Project Alicia

Monday, December 14, 2009

DAY 348

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It's always good for us to pause
And think awhile of Santa Claus--
That jolly symbol we revere
When we approach the changing year.
Behind his beard so long and white,
In which our children take delight,
There beats a heart from color free
Which bids all children "come to me."

MARSHALL M. MORGAN, "The Spirit of Santa Claus"

So, tonight we stopped in to see Santa. It has become a a bit of a tradition to do it on a Monday night in December for our family night. It's never been busy, except for one year that I can remember and they are always extra nice about letting me take as many photos as I'd like. Tonight Santa was extra chatty and since my kids were the only ones there he took a little extra time and even got out his photo album to share.

Tonight Little Man lulled Santa right to sleep with his lengthy list. Pokey always seems to keep us guessing. In our rush to get out the door we managed to forget the letters for Santa, so I asked Pokey if she would remember what to ask for. She said she did, but also mentioned that she was going to ask Santa for $100. When her turn came the first thing she asked for was a guitar. Not only was it not on her list, but it's exactly what Little Man wanted. Go figure. And she never requested $100. Relief. This is the exact same Santa that we've visited since the kid's were tiny (he's the real deal, white beard and all), but I could only find digital photos tonight back to 2005. So, here's a stroll down memory lane. I think 2005 was the first year Pokey sat on Santa's lap and didn't run away screaming.

2005

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2006

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2007

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2008

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2009

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It's a fun tradtion and I'm glad to see that Little Man has not outgrown Santa visits yet.

Having said that, I have a few thoughts I'd like to share. I was prepared to go off on my tangent, but in the spirit of the evening I'd like to keep it brief and to the point. I don't have a problem with the image or idea of Santa Claus, but as a parent I struggle with the confusing message of this giant conspiracy to cover up such an enormous lie. We are taught as young children that we should always tell the truth and never even tell white lies. Yet, the Santa Claus lies are endless, one right after another, building in magnitude over the years as the children get older and more inquisitive. From his appearance to the mode of transportation to deliver the toys to all children over the world to how he enters our homes. When we don't have chimneys we concoct new lies to cover our tracks so to speak. We are also taught in christian homes to believe in God. Yet, this is also someone who we never see and are told "we must believe" just as with Santa Claus. When we are old enough to see the wisdom through the cloud of smoke sent our way... what message are we left with? Santa is not real, but God is. Is there no other way to keep the spirit of Christmas alive besides continual lies?

6 comments:

  1. I had no idea you had such strong views on Santa Claus!! Those are fun pictures over the years C: I have been so busy and I get so behind on visiting and taking care of my own blog. Your pictures are more and more fantastic everytime I get on here. You certainly have a talent for it. Put up some of the family pictures your taking of your friends (if they are ok with you sharing) I would love to see your ideas!! Wish we could see you guys for the holidays!!

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  2. very cute, loved seeing them back to 2005!

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  3. I have a hard time with the Santa lies too! I dread when my kids ask me if I believe in Santa.

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  4. I hear that a lot, but my question is did you believe in Santa as a kid?? and if so do you now question God??? There is an article written by LeGrand Richards on the whole reason why we should allow our children to believe in this magic... That it is for our benefit to learn to give with no recognition to do something anonymously without credit. I am completely devastated when my kids stop believing and go to great lengths to drag it on one more year. When asked logical questions like how does he go down the chimney etc I just answer with if you don't believe he won't give you anything. Have you ever seen the book I believe in Santa Clause? It is by Diane G Adamson, you should check it out, it makes comparisons with Santa and Christ the last page of the book says " Psychologist have written of the healthful benefits of encouraging children to believe in a kind and generous Santa. Strong beliefs in Santa Claus in the tender years are said to foster traits of goodness, helpfulness, and the desire to bring joy and happiness to others. These are all attributes of the Savior and espousing these traits in our own lives not only contributes to healthful living but also helps us to become more Christlike."......
    I truly believe in Santa (or the spirit of Santa Claus) so I do not feel like I am lying in anyway....There truly is a spirit of Santa Claus that exists and is real, the giving to others etc etc and that’s how we (my older children and I believe forever in Santa)
    I have my kids read the I believe in Santa or the Yes Virginia there is and if they are old enough to understand the "Spirit" of Santa they get it and we never talk about "no" Santa.....otherwise we keep dragging on the magic....the letter says...Virginia, your little friends are wrong, they have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished........ (skipping a little) Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. No Santa Claus! Thank God, he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times then thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

    I hope I have not offended you in anyway....especially since you don't know me at all....

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  5. i liked tiffany's comment! i think it is so fun as a child to believe in santa, and i don't think i have ever known or heard of anyone who was traumatized when they realized he wasn't a "real man". many times when the kids used to believe, and would ask how he got into the house our down the chimney, or around the world in one night, i wouldn't give them answers, i would just let them tell me what they thought....use their imagionation....this way you're never lieing!! ha

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  6. Alicia, I too have struggle with this. I found for us that we try to focus on the spirit of Santa, the spirit of giving. We give cookies to neighbors, we share our time with our friends and family, and we really try to focus on the real reason we celebrate Christmas. Santa is a very small part of Christmas for us. And when the kids do start to question his existence, we encourage them to focus on what they believe. As long as the believe, then he is real. Devan believed until he was 10 and then he enjoyed helping us keep it alive for his younger siblings. I think this helps them to with their testimony of God, standing up for what they believe in and being encourage to believe, even when others doubt.

    I am sure that your children really understand Christmas and what it all means. They are great kids and will always be thankful that you have done your best to be honest with them and still encourage them to be kids and to believe in things and people we can't see.

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