance. It was just after the Nativity performance, which was lovely, and left us feeling so peaceful and spiritual and wonderful. Well, Santa came in, and the kids started going crazy. And, there went the Spirit.
So, anyway, the girls (I think it was just Ella back then) were young enough that it didn't really matter if we talked about Santa or not. So we just didn't. This year I felt like I needed to decide one way or another if Santa was going to be part of our Christmas traditions. And so we decided.
Well, not really. Obviously, they know who Santa is. How can you not if you ever leave the house in December? Or November. Or October, incidentally. So I just recently informed Ella he was just a pretend part of Christmas. Mostly just to clarify. It didn't seem to really surprise her, probably because, all she knows about Santa consists in large dolls on display in stores. And the Grinch book. I really like that book. We read it year round at our house.
On a related note, this year, while Paul was setting up the tree, she asked him, "Why are you taking our Christmas tree, why?" Which is a direct quote from Cindy Lou Who in the Grinch. We thought it was pretty funny.
Maybe I should have told her that some people pretend that Santa brings the presents. Because the Grinch kind of gives the wrong idea on that vein. But I bet she'll figure it out eventually.
So, we just came home from this year's ward Christmas party, which had the same setup, and I have to say, they managed to keep the Santa line very calm. So, I didn't feel like it was a huge detraction from the Nativity. But I don't regret our decision. Santa doesn't really add anything to Christmas for me.
The magic of Christmas is the birth of our Savior. It just doesn't get more magical than that. I don't need to make up stories for my kids to feel the awe-inspiring spirit surrounding Christmas.
In any case, I know all of you think that I am probably crazy. But I'm sort of fine with that. I also don't care if you do Santa at your house. And you probably do. We were the only family who left without seeing Santa tonight. Which is also fine. Santa is really fun. And it's a fun tradition. And I totally understand why you are doing Santa. It took me at least two years to make this decision, remember? So, no judging here. I will also be sitting down with Ella next year and having a serious talk about not spilling the beans on Santa. She's too little this year to be a risk, I think. :)
Anyhow, if you want to know the real reason I shared this new family tradition, it is in the hopes that it will eclipse the article I am about to post. Which is about not buying gifts at Christmas. I wouldn't usually post it on this blog, mostly because I have lots of strong opinions, and they don't need to be out in cyberspace offending people. But I want to keep track of the link, and this is the best place to do it. So, if you want to know if I'm really crazy, just click here. It is a link to a blog called ZenHabits.net. It is titled The Case Against Buying Christmas Presents. (All that information is for me in case the link ever goes bad.)
But, if you're wondering. It's too late this year. The gifts have been purchased. Although, we really tried to simplify. I guess Paul doesn't have his gift yet, but he will. And I imagine he will get me something, too. But the extended family is covered. The girls are covered. So, there is no need to feel sorry for us on Christmas morning this year. :)