She is quite possibly the most pragmatic person alive, so it shouldn't have surprised me when she said admitted she was struggling handling the subject of Santa Claus with her 2 year old daughter (aka Bear's BFF "Yiyi").
She said she always wants her daughter to feel that she can trust her and that she is a reliable source of information. Which means she can't bring herself to tell the Santa Claus myth. But, she also doesn't want to deny her Santa altogether.
I promised to handle the Santa story for her. Which is an easy promise to make, but tricky to execute when you've been struggling with it yourself.
After so many years of trying to conceive, I spent more than my fair share of holidays tearfully reading our tattered copy of The Night Before Christmas and wondering if there would ever be a tiny human snuggled on my lap to share it with. I never doubted I'd go the Santa Claus route with any children I might be lucky enough to have.
Bear's first Christmas was easy enough. He was only 5 weeks old and we were predictably schoompy about the whole thing.
But it's 3 years later, and I'm feeling a lot of uncertainty. Now that he's this fascinating little human sponge / parrot hybrid, I feel keenly the weight of my responsibility to accurately inform him about the world. And we're uber geeky secular humanist types, so we take scientific literacy very seriously.
Yet, I'm the same girl who - just a few weeks ago - admitted to my husband while watching Harry Potter that I wished magic was real. I share my dear friend's pragmatism... to a point.
Since standing in a long line of
Now, the questions are here and I'm living that nightmare where you show up naked for a final exam you forgot to study for.
|Grandma made Santa when I was born|
So, I never thought about NOT going the Santa route, but the more I wrestle with it the less I feel like doing it old school - especially the whole
|A 4th century figure for the 21st century|
At this age, I'm content to read classic tales about a jolly old elf with flying reindeer. Their fascination is a joy to behold, and that's enough for me.
But next year... or maybe the one after that. When they're older and wiser and pose precocious questions beyond their years, I think I'll be ready. I can feel good about telling them that Santa Claus was a real man who lived such an inspiring life he helped the whole world understand that there is magic in giving. We celebrate what he taught us through giving to others, and that will keep him alive in our hearts forever.