I did not grow up believing in Santa. I'm not sure the exact reasons why, although I imagine putting Christ first in Christmas was part of it. My brothers and I thought the UPS man was the best thing ever because he always brought the boxes of toys that we knew were coming for Christmas. I've never regretted not putting out cookies (although I did, just to prove he wasn't real), or writing letters or going to the mall to sit on Santa's lap. We circled all the things we wanted in Sears catalogs and waited impatiently to tell our Grandma in Pennsylvania what we wanted. She was the best grandma, the one who got us the great toys. Our other grandparents lived next door and they always gave us clothes. Helpful! But not fun.
CS, on the other hand, did believe in Santa. Despite the fact that his parents pulled them from school on Halloween, they really did the Santa thing. His mom said it helped when they wanted really expensive toys, since Santa could only bring one thing? I'm hazy on the details.
The other day, CS's dad spoke directly to me about how Santa would be in town every Saturday for the next few weeks. I suppose I should have known it was coming but I was pretty surprised. He's only TWO! And I know he will be terrified if we take him to a big man with a beard and tell him he has to sit on his lap. I know he's not ready for that, and I'm not going to terrify him in the name of "tradition" for something I never knew.
But the more I think about it, the more I struggle with the whole concept. Say he does grow up believing in Santa. He's always going to ask questions about it. And I will have to lie. Not only will I have to lie, but I will have to buy a gift with the money I work very hard to have and tell my son that Santa gave it to him. Where the heck is Santa when I need to pay a doctor's bill?
I know it's all relatively harmless and lots of children grow up loving the fact that they believed in Santa. But I am happy with my Christmas past and so grateful to my family for all that they gave to me for Christmas and I want Jacob to appreciate how wonderful it is to not only get a gift but to give them as well. More fun, in fact!
So what about you? I'm curious!