Tuesday, December 1, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Jenn: The Santa Myth




My husband and I both grew-up with the Santa Myth. We were believers. Like millions of other kids, every Christmas morning, I would tip-toe downstairs to see if Santa had been to our house and then run screaming back up the stairs waking the whole house and letting them know that indeed Santa had come. When I was 8 or 9 and the doubts started creeping in, Santa left a guitar for my brother in the closet - I was a bit confused but my parents blamed in on a fun-loving elf playing tricks.

When our son was born, we never even had a discussion about Santa. We just launched right into the whole mass marketing idea of a man with a white beard who leaves toys in the night. We took him to have his pictures taken with the man and once his sisters came along, the myth perpetuated. I can remember a few Christmas Eve's staying up late and wondering why we ever decided to play the Santa game. Then I remembered it was never really a decision - it just was. In fourth grade my son asked me if Santa was real ( SPOILER ALERT) and I told him no, Dad and I were Santa. This child broke my heart. He cried and told me he hated me and that I was a liar - I ruined his childhood by taking away the magic. He eventually got over it - and became my secret Santa helper - helping pick out things for his sisters and wrapping the presents the night before. Last year my daughter, then in fifth grade, asked me the same question. I had sworn after my son's reaction, I would never tell again. She came to the conclusion all on her own that Dad and I were Santa and this year she is helping too.

This leaves one more believer... my seven year old. Each year she asks for the impossible. Each year she is never disappointed. This year she just might be. Everything on her list is the hottest most sought after toy. I won't bid 10 times the asking price on ebay just to get it. I won't drive from store to store and make myself crazy. I found myself yesterday scouring the targets and Toys r us' and thinking What am I doing? I did find the sought after Katie Doll - but none of her accessories - most of it is sold out - on line - in stores. But Lu didn't ask for the accessories - she probably doesn't even know about them - but I tend to go overboard. I need to take a step-back and reevaluate just what Santa can bring this year. You can't explain Santa and Recession to a 7-year-old in the same sentence. You can't explain the Elves' health care has gone up and their hours have been cut and therefore they are not producing as many toys to a seven-year-old. You can do your best to grant all her Christmas wishes because this might be the last year or two she believes. And the year she stops believing? Cash for all and a trip to the Bahamas!
Cara's two cents: I am holding on to Santa this year with both hands as I think it may be my last. Mike is too sharp. I will be sad about it like I was with the older two..but it will bring a new Christmas to our house I think. More focus on the reason for the season and more of an understanding that Santa may not have the cash this year that he had last year. I am totally down with the Bahamas between Christmas and New Year's...can we come too?

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