Yes, you read that correctly. I grew up in a no Santa and Easter Bunny household, and you know what? I don’t feel as if I missed out on something. When you have a child, it forces you to make decisions on things you never thought about before. Some of those decisions being how to celebrate the major holidays. It forces you to look back on your own childhood and consider whether or not you want to carry on certain traditions and beliefs.
My daughter isn’t old enough to understand these holidays yet, but that hasn’t stopped me from considering what we are going to do. When thinking back on my childhood, I had to ask my mom about what they did for us because I couldn’t remember; she told me, “That’s because we didn’t do them.” So clearly it has not damaged me.
Honestly, I have no desire to include any of these holiday figures into our family traditions and here is why:
- We are a faith based family and for us Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birth and Easter is the celebration of His defeat of death and resurrection from the tomb. I don’t want to mar that with added distractions.
- I have no desire to add more stress to the holidays than is already present. I’ve seen the screaming photoshoots and parents running themselves ragged because they have to make it look like Santa came to the house. I remember listening to my aunt and uncle talk about forgetting to move the elves at night and trying to figure out what they were going to do next. I remember thinking, “Well, you brought it on yourself and why do it?” I read an article recently that mentioned apps that let you make video calls to Santa, follow him on Twitter, and add an extension to filter out pages that reveal the truth about Santa. There’s so much out there to enhance and help the belief of Santa, it just seems like more work on top of an already full holiday season.
- There are other ways to encourage your child’s imagination and teach them about generosity and kindness. As parents we can model these characteristics year-round instead of just one time a year. Teach them about real people who modeled these characteristics as well. Encourage imagination through individual play, create your own bedtime stories, or take them to a discovery museum. My sister would power her imagination with a create your own stories computer game.
- The magic of Christmas isn’t just in Santa, it’s what you make it. There’s magic in creating cookies just because or to give to friends and neighbors. There’s warmth in snuggling up with hot chocolate and reading Christmas stories. There’s amazement in Christmas lights, decorating the tree, and watching the snow fall. My husband and his cousins used to each get a day with mamaw where they would bake, craft, and spend quality time with a loved one. They still talk about those beloved times today.
Even though there was no Santa to wake up to on Christmas morning, there was still a sense of awe and wonder in our eyes and a feeling of something special in the air. Not including a holiday figure in your celebrations won’t take away from the season. It might just add to it. You might come to enjoy the time more than the dread we feel as the holidays approach.