Now that a few days have past since the frenzy of gift opening on Christmas morning, I’ve been mulling over thoughts about Santa and whether this aspect of Christmas is causing the boys to be spoiled in ways we don’t want to see. I guess you could say the big question for me is “Why Santa?” instead of an exclusive focus upon the birth of Christ.
This is not the first time I’ve pondered this question. As the boys get older, the gifts they ‘expect’ Santa to bring keep growing in cost. And, then there is the need to balance what they want with what they need as well as making sure no one seems to be ‘ahead’ for gifts. By the time I am done wrapping gifts for them, I am wishing most of it wasn’t even bought. Maybe that makes me a terrible parent, but I certainly hope not!
I grew up with Santa as part of Christmas as did my husband. I still remember being in elementary school and having Santa leave a Fischer Price medical kit in the fireplace when we lived in the Seattle area. What I don’t remember is elaborate gifts being given.
Just a few days before Christmas I saw a post on Facebook asking people to consider that not every house can afford for Santa to bring big things (e.g. iPads, laptops, etc.) It got me thinking that from now on it could be a much better thing for Santa to fill the stockings and leave something modest for each person under the tree (or one family gift we can all enjoy.)
And, it’s sort of what happened this year. Santa brought the family Disney Infinity 2.0 Marvel Super Hero Edition along with a few extra figures. The boys had a mixture of goodies in their stockings from him as well along with a new sled each left outside resting against the shed (because Santa’s considerate like that!)
When they look back, I hope the boys remember time spent together as a family eating brunch with dad’s homemade cinnamon rolls, going to Mass as a family to celebrate Christ’s birth, and then having a ‘fancy’ meal eaten off mom’s china with sparkling juice as a special treat. Can Santa be a part of it? Absolutely! But, I always want the day to be focused up Christ and the day spent together as a family.
I guess when push comes to shove, this mama loves the idea of Santa being a part of Christmas. It is just the need to find a balance with the gift giving and WHO is giving the gifts that is at the heart of my internal struggle.
How does your family approach gift giving for Christmas?