Thursday, December 10, 2009

The truth about Santa Claus...

When I was a kid, I used to misspell Santa Claus as Santa Clause. My dad, being an attorney, would correct me, explaining that a clause was part of a contract - the part that was the fine print. Now that I am an adult, I think that my original spelling is more accurate. Now that I am a parent, I realize that there is a "clause" to teaching a child to believe in Santa.

Of course, we have the parents who feel that telling their children about Santa is bad parenting. We shouldn't lie to our children. Then, there's the ones who don't want to perpetuate the pagan ideas surrounding Christmas - they forget that the only Christian thing about the holiday is the story of Jesus's birth. Everything else is pagan. On the opposite end, we have parents who believe that it is a child's essential right to believe in Santa and it is crucial to the development of their imagination. They also believe in fairies, goblins and the boogey monster.

I tend to be on the second end. Every child should believe in Santa. Fairies live in my garden, and I banished the boogey monster from Natalie's room so she won't have to worry about HIM ever! My husband, on the other hand, leans toward the first example. We shouldn't lie to our children. While I agree with him completely on the lies, we've found a compromise to when Natalie comes to us in 6 (I hope more) years and asks if Santa Claus is real.

To this, we will reply:
Yes, Dear. Santa Clause is real. But he is not real in the sense that he actually comes down the chimney and rides a sleigh with reindeer. Santa Claus is the spirit of Christmas. He is everything that you feel about the holiday: the anticipation on Christmas Eve, the love you share with friends and family, and the reminder that there is something bigger in the universe than ourselves.

It's not a lie. It's not a fairy tale. It is, quite simply, the truth about Santa Claus.

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