Butterfly Sparks Designs

Sunday, December 14, 2008

...the truth comes out...

disclaimer: if you visit santa and can't wait for him to bring you gifts each year, read no further.. warning!! read no further!

anna katherine now knows that santa is not real. GASP.
well, let me clarify: she knows that saint nicholas was real and who he was, but she also knows he's dead and in heaven. and that the santa's in the mall are just pretending to be him to honor who he was.  she also knows it's fun to pretend about santa, but christmas is really about jesus being born.
she's an inquisitive one, and always asking detailed questions about things.  so i kind of expected this conversation to occur this year at some point, but i was hoping it wouldn't. 
steve and i had been wrestling about whether or not to be honest about the whole santa thing if anna katherine pressed it.  i think our main issue with the fantasy of santa is that once you find out he's not coming down your chimney, and it was really just your parents putting out gifts,  christmas is never really the same again.  as much as you want it to be, it just isn't!  steve remembers saying to his mom at age 15, "mom, i know christmas is all about the birth of jesus, but i just have to confess that ever since i found out about santa not being real christmas has been disappointing." 
and i felt the same way! as much as i wanted to celebrate and be grateful for the birth of jesus (and i was), i couldn't help secretly feeling deflated and depressed each christmas.  this is the primary reason we had decided we wouldn't lie if she asked. we figure if she can have an honest picture of christmas from a young age, then it would always be a happy time where the true meaning of christmas could be celebrated.  of course, it's still fun to pretend there is a santa and open some gifts on christmas morning, but the true meaning of christmas is never confused with the cultural meaning of christmas. 

now are many of you shocked and disappointed? i remember years ago a guy i worked with had small kids and they knew from day 1 that there was no santa. and to be honest, i thought at the time that was absolutely terrible! i couldn't believe they didn't do the santa thing, and thought they must have been religious freaks.  but now, in hindsight, i get it. now that i have kids, i get it.  yes, i want my kids to be excited for christmas and yes, i think there is something incredibly "magic" about santa, but i couldn't look at anna katherine in the eyes and just lie. and i didn't want an entire season revolving around what she would GET instead of focusing on the most important gift we've ever received. 

so we'll pretend about santa together. but she knows we are just pretending. and trust me- they'll be times we'll wish she didn't know- there already have been, but overall we are glad we were truthful. and hopefully this means there will never be a day that christmas turns disappointing and depressing because her entire belief system about christmas was wrong and untrue. now if i can just keep her from ratting it out to other kids....
she still looks happy, no?


L said...

Haha, yes she still looks happy. I don't think I'll lie to my kids about Santa either. It really does make the focus be on the presents. I remember when I found out the tooth fairy wasn't real, and then the lightbulb went off and I exclaimed "Does that mean that Santa and the Easter bunny aren't either?!" And then I cried. Good luck getting her to keep it a secret, because I remember thinking my classmates were all fools for still believing after that. :)

p.s. Thank you so much for the prayers! The song is "In Your Freedom" on the Hillsong album "Saviour King". You can listen to it on YouTube, too. :)

Brooke Hammel said...

What's funny is when your son recognizes the fake Santas and screams out "IMPOSTER!" well within earshot of all the other believing children. He STILL believes in Santa... but only the ones with real beards attached to their faces... LOL!!!!!!!!!

Travis Greene said...

I like explaining the significance of the real St. Nick. And I definitely wouldn't advocate lying about Santa or the Easter bunny or whatever. I think stuff like that is best handled by not making too big a deal of it.

Lindy Simpson Jones said...

I know we are right around the corner... I feel so convicted every time bella asks about it but it just so hard. She too asks so many detailed questions. I don't want her to spoil it for others but then again I never want her to equate Jesus and Santa as something magical. I just really find myself avoiding it altogether! I love you putting into words the disappointment issue... that was so true for me as well. Parenting is so un yet so complex at the same time! Your girls are beautiful!Inside and out!

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