I asked Malia -- my 4 year old -- this morning, "What is Christmas all about?" Her immediate reply: "Santa!"
That just goes to show you that no matter how much you push Jesus' birth as the real reason for the season, there's too much Santa-stuff out there that completely over-shadows it.
People may think this is harsh -- but we tell our kids straight up that there is no Santa Clause. We tell them that WE buy them their presents, we tell them that there is no such thing as a fat man in a red suit going in everybody's homes on Christmas Eve, sneaking gifts into stockings and under the trees.
My problem this year: Joelle isn't convinced. I think deep down she knows he doesn't exist...but she won't stop arguing the fact that he is real. She wrote a letter to Santa this year and wants to send it to him. I'm struggling with this. I don't really mind her playing along...as long as she knew it was just that; playing around. But do I really want to encourage this when she so obviously wants it to be real?
You may think I am over-reacting and that kids will be kids; let them have fun with it and eventually they outgrow their belief in Santa. But that just doesn't sit well with me. I want my kids' immediate response to "What is Christmas all about?" to be "JESUS!"
And that is why we don't do the Santa thing at our house.