November 15, 2006
The Christmas Question.
I just got back from my oh-so-wonderful-and-refreshing-once-a-month-moms-meeting, and I'm really excited because we talked about CHRISTMAS. Christmas with kids. And how the heck you do it without running yourself into the ground at 600 mph in the name of all things Martha Stewart and Holiday Cheer-meister.
They talked of all the basics: how to teach the joy of GIVING and SERVING rather than the joy of GETTING and STUFFING FACE. They talked about charity and opening your home to those who are lonely and in need during the Christmas season. They talked about giving meaningful gifts and establishing traditions that teach the importance of the Holiday. They talked about listening to your heart instead of listening to the screamy, whiny American Merchandising Monster. It was great. I even took notes.
This is all great stuff and yadda yadda yadda, but then, finally, came the topic that I was dying to find an answer to. I shifted to the edge of my seat and readied my pen.
Let's talk Santa Claus.
I'm in that whole slew of mommies that doesn't want to lie to their children about Santa, but doesn't want to spoil the fun of it completely, either. Isn't there a way to tell your young children that he's not really real, but let's pretend like he's real anyways, and then WHATEVER YOU DO don't tell any of your friends at school that he's not really real but we're really pretending he really is?
No? I didn't think so.
The woman speaking told us what she did with her children growing up. She told them all the real story of St. Nick. She told them how he was a wealthy priest who lived long, long ago that gave very generous gifts anonymously to those who needed it in order to bless others without getting any credit or glory for his charity. St. Nick was said to have left three bags of gold in the houses of three poor families that had no dowry to marry their daughters with. Without a dowry, these girls couldn't marry and would be sold into slavery. His name, St. Nick, became synonymous with 'Anonymous Gift Giving'.
So, she told her kids this story, and then everyone would have a "St. Nick" present each year and the tag wouldn't say who it was from.
That way they still got to keep the fun of the 'secret gift'... and when the kids heard, "This one is from Santa", they knew it was from a secret family member gift-giver, not from a house-hopping, reindeer riding, cookie eating magic old dude in a red jumpsuit.
I thought that was a really cool way to do things. I love hearing about other family's Holiday Traditions. It's that time in our lives when Chris and I get to start forging our own. What traditions did you guys have in your families that were fun? What would you/do you do differently? How did your family navigate through the Christmas Madness?
Oh, and can I pirate some of those oh-so-special family traditions and make them my own?
MWA HA HA
at 1:33 PM