Thursday, December 2, 2010

Santa Claus

Yesterday I was asked the story behind why we don't do Santa.  This is why.

I don't remember a time when I believed in Santa.  My brother assures me I did and when he told me the truth, I cried.  But I don't remember any of that. 

I do remember, however, laying awake in bed, listening intently for reindeer hooves on the roof, just like the little boy in Polar Express (one of my favorite childhood Christmas stories).  But I was always disappointed. Never did I hear the magical flying reindeer.

As I grew older it saddened me to see the complete and utter disregard for the true meaning of Christmas that people had.  I hated that Christmas decorations went up in stores in September.  I hated that Thanksgiving so often was overlooked. I hated that the commercial aspect of the holiday took over and the spiritual aspect was completely forgotten.

The best Christmas I have ever experienced was while I was a missionary for 
the LDS Church. 

I didn't receive many gifts. I think I got a pair of socks from my parents and a few things from my companions. Finding people to teach on Christmas Eve was rather difficult. Especially since we were teaching in Spanish, and the Latins seem to celebrate Christmas Eve almost more than Christmas. So we decided to do service that day. And that evening we went caroling. We delivered cookies to a few people, and drove around singing about the birth of our Savior. 

It was magical. More magical than the reindeer ever could have been. At that moment, I decided I never again wanted to negate the importance of Christmas. It is all about Christ, after all. Without Him, we wouldn't have a Christmas. He has given us far more than a fictional Santa ever could.
Before we married, Jeffrey and I talked about how we would do Christmas. We talked about celebrating January 6th, The Day of the Wise men. We would give gifts on that day, and have December 25th be more of a spiritual and sacred day. We figured that way we could hit all the after Christmas sales, and get everything on Clearance. But when it came down to it, we both really wanted our kids to be able to have Christmas morning. The tree, the stockings, everything that we had growing up with, which made the day special.
It took a bit of fine tuning, but we have finally figured out how we are going to do it.
We don't teach Santa Claus. Really, we don't need to. The world does such a good job of that.But we do talk about the Savior every day. Keith has never asked if Santa is real, but if he does, I will tell him the truth. We don't give gifts from Santa. All the gifts our kids get come from us. We thought about having Santa give the stockings, but have decided against it. Basically, we have the same celebrations with different explanations. And that is why and how we don't do Santa Claus at our house.
Call me a Scrooge if you must.

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