Friday, December 7, 2007

Christmas Controversy

I don't like to talk about controversial things here at my personal blog. (That's what the blog my husband runs, Doses of Reality, is for! Although lately that seems to be our "Why not to vote for Huckabee Blog...) But I was browsing some blogs tonight and one caught my eye.

A blogger that I read frequently had a bee in her bonnet about some child telling her child that Santa Claus wasn't real. This blogger has seemed, to me at least, to have a very negative attitude lately, which is a shame because she seems like a nice enough person. I will agree that that child (merely 6 years old, I might add) should not have told this blogger's child (4 years old) that Santa isn't real.

But can we be honest for a minute? That child told the truth. Santa Claus, as portrayed on all the Christmas specials or in books, isn't real. And don't get me started on the "Real St. Nicholas". I'm Baptist. We don't swing that way. Ahem.

Christian is a very big label covering a very large segment of our society. And we don't agree. We don't vote for the same people and we don't handle situations the same way. We make personal decisions for our own families that we think best. We sit around and think that the decisions others are making are probably not for the best, but we'll keep that just between us.

You can probably guess where this is heading.

We don't "do" Santa Claus in our family. The fact that we "celebrate" Christmas at all probably offends some people we know. The fact that we don't include Santa in our traditions probably offends a few more. I haven't lost any sleep over it yet.

Lest you think our children miss any of the joy: you should have been here yesterday. We had Christmas spirit coming out our ears! And I don't blindfold my children before we walk down the aisles at the big T or W stores. We enjoy watching "The Grinch" or "Rudolph". We enjoy reading books and poems about Santa Claus and even singing, gasp, secular, Christmas songs. And while I've made a decision not to decorate with images of Santa Claus, we do have quite a few snowmen!

I don't see how my girls are missing anything. We enjoy fantasy and "let's pretend". They love to dress up and can play "Fairy Princesses" for literally hours at a time. I like that about my children. They seem sweet and innocent, dare I say, childlike, compared to so many children. We do not avoid fantasy. Prince Charming has already read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian to them, just this year. We like make-believe.

Here's the fine point: my girls know the difference between pretend and real. Sometimes that line is more blurred than others, but they know it is there. Prince Charming and I do not perpetuate falsehood in their lives. It's one thing to read Prince Caspian. It's another to pretend that he is real and could walk in our back door any minute now.

So, I guess I'm saying that the blogger who got my dander up doesn't have all the moral authority at Christmastime. I'm sorry some kid tried to burst her child's bubble. But see it from my point of view. Prince Charming and I get very tired every year of seemingly everyone at our church or out in public asking our girls "What is Santa Claus bringing you this year?" Um, nothing?

I usually grit my teeth and say something like, "Santa doesn't come to our house", especially if there are other children around. Hey, the kids at our church already think my kids are weird for being homeschooled, what's another bit of peculiarity?

So don't sit around and gripe about the materialism of Christmas with one breath and continue to perpetuate the myth of the all-knowing wish-maker-come-true-jolly-old-elf with the other. There is a way to have the fun without the falsity.

I know. I was raised that way and I'm raising my children that way. And yes, I've told my daughters that "people like to pretend" and sometimes we just need to play along with that. But if my daughter tells your daughter there is no Santa Claus, I will not be apologizing. If you think that makes me less of a Christian than you, so be it. I still won't lose any sleep over it.

Merry Christmas to all, no matter where you fall on this issue. And to all, a good night. Some of you need your rest: you're getting a little touchy. (And yes, I realize that the person I'm actually talking to doesn't read my blog. It feels nice to get it off my chest anyway.)

This concludes Karen's soapbox for today. You never know, politics may be next. Here's a hint: I can't stand Mike Huckabee. But I'll save that for another time.


Anonymous said...

[sigh] I will not respond to the Mike Huckabee comments. I will not respond to the Mike Huckabee comments...

[big grin]


Abbi said...

It was interesting to read what you wrote. I just did a post on Christmas as well.
About Huckabee, I am thinking I will go check out your husband's blog. I have actually been leaning towards Huckabee but my husband sees some things that he doesn't like. It will be interesting to see what you all think.

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