I started off the day quite nicely today. Woke up at ten and went to breakfast with my beloved. After that, we went on a lovely walk. He asked me some questions that I thought I should address in my post today.
Christmas. Yes, believe it or not we talked about Christmas-more specifically Santa. And, no, we didn’t focus on what we wanted Santa to bring us, or what Santa brought us as little kids, but he asked me whether I believe that Santa was a good invention for little kids.
I had to think about it. Was Santa a good invention? Through many sub-questions and interesting insights on my part, I finally came to my answer: I believe that at one point Santa was a good invention for little kids, and then, through time, his image (and the image of Christmas in general) became distorted.
Saint Nicholas-Jolly Old Saint Nick- was the being that Santa was formulated from. He was known as a man of gift-giving. Unlike the Santa we know who puts presents under the tree, Saint Nick would put coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him. It really got me thinking on how different our Santa is nowadays, and how children react differently towards him.
Santa. What’s the first thing you think of when you hear that word? Christmas. Red. Big jolly dude. Man who likes cookies. Man who flies around on December 25th with reindeer to hand out gifts to little children. Just recently I realized what is wrong with Christmas today, but also what makes it so spectacular.
I learned the downfall through my family. This year, the older people in my family (more specifically my parents, my aunt and uncle, and my other uncle) decided not to do pollyanna. This astounded me because that means they’re not giving presents to each other. At all. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the whole idea of Christmas is to willingly give gifts to family members because of that thing called love? Yeah, I know that the economy isn’t that great right now, but if my aunt (who is the one who proposed not to give one gift to another family member having a $40 maximum spending limit) can buy a 100k trailer for a beach house, then she can willingly donate $5-$10 dollars on a gift. It’s honestly not how expensive or how extravagant the gift is, it’s the thought that counts. It’s the fact that somebody took some time to figure out a gift that you would like, that would suit you. Giving up on giving family members gifts just makes my heart sad.
What I’m meaning to say out of that last little paragraph, is that people are either giving gifts not through their heart (i.e. having somebody else tell them what they want, rather than them figuring out something that would make the other person happy) or not giving at all. One of the meanings of Christmas is a physical “donation” (if you will) of your friendship/relationship; or, in better terms, how well you know somebody and what you think of them.
Relating this to children and Santa, one of the questions I was asked was,” Do you think Christmas lists are appropriate for kids?” Initially my answer was yes, mostly because of the fact that writing a letter to the North Pole for Santa was magical, idealistic, and intriguing. But now, as I sit and think more about it, I realize that my answer is kind of in limbo-between yes or no. A parent shouldn’t need a fake Santa’s letter in order to find out what their kid wants. If the child wants something, chances are that they will tell the parent when they are in the toy store. But, to bring up a point for the no side, if a parent gets a child’s wish wrong, and the child wanted something else, the kid will question the authenticity of Santa. For the sake of the parent, I have come to conclusion, that children should not write any kind of Christmas list so they do not question Santa’s validity, and have the parent give a gift from their heart; a gift that shows that the parent is actually paying attention to their beloved child’s life.
Now, this does not mean that the child should not be introduced to Santa. I believe that believing in Santa as a little kid is a great thing.
Why? You may ask? Well, I ask you, what does Santa stand for?
(This post will be continued tomorrow)